We always hear that confidence is essential in life. You need it when building a career, looking for a mate, starting a business, working toward a goal, and just about anything else you can think of. However, there comes a point when confidence crosses a fine line into a presence that is not welcome by others – it can be labeled over-confidence, conceit, arrogance, or some other undesirable label. One of football’s all-time greatest players, quarterback Johnny Unitas, once said, “There is a difference between conceit and confidence. Conceit is bragging about yourself. Confidence means you believe you can get the job done.” Bragging is generally considered a sign of a weak person trying to hide their weaknesses. How ever you look at it, bragging is not a good thing to do. You will especially run into trouble if you brag about certain things.
Here are 10 things you should simply never brag about.
10. Your job or promotion
OK, so you do a good job and you are proud of your work. That’s great! If you have received recognition or a promotion, even better. We should always strive for excellence. But you must keep in mind that a lot of people simply view their job as a way to pay the bills, to make ends meet. Also, there are a large number of people that are in a job they do not like. These people are not going to enjoy hearing how fabulous you are at your job, and they really aren’t going to get any joy if you tell a story about how you made a big show out of quitting a previous job, as if you were Tom Cruise in the movie “Jerry McGuire.” Further, this bragging is likely to be done in social situations, away from work. Most people want to leave work at work and will be put off by someone bragging about their work.
9. Your vehicle
The only people who brag about their vehicle are teenage boys. Mature adults don’t post tricked-out car pictures on social media, or even worse, use their vehicle as their profile picture on social media. For most people, a vehicle is simply a tool to get from one place to another, and not a justification of one’s existence. Now if you are in a car enthusiast club or group, then it’s perfectly fine to share pictures and stories about your ride. But the rest of us don’t want to hear it. Modify your social media settings so that only fellow enthusiasts get all of your car stuff in their feed. Leave everyone else out of it.
8. Favorite sports team
We’re all familiar with the belief that you should never start talking about religion or politics because such discussions always inspire passion to the point of creating arguments and a toxic environment. Bragging about favorite sports teams can be almost as troubling. If there is a game that set some kind of history, like the largest come-from-behind win ever, or capturing a championship, then a little trash-talk is expected and generally OK. But if your team beat the worst team in the league on a random Tuesday night, nobody wants to hear about it. People who don’t watch sports will be bored with you boasting of a victory you had no part in creating. Use discretion in what audience you engage in with the sports talk.
7. Your significant other
Your family and close friends will be happy you found somebody and will eagerly listen to your tales. Even co-workers will be happy for you, to a point. But with most people you know, there will be a point where all the “mushy stuff” will become annoying. The great thing about a relationship is enjoying each other and appreciating the things that make that person unique and special. Constantly going on and on all the time about your fabulous mate will eventually make others dread seeing you coming. Try to just enjoy your partner fully.
6. How much you can drink
People between the ages of, say, 15 and 22, often spend time getting hammered. It’s not terribly uncommon. But let’s be brutally honest here – bragging about how much you can drink once you are older than that is not endearing. It is definitely a sign of immaturity and possibly a sign of alcoholism. It’s certainly not going to impress a group of grownups.
This can come out in phrases like “I tell it like it is,” or “I’m a perfectionist.” Most people who use these phrases are trying to justify being rude, mean, ill-tempered or intolerant of mistakes, which every person makes. If you are in a leadership position, those under you will quickly come to resent you, and when they make mistakes, they will try to hide them or blame others for them. This makes for an environment where nothing gets done and there is constant conflict. People who brag about these things like they are a badge of honor will be at the highest risk of burnout.
Stanford University has studied this phenomenon, and found that it negatively affects your memory, attention and productivity. It was also concluded heavy multitaskers lacked insight – so if you are ready to proclaim you are the exception to the rule, it’s likely that you are not. It’s better to focus your energy to prioritizing tasks, putting the most important things at the top of the to-do list, and tackle things one at a time. You will be much more productive, and you will see fewer rolling eyes when you would say, “I’m such a fantastic multi-tasker!”.
3. Lack of sleep
If you listen to Donald Trump, Tim Cook, Martha Stewart, Condoleezza Rice, and Jack Dorsey for any length of time, and you might be tempted to think that sleep is some luxury item that isn’t really needed, and the more of it you get, the more of a loser you are. It’s a scientific fact that the brain needs sleep to function properly and for decision-making. Even if you can function well on less than the 7-8 recommended hours, that doesn’t make you better than others, and that’s what bragging about not sleeping really is – a way to demean those who sleep more than you do.
2. Number of intimate partners
There are people who are able to smooth-talk their way into an intimate relationship with just about anyone. But these “smooth operators” don’t boast about those things. Any man who feels the need to tell anyone and everyone about how many people he’s been with is as immature as the bragging drinker and is likely to tell the wrong people and get himself in a world of trouble. Like with the drinker, this boasting will repel mature people, not impress them.
1. That you didn’t vote
So you thought all the candidates for President were duds, and you didn’t want any of them to win. There’s nothing wrong with that opinion. But what about the other things on your ballot? Was there nothing about your state or local issues that you felt needed to be addressed? If one candidate, office or issue has you upset, that’s understandable. But there are always more than 1 thing to vote for on every ballot. Bragging that you are not participating in any aspect of the process because of one or two things won’t impress anyone.
Bragging is usually a product of trying to appear to be the best, the top of the heap, or just better than others. And what does it achieve? Bragging can do terrible things. It can damage relationships – both personal and professional – and create rivalries where there is no need for them. You can do damage to others’ feelings, and cause people to lose respect for you.