I cannot find a hypnotherapist in the UK with a higher Alexa ranking then me. So if my website is not the busiest hypnotherapist website in the UK, it is certainly one of the busiest. My hypnotherapy training courses are jam-packed, filled to the brim and I have a consistent waiting list for clients to come and see me in my hypnotherapy consulting rooms.

Now for some mind reading… I am quite sure that if you did not click and go somewhere else in the middle of reading that, at the very least you are likely to have thought that I am incredibly far up my own backside and if you are really polite, you might just think that opening with that paragraph made me seem like an egotistical braggart, no?

I forgive you. But all I did was offer up some truths.

Let me quote a well known boxer:

Only last week I murdered a rock, injured a stone, hospitalised a brick, I’m so mean I make medicine sick…. I’m fast, fast, fast! Last night I cut the light off in my bedroom, hit the switch and I was in the bed before the room was dark.” Hahaha… You have to see and hear him say this:

That is the kind of bragging that we come to expect from boxers, although at the time, Ali was the only person to take his bragging to these levels. Although our own current World Heavyweight Champion, David Haye, seems to be taking it to more extreme levels with much of his pre-bout talk… Only this week he told media outlets (in relation to his upcoming bout with Audley Harrison) that the fight “is going to as one sided as a gang-rape.” Oh my god! Needless to say, he is getting some major media flack right now.

Back on to the subject of bragging though…

Most of us firmly intend to make good impressions upon people we encounter in this life. There seems to be some difficulty about how we offer up positive information about ourselves without being disliked? I know Ericksonian hypnotists will claim that one way of doing this is to use quotes or double quotes, so it ends up being someone else who is saying these things… But heck, you can still detect the taste in the mouth of others with some bragging done in this manner.

People attempt to dress up their bragging in hyperbole, others – such as many boxers – just brag and are done with it.

There is a piece of research by Schlenker & Leary, published in the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology in 1982 entitled Audiences’ reactions to self-enhancing, self-denigrating, and accurate self-presentations.   This research clearly showed that there is a clear trade-off to being seen as more competent and being liked. For instance, one experiment in which people were induced to present themselves either modestly or favorably showed that the audience saw the modest-presentation group as less competent .

Likewise, another piece of research by Godfrey, Jones, & Lord, in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology in 1986 entitled Self-promotion is not ingratiating demonstrated that people who were induced to describe themselves as very competent were seen as more competent. However, they were rated as less likeable.

Hmmm… This seems like a rock and a hard place scenario for those wishing to be liked and seen as competent at the same time, doesn’t it?

In her 1995 piece of work, Social Psychologist Dianne Tice in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology had a piece published entitled When modesty prevails: differential favorability of self-presentation to friends and strangers. In it, she offers a solution to the issue of this trade off…

Tice wrote that the answer to whether it’s appropriate to brag to others is dependent on whether those other people are friends or strangers. Along with her colleagues, she ran a series of experiments and discovered that with friends, people naturally present themselves modestly. However, with strangers, they tend to describe themselves in favourable or self-enhancing ways…. Let’s be honest, we’ve all been at dinner parties with strangers, or at networking events and seen this firsthand, haven’t we? Of course people want to show themselves in the best light and many others think of them poorly… “Braggers!”

With these experiements, people were asked to switch roles and describe themselves favourably to friends and modestly to strangers. The results tended to show “when presenting to strangers who, unlike friends, may not know one’s performance record, self-enhancing self-presentation may be the most effective strategy. When presenting to people who know about one’s past accomplishments, however, modesty may be the most effective self-presentation.”

The summation here then is that it’s perfectly acceptable to say positive things about ourselves to new acquaintances, but not so acceptable to brag to friends. Then also we need to keep in mind the things we have already mentioned to acquaintances, so that we can avoid looking like we really are in awe of ourselves by repeatedly mentioning the same accomplishments time after time…. Like those elderly relatives we all have one of! (Uncle Albert from TV’s Only Fools and Horses springs to mind; “during the war…”)

For example, if you think you have the busiest hypnotherapy website in the UK, maybe best not to keep mentioning it over and over… Perhaps this time around, one person might actually think “good for him” – especially if we are yet to meet… And I cannot claim to have met many of you regular readers of this blog…. First time around, people might well consider that a good thing, perhaps even a sign of the hard work and discipline that gets put into this website… But woe betide that hypnotherapist if he bands it around with any frequency, just leading to being deemed as utterly self-absorbed…. An image I have trouble shaking off with those I do know well…. 😉

I tend to think that when people are at ease with themselves and tell others stuff about themselves in a matter-of-fact way when first meeting, it tends to be a lot better than those who over-enthusiastically attempt to seel their life story to you… But heck, we are all different and respond in our own ways… At least I hope after reading yesterdays blog entry, you are doing your best to celebrate being different!

Ok, I will be doing my best to blog next week… Though I am running my intensive hypnotherapy diploma as of tomorrow for the following 9 days, so will not be as thorough as usual for the next week… Have a wonderful weekend… 🙂