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February 3rd, 2022
We’ve all been guilty or privy to the very human impulse to show off, or attempt to impress someone with our deeds or qualities. Unless the items on the docket are far above our sense of ordinary, such antics are met with a private eyeball. There is something incredibly unimpressive about someone trying to impress. But why? And more importantly, if it’s often so ineffective, why do we do it?
Nearly everyone is guilty of lauding over their own accomplishments or traits in this way, though it usually feels a bit embarrassing to think about such instances and focus deeply on where the impulse came from. There seems to be two core reasons that we impress upon others in this way.
One reason is that we try to impress other in an attempt to see how convincing or persuasive our endeavor is. If others are ‘wowed’ by what we are doing, then it’s reassuring that it’s a good path to continue following. And of course, we are almost always enamored of such a path so the desire to convince or impress it upon others is all the greater. We have a confirmation bias which is fairly easy to reflect through other people with a little pushiness and seductive wording.
The other reason is to try and impress ourselves. The thing about accomplishment, especially something that seemed large, complex and very difficult is that after it’s been done, all the magic is gone. Before the task is begun, there is so much mystery and unknown surrounding the dream. It has a majesty and exoticism that is completely dispelled by it’s actual accomplishment. After all is said and done, anyone could imaginably query you about any given challenge that arose and there would be a very straight forward answer about how that particular twist or turn in the path toward accomplishment was navigated. This leaves the hero of the accomplishment’s story at a bit of an underwhelming loss when all has come to pass. The hunt for this magic is perhaps part of what drives the creator and entrepreneur, but it’s never truly found for anything pulled off is done so with steps that are ultimately pragmatic. This is the bittersweet edge of the pathetic attempt to impress others. It’s an attempt to impress one’s self. Though the magic be gone, there’s hope that others will revive the awe once felt since they don’t know the simple steps within the mountain of effort that lead to such an impressive outcome.