Why do we show off?

Most of us don’t like showy people because we assume that they are arrogant and because they sometimes remind us of our low achievements. From the outside showy people appear to be happy, possessing many things that others really want. But what most people don’t know is that what is inside is very different.

Most of us don’t like showy people because we assume that they are arrogant and because they sometimes remind us of our low achievements.

From the outside showy people appear to be happy, possessing many things that others really want. But what most people don’t know is that what is inside is very different.

This is something that we have all done or are still doing at some point. That is why I will try as much as possible to relate this to my personal experiences. Showing off is the equivalent to saying “did you notice me”?

As small kids we tried extremely hard to do really distracting things when our parents didn’t seem to give us enough attention.

A child might get involved in activities that appear weird and very risky in order to get the parent’s attention. But why would a child strive for attention? Because he believes that he is not getting enough of it.

If you meet a minister or the CEO of a large company, he is very unlikely to tell you that he earns a lot of money or that he lives in a large house simply because the man knows that you have already guessed that.

But if the man became unsure of the impression you formed of him he might then start to show off to improve that image if he cares about your opinion.

Try to put a confident person down or to prove to him that he is worthless and he will reply by showing off all of his good qualities and achievements.

At the center of it all is when we feel we aren’t noticed or recognized. Showy people believe that they didn’t get the attention they deserve and so they show off to send one clear message, “I am here, please notice me”. So actually a showy person is begging you to notice him while you might be begging him to accept you.

That in other words means they care about people’s opinion. To some people the opinion of others doesn’t matter that much and doesn’t have a significant impact on their happiness.

To the showy people it’s the opposite; the opinion of others is the most important thing to them and if they fail to get others like them they feel really bad.

In the midst of this personal war is the belief that people are underestimating them hence, people doing their best to show off their best traits to prove that they are worthy.

Is showing off bad? It all depends on the type of showing off you are going to use. The kind I was talking about is the unconscious showing off where the person feels an intense desire to let people notice him and this, I think, is the bad type. The truth of the matter is I that have no idea if showing off is good or necessary.

If you show off because you want to get a certain benefit in exchange then there is no problem as long as you are doing this consciously.

Think advertising or pitching.
Contrary to common beliefs, show-offs are the ones who are in need of your attention. Just look around town.

You will notice that the guy who drives an expensive luxury car is the same person staring out the window, hoping that people are noticing him.

Another truth is; he’s weaker than them because while he needs their attention they need nothing from him.

badthoglous@yahoo.com

Nyagapfizi Emmanuel is a Management Information Systems manager

 

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