Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Braggadocio...

Brag•ga•do•ci•o

1.  Empty boasting; bragging.
2.  A boasting person; braggart.

Isn't that a wonderful word -- braggadocio? It's such an elegant way of saying braggart. And the definition of a braggart is someone who is boastful and self-aggrandizing.  Every office has at least one braggadocio. They are usually so busy exaggerating boasting about their accomplishments, they don't stop and take the time to listen to what other folks may have accomplished as well -- which often is more than the braggadocio's.

We have a braggadocio in our office, and she is wonderful, and don't we know it because she keeps telling us she is wonderful.  It's very difficult to deal with a braggadocio.  We get to a point where we listen to yet another of their stories about how great and accomplished they are, and we would like to say, "Oh, please, just shut up now..." but we must smile and nod and say, "Yes, yes, you are so clever. We are mere peóns compared to you and your extraordinary knowledge and skills ..."

*sigh*

The trouble with being a braggadocio is that sooner or later they get found out.  "Oh, yes, I can leap tall buildings with one hand tied behind my back; I've done it many times.  I was given an award for doing it, not long ago...  Here, let me show you how it's done..."

And that is when we feel just the slightest tinge of Schadenfreude as we watch them fail.  Braggadocios never learn, do they?  They just go on to brag another day, and we continue to endure them.

I have come to the conclusion that braggadocios are actually lacking in confidence.  More often than not they are unsure of themselves and their abilities, and as a result they feel compelled to build themselves up.  A lot.  They cross the line between confidence and exaggeration.  Unfortunately, they are able to hoodwink the majority of people -- for quite a while at least.  But eventually their bragging rights go past their "best by" date, and their stories become stale.  I am hoping that is the case with our braggadocio, because I am very close to the point of saying, "Oh, please, just shut up now..."

“We confide in our strength, without boasting of it; we respect that of others, without fearing it.”  ~~ Thomas Jefferson

"We wound our modesty, and make foul the clearness of our deservings, when of ourselves we publish them." ~~ William Shakespeare

19 comments:

heartinsanfrancisco said...

I have always thought the word "braggadocio" sounded like the name of an Italian opera.

Firefly said...

My boss is one of those

SY said...

Funny. There was a braggadocio in my high school.. She keeps me grounded.. I actually could name countless people in my life with the personality flaw..

Great post

the walking man said...

Yeah I think I am going to stay outside the circle until I need medical attention of serious sort.

Charlene said...

These people are insecure. You hit it on the head.

DJan said...

Yes, Jo, you got it. Insecurity is the reason for most of that bragging. But the word itself is perfect, as you have noted. And it is interesting how few of them I've been surrounded with over the years, so much so that when someone starts bragging, I am amazed at their need for attention. Now that i'm retired I don't think I ever see that behavior.

The Bug said...

I think my self-deprecating behavior is because I don't want to be accused of braggadoccio. I got it into my head when I was young that not only don't you tout yourself, you make people think you're not that good so you can surprise them pleasantly instead of disappointing them LOL.

Sniffles and Smiles said...

So true...Such a thoughtful post, Jo!!! I'm sorry you have to put up with someone like that on a daily basis... :-( But it made for a FANTASTIC post!!!! Love, Janine XO

myletterstoemily said...

you're too funny, "and don't we know it!"

braggadocio sounds like the tenor in a
grand opera! i wonder if it is even a
singing term. will look that up.

the thing about braggarts is that deep
down they feel inadequate and are trying
to hide that. sad.

Russell said...

Maybe your Braggadocio needs some salt in her coffee or Vaseline on the toilet seat or red fire ants in her desk drawer (or other, uh, drawers...) or a swift kicker in her knickers?

Maybe a large slice of humble pie is just the ticket for this ...bicket?!

Jennifer D said...

You sure got it right, Jo.

It seems to me that people who listen more than talk are the smart ones. The talkers only hear themselves.

Paula Slade said...

I have known a few of them in my lifetime. I've found they come with a built in defense system that allows them complete immunity to the words "shut up." (They think you're joking.)

KrippledWarrior said...

I'M BATMAN.
-BATMAN ;-)

Carl said...

Hi Jo - It seems you have been busy writing while I was away. I just wanted to pop in and say hi. I'll be catching up on my favorite blogs this weekend.

A.M. said...

ha ha lol this is so true! Gosh, I'm glad I'm not in that situation ;o) Usually, I just walk away from people like this, but when you work with them...well you better buckle in b/c it's going to be a long ride and hopefully management will realize sooner or later that his person is a huge distraction. Urgh! I feel your pain.

Katy said...

I have had my dealings with people who think the sun raises and falls with them and you are right, the word Braggadocio is awesome, though I do love braggart. There is something so curt about that word that makes it fun to spew when your mad.

DUTA said...

Your diagnostic is correct, Jo. These 'braggadocios" are insecure and usually have a low-esteem; so exaggerations and boasting help them cover all that.
I never try to argue with them, just let them talk.

Pearl said...

Bragging is one of my least favorite human traits, and I must admit I don't abide it well!

Pearl

Alicia said...

I may just print this post and leave it in the chair of our office braggadocio :-)

Wouldn't that be a surprise! I'm about to the point of saying "Just shut up" too. Poor Jo, I know how you feel. Stay Strong my friend.