You complain to your friends about how terrible you look despite actually being in the best shape of your life, or talk about how busy you are at your new executive level job. Maybe you've said the new car smell in your just-off-the-lot Mercedes is making you ill.
If you've ever done any of these things you're officially guilty of humblebragging, or making a self-deprecating statement with the actual intention of drawing attention to something of which you are very proud -- and, surprise- - it's making people not like you very much. Now, when this behavior occurs in the business world the effects are magnified.
It's normal to want to share good news and success with your social media following. We all want to feel valued and important, and more importantly included. The key is to not do it in a sly way, by hiding the news under false modesty. Either share your good news in an open way, or don't say it at all.
Here are four things to consider about humblebragging, and even a couple of ways to do it without eliciting ire from the people who support your small business:
1. Discretion is advised.
Give some thought to how you are sharing the news. Say something positive, but do it in a way where you seem appreciative, not self absorbed. Then, be gracious when people express how happy they are for you.
Imagine if your favorite sneaker brand tweeted, "We just made $350,000 in 24 hours! Thanks customers!" How would it make you feel? Likely, you'd be offended and unfollow them and never buy their product again.
However, if they modified that tweet to say, "You guys are loving the new collection, thanks for your positive feedback today." You might get the warm fuzzies, and it goes to show that it's all about how you phrase the intended message.
2. Honesty is the best policy.
Don't hyper focus on portraying a picture perfect lifestyle. People relate to posts about goals, hopes, feelings and disappointments. When you try to be too filtered, it can come across as false and unrealistic. Be relatable, and your followers will thank you for it.
I read a blog post recently where the author shared a very personal story from her past in an attempt to allow her readers to accept their pasts, and move forward in a positive manner as she has. This drew in a lot of support and admiration, because it wasn't tweaked and edited to perfection. It wasn't false, or salesy, or self promotional. It was real, and that's what people want to see more of in 2018.
3. Don't throw your success in people's faces.
If you have one friend who is really struggling with building their small business, be careful of how you share your good news with them. Don't hide it from them, as that may make them feel worse, but approach the subject with tact and sincerity. Don't exile them because they aren't on the same level as you just yet, sharing your news can actually help to motivate them.
If they're in need of help reaching your same level of success, and ask for it, be sure to give it freely. Personally I find that It feels good to help others, and you never know when the tides will turn and you'll find yourself looking for advice as well.
4. Cut braggers a little slack.
Remember that we all want to feel special, and that we are all guilty of humblebrags at some point. If you catch someone being a little too conceited online take a moment to learn from the situation, and move forward with your newfound motivation to do things differently on your end. If you don't have something positive to contribute, don't bother at all.
Posts on the internet are basically permanent these days, someone always takes a screenshot of our mistakes. If you make a mistake and it's documented online, accept that and move forward.
Remember, even the best brands stumble every now and again. You can always make up for it by working overtime to offer value to your followers and show your appreciation to them.