1. The Showoffs
Those who feel the need to be showy are always compensating for something and trying to prove their worth to themselves. Unfortunately for them, this is how you know they have little worth. Showing and trying to make other people envious is a waste of time, unless you’re trying to make yourself feel better about yourself at the expense of others. People that do such things are not the kind of people you want to keep around. -Paul Hudson, 22 Jan 2014 article “The 10 Types Of Toxic People That Mentally Strong People Avoid“
I find it interesting, as a psychology major, that there are people that still behave this way. Being a ‘show off’ has always been something that was equated with being ‘prideful’ in a negative connotation, not the good kind. That is different, by the way, then letting your ‘light shine’ when you do things well and simply do them and people notice it. There is a HUGE difference in my opinion. My question is this; why do you ‘need’ to actually make such a big effort to ‘be noticed’? If what you are doing is worthy and important and found to be interesting to the people you feel close to, is that not enough? Also, in my estimation, I tend to believe that this is also different from those in the entertainment business. Totally separate. Their ‘job’ is to ‘entertain’ and be ‘showy’ if you will. However, if the action or task you are doing is purely for ‘show’ and really doesn’t have much merit beyond that, it is a waste of time. It also says a lot about your personal character; you have to be pretty naive to believe that most people don’t actually see through the need to show off, just most are too polite to say anything, even in private. My suggestion is this; why not find something truly worthy (such as service) and go do that instead? People will 9 times out of 10 notice that albeit quietly generally, but still, this would say something far more positive about you personality than doing something just to be ‘a show off’, wouldn’t it?
The 'flip' side of this coin...
There is, however the other side of the coin, where someone that doesn't go out of their way to ‘show off’ ends up appearing to do so simply because they are excited about how well they've personally done on something that they never thought would have been possible before. For example, I myself never thought that I’d be able to not only afford to go to college in any way, shape or form; but that even if I were to somehow be able to manage it, I would do well enough to continue due to my overall grades that I received in high school. I was an average to slightly above average student, depending on the class. However, those grades normally wouldn't have been ‘significant’ enough to qualify for college attendance. I attended a community college and nearly earned an associates degree in the early to mid 90′s. Then I moved and was unable to finish the degree. So, due to the thought that I’d never be able to return to school and finish or continue further on with my schooling to get a decent job, I’d all but ‘deserted’ my educational goals and opted for menial work for minimum wage hourly work. Then a former schoolmate put a bug in my ear to finish by asking “What’s stopping you from going to school?” At that point, I couldn't think of a single logical or viable reason why I couldn't go back to school. Of course it’d been years at that point since I’d been in school previously so, there were or would be some things I’d have to do first [class-wise], but I felt up to the challenge at that point. So, 28 October 2010 I went back to school for my Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology. I graduated with a 3.78 GPA; something I NEVER in a million years would have guessed I could have accomplished!! I was pretty pleased with that outcome, so decided that I’d continue later in the summer of 2013 to start my master’s degree, this time in forensic psychology! I gotta say I was pretty excited! Now don’t get me wrong, I don’t promote ‘showing off’ to any degree; however, showing that you are pleased with a form of progress that amazes even yourself, I think in a modest way is OK and acceptable, just make sure you do it in a way that can’t be misconstrued as being ‘a show off’, that is generally thought of as ‘confidence’ building versus ‘showing off’. I think people have possibly forgotten that words and actions do actually ‘mean’ something once it’s been let go from your person. Yes, many say that it shouldn't matter what others say, however, this is something, I believe, that we all tell ourselves so we can rationalize and validate our own possibly questionable words or deeds. Things we’re not entirely ‘sure of’ in how it’ll be received by others but what sounds good to us inside our own heads.
...Back to the 'show-offs'...
So back to the ‘show offs’; the thought that they who engage in this sort of behavior and how it amuses me. Why do they feel the need to compensate for anything? Truthfully, if they have something to ‘show off’ why don’t they let their skills or talents speak for themselves? Seriously, if it’s worthwhile to witness in any form, it is worth being praised for. Let others be allowed to make up their own minds, then respond in kind manner to the person they are witnessing acts or words from, right? I say, if you have to ‘produce’ or ‘manufacture’ something to show off about, then really, is the time worth the effort to even pay attention to someone such as that?
In another vein, why do people think they or feel the need to use negative over and undertones of sarcasm or other nonsensical gestures toward others? I find it another form of such an act or behavior; when people must use a negative form of cleverness and tear down those they know rather than lift them up in a similar manner. Just because it seems ‘easier’ to jest and joke and use sarcasm in the effort or attempt to be ‘funny’ does not mean you should use it. In my opinion, we are all here for the same purpose; to live our lives and carve out some successful version for our very own. This also means, to me, that we should all be HELPING each other to do just that, shouldn’t we? Since we all know that we each have our very own talents, skills and aptitudes; does this not mean then–that we should be encouraging? Kind? Generous? Complimentary? Uplifting? In my estimation, it indeed does. However, I am not naive in believing that that means there isn’t a need for negativity or things that are ‘less positive’ in nature. I know that with everything good, there is a need for the opposition in order to recognize this fact. However, this also means to me that there is no reason to forcefully manufacture such situations, life in general is and can be negative in and of itself all by itself, it needs no help indeed from humans to make it worse. Because we all have the will to choose for ourselves the choices placed before us and not all of our choices will be met with positive outcomes, despite our best efforts to try to choose wisely.
How does 'envy' play out in all of this?
One of the last concepts related to ‘show offs’ that Hudson made was regarding ‘envy’. Envy is an ugly emotion and subsequent behavior. It is one of the most destructive of them that can be felt; not only for the individual unfortunate enough to feel the emotion, but for those that happen to be in the path and/or object of that envy. Envy robs both individuals of many bond building experiences that could happen. One being that of teaching; the individual with the trait, talent or skill that the other admires could teach the other how to do what they do; and on the other side of the coin, the one feeling ‘envious’ is robbing them self of a learning experience that could be enriching and a growing and maturing moment. My challenge to you, the reader, is this; start now–instead of being envious of what someone has or does or knows, why not engage in a mature conversation to gain for yourself that which you admire in the other person? If it is worth admiring in any fashion–it is worth taking the time and making the effort to learn from that person. Also, another challenge, if you are not as confident in your own gifts, talents, skills or knowledge; find someone or some way to gain that which you lack instead of ‘showing off’ and manufacturing situations in which you make a display of yourself in all that you lack. You would not only be doing yourself a favor and helping yourself to be a more mature and well-mannered individual, but you would be a better example for those around you as well as show that you too are a mature and intelligent person, which we all know you to be, except when you show off unnecessarily in the effort to gain negative and bloated attention.