Why do teenagers brag?

“My pencil is bigger than yours” Sounds familiar? Cool. Because that’s the cute ten year old in you who only knew life was worth boasting of because you possessed more number of unbroken crayons and greater parental love than your elder sibling.

“My parents get me costly clothes, unlike yours” Still sounds familiar? If you are a teenager and the answer’s a yes, you’re in big trouble – because you’re no more a puppy-eyed toddler whose bragging would bring you some cuddle-aunties but would definitely attract a rational amount of ire.

bragging teenagers

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Bragging is as harmless as a sharp-less knife but a habit which comes with grave repercussions. We, adults, tend to be inclined to conversations that are more centric to self-achievements. However, the existing self-obsession in teenagers is more than we can think of, because of many contributing factors of which maturity is the most vital. The pleasure derived from boasting about personal success is as tempting as food to a hungry person. Psychologists say bragging is a mental condition where one wants to be attended by others especially for whatever their scores may be.

Of the handful of reasons, bragging is most common in teenagers who lack self-confidence. In them resides a sense of inferiority which in itself is a very complex feeling to deal with. These children cover up the void in their life by uplifting their own spirits to feel more wanted. They feel the lack of importance in their parents’ or friends’
lives can only be replaced when and if they can impress them.

Unfortunate is the way they choose to do that. Worst is, their surroundings or company do not make efforts to turn situations any better. Parents must be alerted when they come across these symptoms in children as such cases require love, affection and support. Parents need to understand that if their children are boastful in front of them, it is because they want them to be proud of their scores in class or because of winning the inter-school debate competition which somehow they may have missed observing amidst busy schedules.

Children do not have the maturity to understand that bragging actually gives others the advantage to outcast them and this anti-social behavior does nothing except dwelling their sensitivity towards insecurity and loneliness. But parents are no children and they must understand the advances of social modeling. Teenagers are very prone to imitation of their parents’ behavior. If one is constantly exposed to boastful conversations at home like, “Finally we are owners of the costliest car in the whole family”, and, “We have a standard, we can’t just talk to those uncultured neighbors”, then God save the family!

Another major reason why teenagers brag is when they are less tolerant to their limitations. You might have put efforts to be chosen as the prefect of your school but the principle instead settles for another friend of yours; this should not be used as an opportunity to make excuses like ‘Oh! I’m not surprised; she was always an attention seeker’. Parents need to make their children feel that mistakes are a necessity for growth and that one failure is not going to evaluate his/her capability.

So, to all teens out there – remember these:

  1. You’re not a loner (if not by choice).
  2. You are loved; never even doubt about it.
  3. You can always be ‘taller’ than you are (figuratively and
    literally). Stand out.

And, Humility and modesty becomes an adjective worth celebration when you are finally aware of your strengths.

There’s a saying – “The less you reveal the more people can wonder” well, why not just give people the benefit of doubt sometimes!


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