Showing Off? Why We Do It & How to Stop

Showing off in front of someone is a tough subject.

You can’t define it in a subtle or straightforward manner. The person who’s showing off can behave differently in a different situation for the same subject he/she was acting in the previous situation.

Yet, it’s not rocket science that a computer engineer can’t define. Yeah, that’s a show off. But why I did that, we’ll check out in this article.

Why do people show off?

People who show off are not bad people. If you think in the opposite way, then stop doing it. Because showing off isn’t a bad thing and I would tell you why.

Think about the last time you showed off. If not, it’s ok, but if you have, then why did you do that? Is it because you wanted to feel great in front of someone or were just trying to protect your presence?

I think you wanted to say, you did it to feel greatness. But pause for a moment and think more with patience.

Why you showed off?

The answer you get deep down would be covered with the protective layer. And if you can’t think in this way, then the below scenarios would help you understand it.

Showing off in front of a kid or beginner

Whether it’s a new gadget or our knowledge, people show off before kids or a beginner for sure.

And we do it because we want them to value our presence.

For instance, if we don’t answer their random questions, what would they think? They think we know nothing, and there’s no sense to keep coming back to us for their problems. Thus, they start to devalue our presence.

However, if we keep showing off about their questions by telling them random answers.

Or whether showing them our expertise in a new gadget. They keep valuing our presence. They would regard us as knowledgeable and whom keeping friends with would help them a lot.

And this kind of show off, we do both deliberately and unconsciously.

In front of an expert

You may have heard about the proverb, “Fake it until you make it.”

This is all about showing off, and it’s pretty famous in lots of business books. Because it saves your place in a working environment.

For instance, if you’re working in a multinational company, on a sunny day in September, your boss brings a task on the table. Something which seems impossible for every guy in the office.

Now, what you did, you stepped ahead and said you can make it possible. Even though you don’t know how you’re going to do it, you faked it, which means you showed off.

If you don’t show off in front of an expert, you’d never get attention or a better job from him or her.

No matter what your qualifications or excellence are, you have to show off. Doing so, you’d make your achievement special or present them in a much better way than they are. People would value your excellency & achievement you have in life.

Thus, giving you more opportunity.

However, if you don’t show off your excellence, like you say, “Yeah I got A+ in computer science,” rather than, “I’m the only one in my Uni who got A+ in computer science.” Then what other people would understand from your expression. They simply take it as A+, nothing much unique. Perhaps you aren’t the only one, but if you got A+, nobody would check your background.

In front of an expert, you have to make yourself and your skills unique. Someone they are looking for. Someone who’d do everything to achieve their goals.

In front of strangers or people who know us

Strangers are strangers, they don’t know anything about us.

So, if they don’t know about us, how will they know how to treat us? Because not all people are good. Not all strangers have a good sense of humour.

And not all the strangers read the book Talking to Strangers by Malcolm Gladwell.

But what about people who know us. People who are living in our neighbourhood. How are they going to treat us?

If you ask, I tell you how they will treat us.

They would treat us by looking at our present and what we have done in the past. Perhaps they don’t have the knowledge about our internal life, but they hold on to our exterior.

And based on our exterior, they build our image in their mind accordingly.

That’s the reason we show off in front of people who are either known to us or strange.

When we meet a stranger, he/she doesn’t know anything about us. Which means their mind is empty regarding our value. So, we show off or tell them what we do.

So, it would help them to build our image. Respect our work. And treat us on behalf of our accomplishments or achievements. Whatever we say to them, they shouldn’t take it no for granted.

And it’s the same with people whom we know, but there’s a slight difference. With strangers, we build our identity from scratch. They might believe, or they might not.

But with people who know us, we show off to let them know that whatever image or identity they had for us is still there. We’re not building anything else, keeping it as it was.

Meaning we are protecting our value, respect, and identity, saying, “Hey dude, I’m still doing it, so don’t take me as a lesser person.” Or keep treating me like you used to because I’m getting better.

When showing off isn’t good for anyone, including you?

Have you ever tried cutting vegetables with a knife having no handle?

The chances are, you’d cut your hand more than veggies. And that’s what showing off is when we do it to make other people feel jealous.

There’s no good cause behind it. You just want to show off to feel great and superior to that person.

And the moment you start to behave like a monarch, you begin to walk on the wrong path. Because the one who thinks himself/herself superior to all always cares about himself/herself only.

No time for other people. No feelings for other people. And no mindset of lifting others.

Just like WWII, where Nazi Germans were dominating every Polish Jews to prove themselves and Aryan dynasty superior of all. But after whatever they did, what great they achieved?

Nothing, nothing they’re proud of.

And that’s what we do when we try to make other people jealous. We not only harm the thinking of that person; we also hurt ourselves in many ways. It’s just like igniting a bonfire with gasoline hands.

Think about yourself; if you show off to make people feel jealous, what are your ways? Do you buy expensive gadgets, cars, or clothes, then whose money you are spending?

All yours. You’re hitting your own pocket. You’d never get something phenomenon in return. Always hate and hatred alone.

How to stop showing off?

We’ve discussed why do people show off. There are only three reasons behind every show,

  1. We do it to build or maintain our Value.
  2. We do it to protect our Identity.
  3. And we do it to make other people feel Jealous.

You can say we do it for V I J (Value, Identity, and Jealousy).

Apart from the third reason, you should never stop doing show off. Because there’s nothing wrong with the above two. We’re doing it for our goodwill.

Moreover, we are neither harming other people’s mental health. The sole reason behind a show off for Value and Identity is to present ourselves in our best possible version. So, no need to stop doing show off.

But, if you’re doing it to poke someone, give him or her a feeling of disgust. Where they think, they’re worthless, then you should stop.

How? There’s no simple technique or way to help you stop showing off when you’re doing it to cause other people to feel bad. However, you can ask yourself two simple questions that might help you in this regard.

Question 1: Why are you doing it?

Question 2: Does it help you present yourself at best.

If the answer to these questions would be, “I am doing it to represent myself at best. I am doing it to build Value or protect my Identify.” Then it’s good. But if it’s like, “I am doing it to make other people feel bad or Jealous. And it would make me look superior or other person look inferior.” Then you should stop.

That’s the only way that can help you stop showing off.

When your sole cause is dependent on others, not you. And others in the wrong way. Then you should stop showing off because it won’t help either side.

Thank you, I hope, from this article you’ve learned something useful. Something essential to know to create a better environment in our society and in our mind, of course.

If you want to read articles more like this, then you’re free to subscribe to our newsletter, where I only send updates when it’s necessary. Moreover, if you want to know why we’re doing it, then you can visit our Show Courtesy page.

Thank you again.
Nathawat Brothers
Putting thoughts for everyone.

Featured image from freepik

First published on5th January 2024 @ 10:00 am

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2 thoughts on “Showing Off? Why We Do It & How to Stop”

  1. What when person A is showing of for the identity or to build values in front of his colleague but the people are feeling jealous who think they should have been in place of the Person A. This is also a case when other might feel bad. When a person is showing off to make his identity in front of his manager. He wants to be in the manager’s good book. Sometimes they achieve this by criticising others. I don’t like such a people.

    • The reason behind Person A for being showing off is to build Value or the Identity, then its job was only to present itself not to think that people are getting jealous. If we send a message, then our job is to send the message not to receive it or wait for a reply. And if you don’t like people who climb the ladder by criticising others, then don’t like them, there’s nothing wrong with that. But if you go around talking bad about him or her behind his or her back then it’s wrong.

      We can don’t like people by saying nothing. And that’s what make ourselves a better person.

      And as the Kotzker Rebbe said, “Not all that is thought need be said, not all that is said need be written, not all that is written need be published, and not all that is published need be read.”

      We can do the same. I guess there are many things we don’t like, but is it good we give a damn about everything. I guess there are many things in you, you don’t like, then what about them. Are you fighting with them or being okay.


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