You know what I hate, you know what makes me so mad I want to I want to play pin the tail on the donkey…with a real donkey (In a Earl Pitts voice)? Bragging. I work with a guys that love to brag about things in his life. He lives in my neighborhood and is constantly telling me all the things he is having done to his house, landscaping, new floors, thinking about putting in new windows, etc or how great his kids are or how awesome his work outs are (he is a CrossFit type). He does this during work, when I see him in the ‘hood, and on Facebook. He will post things just to get comments from others. Talking about how he had to take care of his kids because his wife is out of town for a few days, or lamenting about hurting his back so he can’t train like he wants to. It is like his life needs validating.
I have a brother-in-law like this too. He has a PhD and is one of those know-it-all types. For example, he “decided” this year he needed to follow baseball so he “picked” the Red Sox to follow. Now he thinks he is the second coming of Buster Olney, throwing around stats or opinions on the Sox about how they need to make this move or that move (that’s a story for another day). Now he is working on getting his kids into baseball. Every time I see him he is telling me about how he took his kid to the batting cages and he swung at 600 pitches (600???) and hit like 80% of them. Or how his 9 year old kid can throw strikes (even though I’ve played catch with him and he doesn’t have any type of arm at all) all the time.
Whenever I meet people like this one of the first questions I ask is about their family, do they have brothers and/or sisters. Unscientifically, what I find is 80% of the time people that love to brag and tell you about all the wonderful things in their lives were only children. It’s like the spent their whole formative years being told how great they were, never having to compete for any type of attention and now that they are adults with families of their own they still need that level of validation in their lives. Also, I’m sure since their parents only had one kid they probably bragged to their friends about all the wonderful things they did. I have two brothers and two sisters (I’m the second oldest) so there wasn’t much individual attention from my parents. They didn’t have time to brag to their friends about the five of us mainly because they didn’t have many friends (having that many kids only 9 years apart in age doesn’t leave much time for a social life) and they were more concerned about the big picture like feeding and clothing us while keeping a roof over our heads.