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Boasting

 

Explanations > RelationshipsStatus Games > Boasting

Description | Example | Discussion | So what?

 

Description

Boasting is a very simple and extremely common way of seeking status. All you do is to tell the other person about things you have done. If this boasting has been effective, the other person will admire you more, hence increasing your status.

Things you can boast about include:

  • Expensive and desirable things you have bought, from houses to cameras.
  • Places in the world you have been, whether in work or on holiday.
  • People you know and your relationship with them.
  • Brave or good things you have done.
  • The success of your children at school and in life.

Example

I met the president last week when he came around to personally thank me for all the help I have given him.

Look at this. I bought it only today. Isn't it grand!

Discussion

Boasting can be a dominant act, aimed more to put the other person down than to get admiration. In this ways, boasting can be little more than displays of power.

Boasting can also played in reciprocal, turn-taking games such as One Upmanship, where each tries to out-do the other with ever-greater claims. This highlights another danger of boasting, where the truth of the boast becomes less as the boaster feels the need to exaggerate in order to gain the admiration they seek.

So what?

Be careful about boasting as it can have the reverse effect, causing annoyance and resentment. Keep an eye on the other person and how they are reacting, and change your boasting accordingly.

A way to lighten boasting is to make it brief, entertaining or funny, for example telling how you got into trouble when away on an expensive holiday.

There are times when boasting is almost expected, such as in job interviews and when others are doing it in social setting.

See also

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