Discussing Your Accomplishments without Coming Across Like a Braggart
Much of a parent or nanny‘s communication is subjective. What one person perceives, to be your sharing of your joy, another person will perceive to be a self-aggrandizing statement. Nothing can be done to guarantee that a statement won’t be seen as bragging, but there are things you can do to reduce the likelihood that your statements will be perceived as braggadocio.
- 1. Generally, don’t discuss your accomplishments and excitements with people who don’t share theirs with you. Or, if you choose to discuss your accomplishments and excitements with these people, do so only briefly and in an understated way; if they respond positively, proceed with caution.
- 2. Relate your accomplishment or excitement to something the person you are speaking with has experienced. For example, “I am so excited that I am now engaged! I remember when you got engaged! Do you remember the fun we had planning your wedding together?” By linking your accomplishment or excitement with the accomplishment or excitement of your listener, you increase the likelihood that your listener will see this as a bonding or shared experience rather than your one-upping him/her.
- 3. Avoid dramatic speech if your listener may be sensitive to braggadocio. For example, if you just got a new car, you can say, “I really like my new car. It gets good gas mileage, and it fits the family better than our last car did.” Statements are more likely to be perceived as bragging when worded more dramatically (i.e., “I love my new car! It has a built-in six-CD changer, On-Star, heated leather seats, and all the bells and whistles! This is living, baby!”).
- 4. Discuss your accomplishment or excitement in topical overview at first. If your listener is interested in hearing more, s/he will ask questions. Then, it won’t be a matter of your “going on and on” about your accomplishment or excitement; it will be about your answering the questions asked of you.
- 5. When discussing your accomplishments and excitements with others who may perceive wrongly that you are bragging, gently state that your accomplishments and excitements may not be noteworthy to some people, but that they are meaningful to you. For example, if you just got promoted to Assistant Manager, becoming employed at that level may not be of value to the CEO of a Fortune 500 company, but it is meaningful to you. Similarly, if you are planning a camping vacation that you are excited about, some people may not value camping because they prefer the comforts of staying in a hotel, but the camping vacation is valued by you. Once you have made a brief statement of this sort, end the discussion on this matter and discuss a new topic that is of interest to your listeners.
By following these five tips, you can minimize the possibility that your statements about your accomplishments and excitements will be seen as bragging.
*This text does not apply in situations in which you need to tout your accomplishments. Such situations include interviewing for a job, running for political office, etc.
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