How do I deal nicely with a braggart?
December 10, 2009 7:33 AM Subscribe
How to gracefully deal with a self-aggrandizing friend?
posted by biscotti to Human Relations (25 answers total) 16 users marked this as a favorite
I have a friend and I like her a lot, but she has this extremely annoying habit of bragging about herself. I don't mean that she just has a good sense of her own strengths, I mean she says things like "I consider myself an expert" and "I am extremely good at this", even when she is demonstrably, provably wrong, or obviously not as good at foo as she claims to be. I recognize that some/most of this comes from insecurity, but... It is getting to the point where I get irritated and eye-rolly and I don't like getting that way, especially because when she's not talking about how great she is, I really like her! I am losing the ability to separate the times when she is actually right about her abilities from the times when she is being a blowhard, because it is all starting to sound like "check out the skills on ME!". This is the sort of behavior I expect in teenagers, not someone more than twice that age.
I don't really feel the need to take her down a peg (although sometimes it is tempting, when she is empirically wrong about something), and this is not tall poppy syndrome, it's just incredibly annoying to hear someone tell you how great they are, sometimes at your expense, and often in ways which are completely irrelevant to the topic you are discussing. She also does this even if we are ostensibly talking about something that isn't herself. She will very often bring conversations back to herself somehow (and I don't mean in the reasonable "here's a relevant and similar situation I've been in, so I can relate" sense), and find a way to work in a comment about her mad skillz and experience, no matter what we are discussing.
I don't mean to make her sound horrible, she is genuinely a nice person, but I can feel the irritation building and I so don't want this to end with a blow-out ragefest. I would much rather find a way to either head her off, or deal with it internally so I don't get so annoyed. I don't like the way this makes me feel, and I also don't want to hurt her feelings or distance myself from her.