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Old 05-14-2010, 07:40 AM   #21
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I am in the insecurity camp as to what constitutes bragging. People brag to reassure themselves of their worth, to gain attention and esteem, etc. Sometimes it is obnoxious, like the OP example; sometimes it is outrageous or sad (military award frauds); sometimes it is humorous (think of our LBYM threads); often it passes below the perception threshold on both sides (us bragging or us hearing the bragging). Most of it is pretty harmless except when it is aimed to hurt or exclude.
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Old 05-14-2010, 09:05 AM   #22
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Walt Whitman: "If you done it, it ain't bragging". The ancient Greek bragging was very foreign to me until it dawned that the bragging was mostly of great deeds - given that why not a culture that rewarded accomplishment with bragging rights? I live a small life, but what is, is.
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Old 05-14-2010, 09:38 AM   #23
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Great Minds Discuss Ideas;
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Old 05-14-2010, 10:11 AM   #24
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I find it interesting that someone is bragging that they paid $35K for their car... I would be bragging that I got mine for $14K.... man, what a deal I got... (now, I got a Hyundai and he a merc... but who cares)....


I remembe one time when I was working for mega... they had me in an apartment in NY and another in London for a few months... and I still had my own house in Houston...

I was flying from Houston to NY and this guy was bragging about something stupid... and would not stop... I tried to ignore him, but he kept it up... he then asked me where I was going... I told him I had left my house in Houston and was going to stop in at my apartment in the upper west side of NY and then leave for London for a few weeks at my place at High Street Kennsington.... that finally shut him up...

To bad I was a low paid accountant and all was due to mega... would have been nice if it were real...
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Old 05-14-2010, 11:01 AM   #25
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Originally Posted by dex View Post
Great Minds Discuss Ideas;
Average Minds Discuss Events (and things - my add);
Small Minds Discuss People.


Great Minds Discuss Ideas; Average Minds Discuss Events; Small Minds Discuss People. (The Best Quote)

Find some new friends
Excellent quote. So I remind myself every time I talk about ideas I am in the 'great mind' stage and when I talk about people I am in 'small mind'. It's too bad I spend 90% of my time talking about events like sports, movie, politics..

Anyhow, I like my friends and yes, I already said these people are nice, friendly and not mean spirit at all but they do like to show what they have in a very comfortable way.

enuff
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Old 05-14-2010, 11:14 AM   #26
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Now I feel better about spending $21K on a used car! Prior to that our biggest car purchase was $8100, and more than doubling that record has made me wonder if I've lost my mind.

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I live in a rural area and am probably considered to be a "have" (vs a "have not"). I avoid discussing financial matters with my local friends. If I am asked about money, I simply say "I can pay my bills" and leave it at that.
Perhaps your friends are probing whether or not you're inclined to sell them any of whatever crop you're growing to pay your bills...
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Old 05-14-2010, 11:35 AM   #27
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At what point do you really cross the fine line of bragging and proud. To me bragging comes with a number behind it. For example I just got a new car and paid $35k for it.

Your thought

enuff

If someone came up to me and said "I just got a new car and paid $35K for it."

Maybe it's just me, but I would say, "That's nice" and think to myself ("Why would someone pay so much for a car?")
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Old 05-14-2010, 11:38 AM   #28
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When I feel secure, I do not share any "good" news about myself. The exception is my siblings, because we go back a few years. We share our retirement plans, etc.

I drive a '98 Honda Civic, and we will be moving into a small house that we built ourselves. Paid for. I know of quite a few people - the McMansion crowd - that are now living with relatives. I feel uncomfortable talking about my accomplishments - especially to one who is having a hard time of it.

I like to keep a low profile, and maybe brag about the garden tomatoes, etc.
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Old 05-14-2010, 11:41 AM   #29
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I like to keep a low profile, and maybe brag about the garden tomatoes, etc.
I'd like you to brag some more by posting some photos of the tomatoes. I need some motivation here.
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Old 05-14-2010, 11:53 AM   #30
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I'd like you to brag some more by posting some photos of the tomatoes. I need some motivation here.
Well, call me a braggart - but right now the tomatoes are babies, just planted a few days ago. But, how 'bout some lemon balm!
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Old 05-14-2010, 12:06 PM   #31
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Now, you make me envious, braggart lady!

I live in the arid Southwest, where it is hard to grow anything.
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Old 05-14-2010, 12:14 PM   #32
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At what point do you really cross the fine line of bragging and proud. To me bragging comes with a number behind it. For example I just got a new car and paid $35k for it.
To me it depends on whether or not the number is relevant to the discussion. If someone asked what you paid for it, for example, that's different than just going out and volunteering information that says "look at me, I can afford to buy a $35,000 car."

Frankly, though, people with the tightwad cheapskate LBYM gene would be anything *but* impressed with that kind of spending, most likely. They'd a lot more impressed at someone who bought a 2-year-old car for $12,000 and drove it for another15 years.
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Old 05-14-2010, 12:29 PM   #33
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We have a standard reply (inside joke) in the family whenever someone crosses the line from being proud to bragging...--- reply VERY enthusiastically:

Good for you!

which reallly means:

Go f yourself...

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Old 05-14-2010, 12:30 PM   #34
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Now, you make me envious, braggart lady!

I live in the arid Southwest, where it is hard to grow anything.
Maybe not tomatoes, but you can grow lots of medicinal herbs - like the sages, lavenders, artemesias, sunflowers - and the squashes love hot weather, if they have water! Come to think of it, you may be able to grow tomatoes.

Besides, think of all those sunny winter days you get to enjoy while we are freezing in the hills, and slogging through mud roads!
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Old 05-14-2010, 12:33 PM   #35
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Maybe not tomatoes, but you can grow lots of medicinal herbs - like the sages, lavenders, artemesias, sunflowers - and the squashes love hot weather, if they have water! Come to think of it, you may be able to grow tomatoes.

Besides, think of all those sunny winter days you get to enjoy while we are freezing in the hills, and slogging through mud roads!
NW Bound, Rosemary grows well here in AZ- I have a couple planted in my courtyard; nice to be able to just pick it fresh when we roast poulty.
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Old 05-14-2010, 01:10 PM   #36
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I had 4 years at Corp HQ 2004 -2008 and that is where I heard most bragging, talking about the latest hi tech golf clubs, golf club memberships, new expensive cars etc.

I just never contributed to the conversations but in 2007 I was talking one on one with a colleague that I got on really well with, who the previous week had told me about the new Mercedes convertible he'd just bought. Our Megacorp had just been bought by another Megacorp subject to the usual approvals from the authorities and I was saying that I just wanted the deal closure to drag out long enough for it to be too late to change the pension scheme before I retired. He knew I was in my early 50's and he said "Really, how can you afford to retire so young?". Only then did I point out that I didn't have a merc or huge house or belong to an outrageously expensive country club.

Each to his own, he loved his lifestyle and was prepared to keep on working as long as he could, and seemed to enjoy the bragging sessions.
It was a real eye opener for me when I (in my mid-late 50's) was working for a mega-software corp. For me working there was a second "career" and a bridge to real retirement after a 28 year military career. There were an awful lot of younger folks (mid-30's through early 50's) who were making very good money in a very competitive and dynamic environment. (This was in the DC area.) But I couldn't believe how hung up they all were on their cars, hand-held gadgets and other things that didn't seem all that important to me. My immediate boss, who was probably in his mid 40's got a promotion and all of a sudden his Lexus ES-300 wasn't good enough for him. He got a Mercedes because that was apparently what a guy at his level was "supposed" to drive. (I bought his Lexus off the lease early, got an excellent price and it only had 13K miles. I almost didn't buy it because I thought a Lexus was a bit over the top for me.) It was a '97 which I bought in Jan '99. I just passed 170K miles on it and hope to drive it to 200K.)

But back to the original thought, I was watching all of this while I was socking money away in the 401K, the employee stock purchase plan and after-tax mutual funds as drove (until I bought the Lexus) my 1987 Volvo 240 wagon with 165K miles on it to work and parking it next to the BMW's, Mercedes, Infinitis and other upscale cars in the parking garage.
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Old 05-14-2010, 01:21 PM   #37
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I get bored pretty quickly and easily if the conversation revolves around specifications and prices of everyone's luxury vehicle, number of square feet and level of extravagance in their latest housing purchase, or how expensive (but how awesome!!) their last week long all-inclusive resort vacation was (and how many free beers they chugged down at the bar). I can usually manage to either steer the conversation away from this idle banter or I can usually manage to walk away or find something interesting to stare at with my back towards them. That makes me an asshole I guess.

When I think about memorable conversations and having a good time with family, friends or colleagues, discussing how awesome (and expensive!) their latest transport device acquisition was doesn't rank very highly. I would be the guy to say "wait you just paid $20,000 more for that model of car versus the non-luxury version, and all it has is a couple extra gadgets that will be technologically obsolete in 3 years, a 20% larger engine, it can accelerate 12% faster, yet gets 15% worse gas mileage?"

Reflecting on memorable conversations I have had with family, friends or colleagues, it is usually something significant we are discussing. Their goals, dreams, aspirations, plans for the future, something unique they did or are trying to do, or some interesting topic like history, art, science, technology, religion, philosophy, or politics. I recall a cocktail party where I met a friend of a friend. This guy and his wife were both high school teachers, oddly enough at the school a few blocks from where I grew up and where my parents still live. The guy was a history teacher. We had some polite conversations about the host's wine selection, then the classic "so what do you do?" line came out of one of our mouths. We ended up talking for another 30 minutes or so about some fine point of history I had been reading about recently. It was one of those curiously rewarding conversations with a relative stranger that was very satisfying at the "Great Mind" level. If we had discussed his make and model of car and how awesome his new granite countertops were, it would have been a 3 minute conversation quickly terminated by a "well it was nice to meet you"!

To bring this back around to the OP's question, I think it is ok to talk about your new stuff that you are proud of. You know your friends and they know you. They are probably just looking to get affirmation that they are successful. Congratulate them on how nice their new shiny thing looks and then move on to other topics. If talking about your new bling is all the relationship is built on, then it seems like a fairly shallow relationship.
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Old 05-14-2010, 03:26 PM   #38
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Some former cow-irkers made fun of me for bringing my lunch, for driving a 1989 cheapmobile...

Fine, I retired at 54.
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Old 05-14-2010, 04:01 PM   #39
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Most of my friends and coworkers are not well off or particularly high income, so I don't hear much of this. But back when I was in a high rent district working at a hedge fund, there was plenty of conspicuous consumption. Just ignore it and get on with life.
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Old 05-14-2010, 04:04 PM   #40
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I've always been overly cautious not to brag, or to be seen as bragging. When I was employed I never really talked about my job or what I did to people who didn't already know. I always played it down, because even the job description denoted high pay. When asked what I did, I couldn't answer without the other person knowing that I made a lot of money . . . so even answering the simple question "What do you do?" seemed like bragging.

Now that I'm no longer employed, I have a different "problem". I have a hard time saying "I'm retired" without sounding like a braggart. I know I shouldn't care, and I'm actually surprised that I do, but I haven't yet gotten comfortable with the idea of telling people I'm retired.
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