No one likes a bragger. Even when our kids brag, we pull them to the side to explain why it’s not the best way to express excitement about something. It can be a hard concept for kids to get, but we expect better from adults. We expect adults to remain humble and spare us from all the talk about how amazing their life is.
But is it possible that sometimes we are wrong? That maybe what we interpret as bragging is simply a friend sharing about her life—which happens to be going really well at the moment. Is that so wrong?
Years ago, I recall a friend sharing that she was anxious about an upcoming lunch with a friend of hers because that friend was in a bad space in life, and she didn’t want her friend to feel like she was bragging since she was currently in a really good place. I told her, “ Don’t dim your light for anyone because a true friend will be happy for you despite what she may be going through.”
You see, I think life is full of ups and downs. While you are living the life, a friend may be in a very difficult situation. I am also certain that one day you will be in a very difficult place while that same friend is on cloud nine. It is the natural flow of life.
Relationships can be difficult, and many couples work hard to find their happy place. Once someone finds that, I think the idea of diminishing that joy just to make someone else more comfortable is pretty sad.
Now don’t get me wrong; I know that true braggers exist, and it’s annoying to say the least. But before you get annoyed with someone you love, here are a few things to consider before you label her a bragger.
Maybe you are just unhappy
When we have a hard time being happy for the people around us, it’s usually not because we don’t care. It’s because we are dealing with our own pain, so being happy for another person feels so hard.
If you feel like your friend is bragging, you should consider if your feelings really stem from your own discontentment with your life. And if you are unhappy, that’s okay. We all experience times of unhappiness. But if those times become so dark that we can’t feel joy for the people we love, seeking help is a great option to consider.
Maybe your friend has never known joy like this
Okay, so maybe your friend is bragging a little bit. And maybe it is a little annoying. But if you know your friend has dated a string of losers and she is finally happily in love with a good guy, let her brag a little bit. Let her have her joy. She won’t be on this high forever, and sometimes we just gotta roll with it and be happy for the people we love.
Maybe you don’t open up enough
If you are so private that you never share much with your friend, don’t be surprised if all she does is talk about herself. Maybe it’s not intentional on your part, but a one-sided friendship always leaves one person sharing a lot more than the other.
If the one person doing all the sharing happens to be really happy, it isn’t her fault. She shouldn’t have to act like she’s not happy. Maybe if you open up a little bit more, the friendship can me more give-and-take, and it won’t be so focused on your friend’s life.
Maybe your friend is actually in pain
Sometimes the bragging friend is making stuff up. It doesn’t mean she’s a bad person. It could be that she’s so unhappy that she has to make up a story about her life just so she can mask her pain.
Be there for her, listen and look out for signs that something just doesn’t seem right. Don’t judge or make assumptions, but try to embrace her and offer support. And if life isn’t rosy for you, let her know that. If she thinks you will understand her pain, she might open up.
BMWK family, have you ever felt like a friend is bragging? How have you managed it?