It has been a few years now, and people are still using the term “#humblebrag.” I have about had it.
It’s not a word.
The very use of this non-word shouts- no, SCREAMS – “I’m not really being humble and I want you all to bow down to how cool I am.”
But you are not being cool, you are being a jackass.
Let’s break down this non-word via Merriam-Webster. Here is humble:
adjective ˈhəm-bəl also chiefly Southern ˈəm-: not proud : not thinking of yourself as better than other people
And here is brag:
noun ˈbrag : a pompous or boastful statement
I would prefer a less pejorative definition of “brag” as my point is that it’s ok to talk up an accomplishment, a great idea or something else one should rightly be proud of, that we might even learn something from, and is worth sharing. Bragging is ok by that definition, as one can back it up. Also, I am not saying one should not be humble. However, pointing out that one is being humble shines a glaring spotlight on that least humble of behaviors: false humility.
I like to think of “humblebrag,” then, as an oxymoron; I choose to define that as a moron who is willfully driving his or her brain of the oxygen needed to prevent jackass-like behavior.
Within my profession, the biggest worry I have is, as usual, perception: one person’s self-important jackass is another’s social media guru – and a third person might not see a difference between the two. Whether or not you see that as a bad thing might actually define how I view your professional IQ.
For the love of Pete.
Stop using #humblebrag.
If you have something worthy, just brag. If it really is worthy, we’ll agree with you. (If it’s not worthy, then you’re still a jackass, albeit one that doesn’t use that non-word.)
For a less-ranty version of similar thinking, see Daniel Newman’s post on the Millennial CEO blog.
Please brag about stuff in comments below.