You are a Bragger – What a Compliment !

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Has someone ever called you a bragger? Don’t fret; it’s a validation of your sound mental health.

I have always been a bit of a bragger. After all what’s wrong with talking about what you have done or what you think you can do? In my mind being proud is as powerful an emotion as anything else. I actually think the attitude that you can achieve more than what you think is a reflection of sound self esteem and mental health. I am no expert at psychology but this works for me.

Children growing up in India are taught not to brag. I wonder why? Maybe this is a parenting technique to keep a tab on their tantrums and demands. Look at every top athlete or any other top performer, most already think & behave like they are ‘hero’s’ even before they become one. I am certain that the fact they view themselves as ‘hero’s’ often propels them to give a ‘hero’ like performance as well. We must encourage bragging, it’s an insanely more powerful emotion than humility.

Self esteem has been a buzz word for a while and I have learnt that the higher my self esteem, the better I feel about myself, get along better with others and generally tend to achieve more. I have also read management literature that calls this type of thing as auto-suggestions or visualization. I think the authors felt guilty using the word ‘bragging’ and used what they thought were more socially acceptable terms to sell books and make money on the speaking circuit.

In-fact, as I think about it, isn’t optimism all about bragging? In my mind, optimism is about being a little bit delusional, a little hopeful when no hope is in sight. Optimism is about taking a leap of faith. Bragging in that sense is almost an extension.

I brag and do it in an open & unshameful manner. I believe that people who brag have a heightened sense of self. I am presenting an argument here for you to consider. Here are my top 5 reasons for bragging:

1. Bragging enables me to announce my standards to the world. I am almost crowd-sourcing my accountability. I know and everyone I know ‘knows’ what to expect of me. As popular speaker & motivator, Tony Robbins says “People may not meet their needs or wants, but they always meet their standards”. I like to meet the standards that I have set and the one’s that people expect of me.

2. The process of externalizing my achievements through bragging has an effect on how it gets internalised within me. Talking & writing about what I did well makes me reflect on the steps involved to get there.

3. I am a sucker for appreciation. I guess everyone is but I am not ashamed of saying it loud. When people know about my achievement, some respond in the form of appreciation. It helps build my confidence and repeat the performance. I find it funny when people contest for awards, build up so much anxiety, compete fiercely, only to come up to the stage to announce “How humbled they are on receiving the award”. I will argue that they are bragging about their humility, aren’t they?

4. In a workshop that I attended long back on goal setting, I learnt that you must set goals that are out of reach but not out of sight. As corny as this reads, it’s really about getting ahead of yourself (see that’s what bragging is all about). If you consistently try getting ahead of yourself, sometimes you will and end up producing spectacular results.

5. I use bragging as a ‘call to action’. I often brag about something that I am yet to do only to get immensely motivated to do it given that I have already announced it.

The only disadvantage is that sometimes you end up looking stupid. I don’t mind that as often I get spectacular results as well. I would rather settle for failing spectacularly or winning rather than an unfulfilling ‘in between’ type of an experience.


So, the next time you want to brag, go ahead and do it. It means that you are an optimist and have high self esteem. The next time someone calls you a bragger, thank them for the compliment :)

Sunder RamachandranSunder Ramachandran is a highly energetic training leader with extensive experience in building capabilities for large teams in the offshore/outsourcing space. He is currently a Senior Training Manager with JLT Group, one of the world’s largest providers of insurance and employee benefits related advice, brokerage and associated services including an office of over 850 employees in Mumbai, India.

Sunder’s articles on workplace learning have appeared in Indian & International media including The Economic Times, Hindu Business Line, Times Ascent, National HRD Newsletter,,,, Human Capital and His articles can be read at He is passionate about social learning and blogs on the learning experiments that he is leading at

Sunder was a training entrepreneur for five years and has gained valuable experience on both the ‘Buy’ & ‘Sell’ side of the training business.. Connect with him on  LinkedIn and on twitter @sundertrg.




1 Comment

  1. I agree. If you can’t toot your own horn who else will?

    I’ve tried the humility route and it’s all quiet on the Western Front…You’re essentially invisible…but when I share an accomplishment in business or sport — I get mixed reviews/comments…and I find that it was worth putting it out there.

    So don’t be a tree that falls in the forest hoping that someone will hear that you exist. Make some noise about who you are and what you have accomplished…GET RECOGNIZED…NO BRAG, JUST FACT(S)….

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