Nobody Likes a Braggart

Nobody Likes a Braggart

From the department of, “You Didn’t Really Say That?” we bring you a study: “The Unforeseen Costs of Extraordinary Experiences.” In this journal article, researchers reached some interesting conclusions: They claim people who share their extraordinary experiences -- such as skydiving or traveling to exotic locations -- with others often become social outcasts and “people may pay a surprising price for the experiences they covet most.” They also imply that if you’re smart, you’ll either skip extraordinary experiences or keep them to yourself so you don’t encounter social rejection.

Essentially, you’ll pay a social price if you’re a snob or a braggart. How to avoid being labeled as such? By all means, tell your tale, but when you recall your trip to Antarctica, for example, start with the phrase, “Wish you were there -- it would have been more fun!” and encourage listeners to jump into the conversation. Then you’ll make new friends and strengthen bonds with old ones. That’ll build a stronger social network of folks with whom you share interests -- an important way to help manage stress, fend off depression, and increase longevity. Plus, research shows openness and conscientiousness -- to experiences and toward others -- helps ward off arthritis, stroke, heart disease and high blood pressure. So what were you going to say about your vacation?

Medically reviewed in January 2020.

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