If there is one type of attribute I despise in a person it is a lack of humility.
But it is inevitable in life that we will encounter braggers on a regular basis.
The best approach for these people – absolutely nothing.
I came to this conclusion, because the reason a person may brag is that they are insecure and seeking validation. By not reacting you starve them of this. But there is temptation to take another approach. Here, I explain why you shouldn’t:
With a bragger the temptation is to mock them or knock them down a peg or two. The problem with this is that it makes YOU look like the insecure one!
I have known a few braggers in my time and the people who make fun of them run the risk of making themselves look petty and jealous.
If you are in a group situation and you have listened to someone who lacks humility, it is likely everyone else in the group has. The bragger may leave at some point and then the group descends into bitching.
“Did you hear what she was saying…?”
The temptation is to get in the group mentality and start joining in – whatever you do don’t! It won’t make you feel any better and there is a possibility that someone could be two-faced and report back what you said. Just listen and observe and be glad that it wasn’t just you that noticed a big-headed bragger!
Another method is trying to upstage the bragger. This is pointless because the reason for bragging is down to their own insecurities and because of this they will always find a way to belittle your own achievements.
In my young inexperienced age my natural reaction was to try and one-up him, so I would talk about all the great things I did, what my parents had bought me, etc, etc…
But I was never going to one-up Simon – even if it was really impressive he would find ways of putting down everything I ever did.
Mine was going okay, but nowhere on the level of his success. So I let myself stew over this, his success was my failure. I don’t mind people being more successful than me, but what really annoyed me was his lack of humility.
I mentioned this to my mentor and to my surprise she turned round and said
“Why does it matter? Concentrate on your own results”.
And that is the best advice I have ever received and those words I follow to this day. So focus on being better and not bitter.
I found that once I stopped dwelling on a bragger and put that focus into my life, things for me got much better.
The good thing is because you’re not insecure, you won’t become another bragger. Instead let your actions do the talking.
The art of doing nothing:
So to refresh – doing absolutely nothing is the best approach. The next time someone shamelessly brags in front of you about something they have done, say:
“Oh, that’s nice..”
When I learned that the bragger was insignificant my life got better – I didn’t feel I had to live up to others, be threatened by their ‘achievements’* and learnt to enjoy what I had done.
- Starve them of their desire for attention
- Don’t mock or bitch about them or you just look jealous
- Don’t feel the need to try and one-up them
- Focus on living your own life and not worry what they have ‘done’
- Don’t react to the bragger and say ‘Well done’
*Note I say ‘achievements’ because as stated a bragger is insecure – although they may have actually achieved what they are bragging about there is the possibility that they have made up the achievement to feel better about themselves. If that is the case the joke is on them as they will feel more insecure in the long run for lying about things they haven’t actually done.