“I haven’t showered in two days and guys are still asking me out?! Ugh, why is this my life?”
Ah, yes, the humblebrag. You’ve read ’em, and maybe you’ve even written one yourself, but did you know that people hate when you do it? ‘Cause, golly, they do. When you make a statement like the one above, it has the same effect as this:
No, it’s true, a group of business students at Harvard studied this very subject, and they found people were legitimately put off by these kinds of statements. In a paper titled, “Humblebragging: A Distinct – And Ineffective – Self-Presentation Strategy,” three researchers found that people would actually prefer to hear someone complain, because at least complainers are sincere.
In fact, the study’s findings include the knowledge that “the more individuals are perceived to use humblebragging, the more they come across as less likeable, sincere and competent.”
The team made this discovery after a series of trials, where test groups were observed while being read everything from complaints to humblebrags. Ultimately, what they found was modesty was preferred over couching a complaint in a brag. And moreover, they valued sincerity above all else, leading the group to deduce that there’s seemingly more value in bragging. Who knew?
Not sure you agree? Let’s test you with some humblebrags and see how you feel after reading them, hm?
Case Study #1: The person who wants you to know how much they have
Case Study #2: The person who wants you to know they’re famous
Case Study #3: The person who needs to tell you how beautiful she is
Case Study #4: The person who thinks they’re God’s gift…
Case Study #5: The person who can totally believe it, but refuses to
Case Study #6: The praise-baiter
Well, what do you say? Cringe-worthy, right? Well, now you know. And knowing, as they say, is half the battle.