The Humble Brag vs. Bragging Outright


Honesty (Photo credit: basswulf)

Some of you are probably reading the title and wondering, “What in the world?! There’s more than one form of Bragging?! I didn’t even realize that!” or it’s the “Well, I thought about it before – just not very deeply. But this sounds interesting. Alright, I’ll bite. Tell me more,” insert deep-in-thought chin-stroke here. Yes; there is more than one form to “Brag” and most know bragging excessively is frowned upon in most societies.

But what are the differences and how can you identify them? That’s what I’d like to go over today as it ties in well to the “Cosmic Victim” topic I covered.

Now, someone who is a “Humble Brag” is an individual who is rather modest. When they speak of their accomplishments/achievements they either don’t give themselves enough credit and play-down their accomplishments (not excessively mind you) – or – they speak of their accomplishments with friends and family when it is appropriate and relevant. They don’t shove it in your face but they can be rather “Matter-o-fact” which can sometimes be mistaken for “Arrogance” and not confidence, honesty or – a self understood “truth/fact” about one’s self and the acceptance of such. Of course, sometimes this can go for compliments people sometimes give them as well (I have an excellent example).


Honesty (Photo credit: Fluffymuppet)

I have a friend who often says, “I am made of Awesome and Win!” sometimes they change it up to, “What am I made of? Awesome, Win and Magick!” or something to that effect. Now this seems perhaps arrogant but I know my friend well enough to know that they started saying this, because friends and even people who were just getting to know them would say, “Man, you’re pretty awesome“. My friend decided to roll with it and made it into the phrase I gave you.

It’s intended to be humorous while at the same time being completely honest. Is it overly modest? Perhaps not but I respect, love and know my friend’s background well enough to know they deserve and have earned every right to use such a phrase.

Another example of an honest, modest or humble brag:

Example 1: “I finished my Novel! I’m so proud of myself!

This is humble because perhaps this person is not used to completing projects or making deadlines. There may be other legit reasons for this form of honest-modesty.

Example 2: “No really! Bob really did do all that stuff. He’s just too modest for his own good. I also think he felt people wouldn’t believe him if he did tell the whole truth, because it seems unbelievable – but it really happened!


Pride (Photo credit: anemoneprojectors (getting through the backlog))

I have a 3rd example but it requires a bit of back-story because, again, it’s a friend of mine. I have a very close and good friend who claims up and down, swears to the God and Goddess above and within, I saved their life by just being “Me“. By being the positive and influential “Voice-of-Reason” he needed when we were in High School. He feels that if not for my influence and that of our Coach’s he’d have ended up a Druggy, most likely dead in a ditch.

Now, he says I saved his life and I say I didn’t, because I honestly feel I didn’t – but it’s his experience and if that’s how he feels how I have touched his life – no amount of arguing between us means I’m going to win THAT argument. I know a losing battle when I see one, but I’m okay with this one because – it means a lot to me internally. The only other downside to this is, aside from the fact I can’t argue he’s wrong – he feels indebted to me. I tell him he isn’t – guess what, losing battle there too. lol

Now that we’ve covered a couple of good examples of “The Humble Brag” or “Modest, Honest, Confident Brag” it’s probably about time we got to the negative side of Bragging – Bragging Outright. Bragging Outright are the types of brags that people find either “far-fetched“, most definitely cannot test the validity or honesty of. They are also often loud, obnoxious, immodest, attention-seeking or driven and there’s definitely an air of “Arrogance” to them the, “Oh look what I did, means I’m better than you or my life is“.

My 1st example involves one you’ve already seen – but it’s a great example to reuse not to mention I know this is how it was used:

Gosh! I hate being needed all the time. I never have any time for/to myself!”

Me: “Why don’t you make time for yourself then? You don’t have to answer everyone else’s beck and call. You don’t have to answer to anyone but you!

Them: “Ye-ah, I know but still. I know I could but…”

A depressed Tom on the railroad tracks awaitin...

A depressed Tom on the railroad tracks awaiting a train to run him over. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Now I’m cutting this example short one, I don’t entirely remember what was said thereafter. I DO however remember that it was one excuse after another. The person I know who loved to use this would say this almost on a day-to-day basis that after a while, I just got tired of being a “Broken Record” and not being listened to.

On to another example. Example 2:

Yeah, I get people who tell me all the time I have a Fuckable personality.

Fuckable Personality” you know what that sounds like to me? Sounds like someone is implicating I’m only good as a “Fuck Buddy” or “One-Night-Stand“. This is not complimentary in my book. Least of all something to “brag” about. If someone says you have a “Lovely personality“, “I love your personality” or even, “You have a wonderful personality,” that’s much more respectful and complimentary in my book than “Fuckable Personality“. At least I know any real woman in her right mind would prefer probably the examples I gave to the other.


oops (Photo credit: paloetic)

If someone said I had a “Fuckable Personality” I’d probably be a smart-ass and say, “And so what? Is that all you think I’m good for is a “Fuck-buddy”? You’ve barely scratched the surface of who I am and yet you feel confident in saying that to me? I know I should be flattered – but you don’t sound like someone I’d want nor care to have as a part of my life. Thanks but no thanks.” Eh, who am I kidding. I’d probably be a little “nicer” than that but I would probably be just as serious and stern – no doubt.

3rd example: “Ye-ah, I’ve got all these skills but I’m working this job. I don’t plan to do it forever of course but you know…

Cutting that example off there because when a brag starts out like that – it usually degrades into excuses. I know we aren’t all brave enough to step-up and step out onto our paths – but when one tells the same story over and over, that you sound like a broken record and you actively “choose” to do absolutely nothing about it – it doesn’t look good on you and it looks like a weak attempt to get people’s attention so they’ll pity you. If that’s what you want, that’s what you want. Far be it from me to tell someone how to live their lives if it makes them “happy“.

English: A cast-iron pan.

English: A cast-iron pan. (Photo credit: Wikipedia) My comment: Here’s your wake-up call! You’re welcome!

I wrote this blog today because I think every now and again we all need a little “Wake-up Call“. Some people know what they are, others deny it until it almost literally smacks them in the face with a proverbial “Clue x 4” of Life. You may not like what has been said, even feel deeply offended, if that is true – often those who are offended are the ones who still have issues with something or know on a subconsciously level it describes them perfectly. It hurts, it stings – not going to deny that. Someone has to be the voice though to get you thinking, get the ball rolling on introspection and help pull someone’s head out of their posterior.

Alaia 2 x 4 Blank Clamps

Alaia 2 x 4 Blank Clamps (Photo credit: scottleduc) My comment: There’s a literal “Clue x 4”! Hey!

For some I know this will be a gentle reminder of the extremes we need to be mindful of. For others possibly a very rude awakening – and others will ignore it completely which is fine by me. I only hope it helped those who need the honesty and “Clue x 4” the most.

As a final note, I know I saw some tweets on Twitter where people thought a “Humble Brag” was like a “Back-handed Compliment” or fell into the category for “Humble Brag“. I’d like to clarify that I feel it does not and falls more in with “The Cosmic Victim” mentality. It’s not really a brag or being modest if you are putting yourself down. That’s my two cents.

Thank you for reading and if you have some examples of your own to share on a “Humble, Honest, Confident Brag” or “Bragging Outright” I’d love to see what you come up with. Who knows! I might add them to my example list with your handle-name (or whichever you like to use) as credit!

~Merry part, merry may we meet again in infinite love and gratitude – Namaste~ _/\_


4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Bearitt Ferrier
    Jan 02, 2013 @ 23:08:55

    I have to agree that you sometimes don’t realize the power your presence has on some of us. Sometimes, just that presence is exactly what some of us need at times. Others times, it is just a hug for the soul. Can’t tell you about when you’re angry since I avoid that rather well. =)

    • Lady Gwendolynn
      Jan 03, 2013 @ 23:20:45

      Yes you can! You’ve been around me when I’ve been “seething” just not direct AT you. Big differences – but I remembered when we were in High School, it didn’t matter if I was calm or Pissed – one thing that persisted was that I calmed people down, made them feel at peace, loved, safe and accepted – or at least so it would seem from my personal observations/findings and that which were shared with me by others. No lie. 😛

      • Bearitt Ferrier
        Jan 04, 2013 @ 07:28:45

        Yeah, I have been around when you been “seething” but it seems more like a gun that only directs itself at the target. I normally caught a flicker of something else though in the anger as well that wasn’t directed at anyone but inside yourself, I want to say. Like a hurt feeling.

  2. Lady Gwendolynn
    Jan 04, 2013 @ 15:26:39

    I think that’s a given considering people don’t usually get angry without good reason.

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