Stop Using “Humblebrag”

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Photo Credit: Thomas Hawk on Flickr (per CC license)

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:

hum·ble

adjective ˈhəm-bəl also chiefly Southern ˈəm-: not proud : not thinking of yourself as better than other people

 

And here is brag:

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.

So, please.

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.

4 Comments

  1. Love this Doug. Can’t go to Daniel’s site. SO much fantastical stuff there he doesn’t need to see me go again LOL. Their Personal Branding posts are ridiculous and Daniel using 1980’s business practices recently in a post and slapping social on it to make it new has me wondering what college he went to. Only Harvard B-School produces people that misinformed.

  2. Doug Haslam

    Thanks Howie- I’m only going on the one post from Daniel – and was in agreement with him on that point (aside from him being too nice about it)

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