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I Don't Mean to Brag, But . . . : Writing Prompt

Trying to discern whether or not someone is a narcissist has become a favorite preoccupation for many Americans since 2018 (or thereabout), but for many psychologists, narcissism is a job. If you would like to read a short academic paper on the subject, click here.



(No worries, though--reading that paper is not required for this writing prompt.)


For most of us non-narcissists, we want to sound self-confident without being self-centered. We don't want to put people off by saying something we find innocuous.


Happily, the folks at NPR's podcast, You're Saying It Wrong, made a list of 10 expressions to avoid if you don't want to sound like a windbag. The list with explanations can be found here.

This article also has the 3 communication patterns that make people want to leave wherever you are and find someone nice to chat with.


But you don't even need to click on either of those links for this writing prompt, although I think you should!


Below are the 10 phrases that will help you sound more self-assured. Use as many as you can in a poem, story, flash, comic, or essay. It might be a lot of fun to write a persona poem with the speaker being a narcissist, but that is just a humble suggestion.


1. “I don’t mean to brag, but …”

2. “I already knew that ...” (or “Doesn’t everyone know that?”)

3. “I’m pretty sure that …”

4. “No offense, but ….”

5. Overusing “I” (or “me)

6. “Oh, I’m just kidding!”

7. “You probably don’t know this, but …”

8. “I’m surprised you’re having problems with this. It’s so easy!”

9. “You just don’t get it.”

10. “If I were you, I’d ….”



So go be a belligerent, rude narcissist on paper! Have fun! It's only a first draft!





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