Sunday, April 14, 2013

How to Brag without Bragging

Let's face it, you're pretty darned awesome, and it's high time other people acknowledged it.  Frankly, every conversation should center around you and your amazingness.  Unfortunately, other people just don't get it, do they?  They want to yammer on about the boring old weather, or some lame book they've read, or the results of their chemotherapy.  Blah, blah, blah.  So along with everything else, you have to take responsibility for pointing out how wonderful you are.  "But hold your horses," you say, "if I tell people how great I am, won't that be bragging and therefore diminish my claim to awesome humility in addition to all my other awesome traits?"

Thank goodness, there's an easy way to let people share in the glorious sensation of appreciating "you" without lowering yourself by coming right out and saying, "Hey, pay some attention to me, losers."

Let's say, you've got an important new promotion and you're dying to fill in your friends; instead of bragging, try complaining.  "The manager at Starbucks (heavy sigh) told me he needs me to be chief barista.  Now on top of everything else, I have to be in charge of the latte machine.  That's what I get for being the only one he can trust not to get the soy milk mixed in with the almond."

See how it works?  Not only to you get to bask in the envy of your friends with their dead-end jobs, they have to express sympathy for you.

Or what if you want to dazzle them, with their drab colorless lives, with the mad whirl of your social life.  Again, the secret is complaining.  "I had to leave work a half hour early yesterday because (sigh) of Brian's party [This is double-plus effective if they weren't invited.]  I told him I didn't want to leave until I'd wiped out the latte machine, but he said he couldn't possibly have a Star-Trek-themed party without me.  I'm the only one who knows all the words to 'Happy Birthday' in Klingon.  At least there was a Carvel cake there."

As you can see, this simple conversational technique lets you direct attention to yourself where it belongs and still avoid the appearance of bragging, which is impolite and unseemly, by instead complaining which requires other people to swallow their bitter jealousy of you and express sympathetic interest.  It's a win-win.