Tuesday, March 19, 2013

The Glorious Art of the Humblebrag

Back in the late 80s, when I was making my way into Elementary School, I got into some new program in my school.   I was pumped.

A couple days later, I was playing with some friends while their parents were hanging out.  For some reason, I thought that was the perfect moment to let one of the little boys know how awesome I was.

"Oh yeah?  Well did you know how awesome I am?"  And I proceeded to brag my face off about my fabulous 7 year old academic opportunity.

I still remember the look in one of the parents eyes.  It was one of total disappointment and annoyance...because you know...it's really rude to brag.


At least it used to be!!!   

Fear not, childhood braggers like me, there is a new way to let people know how awesome you are!  It's called humble-bragging.

The good news is that it's easiest to humblebrag on social media.  Here are a few examples on how to get started:

1) The "I wasn't really trying": Sometimes, it's important to communicate that even though you weren't giving an activity 100% you still managed do better than everyone else.   It's a double win, because you get to both communicate that you could have done even better than you did, AND you get to assert superiority over the peons who competed against you.

Example:  "It's so crazy that I won that 10k even though I ran it as a training run?!  Can't wait to see what happens when I really try!".

2) The "So Blessed":  You don't need to be religious to use this one (In fact, if you are religious, it's sadly not as much of a humble brag).   The key is to use the guise of being thankful to brag about almost anything.  Be as creative as you want!

Example:  "Just got the most AMAZING Christmas present from my boyfriend!  He is going to take me to Hawaii! FIRST CLASS TICKETS TOO!  Hehe.  #soblessed  #sexyboyfriend  #ihaveaboyfriend #hawaii"

3) The "OMG why so much attention???" This humblebrag is one of my personal favorites.  It's perfect for communicating how hot other people think you are.  If you are creative in humblebragging, it can also be applicable when trying to show people how smart or popular you are as well.

Example:  "I just went out in sweatpants and no makeup and just got hit on by this hilarious guy while standing in line for my latte!  Hehe I should go out in sweatpants more often!"

4)  "So charitable I can't hold it in!"  This is when you want people to know what a great person are!    Especially worthwhile if you can provide a backhanded commentary on those who did not participate.

Example:  "At the amazing charity celebrity ball I organized!  It's crazy how many people are thanking me for what I've done and how awesome it is. Don't know why other people don't do this more! #overwhelmed #loveothers #loveyourself".

5) "I can't believe it":  This one works best if you're a celebrity.  But fear not, you can express disbelief at any minor achievement and tell everyone about it through a humblebrag!

Example:  "It's so crazy to be recognized on the street!  I'll never get over it.  Sometimes I'll just bump into someone and I want to say sorry but then they want a picture with me! "

These are just some examples on how to get started.  How do you like to humblebrag?

Bonus points for anyone who can combine all 5 types of humblebrag!


  1. this is probably one of the main reasons why i quit all forms of social media. i don't even buy into the excuse that the fb is a way to "keep" in touch with ppl- i manage to do it just fine with email. and in case u were wondering, yes i believe it makes me better than everyone that i dont have fb, twitter, etc etc. see i can even humble brag without social media :p. or maybe that was just bragging.

    this post is amazing.

  2. YES. The "so blessed!" thing gets me every time...particularly when non-religious people use that phrase, which I have always considered to have religious connotations (but maybe I'm wrong). fantastic post!

  3. Love this! I think sometimes humble bragging is worse than just straight-up bragging. #1 and #2 on the list are the ones that make me bang my head against the wall most. I'm all for congratulating and sharing something when you're really proud, but humble-braggers are repeat offenders, so it gets old - fast.

  4. I cringe when I think of the "intellectual superiority" I bragged about during my 3-12 grade education. I'm surprised I didn't get my ass kicked more often.

    I'd file 1-5 under douchebag behavior.


  5. This made me laugh soooo much! You should really give comedy a second chance. Thanks for th new-to-me word, humblebrag. #soblessed #newvocab #humblebrag4life

  6. i like to employ all five on a regular basis. makes me feel like a well-rounded person.

    1. I am glad you are getting good use of all of them!

  7. I love this post.

    How about #6, the disowning-talent humblebrag? Very effective because it has a blue-collar nose-to-the-grindstone sort of vibe. As in, "I am a VERY AVERAGE RUNNER, I just WORK REALLY HARD, AM UP EVERY DAY AT 3:30 AM. #3:10marathon #notluck #youcoulddothistooifyouwerentsuchalazyass"

    1. ...#iamfastbecauseibelieveinmyself #obviouslyyoudont #sucka

    2. Stomach hurts from laughing....

      FYI, I'm trying to teach my Hermione daughter not to brag. I like the confidence, yeah, but #braggingisnotOKwhereIcomefrom.

  8. OMG awesome post! I was looking forward to it but then it never showed up on my reader :( So I decided to come look for it! YES. Bragging used to be a bad thing. Even in college where we were all supposedly, smart, yadda, yadda, yadda, one thing I loved about my school was HOW LITTLE PEOPLE BRAGGED. Social media is completely disturbing and some people just seem to use it to brag all the time. I guess that is sort of what is there for...to promote oneself? Not that I am never at fault. I will totally add in when I did a race as a training run because it is relevant info, but yes I suppose could be viewed braggy too to those who gave it their all and trained for the event. Oh well. :P

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  10. Uhh I think anonymous is humblebragging about not having to eat brussels.

  11. I just died laughing. That is all. Wait, no it's not, I forgot to mention #imfasterthanyouevenwhenimsleepwalking and #myboyfriendisbetterthananyboyfriendyouhaveeverdreamedofhaving

  12. OMG, you have completely and totally nailed it. I feel like this is basically my Facebook / Twitter feed. Love. :)

  13. Blessed kills me. because the people who are SO BLESSED to have a wonderful baby/husband/mom are telling all their friends reading who can't get pregnant/are single/whose mom has passed away that they are not blessed. Sorry friends, god chose to bless me, not you!

    I once got called out for a humblebrag on a blog where I said that I never get mad/yell at my husband. I should have been less humble about it I guess? I NEVER GET MAD AT MY HUSBAND. Brag. Not humbly.