From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Boasting is to speak with excessive pride and self-satisfaction about one's achievements, possessions, or abilities.

Boasting occurs when someone feels a sense of satisfaction or when someone feels that whatever occurred proves their superiority and is recounting accomplishments so that others will feel admiration or envy.[1]

Individuals construct an image of themselves, a personal identity, and present themselves in a manner that is consistent with that image.[2] Theodore Millon theorized that in self-presentation, individuals seek to balance boasting against discrediting themselves with excessive self-promotion or being caught blatantly misrepresenting themselves. Studies show that people often have a limited ability to perceive how their efforts at self-presentation are actually impacting their acceptance and likeability by others.[3]

Forms of bragging[edit]

Although a brag can be as straightforward as a simple claim to riches or greatness, it often assumes a variety of more subtle forms in order to shield the speaker from any opprobrium they might otherwise receive for transgressing the social norms of humility. The most popular of these forms is the humblebrag, a term coined by comedian Harris Wittels, whereby the brag is masked in a complaint. For example: “Dating websites are so much work. Every time I log in, I have like 100 new messages.”

Religious teachings[edit]

Christian bible: Thus says the Lord: “Let not the wise man boast in his wisdom, let not the mighty man boast in his might, let not the rich man boast in his riches (Jeremiah 9:23 ESV).

Quran: Verily, Allâh does not like such as are proud and boastful; Those who are miserly and enjoin miserliness on other men and hide what Allâh has bestowed upon them of His Bounties (The Noble Qur'an 4:36–37).

Hindu wisdom: Whereas, in our Occident, the most dry and sterile minds brag in front of Nature (La Bible de l'Humanite in Oeuvres).

Society and culture[edit]

The Ancient Greek book The Characters of Theophrastus devotes a chapter to "The Boastful Man".[4]

Bēot is Old English for a ritualized boast, vow, threat or promise, which was usually made by an Anglo-Saxon warrior on the eve of or during battle. Bēots can be found in the epic poem Beowulf, including by the hero himself.

A gab (Old Occitan [ˈɡap] for "boast") is a troubadour boasting song.

Boasting and bragging are necessary components of maintaining "Face" in some Arab societies.[5]

Fictional characters noted for their boasting[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Brown, Nina (2006). Coping with Infuriating, Mean, Critical People: The Destructive Narcissistic Pattern. ABC-CLIO. p. 66. ISBN 978-0313070402.
  2. ^ Schlenker, Barry R. (1980). Impression Management: The Self-Concept, Social Identity, and Interpersonal Relations. Monterey/California: Brooks/Cole.
  3. ^ Millon, Theodore (2003). Handbook of Psychology, Personality and Social Psychology. John Wiley & Sons. p. 337. ISBN 978-0471384045.
  4. ^ Theophrastus (1870). The Characters of Theophrastus: An English Tr. from a Rev. Text. Macmillan & Company. p. 192. Retrieved November 13, 2015.
  5. ^ CIA: Concepts of "Face"