How to brag without sounding like a horse’s ass

There’s a right way and a wrong way to “boast” (which I call branding) about your achievements. No one wants to listen to an egomaniacal idiot. That’s a given. Saying you have never failed at anything and that everything you do is great and then some is rot. Yet there are lots of people around like that. Never believing you are wrong is another trait of stupidly egotistical people.

I once dated a guy like that. He always had an argument and an insult for everything. He would be pleased when he insulted me and thought he won. What he didn’t get was that every time he did he really lost. He was quickly headed for the deterioration of a relationship and didn’t see it. His ego got in the way. That’s the wrong way to boast.

Another way is to try too hard to convince people about your greatness. If you are impressive people will see it. You don’t have to push people into liking you. In fact, an upper echelon in the business I recently bought into impressed me by her past and current accomplishments. She has a good balance between communicating about her achievements without alienating people.

One way she does this is in joking about herself a little. Not to the point of undermining herself but enough to let people know she doesn’t take herself too seriously. She is also informing others about her success to let them know they can accomplish the same achievements and that her success isn’t based on “magic”, that anyone can do it. That’s a good approach to “bragging.”

How not to brag:

Stating that you were the best employee at your last job
Placing your job performance above everyone else’s
Comparing yourself to Jesus
Acting like Madonna

Ricky Gervais, in his role of David Brent, the jackass boss of The Office, played a classic role of a braggart with nothing to substantiate it. In fact his entire office disdained him and he was clueless about it. That’s what made his character so laughable and helped to make the series a success. In this scene Brent has been fired but at the same time compares himself to Jesus. (He and John Lennon have something in common).He gives his former employees pep talks about not being too devastated now that he is leaving the firm when of course, they’re glad he’s going. I love Brent for his stupidity. He is a satirical example of how not to brag.

Unless you’re a famous comedian who hosts the Emmy’s and the Golden Globes every year. Then you can say anything you want.


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