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Cited in Yahoo Health – Humblebragging Doesn’t Work. But This Does

Screen Shot 2015-04-13 at 2.38.54 PMHumblebragging Doesn’t Work. But This Does.

“Humblebragging actually made people less likeable than those who all-out brag or complain, and also made them seem insincere.”

“Blame social media, says licensed clinical psychologist Alicia Clark, PsyD. “Social media can provoke feelings of insecurity, and often pulls for competition,” she tells Yahoo Health. “People may feel compelled to post accomplishments in order to be liked, and the interpersonal disconnection of social media can amplify the willingness to do this.”

“Clark points out that humblebraggers try to get people’s sympathy as well and use it as an attempt to offset jealousy — but it often backfires. “This mixed message (admire me, but also feel sorry for me) feels like manipulation, and puts people off,” she says.

“But humblebragging has also risen in popularity because of our discomfort with bragging. Many of us are uncomfortable with the idea of all-out bragging, even to the point that we become nervous about sharing good news, says Clark. While some people feel more vulnerable sharing good news than they do sharing something bad, she points out that people who support us will be happy to celebrate our accomplishments.

“Not sure what sort of message you’re about to convey? A good way to distinguish whether you’re about to brag, humblebrag, or just share good news is to gauge how you feel about it. “If you are more concerned about instilling jealousy in others than sharing your joy, something is off,” Clark says. And, if you feel tempted to brag, she says the best way to go is to share your feelings first. For example, “I’m so excited to go on vacation to Bora Bora” will probably be better received than “Ugh, the flight to Bora Bora takes forever.”

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Alicia H. Clark, PsyD

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