“There is a difference between conceit and confidence. Conceit is bragging about yourself. Confidence means you believe you can get the job done.” – Johnny Unitas
We decided on the above quote from the NFL Hall of Fame quarterback for only one reason: his (correct) association between conceitedness and bragging. Playful banter between friends? Sure. A little “trash talk” to get the ole’ competitive juices flowing? Okay. That’s all in good fun. Not in good fun is a boastful diatribe about how great this, that or the other thing is.
The bottom line: Bragging is not something mature adults should engage in. It is an excessive, self-aggrandizing behavior that should cease by the end of high school – and that is being generous. But many of us still do it. Unfortunately, the proliferation of social media outlets has exacerbated (yet, exposed) the braggadocios among us.
So, what do people brag about? What shouldn’t they brag about, besides everything?
Here are 5 things to never brag about:
1. Your car, truck or van
Okay, so not many people brag about their minivan. But log into Facebook, do a bit of browsing, and with minimal effort you’ll find some pretentious shots of someone with their pimped out ride.
You name it, it’s on there: lifted trucks (some complete with mud flaps), sports cars with personalized license plates, and the occasional profile pic alongside – or even featuring – their prized possession.
2. Your sports team
(As an aside, this writer is a New England Patriots fan – a tremendously successful NFL franchise. Now, while I consider myself very modest, some of our fan base ranks among the worst type of braggart alive.)
There is one exception here. Take for example the Cleveland Cavaliers, who won the NBA championship in 2016. Not only was this the team’s first championship in history, it was the city of Cleveland’s first championship in any sport in 52 years.
Anyways, when your team pulls an amazing comeback out of its bag of tricks, it’s cool to boast a bit. When your alma mater basketball team thrashes some no-name on a Wednesday night, please practice some type of self-control, and refrain from boasting.
3. Your “night to remember”
Well, make that the night to remember prior to your inability to remember. College fraternities are made up of 50+ young, testosterone-driven males that live to tap kegs and get ripped. This alcohol-infused time in one’s life – and the embellished tales incited by consumption of adult beverages – shouldn’t extend into one’s later years.
Beyond the age of 22 (okay, we extended the cutoff period a bit), boasting about the amount of booze consumed within (insert time frame here) is nothing short of sophomoric. Take a peek at that last invoice from your student loan. That should put things into perspective. Please don’t pontificate on about your latest drunken venture, for all of our sakes.
4. Your significant other
A significant other who happens to be insignificant to those beyond your closest inner-circle. Indeed, your friends and family are elated you’ve found someone who makes you happy – and rightfully so.
But at some point, all of this mushy “he/she is great because…” becomes unnecessarily irritating. Intimacy is all about appreciating the little idiosyncrasies that only you know about. Don’t diminish the special nature of your beloved by pronouncing them to the world.
Instead, just enjoy the other person. It isn’t necessary to brag about their greatness to others who, most oftentimes, don’t care at all.
5. Your job
It’s great that you take pride in your work, as well you should. You work hard and deserve the recognition that comes from such efforts.
That said, crowing on about your job is not something that is particularly interesting. For many of us, a job is simply a means to an end.
You may love your job, and if so then great! Bear in mind, however, that many people are in a job they don’t particularly care for in order to provide for their themselves and their families.
Time away from the office is their personal time – and the last topic they want to get into is work, particularly when someone is droning on about their latest work-related story.