There are a few possible motives for the common tendency of people to try to impress each other. The first is a desire for gain. If you impress an investor, you might get money from him, and if you impress a beautiful woman, you might get a date from her. But this does not explain all attempts to impress others. People try to impress their friends who are already willing to help them, and they even try to impress strangers who they meet in passing and who they will probably never see again.