The Back-Door Brag
Occasionally I have been accused of being quite vain, but I’m not so much arrogant as just better than everybody else. That song really is about me. It’s really not fair for others who cannot measure up to my abilities or general intelligence to be compared to me simply because they were unfortunate enough to be of the same species. Of all the things at which I am amazing, my greatest strength is probably my ability to put my superiority into words.
Maybe you’re not as confident in your ability to speak highly of yourself as I am. Or maybe you’ve been wrongly taught that it is socially unacceptable and that people will, in fact, think less of you the more you speak of yourself. I’m here to help. In just three simple steps you can artificially promote your worth without actually coming out and saying anything braggadocios.
Step 1: Feel Inferior
A proper level of self-loathing is vitally important. You do not want to feel confident in yourself or in any of your abilities. Self-depreciation is very difficult to fake convincingly so don’t try. Ensure that you genuinely feel awful by spending at least 10 minutes sulking over why you aren’t good enough and remembering every recent failure. In fact, you should probably go so far as to assure yourself that you won’t even be able to pull off the back-door brag. For best results, mentally compare your worst attributes to the person you know who is best in that area.
Step 2: Say something condescending about yourself
Hopefully you have a well-constructed criticism of yourself after step 1, but I have provided you with a sample script just in case you really are as dumb as you’ve led yourself to believe:
“I am so (negative noun)! (friend’s name) is so (opposite positive noun)! I guess I’m ok with not being as (same positive noun) as (friend’s name). I just feel bad that you have to be around someone so (negative noun).”
Make sure you throw in looks of despair, disappointment, and the occasional sigh. Try to convey the idea that you believe your words are a complete waste of oxygen that could be used to support a valuable life form.
Step 3: Enjoy the praise
Sit back and let the compliments roll in. Wave after wave of “You are (positive noun), too”, “But you are so (different positive noun)”, “(Friend’s name) may be (positive noun), but he/she is also (negative noun)”.
Ok, that last one isn’t exactly praise of you, but at least it puts your superior friend on the same level as you.
This method is 100% guaranteed to make you feel better about yourself for at least as long as other people are saying kind things about you.
Possible side effects may include:
- Feeling worse about yourself than before
- Psychological dependence upon the praise of others
- Constant comparison to more successful people
- Loss of friends