Often in the eyes of others, we strive to look better than we really are. Why is it so important to prove to others that our partner is the most caring, our career is the most successful, and our house is always in the best place? Elena Lisun tries to understand the nature of boasting and draw a line between “being” and “appearing”

This year was important for me. I gave up a great job on NBC to get back to Chicago. He started dating his angel Jamie Holland. Started doing yoga (thanks to Jake Fisher and John Perlstein!). He wrote an album with Matthew Johansson. He wrote another album that I am proud of. He hung out with Owen Wilson and worked on an amazing project with Will Ferrell. Talked with David Gregory about Barack Obama. I was dancing. Joined the kickball team. Won several awards ... ".

It is so easy to mislead those who were aware of my dream. First of all - yourself.

And this is not even half the post on Facebook, which was sent by mail to the American blogger Tim Urban, his girlfriend. According to Tim, the evening was hopelessly ruined. He re-read it several times before he understood the reason for his annoyance: the most repulsive statuses in social networks are dedicated to the author himself and do not bring anything joyful to those who read him.


That is, simply put, no one likes boasting. It is able to awaken dormant complexes and destroy any relationship. I have come across bouncers many times, but for some reason I have never wondered why they are doing this. What brings such a way of communication to people's lives? I was indifferent to the nature of boasting until I came across this article by Urban. Something in the post that he quoted, haunted me until I discovered that it was he who reminded me. My proper statuses in social networks had the same rainbow-sweetish aftertaste, and every word was supposed to confirm the colorfulness of my life and the complete absence of gray everyday life in it. By the way, something similar not so long ago I wrote just on the day of the outgoing year. Then my status gathered more than fifty likes, and I didn’t even think about the thought that someone could give my thoughts unpleasant feelings or even cause anger towards me. Quite the contrary - I was sure that my friends were sincerely happy for me, for my dreams come true and goals achieved. Urban's article forced a look at his behavior in a completely different light. And I liked this light less and less with every minute.

took a fresh look at my posts on social networks over the past few years, and I found that they all shouted: “Just look what an amazing life I have!” - interspersed with travel photos, selfies with a beloved man, Moschino dresses, jewelry and the invariable attribute of the “happiest woman in the world” - chic bouquets in hat boxes and without them.

EXPERT ADVICE: "A boast that evokes a desire to imitate, improve, change for the better is the most socially acceptable." Oksana Rustamova, Deputy General Director of Intellectual Capital Consulting Company

Previously, I didn’t even realize that my thoughts about myself, my hasty enthusiastic posts after a wonderful holiday could make someone crazy. I was sure that my tender relationship with a man who confessed his feelings and thanked him for his incredible care, would encourage people to improve their own relationships, teach them patience and the ability to appreciate love. This is probably why I counted at least a hundred photos with my beloved. Each is an example of an idyll. I knew for sure that my friends shared my joy from trips to the islands, niche perfumes, new Prada shoes and a beautiful ring that I received during my engagement. Indeed, real friends are obliged - as they say, both in grief and in joy. Especially in joy. However, Google, to which I went for help, cooled my ardor. Scientists from world universities (London, Carnegie-Mellon, Bocconi) advise not to post information about major purchases on social networks, because people may not understand you and decide that you are trying to show off.

Capital Consulting Company

Scientists ruthlessly state that a feeling of envy on-line cannot turn into a negative attitude in real life. As I was advised to be more modest, put yourself in the place of those people who read posts on social networks - in order to avoid hostility and discord in relations with acquaintances and friends.

So, I was too frivolous, selfish and boastful. But where does the desire to show off come from and why was it imperceptible to myself? Arguments came across the most diverse - even those that in the spirit of Freud explained my desires with sexual dissatisfaction or a deformed clitoris. Not so long ago, American scientists conducted an experiment on the topic of how much joy people boast. The results showed that we love to brag, and this process gives us more pleasure than a large amount in a bank account or sex. During the test, participants had to tell any flattering stories about themselves. It is noteworthy that the data turned out to be the same - whether the person boasted during a live conversation or talked about himself in social networks.

Usually people like to brag about what worries them the most.

It turned out that at the time of boasting, the human brain activates the mesolimbic tract, which is responsible for the process of obtaining pleasure - for example, from delicious food, big money, and drug use. Self-esteem is also very pleasant for us. So much so that when the participants were offered a small amount of money in exchange for switching to discussing another person (say, the president), they all refused.

The forums claimed that the root of evil lies in the indifference of the bouncer to the feelings of others, in unstable self-esteem, arrogance and even the desire to humiliate the interlocutor. Pierre Bouast, the author of a universal dictionary of the French language, and my grandmother no less mercilessly state: bouncers are people with dubious moral qualities. The first one claimed: "To boast is to say to others without any courtesy: I am better than you." Grandmother echoes him: “To brag - do not mow: the back does not hurt.”

Usually people like to brag about what worries them the most

I never really complained about back pain from boasting, but this does not explain the nature of the strange desire to tell about my life in all colors. Looking for sources, I came across an article by the famous American psychologist and best-selling author Daniel Gilbert, a professor of psychology at Harvard. He substantiates boasting with a demonstrative type of temperament. Gilbert calls such people tantrums and believes that their main quality is the desire to constantly be in the spotlight by any means. Quite often they choose to boast. And it doesn’t matter that they receive extremely negative attention. It is more important to them that they generally receive it.

Selfies are a typical example of showing off one’s own appearance. And thanks to the selfie (Relationship selfie - photo with your loved one), you can boast of a happy relationship

My German friend, coordinator of international projects, thinks this way: “People probably brag because everyone wants to feel that someone needs them. Some receive it among friends, in a family, and some do not receive it, therefore they boast. ” However, such theories do not answer why people are so keen to prove that their choice of life partner is the most correct, their career is the most successful, and their home is always in the best place. What is the reason that women and men continue to praise their unloved place of work for friends? Why do some people prefer to remain modestly silent about their successes and achievements, while others so much need to shout about it to the whole world?

Why, after I was unable to move to another country, I everywhere began to seek confirmation that it was probably for the better? And what is most surprising is to find. Indeed, it is much easier to believe that I did the right thing than to say to myself: "Yes, I am really terribly upset that I did not find the strength in myself to reach the goal." Therefore, now I diligently prove to others that I am satisfied and happy. And my new place of residence is the best confirmation of this. I live near the sea, I have a wonderful husband, I do my favorite thing - perhaps it looks perfect from the outside. And as proof, I will post juicy photos on a velvet beach with a perfect tan or jogging in a green park. It is so easy to mislead those who were aware of my dream. First of all - yourself. How many unfulfilled desires and extinguished hopes conceal praises of their choice!

At the heart of these and similar acts is fear. This may be a fear of many obstacles to the goal - for example, to become not just an artist who paints for the love of art, but a great artist of her time. It can be a fear of losing everything by opening your own business. Or the fear of admitting to yourself that your relationship has become so bland that it does not even cause negative emotions. Or that disgusted work is the most boring in the world. Fear of changing something in your life - whether it's moving, a new relationship to fade away, or insecurity of your own talent - leads to a flood of boasting. Usually people like to brag about what worries them the most.

Selfies are a typical example of showing off one’s own appearance

The most frightened ones like to boast that they have worked in the same place for ten years. Thus, they tactfully hint about their professionalism and trustworthiness. The more a person seeks to fill the space around him with conversations about his life, the more I understand that the only thing he wants is to become more meaningful. Tell others and at the same time convince yourself that he is lucky. It turns out that for many it is quite enough to live by the dissemination of information - true or not. Their self-confidence, their happiness is not based on their own emotions, but only on the reaction of others. Only under the condition of feedback will harmony come in their souls - however, not for long. So the whole life of such people turns into an endless race for motives, invented or real.

Some of the great ones said that happiness is a complete lack of desire to prove something to anyone. Listen to yourself: maybe you didn’t want a new gadget worth five salaries or a designer bag to brag to your colleagues, but more than anything else - to live in Bali?

EXPERT ADVICE: "When you talk about yourself and your merits, boldly ironize yourself - recommends Vitaliy Graboev, a presentation consultant. - You need to show not only the front side of success. This technique is always used by stand-up comedians. Learn from them. The category of achievements is relative, and all good things are perceived as such only in contrast to mistakes. "

Bragging is always a lie. First of all, because you are trying to be at least briefly in the rays of glory, or at least look better than you really are. Of course, there are safe types of bragging - for example, when grandmothers show photos of their grandchildren or my mother tells friends that I write articles for ELLE. It can also be attributed constructive boasting to increase salaries and obtain the desired position. But this is not about them.

Bragging can be used as a manipulation. With its help, it is easy enough to provoke envy, irritation. In this case, the bouncer acts on the principle: show people your happiness - and you will poison their life. For example, my friend Olya set a goal to take revenge on her ex. To do this, she needed to properly embellish her life. First of all, with a new relationship. Olya threw herself into the arms of men, captured hot kisses on selfies, which she immediately posted on social networks with life-affirming signatures: “It seems to be in love” or “New magical life”. After a couple of days, the former sent a courier with a bouquet to her to work. This was another reason for collecting likes under the photo with flowers. It seems he even came back and they stayed together for a few more months. And then he disappeared again. If there is no love, you can play on jealousy and a sense of ownership, but the desired effect will quickly end.

Bragging can be used as a manipulation

Next to great people, everyone feels at least a little great. Bouncers, on the contrary, are sorry to share their attention, admiring and envious glances. The bouncer's goal is to prove that the great one is here. However, deep down, he himself does not think so. It’s the hardest thing to deceive yourself, and rarely anyone succeeds. However, if it succeeds, people go crazy with megalomania.

I would be very happy (and I promise that I would not brag about it to anyone) if I could suddenly find out that after reading my article, someone breathed a sigh of relief and thought: “Is there really so many idiots in the world who don’t allow themselves to live fully, but only live their lives? Probably, first of all, you need to prove to yourself: I can, I am worthy, I dream of a better life. It's great that I once took a chance! ”My friend Anya answered my question about the nature of human boasting brilliantly simple:“ This is when you don’t feel satisfaction and confidence from what you know yourself, so it’s so important for you to call and receive Delight outside. Self-sufficient people do not boast. "They go in worn sneakers and they don’t care what brand of car they have - they don’t care about the recognition of others."

We always have a choice: to build something from ourselves or to represent something from ourselves. It’s best if you start building something when you’re at least imagining something. But even in this case, boasting is not the best way to talk about yourself.
WHY DO WE LIKE TO BRAG ABOUT? WHY DO WE LIKE TO BRAG ABOUT? Reviewed by Chelsea Mitchel on 5:19 AM Rating: 5

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