People love to talk about themselves. They use a lot of time and energy letting people know how great they are.
People who feel the need to brag, usually don’t have that much to brag about. Bragging is a form of trying to control what people think about you. It doesn’t work. It is fine to share with other people what you are proud of but consider a different approach to have a more effective impact.
Part of this post is written for me. All too often, I discover that I am bragging about my kids, work I have done, cool places I have been, or impressive people I know. In an effort to be transparent, I am no better than most at what I suggest in this post.
Just this week I realized I was bragging. A very famous author and speaker passed away this week. While I was sharing my experience in learning from this person, I realized part of my sharing went over the line to bragging when I felt compelled to share that I once met this famous person. Was it really necessary for me to share that I once met this person? It really didn’t add to the conversation. If I am honest, I was trying to impress others that I met someone famous. Who hasn’t met someone famous at some point in their lives?
There have been times that I have consciously resisted bragging and then later been glad that I did. When I refrain I sometimes discover during the conversation that I really didn’t have much to brag about. Some of those times I have been glad I didn’t brag because I would have sounded like a jerk. Other times I have wanted to brag but because I refrained it was later discovered without me saying anything.
“The greatest pleasure I know is to do a good action by stealth, and to have it found out by accident” – Charles Lamb
I’m not suggesting that you shouldn’t be proud of your accomplishments and share your results with other people. If it comes up in conversation test yourself. If it feels like you are bragging, it is because you are. Resist sharing just a little longer and just see what naturally transpires. You may not need to or you might be glad that you didn’t say anything.
When have you held off saying something
and been glad you did?
When have you regretted
bragging about yourself?