When I was a kid, one of my brothers went through a “boasting” stage. He was school age at the time. I got very tired of it and approached my father on the subject.

“Why does he boast?” I asked.

“Julie, people boast when they don’t think much of themselves,” my dad explained.

Was this true?

My brother got over it. It really was a phase. I forgot about it after a while. I found other things to concern myself with.

What if an adult boasts? How do we react to such a thing? What’s the difference, if any, between boasting and self-promotion, or perhaps, promotion of one’s business or promotion of a product?

Are you guys as turned off as I am by the mass amount of boasting on people’s websites? “My product fixes everything.” And the dizzying number of over-the-top endorsements and testimonials. They really cross the line when they start boasting of moral superiority. A lot of people do this! You don’t notice it at first…and then, you do.

I recently encountered a professional who interested me. I was turned off by the testimonials, which made him look too good to be true. I finally contacted him. Although I found him likable, it seems that because I didn’t become a paying customer immediately, he started boasting. Is this a sign of desperation? After all, I don’t have a clue how many paying customers he has. Maybe he hasn’t had one for weeks and needs the income.

This has happened a lot to me. I have shown interest but then, held back. This kind of behavior shouldn’t bother a vendor who has plenty of customers. But those who are scrambling might resort to boasting, even making claims of moral superiority or “knowing better.” Which as far as I’m concerned, is a very bad sign.

Feedback and comments welcome!