Yes, It Is Possible To Brag About Your Accomplishments Without Sounding Like Jerk

In a time of layoffs, inflation, and not to mention the world still recovering from the devastation inflicted by COVID-19, for some, life victories may be few and far between. Therefore, each and every accomplishment deserves praise. Did you get that promotion you worked so hard for? Or, maybe you've finally paid off those pesky student loans. These very exciting moments should be shared with everyone, right? But what if your announcement comes off as arrogance to the person on the receiving end? Surely you don't want to sound like a jerk even though you're deserving of praise.

This is the tricky part about communicating your success. On one hand, sharing good news has a positive effect on your overall life satisfaction, as suggested in a 2012 study conducted by Brigham Young University. At the same time, some people can feel a sense of guilt about sharing triumphs, which could result from others dealing with misfortune. While this is a genuine concern, you should not sell yourself short by hiding the favorable circumstances of your life. Luckily, there are several ways to do this that will keep everyone comfortable.

Say no to humble bragging

If you're going to tell others about your accolades, steer clear of the pretentious "humble brag." This is defined as boasting but under the disguise of a grievance of some sort. Something along the lines of: "My engagement was a mere $10,000. I was expecting nothing under $25,000 for all we've been through." That is quite the humble brag that would likely make anyone hearing it feel small.

The term has been made popular on the internet, along with the similar "slight flex," which entails subtly sharing attainments. If you purchased a new Mercedes-Benz, a slight flex wouldn't involve you posting, "Hey guys! Got a new car today!" Instead, you'd share a photo of the steering wheel with your nails next to it and a caption, "Love my mani and pedi days!" This is the adopted child of the humble brag. The only difference is there is no complaint affiliated with "flexing." 

If you're bubbling with the urge to share your update, just do it. As author John Corcoran put it in his popular Art of Manliness write-up, "it's actually better to come off as smug than to appear as someone who's smug but trying to hide it." Besides, a little bragging here and there could help you overcome your imposter syndrome.

Make your accomplishment announcement a part of your work

During those weekly or monthly work meetings, a common question from your boss is, "What's a recent achievement you're proud of?" Many employees are left stumped by this inquiry. Even if you've implemented a new scheduling tool that the rest of the office has adopted, you may be a bit weary of sharing out of fear of bragging. However, bosses want to hear these types of things. In fact, it may make or break your chances of moving up in the company. Therefore, you must find ways to incorporate your wins into your day-to-day work.

A career journal is a great way to document your work deeds. It doesn't entail any strenuous activity either. Write things that you got done that day. Perhaps you're working on a big project. Note that at the end of the week or whenever it's completed. That way, when it's time to share what you've done with your superiors, it doesn't feel as if you're boasting but merely reporting how well you have performed your job duties.

Whether you humble brag, "flex" for Instagram, or outright boast about every single degree you've earned, there will likely be someone who is bothered by it. Try to remember that this probably has little to do with you and more to do with their own insecurities. Ultimately, spending too much time worrying about what others think of you can lead to stress. You can only do your best to be gentle and kind in your delivery.