How to deal with boastful friends

Show-off psychology: why do some have to brag?

They are everywhere - unfortunately: Show-offs, know-it-alls, boasters, whiskers, blenders, impostors, clever people, jack-of-all-trades, ... No matter what story you tell - you can top it: “That's nothing! The following happened to me the other day ... " Such guys would use the elevator in the event of a fire and make onions cry while they were peeled. Not a task that you haven't solved long ago (with links, of course); no problem they couldn't dominate. Wherever you show up, even Chuck Norris gets weak knees. But why do they do that? Why do some have to brag all the time?

➠ Content: This is what awaits you

➠ Content: This is what awaits you

Show-off: Big mouth - nothing behind it

You can see that enough in the Comments on Facebook or Xing (remarkably less on Twitter or Linkedin) - no matter what tips and suggestions someone gives: There is always someone who writes in the forum ...

  • There is nothing new in it.
  • Known for a long time!
  • Uraaaalt! You know
  • God how easy.

Besides the obvious Notification need and the relative idleness Such comments for other readers reveal the unsolicited confessions sent in two things above all:

  1. A latent profile neurosis

    The communication about one's own knowledge advantage primarily serves the Self-exaltation. The message in the subtext is: "Look, I knew that before!" At the same time, of course, it outclasses everyone else as yesterday's late bloomer (“Didn't you know, dork ?!”) - a resounding slap in the face for anyone seeking advice. By the way, the vain statement conveys a typical gesture of dominance: “I can (as the only one) judge what is new and what is old. So I'm above it all. " With that, however, the self-appreciation is nothing more than an indication of a veritable profile neurosis.

  2. Pronounced urge for validity

    Behind the statement there is also a disguised one Form of arrogance and the presumptuous authority. It reveals how important someone takes themselves, especially how much he or she makes themselves a benchmark. Who says that the comment was addressed exclusively to this person and that everyone else should kindly be aware of it? What the expression of arrogance ignores, however, is that we are all learners and nobody knows or can everything. Instead of sharing their own knowledge, the show-off is only concerned with setting a standard - their own, superior one.

Granted, that's basically just a lot of noise about nothing. Like a gorilla drumming itself on its chest to mark its territory. Or as Heinz Erhardt once put it so nicely:

Some people want to shine even though they have no clue.

Nevertheless, the question of that remains Why behind all of the Boasting and showing off:

Why do some even develop the need to spend their time telling people they don't even know and who have no meaning in their lives how smart they are, about which ones Domination knowledge they have what they can do - mind you: unsolicited and irrelevant in effect.

What does Erna Kasuppke get from knowing that Hugo Hundersassa didn't hear anything new? And who knows if that's even true? Just.

Bragging Psychology: A Form of Positioning

Accordingly, the psychological phenomenon can often be reduced to a simple formula: Anyone who brags needs it.

The search is often for recognition, significance and status in the group. In fact, showing off is initially nothing more than a form of self-marketing and the positioning. At times, however, it is also degenerate to compulsive.

Who (foreign) people through his knowledge, his ability, his money, his property or Status symbols wants to impress or even dominate reveals an unstable personality and a pronounced one deficit. Often the bragging is supposed to cover up existing inferiority complexes and strengthen a cracked self-esteem through the provoked applause.

But the shot almost always backfires: those who brag are just hiring themselves Indictment out. Not least because the mesh remains far too transparent.

To date, research has disagreed as to whether this is the cause innate or instilled is. What is undisputed, however, is the great influence of childhood and the lack of love and attention in it.

Modest boast: "Oh dear, I'm great!"

Not all of them brag so blatantly that it could be seen as clumsy bragging rights. There are those too more subtle variant the so-called humble boast, Motto: "Hach, I'm always mistaken for a model ..." Or: "Constantly so many customer inquiries ..." Of course, behind the feigned indignation and the imposed suffering there is nothing else than the statement: "Look how good I look!" respectively: "Look how in demand I am!" Just not that flat.

Researchers at Harvard University, headed by Ovul Sezer, Francesca Gino and Michael I. Norton, recently examined this form of bragging in more detail and established that, today, constant self-presentation is an essential part of (virtual) social life. But just that feigned modesty is seen through by most and outlawed as inauthentic. In corresponding experiments, the "modest" braggers received the lowest sympathy ratings.

Or to put it another way: If you're going to have to show off, you're doing it right.

Like Linus Pauling, the Nobel laureate in chemistry. According to legend, he was once asked in court who the best contemporary chemist was. His short answer: "I of course!" When his colleagues later complained about the unabashed self-praise, Pauling said only dryly: "I couldn't help it, after all, I was under oath."

Show-off: How do you recognize them

Not only in the social networks, but also on the job, we are repeatedly confronted with braggers, whackers and blunders. The Lack of substance they usually make up for it with vehemence and loudspeaking. At least temporarily.

Stupid if you only realize afterwards that you have fallen for such a colleague. The following Warning signals can help to identify a show-off and braggart at an early stage, before it can cause lasting damage to the team and the working atmosphere:

  • There is no we

    Show-offers can often be identified by their language. If an employee always speaks in the first person and practically does not mention his colleagues at all, this reveals not only a lone fighter, but someone who likes to claim praise and recognition for himself.

  • Training is unnecessary

    If a new employee joins your department and ignores an induction or advice and pointers, you should pay attention. Even the most competent specialist needs time to orientate themselves in a new environment and team.

  • Tasks are gladly delegated

    This is also a warning signal: when colleagues cleverly delegate (unpleasant) tasks, it gives away the pleasure. After all, they just do work without paying attention. Nevertheless, you should first check the competence of such colleagues on a small scale before assigning them demanding tasks, otherwise a catastrophe threatens (for which others are of course responsible).

  • There is always something to note

    Opinion-strong colleagues who speak up in every discussion and want to position themselves as spokesmen again and again are either extremely competent - or classic air pumps and show-offs.

  • Errors do not exist

    It's always the other's fault. Boasters and show-offs practically never take responsibility - unless everything goes smoothly. Everyone else makes mistakes. Because admitting your own failure would damage the painstakingly built image.

  • Criticism is overrated

    Show-offs are not infrequently also narcissists. Their handling of criticism is correspondingly noticeable: they understand criticism - including factual ones - as an attack on their person because it scratches the paintwork.

  • Mistakes made by others belong in the pillory

    If colleagues make mistakes, however, things look different. These are the perfect opportunity to put yourself in the spotlight and elevate yourself. Whoever puts others in the pillory rises up to the judge and at the same time distracts from their own deficits. However, this poisons the atmosphere in every team.

  • Nothing is impossible

    Probably the most obvious warning sign for a braggart: the Chuck Norris attitude. Everything is child's play, everything easy, zero problem. But overconfidence is often only the preliminary stage to the case.

Basically there are two ways you can deal with guys like this: either you take the air out of the pump and expose the blender for what he or she is: a loud, self-indulgent wind machine (which they rarely put up with - so word fights and acts of revenge are programmed). Or you to ignore the poor sausage and its din.

Usually it will be back soon anyway quiet around them.

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