You’ll want to stop bragging when socializing with friends or meeting new people. It’s only normal to share your achievements, stories of travel, and good news with your friends and family. But some of them may interpret it differently than you have intended. Maybe it’s in the way you talk about it, the details you’ve shared, or something much more personal: self-esteem.
Signs that You’re a Brag
- Dominating the conversation.
- One-upping people.
- Seeking compliments all the time.
- You show off and talk about your things on social media.
- You tend to exaggerate your stories.
Different forms of Bragging
Bragging can become unhealthy and intolerable when you use it as a way to elevate yourself from your friends and family.
Verbal Bragging is when you talk about your achievements and things with the intent of one-upping someone. For example: When your friend is sharing that they’re finally able to buy a house, instead of asking them more about it, you start telling them that you were able to buy a house at a much younger age.
Non-Verbal Bragging is when you present something in a very obvious way to your friends that they will have no choice but to ask about it or point it out. For example: You purchased an expensive wristwatch, and you keep waving your hand in front of your friends until it catches their attention and finally asks you about it.
Secondary Bragging is when you talk about a beloved achieving something big, making a huge amount of money, or owning something really expensive. For example: You tell your friends that your uncle owns a mansion and a yacht.
Humble Bragging is when you talk about an achievement or something that’s really great but in a modest or self-critical tone. For example: You tell your friends that you feel sad about not being able to join them for a sleepover because your family is going to be staying in a luxurious hotel for vacation.
12 Ways to Stop Bragging
Now that you’ve become aware of the signs and different forms of bragging, you can start considering these helpful ways of sharing your achievements with your friends without bragging.
Do a Self-esteem check
Understanding what self-esteem is and checking your self-esteem is a great way to get started. Everyone has different levels of self-esteem, which means that you may still appear as a brag to other people.
People with low self-esteem tend to be a brag or see others being a brag when they really aren’t. Stay kind to them (including to yourself, if it applies) because self-esteem starts to form in early childhood; that means they have had a rough one.
If you find out that you have low self-esteem, it helps to see a professional to help you determine the best methods tailored to you. Or you can check our article on how to build self-esteem to get started.
Having healthy self-esteem is important because not only can you see your value and everyone else’s, but you’re also open to self-improvement, empathetic conversations, and accepting compliments gracefully.
Mentally rewind your conversations with your friends and family as much as you can. Remember the words that you’ve said to them, and determine which ones have offended them and which ones have delighted them.
Learning from your mistakes and acting on the feedback that has been given to you will help you to become more sensitive the next time you hang out with them. Not only does it make them feel safe and comfortable with you, but also it will inspire them to be a better version of themselves too. That right there is a win-win situation.
Learn to read the room
It will be much more favorable to you and everyone if you have known each other for a long time because it gets easier to read the room. If you know what your friends are sensitive about, you can avoid adding that detail when telling the story of your achievements.
It also helps to read their body language so you will know if you can continue with your story, or when it’s time to stop. Reflect on your friends and family’s responses when you were talking to them. Were their eyes focused on you or kept on looking around the room? Did they look relaxed, tensed, or happy?
Avoid One-upping anyone
When your friend or family tells you about something they feel like celebrating, keep the proper questions coming as a way to cheer them on and make them feel good. Avoid making them feel down by inserting your story, thereby stealing their thunder.
One-upping is when your friend finally got high marks in an exam they’ve studied so hard for and then you tell them: “I’ve got (higher) mark and I barely even studied.” Or when your friend buys a car for the first time and you say something along the lines of: “I’ve got a Tesla car back home, my parents gave it to me for my birthday!”
Instead of one-upping, be kind and positive towards them. If they got a high mark, congratulate them and let them talk about how they got it; like what study tips worked for them and didn’t. If they got a new car, ask them what features they liked about it the most. You can also suggest to them some car care tips if they ask for them!
A good thing to remember is that for every friend who tells you their story, it’s not about you. It’s about them. So you make it about them. When you make it about you, that’s when you’re bragging.
Avoid bragging about your loved ones like they’re trophies
It’s completely normal to be proud of our loved ones. When they achieve something great and meaningful, we always feel the need to tell others about it. This is fine. It’s acceptable, even.
However, it becomes a problem when you brag about your loved ones and talk about their achievements as if they’re your trophies. Stop bragging about the achievements of other people in order to lift yourself up. A lot of people believe that just because they know a lot of successful people, that means others should look up to them as well. This is not something that’s transferable.
Instead, just talk about them like you’re proud of them, as you should be. There’s a fine line here. When talking about your loved ones, highlight the things they’ve done to get to where they are now. This is in contrast to talking about the things you’ve done to help them get to where they are now. Make it about them instead of about you.
Always emphasize your efforts
Whenever it’s necessary for you to talk about your achievements, focus on the efforts you exerted to achieve those things. This can arise whenever you’re asked to talk about them. Don’t focus on how amazing things are for you now. Keep the conversation centered around the efforts you had to take.
This way, your words come off as inspiring rather than boasting. People will appreciate you sharing this with them as it will encourage them to do better as well.
This is a great way of talking about the things you’ve done to achieve your idea of success without coming off as braggy. After all, it’s gratifying to talk about our successes. We just don’t need to brag about them.
Keep your story relatable
You can also make sure your stories are relatable so that everyone you’re speaking to can connect with you. Keep humility and reality in mind when telling your stories. Build up situations in such a way that your listeners can say, “Yes, I can see that happening to me.”
What’s amazing is that you can make the most incredible stories sound more relatable just by being mindful of your words.
For example, let’s say you have a story about mountain climbing. Not everyone has tried this, nor is everyone even interested in this activity. When telling your mountain climbing story to those who can’t relate to it, you can lead up to it by talking about how you decided to try the activity in the first place.
You can say, “I wanted to try something I’ve never done before. I think most of us have this adventurous need to try out something that’s new to us.”
By saying that, you’re drawing in your listeners by making them relate to how you tried out an activity that is possibly unrelatable.
Avoid including sensitive details
You don’t need to mention sensitive details when you’re telling stories, especially if they sound like brags rather than things that are important to mention. For example, if you’re talking about a recent promotion, you can tell others how thankful you are for achieving something you’ve worked hard for. However, you shouldn’t tell them your pay raise percentage from that promotion.
Be wary of things along these lines. As mentioned earlier, emphasize on your efforts and make your stories relatable. Couple this with avoidance of mentioning sensitive details and you’ll be able to stop bragging unintentionally.
Learn to give credit to others
Another thing you can do to stop bragging is to push the spotlight away from you and onto someone else. If you’ve achieved something incredible recently and someone you know had a hand in that, be sure to give them credit. If someone in the vicinity also deserves to be recognized for a recent achievement, be sure to congratulate them and allow them to be proud of it.
Not only will you be able to stop bragging with this tip, but you’ll also be seen as someone who uplifts others. This is something you want if you want to be more sociable.
Think before you post on Social Media
Social media is an incredible platform. However, you should also approach it very properly. You’ll want to be sensitive and mindful when using your social media platforms so you can make the most out of them.
It’s fine to talk about your achievements on social media. In fact, a lot of people enjoy reading stories of achievements. However, you should be careful when talking about how amazing your life is now. Keep things humble and grounded to reality and you should be fine.
Two more things you don’t want to be while using social media are preachy and arrogant. These two traits can arise or are linked to bragging. Once again, humility and being grounded. Keep those two traits in mind instead.
Learn to accept compliments gracefully
It feels good to receive a compliment every once in a while. After all, being recognized for your hard work is an amazing feeling. Whenever you do receive compliments, be sure to say thank you and move on. There’s no need to linger on that.
This can be applied to any form of compliment. Whether the words of praise are centered around achievements, your physical appearance, recent decisions, etc. When someone compliments you, say thank you, and tell them you appreciate it. If you can, reciprocate by telling them a compliment as well.
Being empathetic means being able to put yourself in the position of others. Empathy will allow you to feel what the other person is feeling. Thus, you’ll be able to connect with them better. You’ll respond to them more properly. You can react in such a way that is in response to how they’re feeling.
If you are empathetic, you’re way more sensitive to the emotions of others. When they need to be uplifted, you’ll know to do just that. When they simply want someone to just listen to them, you’ll know to do that too. This helps you stop bragging because you’re way more sensitive to other people’s feelings. You know exactly what they need to hear, thus negating any need for you to brag at all.
Stop the habit of bragging and you’ll immediately notice a vast improvement in your social life. Whether this is something you do unintentionally or otherwise, the important thing here is that you’re now aware of this habit. More importantly, you’re now aware that you should stop bragging from here on out.
If you want to be better at this, and become more socially skilled overall, be sure to explore this site. You’ll find a lot of resources here that will help improve your social skills. Once you’re more socially adept, you’ll finally stop bragging to everyone you meet. You’ll be more careful with the things you say and you’ll simply impress others without ever bragging to them.