One of the most common forms of showing of is boasting about one’s achievements, possessions, and social contacts. Whether it id the child who boasts of his larger and better toys, the adolescent who boasts of his romantic conquests, or the adult who boasts of his important friends, often subtly by name dropping, the fundamental source of satisfaction is the ego inflation he hops to achieve from the admiration of others. It is more likely to lead to social disapproval than to admiration.
Clowning, in any situation and at any age, can be counted on to get a laugh. However, the laugh often turns to disapproval scorn, or contempt. Even children soon become annoyed at the class clown’s disruption of what they wanted to do and are contemptuous of his silliness and showing off. The life of the panty discovers that the temporary social attention he wins does not effectively increase his social acceptance.
Making derogatory comments and name calling and show-off techniques that are often substituted for clowning. By adolescence, these techniques of ego inflation are both common and situation his peers likewise criticize, such as teachers and the school, he wins far less social disapproval than if he directs then toward a member of the peer group of a popular adult.
The daredevil who takes unreasonable chances and defies authority has a marked feeling of personal inadequacy which he is trying to compensate for. By accepting dares and doing things that most of his peers and afraid do, he hops to win both admiration and acceptance. While both boys and girls engage in daredevil acts, they are far more common among boys. They are more common among children than among adolescents, who have discovered that dare deviltry, like clowning, wins only temporary admiration and may lead to injuries.
Accident proneness may be regarded as a danger signal of personality sickness. If a person has more than his share of accidents because of his tendency to show off and try to steal the lime relight, it is an indication that he feels neglected, a feeling that encourages self-rejection. In speaking of accident prone children who feel hopeless about making themselves understood tend to do something to get attention, smash things or hurt themselves, until. If no one comes to the rescue, they get the habit.
Dyeing authority, in the forms of rules and laws laid down by parents, teachers and law- enforcement authorities, is a common show- off technique. Some of the ways self reject ant young people try to inflate their ego are by smoking, drinking –glue-sniffing, driving faster than the legal speed limit and using narcotics. Since smoking not forbidden by law, many adolescents substitute if for t he more dangerous forms of showing off that they may lead to conflict with the law.
Which form of defiance young people will use to inflate their egos will depend largely of what meets their personal needs best and which forms will have the greatest defiance value. As adolescent smoking is far more common and more widely accepted than formerly, it has lost much of its show-off value in favor of drinking, which is still disapproved by parents and teaching and governed by rules in many schools and colleges and by laws in the states. Here is one explanation of the present popularity of marijuana smoking as form of show-off behavior.
Part of pot’s attraction is “doing something illegal together”. To most psychiatrists, the increase in marijuana smoking represents not so much a search for now thrills as the traditional, exhibitionist rebellion of youngsters against adult authority. Parents who are agreeable to students, drinking almost always boggle at drugs. There is not much that students can do that is defiant. They think with some degree of glee about what their parents would think if the know they were smoking marijuana.