The study also analyzed how people who humblebrag are viewed when it comes to likability and competence, compared to those who are regular braggers or simply complaining. The research found that regular braggers and complainers were seen as more likable and competent in their work.
"People humblebrag because they think it's the best of both worlds. Modesty is seen as a virtue, so this way you can brag and still be humble," says Sezer. "But it actually loses on both dimensions compared to outright bragging and complaining."
This false modesty also makes your co-workers see you as inept at your job and "diminishes your successes," says the researcher.
Sezer adds that because humblebragging is so disliked, your co-workers will treat you in a way that matches their attitude toward you. This means that you won't get the job, the promotion, the help you need or the positive feedback that you were seeking.
But if you do want to indulge in some self-promotion, Sezer says that there are two ways you can go about it. First, you can simply come out and brag about your accomplishments because candid bragging is viewed as more genuine and more honest than humblebragging. However, she says, bragging is still risky.
Your best bet is to have a work friend or close associate brag about your accomplishments for you, advises Sezer. That way you can reap the rewards of people viewing you in a positive light and your co-workers won't see you as the source of the brag. But whatever you do, says the researcher, don't go about seeking praise through a faux humility brag.
"Sincerity is a very important dimension and we value this character trait," Sezer explains. "We want to see genuine people and real people. Humblebragging comes off as fake."
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