Be careful when you brag

Be careful when you brag
13 Nov 2018

Perhaps the less we have, the more we are required to brag.

John Steinbeck - American author

In May 2017, I wrote about why you should blow your own trumpet. Contrary to how the title might sound, that post talked a lot about being your authentic self and telling the world about it. You may be great at work, or you may have a great product in your business. No one will know unless you say it. That is why even for NGOs marketing is equally important as for a commercial enterprise. So, your personal branding is vital for the maximum impact. It doesn’t matter if you are employed, self-employed or a professional.

Boasting, on the other hand, is talking with excessive pride and self-satisfaction about one’s achievements, possessions, or abilities.

Excessive pride

You need to feel right about something you have done. Your accomplishments should be validated and acknowledged by you. Once you have accomplished a goal, there should be some trigger to start preparing yourself for the next. To sustain your focus on these efforts for your next objective, you must have an appetite. This comes from being proud. Pride, therefore, is a good thing for someone having excellent personal qualities and high moral values. It makes them more powerful as they are worthy of great things.

Excessive pride is having foolish pride or dangerous overconfidence. With an exaggerated sense of one’s own importance. The arrogance and the overconfidence makes a naive man feel pleasure in ill-treating others. As that also makes them feel superior. This is the reason we find people with excessive pride hurt others. They make their victims painful by humiliating them. And they have immense pleasure in doing it. Ignorance and the lack of the quality of being humble are the significant reasons to have excessive pride. Otherwise, you’d know your limits and won’t be overconfident, would you?


Satisfaction is a positive emotion or the state of mind we experience when a desire or a need is fulfilled. It is not about doing things simply to feel pleasure. When a person delays gratification, he feels satisfied. Self-satisfaction like excessive pride, on the contrary, is all about the feeling of fulfilment of one’s own accomplishments. People often incorrectly use self-satisfaction interchangeably with words like satisfaction, life satisfaction, job satisfaction, etc. Self-satisfaction is more self-centred and selfish emotion.

Generally, no one wants to talk about being satisfied. When you were hungry, then got to eat and be full and satisfied, you are very unlikely to talk about it. You are most likely to speak about satisfaction only when you are self-satisfied. When you are satisfied by taking revenge on something for example.

Diminished perception

The next time you feel a sense of satisfaction, or when you feel that your accomplishments, possessions and abilities make you superior, be alert. You may actually be recounting your achievements so that others will feel envy.

We all want to construct an image for ourselves. A personal identity to present ourselves that is consistent with that image. This is called self-presentation. Most often imbalanced self-presentation puts us in a scenario misrepresenting ourselves. We have limited abilities to perceive how our efforts at self-presentation are actually impacting the reception by others. Let us, therefore, be aware of this reality and not give in to boasting.


Abilash Praveen

I have over a decade of experience in technology and business. It is my passion for the development of the rural and the underprivileged in the society that has driven me towards contributing the wealth of my professional and personal experiences for the welfare of the society.