How to Deal with a Braggart in a Kind Way

Are you facing an interesting challenge with a friend who continually brags about their accomplishments? And their bragging is getting right under your skin. It could be a work colleague or a distant cousin that brags about the raise he got, or a friend who has just won a trip overseas again.

Whether your friend works hard for their success, or are just lucky their bragging about accomplishments becomes annoying either way. It’s great to share good news but it doesn’t give a person the right to brag.

Reframe the Situation

Your friend may not realise they’re bragging and only wants to share the good news with you. So lets get the motives right. Ask yourself what your friend is trying to accomplish by sharing the news? Are you intending to be critical or are you jealous? When you can feel in your heart that you are genuinely interested, then you are ready to receive the news. Otherwise it’s best to talk about your concerns.

Speak Up

Instead of blowing up, try point out a scenario of the person bragging. Be honest about how difficult it is to bring this up and that you’re not sure they even know they’re doing it. When you talk about it as friends you can clear the air and connect on a deeper level.

Ego Addict

Now if you friend is the world’s greatest guitarist, perhaps he simply has no peer. There’s a challenge for him and for you to respect is himself.

Take John Mayar for example who breaks a self-imposed exile from the spotlight for an uncensored interview with Ronan Farrow MSNBC. John is a seven time Grammy winner, a multi-platinum selling artist and a guitarist who admits he’s: “…a recovering ego addict and the only way I can be sure that I don’t relapse is to admit that I constantly have this ego addiction every day.”

John Mayar’s Interview


Difference Between Bragging and Sharing

There’s also the difference between bragging and the desire to share something positive with others. One of my friends and I rejoice in each other: I like to hear about her accomplishments and successes, and she takes delight in hearing about my entrepreneurial ideas. Sharing this way sustains mutually empowering relationships.
Usually the difference between sharing and bragging is easy to ascertain because sharing is only part of a relationship, it never dominates.

On that note, it’s always good to be mindful and consider the possibility that your discomfort might reveal more about yourself than about the other person: Make sure you are not just envious.