Why some people show off

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It is common knowledge that some people love to flaunt what they have- their flashy cars, fashionable clothing, expensive shoes, exciting travels, new jobs, and life accomplishments. We see these happen on social media (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc.) and all around us. In fact, some of us behave this way without realizing it. 

If you are a keen observer, you will probably wonder why Isabel is such a show off, and Lara isn’t. And while people who show off what they have and what they can do may appear confident, happy, and fortunate, the real truth is that they are actually unhappy and insecure. An act of showoff is often a cry for attention, admiration, and respect. 

For example, a two years old boy, who feels that his mother has stopped paying as much attention to him as she used to, and now pays a lot more attention on her newly born child, will be unhappy and frustrated due to this undesirable change. Many children who feel they are not getting enough attention from their parents tend to do silly things in an attempt to attract their attention. They may get noisy, troublesome, disruptive, or rude. This goes to show how essential to our wellbeing it is to be given loving attention. 

We all hate being rejected and ignored. Every child grows up to become an adult who is constantly in need of attention and admiration. A child who has always been given sufficient attention, and has always been treated as an important person, often grows up feeling comfortable with their strengths and weaknesses, achievements and imperfections, because they understand that they are valuable, desirable, and worthwhile, and are much loved by those who matter in their lives. 

However, a child who grows up seeking attention because he/she was never given sufficient attention and admiration, will often manifest this need for attention by flaunting what they have. To put it another way, people who flaunt what they have do so because they subconsciously believe they have to show off what they’ve got to attract the attention of other people (which they strongly desire), or to avoid having other people think that they are insignificant and worthless. 

Some people also tend to show off because other people’s impression about them matters a lot to them. They will show off in an effort to gain the respect, value, and approval they think they are not getting, or show off out of the fear that they may lose the value and respect they already have. In other words, people who show off desire more attention, and fear that they may lose attention; both conditions of which are signs of emotional insecurity. 

People who feel valued and desired by those around them, regardless of the prosperities and adversities they experience, enjoy emotional stability, and are therefore said to be emotionally secure. However, people who feel that they cannot be valued and desired unless they show off what they have suffer from emotional instability and are said to be emotionally insecure. These people measure their self-worth and importance by their material possessions, social status, or academic accomplishments, which thus shows how little they value their entire being. When they lose what they have, or when they discover that they are not as talented, beautiful, or fortunate as somebody else, they begin to feel inadequate, worthless, and inferior to such person.