Sunday, 16 February 2020

Brag Without Making Them Gag: The art of bragging

Brag meaning in context: Congratulate oneself

When it comes to bragging, there can be a thin line between singing one's praises and being downright conceited. There, I said it!

Image from the internet
I am all for singing one’s praises. Having worked hard and persevered to accomplish a goal or a dream, I feel it is only right that one should celebrate. Who wouldn’t?

Hiding away only deprives the world of your testimony. How will we ever learn of your accomplishments and drink from your well of wisdom and inspiration if you do not shout from the rooftops? How are we ever going to see the light if it is hidden under a bushel? And who would we admire and emulate? So, I reckon that one should blow that trumpet for not doing so would be a sin against humanity. 

But I have learnt that sometimes when we brag, we tend to ‘piss’ some people off. We face the unleashing of the green-eyed monster, and we all know how it operates - it despises you and your success and wills you to vanish from the face of the earth.

Haters and naysayers are what some call them.

Whether we realise it or not, when we brag others will gag!

Take, for instance, my example: One day, I was having a symbiotic conversation with a friend. We exchanged details about our current pursuits, and before long, the conversation turned ugly. My friend accused me of being condescending and implied I had a superiority complex. We both became defensive, and the conversation deteriorated, turning into a full-blown slanging match. The incident left a foul taste in my mouth, and regrettably, I lost my friend.

Upon reflection, I realised that perhaps we both had not spoken tactfully. In our innocent attempt to inspire one another, we inadvertently put a choke on it, causing the argument. Even though we both felt proud of the other’s accomplishments, and wanted to celebrate each other, we ended up ruining our friendship simply because we failed to brag without making the other feel small.

 So, how do you brag without making others gag?

|Here are a few suggestions for different situations:

a)   If you’re going to blow your own trumpet, then do it within context. Know your audience and stick to the subject at hand. Make anecdotes and mention some things in passing if it drives a point home, but let it be the end of it. Only dwell on it if others want to explore that point.

b)   Let others brag about you. And when they do point out the good you have done, graciously acknowledge and accept the compliment and thank them. 

c)    Strike the right balance when you brag. Usually, accomplishments come after a few failures, rejections, resistance, and so on. Do not portray yourself as a superhuman who never fails. Doing that will only undermine your hard work, the effort and determination you would have put into your goals. Showing how you beat the odds will not only encourage but inspire others too!

So, my dear friends, by all means, brag. It is your right and natural to want to do so. Besides, don't you think you owe it to others to teach them how it is done? 

But for goodness sake, do not alienate those around you. Humility goes a long way.