Holla! Bling, bling! Are these words that fire off in other people’s heads as you walk down the street, in the hallway of the mall, or just about anywhere that has other people? Do you move with the swagger of a Notorious B.I.G. song playing in the background? Don’t be shy if you do – sometimes when things are going good, you can’t help but flaunt it with the way you appear on the outside. Yet, despite your sense of confidence, it’s only natural that not everyone will be as happy for you. In fact, they’ll try very hard to bring you down.
There is certainly no shortage of examples of people trying to act more rich than they really are. Dr Thomas J. Stanley wrote a whole book about it called Stop Acting Rich: …And Start Living Like A Real Millionaire (which was a great read by the way …). But that is not what this post is about – in fact it’s the inverse. What about when you’re just being yourself (tried and true), and everyone accuses you of being something you’re not?
What Does It Mean to Flaunt It?
The dictionary defines flaunt as “to exhibit ostentatiously or shamelessly”. While that may sound like a pretty cut and dry definition, you must first remember that most human perspective is not all the same. So if someone accuses you of flaunting, it’s simply a matter of perception and relativity: A pretty girl, the smartest kid in class, being rich, etc.
In particular on that last example, what indicators of wealth could someone be accused of flaunting it? There are the obvious traits like wearing high quality clothes, expensive jewelry, and having flashy accessories. But what about the way you talk, your intelligence, experiences, your job, accomplishments, political views, attitude, or the way you treat other people? Display any of these characteristics “shamelessly” in the presence of someone less fortunate could incriminate you as a snob! But what did you really do wrong?
We All Have Something to Prove:
Each of us looks the way we look because we do have something to prove to the world. Even if you claim you have nothing to prove, then you’re still announcing to the world that you reject their views – which in itself is still proving something.
At some point in our natural adult lives, we stop trying to look rich or wear things to impress other people. Instead, we evolve to start doing the things that we are comfortable with. But that level of comfort will be different for each of us. When the chips fall where they may, some of us may dress better, look more physically fit, and have much larger resumes of accomplishments than others. And if you worked hard to get to where you are, is that really so unfair?
Should that beautiful girl try to make herself look any less attractive? Should the smartest kid in the class try to dumb down what he knows? Should someone with money try to act any less wealthy?
To all the other personal finance bloggers – How many of you have intentionally not talked certain purchases or hid matters about income for fear of backlash from your peers?
It’s no surprise if you do. Who wants to deal with more drama than they need? For someone who’s not trying to prove anything, you probably seek to spare the feelings of others. Ironically, while there will always be the naysayers who say you flaunt it to hurt others, you may actually be holding back as a result of trying not to hurt the feelings of others.
No matter what people think, you can’t always please everyone. Nor should you have to. If you’ve built up an impressive resume of wealth and accomplishments, then I say there should be no apologies for letting your trophies shine. Be confident in the person you’ve become as long as you know that your intentions are good and you won’t hurt others. And forget about those who bring you down. Don’t let the accusation that you flaunt it deter you from doing what you do best.
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