How to Brag Without Being Arrogant


Lord of Penmai
Jul 5, 2011
[h=1]How to Brag Without Being Arrogant[/h]
Bragging can produce many benefits in life, at least when it forms part of a genuine attempt to convey the good points about yourself to a potential employer, romantic interest or others in need of being persuaded of your virtues. But how do you brag without coming across as narcissistic or plain full of yourself? It's great to love oneself, but to come off as a self-centered, stuck-up person can really annoy people and push them away from you.

Bragging modestly about yourself on the other hand can cause people to feel attracted to you, to want to learn more about you, and shows that you have a great self-esteem. Just read along and consider using these suggestions on how to brag the correct way.

1.Consider your appearance. Being well groomed, neat and attired in clothing that matches who you are is one thing. Dressing to impress on others that you're wealthy, number one and better than others is alienating. By all means dress according to what you can afford and love but avoid using clothing as a form of bragging about your financial or job status––people can spot artifice and cockiness a mile off, especially when you open your mouth and confirm it by bragging endlessly.

· 2.Think about what others are thinking when someone brags. People who brag non-stop bore and infuriate the listeners. There is a tendency to talk about the bragger once he or she has left the limelight, and in none too polite terms. Such people tend to hog the space, ignore people who don't conform with their own idea of the "right" people to know or who ask pesky questions and continuously bring the conversation back to themselves. Are any of these things relevant to your current actions? Or are you happy to state your piece and listen in equal share to what others have to say?

· 3.Exude confidence, not arrogance. Confident people stand tall, use eye contact and don't look to others to validate their existence. Indeed, confident people know that not everyone will like them but they'll still pursue what matters to them in life unfazed by the criticism. Arrogant bragging can often be a reaction to feeling insecure about where you are or have been in life, a way of proving to other people that you matter and sometimes a hoped-for mechanism to cut off potential criticism. Having confidence means that you know you matter regardless of what other people do and don't think about you and you certainly don't need to waste your energy joining the dots for them––people will work things out for themselves through observation.

  • When you have confidence, you can discuss your insecurities openly. This may seem counter-intuitive if you've been used to hiding them all of your life but showing vulnerability in public is actually a sign of strength, especially when you talk about it as a way to engage other people who are probably experiencing the same insecurities as you. In this way, you're an example of how it is possible to be both an achiever and someone who has to overcome insecurities, inspiring them to believe they can do the same.
  • Cocky carping on sometimes occurs as a result of being nervous. Instead of giving way to the cover-up act, acknowledge your nervousness and find ways to manage it, such as deep breathing, self-calming techniques, or being honest to others that "I'm feeling a little nervous right now but it'll pass!"
· 4.Keep the "I" out of it. When you're talking about yourself, don't use the word "I" in every sentence. That easily labels you as arrogant, self-centered and self-absorbed. Instead, try to use it so that it's clear that you're talking about yourself but tone it down in terms of self-reference. Instead, speak more broadly about your skills and then simply demonstrate that you have full understanding about a situation or required action by discussing the matter in general. Consider using phrases such as:

  • "My skill set is..."
  • "My ability to do this can be demonstrated by..."
  • "Others have done similar things before and it is an honor to follow in their footsteps/build on their efforts...", and so forth.
· 5.Rediscover your sense of humor. If you're taking yourself too seriously, there is a danger of you feeling shame or embarrassment if you do slip up in public for over-the-top bragging. Keep some perspective about your big head by seeing the lighter side of your achievements––don't overplay the hard work angle, don't overdo the hardships you've had to endure. Instead, make light of things that people clearly know mean hard work, and add in a little humor reflecting your own imperfections now and then––it shows people that you don't take yourself too seriously and it helps them to warm to you quickly.

· 6.Let your actions do most of the talking. If you want to be known as a leader, a gentleman, a lady, a warrior for peace, or whatever, then actually be doing something that defines you in this way rather than gassing on about your brilliance in the field you've chosen or persona you've adopted. Many people can talk up how they'd like to be seen by others but the actual doing is what most people notice and confirms to them that you're not all hot air. If you want to fill a room with awe when you walk in, be sure to have done something to deserve it, such as volunteering, running your own business, winning a prize, helping others, spreading a friendly attitude everywhere, etc.

· 7.Speak purposefully about your life's experiences and achievements. We all like to tell others about what we've done, experienced and achieved in life. How you tell this matters because the temptation to embellish your exploits to make them sound better always lurks. If you focus on retelling experiences and achievements with a sense of purpose, mainly to convey ideas and guidance for others wanting to do similar things, then you have an opportunity to brag a little, all the while teaching others the principles behind your successful approaches. If people feel they've learned something from you rather than feeling like it's some sort of competition or narcissistic monologue, then they'll see the leader in you and appreciate your qualities for what they really are.

  • When telling other people what you've done in life, ask yourself what lessons people could draw from your experiences and try to couch some of your knowledge sharing in this way. Be a teacher or guide, not a dictator.
· 8.Avoid the sound of your own voice. Braggers who annoy tend to go on and on about themselves and their exploits until the listener starts to scan for exits. Learn to spot body language cues that alert you to needing to curtail your bragging immediately (for example, glazed eyes, glancing at the watch, picking at fluff on clothing, etc.). Aim to listen more often and to give summary feedback that reveals you understand what the listener has said. That's both a compliment to them and an excellent reflection on your character.
· 9.Consider whether you'd say the same things about someone else before bragging. A good rule of thumb is only to brag about something which you would compliment someone else on. That way, you're sure to be less self-centered and likely to rein in any exaggerations.
· 10.Be quick to praise of others and to keep your praise meaningful. Compliment people often for the things they do that you admire and care about. Get in with a compliment early on and actually mean it––never say something that you don't mean. In turn, when a person compliments you, don't use it as an excuse to launch into clarifying just how great you are. Be humble, accept the compliment with a thank you. If you want to say more, try to relate it in some way to how you hope your actions will further the good you're hoping to keep bringing to the world.

  • When given a compliment, do not feel as though you must return a compliment. It isn't a game of table tennis, and often compliments given directly after receiving compliments sound less sincere.

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