How to deal with a friend who brags nonstop



There’s nothing worse than dealing with a friend who brags non-stop about anything and everything.

Not only is it annoying to listen to, but it’s also really draining and makes you want to cut them off for good just so you never have to listen to their incessant showing off ever again.

However, if you want to save the friendship and your sanity, here are some ways to deal with it.

1. Listen to what they have to say

When your friend won’t stop bragging, first, just listen. Yeah, it can be annoying, but sometimes people brag because they’re looking for validation or they’re feeling insecure. By listening, you’re giving them a chance to get it out of their system. But remember, listening doesn’t mean you have to agree or fuel their ego trip. It’s more about understanding where they’re coming from. Maybe there’s more to their constant self-promotion than just arrogance.

2. Offer a few sincere compliments since they obviously need them

It sounds counterintuitive, but sometimes throwing a few genuine compliments their way can actually slow down the brag train. Braggers are often fishing for validation. If you acknowledge some of their achievements or good qualities (the real ones, not the exaggerated stuff), they might feel less need to keep proving themselves. But keep it real; don’t feed into their BS. Sincere compliments only, otherwise, you’re just adding fuel to the fire.

3. Redirect the conversation elsewhere

If the bragging is getting too much, try steering the conversation to something else – anything else. Ask about a mutual friend, bring up a new movie, or talk about that new place in town. It’s like a subtle nudge to get them off the me-me-me track. The key here is subtlety; you don’t want to make it obvious that you’re sick of their bragging. Think of it as gently changing the channel rather than slamming off the TV.

4. Talk about your own life experiences

Share some of your own stories and experiences. This isn’t about one-upping them but showing that conversations are a two-way street. It’s like reminding them, “Hey, I’ve got a life too.” Your experiences can be interesting, funny, or even mundane – it doesn’t matter. The point is to balance the conversation. It’s about shifting from a monologue to a dialogue, where both of you get to share and engage equally.

5. Be humble even when they’re not

When your friend is on a bragging spree, keep your cool and stay humble. Don’t try to outdo them or start flaunting your own achievements. It’s like being the bigger person in the conversation. Your humility can sometimes act as a mirror, showing them how over-the-top they’re being without you having to say it. Plus, staying grounded might encourage them to tone it down a notch. Remember, you’re trying to deal with their bragging, not start a competition.

6. Set boundaries

If the bragging becomes too much, it’s okay to set boundaries. You don’t have to be rude, but you can be firm. Let them know, in a non-confrontational way, that constant self-promotion can be off-putting. It’s like saying, “I value our friendship, but this one thing is getting in the way.” Setting boundaries is about respecting your own tolerance levels and helping them understand there’s more to your friendship than just listening to their endless success stories.

7. Avoid stooping to their level and trying to compete

Don’t fall into the trap of competing with their bragging. It’s a losing game. If you start trying to one-up them, it just turns into a never-ending cycle of who’s got the bigger story. It’s like sinking into quicksand – the more you struggle, the deeper you get. Keep your conversations genuine and about real things, not just about who’s doing better. This keeps you out of the bragging pit and sets a healthier tone for your chats.

8. Offer some constructive criticism

If you’re close enough and feel it’s appropriate, consider giving them some constructive feedback. It’s not about calling them out or making them feel bad. It’s more like a friendly heads-up: “Hey, you might not realize it, but when you constantly talk about your achievements, it can come across as a bit much.” Make sure your feedback is coming from a place of caring, not criticizing. It’s like helping them see their blind spot in a way that can actually improve your friendship.

9. Suggest some bonding activities to diffuse tension.

If the bragging is ramping up the tension, try suggesting some activities you can do together. It could be anything that gets you both engaged and takes the focus off the one-sided conversation. Think about things like playing a sport, watching a movie, or working on a project together. Activities like these create a shared experience that’s not about who’s better or more successful. It’s like redirecting the energy from competition to cooperation, which can really help in taking the edge off.

10. Try to maintain a bit of perspective

When dealing with a non-stop bragger, try to keep things in perspective. Remember, their need to brag often comes from their own insecurities. It’s not really about you. Understanding this can help you not take their behavior too personally. It’s like seeing the bigger picture instead of getting caught up in the annoyance of the moment. This perspective can help you respond with more patience and less frustration.

11. Encourage them to do a bit of self-reflection

Gently nudging your friend towards some self-reflection can be beneficial. You might suggest they think about why they feel the need to brag so much. You’re not trying to tear them down; it’s more about helping them understand their behavior. You can frame it as a way to deepen their self-awareness. It’s like saying, “Have you ever wondered why you feel the need to share your achievements so often?” It’s a delicate approach that might lead them to some valuable insights about themselves.

12. Celebrate their successes — Why not?

Despite the constant bragging, it’s important to acknowledge and celebrate your friend’s real successes. This shows that you do care and you’re not just there to call them out on their bragging. When they achieve something genuinely noteworthy, be there to congratulate them. It’s like balancing the scales – you’re not just there to point out when they’re going overboard, but also to appreciate their legitimate accomplishments. This can help in creating a more positive dynamic in your friendship.

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