Research from the world of neuroscience suggests that there is one specific subject that our brains love to talk about above all others – ourselves! In studies, the part of the brain that lit up when we did so was the same part that fired when we had sex or food. However, relatively recently a phrase has been coined that relates to a way of self-promotion that is a little bit devious – introducing ‘the humblebrag’.
Put simply, the humblebrag is a way of boasting in a back-handed fashion. For example, you may tell someone how you ended up in hospital by crashing your new Ferrari – or maybe that you’re going to have to stop flying first class as the food they serve is just too rich. There are of course limitless ways to humblebrag – but not matter how you do it, it probably isn’t doing you any favours.
A recent article by the British Psychological Society and based on recent research by psychologists in Holland suggested eliminating the humblebrag as one of the best ways of avoiding looking like a jerk in the eyes of others.
So, remember, whilst there is no problem coming across as confident, insincere and even devious ways of self-promotion can backfire. Next time you find yourself about to boast, stop – pause, and perhaps ask a question and take time to listen to the answer, which in many ways is the perfect antidote for the humblebrag.
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Disclosing information about the self is intrinsically rewarding. Diana I. Tamir and Jason P. Mitchell, Department of Psychology, Harvard University. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, May 22, 2012, vol. 109 no. 21