In some conversations we may have encountered with sentences like ‘hey, you are doing great, congratulations for achieving all this at a young age but I was younger than you’, ‘you know, for me, everything is easy because I am way more experienced than others’, ‘I am the only one capable or eligible for this work’. These may sound self-obsessed, self-centered, and proudly stated. Actually, these are too proudly stated.
Bragging means to talk too proudly about something one owns or something one has done. The primary focus always remains on achievements instead of hard work and efforts. It also includes self-presentation in which individuals seek to balance bragging against discrediting themselves with excessive self-promotion. Most of the time bragging is brought on the floor to gain limelight. In one line Bragging is self-glorifying.
Self-promotions are not limited to conversations only social media is one of the wider platforms. Many self-promoters often boast about their professional success, night-outs, hangouts, personal lives like their child’s first steps. Infact, bragging on social media may seem like making favourable impressions on others but many times it leaves negative impressions too.
Why do people brag?
To make an Impression – It’s a human tendency that every human being loves to be in the public eye. They find ‘bragging or showing- off’ is one of the ways to make an impression on others because of the paradigm shift of society from reality to virtual and from intellectual to materialistic world. This has brought two structures to the table – fear of judgement and rat races or cutthroat competition which fascinated people for a fancy world. And thus, they learnt bragging is the easiest course of action to be in limelight.
Insecurity – Insecure people are too much indulged in bragging. They always look for recognition and validation from the outside world. They believe they are going through an identity crisis and for them bragging seems a solution. Most of the time they are far away from the truth while boasting and they presume their boasting will bring some differences in their recognition, identity, and respect among their peers or in society.
Self-rewarding – Bragging is self-rewarding and a process of self-satisfaction. It creates a hypothetical world for gaining trust and acceptance among people in braggart’s mind. A low self-esteemed person always loves to brag despite that bragging is a defensive tool against low self-esteem as it gives them immediate satisfaction. Also talking about achievements and abilities boosts confidence.
Some signs of bragging
Redirect every conversation to themselves – If a conversation is going on for someone else’s achievement and suddenly a bragger diverts it to their success and achievements. For a couple of times, it is ok but if it persists regularly then it’s a sign of bragging.
Always seeking compliments – Braggarts are always fishing for compliments. They love and can state anything to be in the center of attraction which always remains their top priority.
Non-stop talking – A braggart loves to talk continuously until someone interrupts them. They may have bothered if they are heard or not. They have the only motto to let people listen to them. They want their presence to be felt by others.
Look down on others – Braggers develop a belief that they are better than others in terms of education, knowledge, and are way ahead of them. They start judging people on their costume price, brand usage, etc. and gradually develop a habit of insulting others.
Is bragging always negative?
Bragging is also manipulating others to fulfill their motto. Such braggings are backed up with evidence so that others find them as competent. Politicians are such braggers or manipulators.
Generally, braggers have two categories – justified braggers and errant braggers. Justified braggarts are the ones who have something to back up their claim while errant braggarts are those who only exaggerate. But both have the only motive to be in the limelight.
The stories with a proper backup in an interview can award someone with a job. The government brags about their successful policies that may help to win the election or create buzz among the public. The celebrities’ success stories from themselves are also a bragging which inspires and motivates many. Such braggings are positive and puts an affirmative impact on people.
But the boastings which are self-centred and exaggerated are only made for being the center of attraction because they lack evidence to support them. Such braggings seem merely credit-oriented statements which upsets listener and also undervalue braggers.
If someone else brags on another’s behalf, it’s a great way to believe them because the other person is not available to get credits.
Let’s stop the habit of bragging
Bragging is also to getting a fill of something, possibly to forget the emptiness someone feels inside. But the fact is nobody really likes braggers and finds bragging annoying. Bragging is just a behaviour and can be changed over the course of time.
Focus on hard work instead of achievement – Focussing merely on results is like having a one-sided view. The story is always different from the other side. To quit the habit of bragging prime focus should be on hard work and efforts given to achieve something.
Change the narrative for statements of bragging – There is no harm if someone takes pride in their achievements. But the care should be taken while expressing their excitements with others. They should be grateful and should show gratitude towards their effort, team, and others who helped them to achieve their goal. They should say like “this success would haven’t been possible without our teams’ efforts and hard work instead of saying I have done this and that to achieve this goal”.
Avoid offending others – A proverb ‘think before you speak’ seems absolutely fit here. In any conversation, one should not touch a sensitive topic to talk about. For example, one should always avoid talking about professional accomplishments if someone in the group recently laid off. This won’t offend others and also lets braggers not be a big mouth.
Do not brag about the busy schedule – Bragger generally talks about their busy schedules to prove their worth. Being busy to complete your task or to achieve your goal is the right thing but if one talks about how busy they are to achieve their goal seems annoying and idiotic. The other person has nothing to do with someone else’s goal and business.
The Last Corner
Maybe we are humble, maybe we are kind-hearted, maybe we are blessed with generosity, or maybe we are rude and short-tempered, but these qualities are not parameters to measure if we are braggers or not. Bragging itself is a quality that is developed to compensate for the emptiness we feel inside.