February 28: on boasting

Men like to boast. It is a disagreeable experience to witness. Probably, younger men boast more than older men. It is linked to their libido. In front of women it is like showing your peacock feathers, though at least a peacock shows its own feathers. Women, I sometimes think, quite like men’s boasting. Either, it is proof of men’s energy and virility or it means that  women can feel quietly superior. Women boast less, or they do what is termed a humble brag, which is a form of boasting accompanied by a charitable act to offset it, as in I don’t feel special just because I gave £100 to that charity. I dare say I too can be boastful, although my technique is to turn the whole achievement I am boasting about to derision. That way I have a get-out. It’s an ironic boast, but still valid all the same. I had a friend at school whom we all used to call Stan although his real name was Michael Keane.His were tall tales and we just humoured him as he explained how he had beaten up some men in a street in Manchester city centre. Sometimes you need to blow your own trumpet, although it is invariably ugly. It’s a case of choosing ugliness to get on. The enigmatic modest approach is certainly more attractive but probably less efficient.


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