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The Forum > General Discussion > Why do People Brag About Themselves?

Why do People Brag About Themselves?

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Why do some people believe that constant boasting about themselves impresses others?

I was reading the following:

http://www.helium.com/items/1439225-why-do-people-brag-about-themselves

"People who brag about themselves are so annoying because, although we all understand that being positive is a good thing, tooting your own trumpet so loudly that no one else can hear themselves think is unbecoming. We also feel annoyed when we come across a consistent bragger because most of us know that people who need to bolster their esteem at the expense of others on a regular basis are generally insecure.

We are then left to deal with mixed feelings of our own. On the one hand the bragger is so self concerned that we want little to do with them. On the other hand we may feel sorry for them, knowing that they probably really have a low sense of self esteem, despite the bragging which is an attempt to cover this up....

..... At the end of the day, when faced with a person who brags, we are in an almost impossible position that is difficult to get out of. We have our own needs, which will be overlooked by the bragger, and may find having to put up with the bragging fairly intolerable.

The fact is that a conversation is by rights a two way street, where each person takes a turn at listening and talking. A real conversation gives equal power to both parties involved in a normal, everyday situation. Braggers don't tend to indulge in the unspoken rules which govern two way conversation.....

...... If you dare mention anything about yourself which you are proud of, the bragger is highly likely to attempt one oneupmanship, and so to make light of your own achievements."

How do we get the point across that we are not impressed, if anything we tend to see the braggart as over compensating for some lack in themselves?

Is there any situation when it is appropriate to imply that one is superior to others? Is this reasonable on a public forum?

Whatever the reason, how to get them to stop?
Posted by Ammonite, Wednesday, 15 June 2011 5:52:09 PM
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'cause if we didn't tell them, some people may never realise how lucky they were to meet us.
Posted by Hasbeen, Wednesday, 15 June 2011 8:30:35 PM
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Yes, there's a bit of it about, isn't there? Over at the Punch they had an article on the FIGJAM phenomenon, except that the kind of oaf you're describing doesn't wait to be asked. Quite the opposite, in fact.

I was always taught that modesty is a virtue, and I've learnt from experience empty vessels tend to make the most noise. Unfortunately, braggers don't tend to notice other people's disdain of them, so ultimately I think the best strategy is to simply ignore them where possible.

I recall some bush wisdom that I picked up somewhere along the track, that seems to fit here: the broader the brim, the smaller the spread. For that reason I tend to avoid conspicuous consumers who advertise their apparent success with 10-gallon hats, obvious jewellery, expensive cars, trophy partners etc. They are always full of themselves and inevitably boring, but fortunately very easy to spot!
Posted by morganzola, Wednesday, 15 June 2011 9:11:42 PM
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Dear Ammonite,

Why do people brag about themselves? There could be many reasons. Depending on cultural background, education, peer-group influence, competitiveness. Competition is part and parcel of a capitalist society. Try writing a CV when looking for a job - and down playing your qualifications and experience and see how far that gets you.

We seem to live in a society where the only constant is change - and
although I too grew up being taught not to brag. Today, people are encouraged to talk about their achievements, to have confidence in themselves, and the attitude seems to be, "If you don't think you're any good, why should we?" Hence the push of the "Me" complex.

I'll be interested to read what others have to say on this subject.
Posted by Lexi, Wednesday, 15 June 2011 10:27:47 PM
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cont'd ...

here's a website that supports one of the points that I was trying to make:

http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/sydney-nsw/self-praise-conroys-preferred-approach/story-e6freuzi-1226072668264
Posted by Lexi, Wednesday, 15 June 2011 11:54:59 PM
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I am aware of the extremes you speak of Ammonite.
And just as annoyed as you by it.
Such rabid attempts to impress have the opposite effects on most of us.
But in a way, we all self promote.
I have trouble putting it in to words,but once launched a thread ,about phony/fake people.
If you watch our body's talk, they do, our every movement shows.
You will see in a crowded room or just one on one almost every one presents some one just a little unlike them selves to the world
Human nature? yes maybe we can not avoid it.
I however have been inflicted with your description ,such a person ,now dead, had in his mind the best of every thing even including his clapped out old lawn mower.
Posted by Belly, Thursday, 16 June 2011 5:26:34 AM
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