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Is Bragging Jeopardizing Your Career? 3 Ways to Tell

There's nothing wrong with being confident in your abilities, but there's a very fine line between being sure of yourself and being full of it. We will take a look at three key indicators that your boastful ways are, indeed, preventing you from getting where you want to be in your career.

There’s nothing wrong with being confident in your abilities, but there’s a very fine line between being sure of yourself and being full of it. We will take a look at three key indicators that your boastful ways are, indeed, preventing you from getting where you want to be in your career.

Your bragging could be costing you your career

(Photo Credit: Shawn Rossi/Flickr)

Confidence is sexy. Being cocky isn’t. Unfortunately, far too many people seem to not understand the difference between the two. It’s one thing to want to discuss your positive attributes and accomplishments with others, because that’s completely acceptable, however, it’s another thing when you won’t shut up about it. Constant bragging does nothing more than tell others how self-conscious and insecure you really are, due to your need to always over-compensate or exaggerate reality.

Do You Know What You're Worth?

On the low side of the confidence spectrum, you have people who have zero confidence and fear social situations at all costs. Then, there are individuals on the high side of the spectrum who believe in themselves just a bit too much and come across as arrogant to others. These types of people are often the ones who are constantly “one-upping” everyone and not letting others get a word in edgewise, and the sad part is, they are mostly unaware of their overzealous (and often offensive) behavior.

This type of behavior can be extremely off-putting to people who are genuinely confident and humble about their accomplishments, and these are usually the professionals you want to build relationships with (not push away) in the business world. Below are three ways to tell if you’re going overboard with your self-confidence and jeopardizing your career in the process.

1.  You’re the one doing all the talking.

If you find that you’re usually the one doing all the talking in your conversations, either you are talking to a lot of shy introverts, or it’s time to zip the lip, because you’re becoming an over-sharing braggart. People don’t want to listen to you go on and on about yourself. Honestly, they probably couldn’t care less about all the details of your life.

Next time you’re rambling on in a conversation and realize that the other people aren’t getting a chance to speak, try to ask an open-ended question that allows others to participate in the conversation and helps you get to know them a bit better, too. You’ll find that passing the baton, so to speak, will open up the dialogue and allow for a more balanced conversation to take place.

2. You constantly interrupt people to share your thoughts.

When people finally get the chance to say something, you are constantly interrupting them to point something out or give your two cents. You probably don’t realize you’re being rude by interrupting others while they talk, because, to you, you’re simply trying to lend your thoughts or relate to the other person. In doing so, you’re indirectly telling others that what they’re saying is less important than what you have to say. Next time you feel as though you’re hijacking the conversation, finish your thought and then say, “What were you saying about…” to switch the focus off of you and onto the other person/people.

3. People make excuses to leave your conversation.

If people seem to mysteriously vanish from conversations with you, then it’s time to take a hint and zip the lip. These people aren’t dropping like flies because they just so happen to need (yet another) drink or cup of coffee, they’re leaving because they don’t want to waste another second of their lives listening to you ramble on about yourself.

If this happens to you often, then take it as a warning sign that you should probably make some adjustments in how you conduct yourself when talking to others. Try practicing the art of listening, next time. Besides, a great deal of growing your career is getting in with the right people along the way, so your goal is to attract career-boosting professionals, not send them running for the hills.

Don’t let your chatterbox ways interfere with your career success, because no one like a self-centered co-worker, boss, or professional. Listen to the wise words of John Steinbeck, who once said, “Perhaps the less we have, the more we are required to brag.”

Tell Us What You Think

What other ways can you point out a braggart? Share your thoughts with our community on Twitter or in the comments section below.

Leah Arnold-Smeets
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