Let someone else praise you, and not your own mouth; an outsider, and not your own lips.
― Proverbs 27:2
In God we make our boast all day long, and we will praise your name forever.
― Psalm 44:8
He thinks the sun comes up just to hear him crow.
― Charles Martin
Much of someone’s real character lies in what they don’t say about themselves.
― Joyce Rachelle
As much as you can, let others sing your praises. Never toot your own horn. Ever.
- Never toot your own horn about your intelligence. If you find yourself singing your own intellectual praises, you probably aren’t all that smart.
- Never toot your own horn about your interpersonal skills. If you find yourself praising your own relational skills, you probably aren’t all that good at relationships.
- Never toot your own horn about your looks. If you find yourself praising your looks, you’re probably insecure about your physical attractiveness.
- Never toot your own horn about having talent or ability. If you find yourself praising your own abilities, you don’t appreciate where they came from and probably don’t compare very favorably to others.
- Never toot your own horn about your life experiences. If you find yourself praising your own experiences in life, you probably don’t appreciate who helped make them possible or feel insecure about the deeper and wider experiences others have had.
- Never toot your own horn about your education. If you find yourself praising yourself about the number of degrees you have, you probably feel insecure about what you know.
- Never toot your own horn about what you’ve accomplished. If you find yourself praising yourself for all you’ve achieved in life, your probably don’t appreciate all the people whose shoulders you stood on to get there or envy the accomplishments of others.
- Never toot your own horn about how much money you make. If you find yourself praising yourself for making a lot, you’re probably an insecure narcissist who doesn’t appreciate that “to whom much is given, much is required” (Luke 12:48) and are only putting it to use for yourself.
- Never toot your own horn about being wise. If you find yourself praising your level of wisdom, you probably don’t realize how foolish you are about life.
- Never toot your own horn when it comes to possessing positive character traits. If you find yourself praising yourself for having positive character traits, you probably don’t have them.
- Never toot your own horn about being morally superior to others. If you find yourself praising your moral superiority, you’re showing how morally inferior you are because you lack the most important trait of all-humility.
- Never toot your own horn when it comes to how much you get done in a given day. If you find yourself praising your productivity, you’re probably a workaholic, something you don’t want to boast about.
- Never toot your own horn for who you married or how your kids turn out. If you find yourself praising yourself about either, you’re probably not thankful that someone actually agreed to marry you and taking credit for your kid’s wise choices.
- Never toot your own horn about anything—your intelligence, interpersonal skills, looks, talent, ability, life experiences, education, all you’ve accomplished, how much money you make, being wise, your positive character traits, level of morality, how much you get done, who you married, or how your kids turn out.
There are dozens of reasons to refrain from boasting. Let me walk you through a few.
First, it makes you hard to be around. No one likes a blowhard, and, unless you want to be friendless, don’t subject others to you tooting your own horn in life. Richelle Goodrich wisely noted, “A session of boasting won’t attract any real friends. It will set you up on a pedestal, however, making you a clearer target.”
Second, if you’re confident in positive things being true about you, you don’t have to say anything. Michael Bassey Johnson said, “If roses could talk, they would not boast of their beauty, because they know that they have always been beautiful.”
You don’t need to boast about the positive things that are true about you—just acknowledge them internally and let others praise you for them.
Third, when you boast, you’re trying to cover up your insecurities and inadequacies. Kilroy J. Oldster put it honestly when he said, “Narcissistic pleasure-seekers routinely avoid developing the humility required to manufacture a life of full measure. Shallow persons such as me hide their insecurities behind a false persona of bravado, boasting of their inconsequential deeds, pyrrhic victories, and adamant refusals to tackle any task that they fear.”
Fourth, when you boast about yourself, you’re boasting about the wrong person. Everything you’ve been blessed with comes from God, “Every good and perfect gift is from above” (James 1:17). And Shaila Touchton put it this way, “ An Egoistic man loves boasting about his positions, titles, achievements, and accomplishments before others. Boasting steals the credit from the one to whom it is due. We need to boast about God, not about ourselves.”
Winston Churchill famously said, “Never give in. Never give in. Never, never, never, never—in nothing, great or small, large or petty – never give in, except to convictions of honour and good sense.”
I would tweak this and say, “Never boast. Never boast. Never, never, never, never—not in anything, great or small – never boast. Always let others sing your praises and then quickly boast in God for it all.”