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Boasting is to speak with excessive pride and self-satisfaction about one's achievements, possessions, or abilities. This is also known as "bragging rights", which are not cancelled out by another individual's objection to said bragging rights. For example, when a young woman allegedly stopped a driver from crossing a railroad track when the train was approaching and there were no visible warnings of its approach, her rights to brag were not thwarted when another individual attempted to dispute the validity of her heroic act.
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.
Individuals construct an image of themselves, a personal identity, and present themselves in a manner that is consistent with that image. 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.
Forms of bragging
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.”
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
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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.
Fictional characters noted for their boasting
- Miles Gloriosus, a stock character from ancient Roman comedy
- Rodomonte, a major character in the Italian romantic epic poems Orlando innamorato by Matteo Maria Boiardo and Orlando furioso by Ludovico Ariosto, which gave rise to the word rodomontade, meaning "boastful, bragging talk"
- Scaramouche, a stock clown character in Italian commedia dell'arte
- Falstaff, in three of William Shakespeare's plays
- Baron Munchausen, a baron made famous by the novel of Rudolf Raspe who enjoys telling fantastical and absurd stories about his adventures abroad. He was based on a real-life German baron who was known for his exaggerated tales.
- The Twelve Idle Servants, a fairy tale by The Brothers Grimm about twelve servants who boast about their incredible laziness.
- Daffy Duck: American cartoon character who often brags about himself. In all of the cartoons he appeared in since the 1950s, he is usually victim of his own overestimations.
- Lambik: A Belgian comics character who often sees himself as smart, strong, attractive and a born leader, but is actually neither of those things.
- Odd Della Robbia, one of the main characters of the French animated series Code Lyoko.
- "Boast". Oxford Dictionary. Retrieved November 12, 2015.
- Brown, Nina (2006). Coping with Infuriating, Mean, Critical People: The Destructive Narcissistic Pattern. ABC-CLIO. p. 66. ISBN 978-0313070402.
- Schlenker, Barry R. (1980). Impression Management: The Self-Concept, Social Identity, and Interpersonal Relations. Monterey/California: Brooks/Cole.
- Millon, Theodore (2003). Handbook of Psychology, Personality and Social Psychology. John Wiley & Sons. p. 337. ISBN 978-0471384045.
- Theophrastus (1870). The Characters of Theophrastus: An English Tr. from a Rev. Text. Macmillan & Company. p. 192. Retrieved November 13, 2015.
- CIA: Concepts of "Face" https://www.cia.gov/library/center-for-the-study-of-intelligence/kent-csi/vol8no3/html/v08i3a05p_0001.htm