Studies Show That People Prefer People Who Brag Openly Instead of a Humblebragger

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Do you brag openly? Good news for you, for you’re more well-liked by humans of the world than your counterpart – the humblebraggers.

Think about it. A humblebragger is one who works hard and wants to get noticed, without trying to look like they are. That’s so… fake, isn’t it?

If you still don’t know how humblebrag works, here, take a look at a video we’ve done:

Done? Okay, here goes.

So a study was done by the researchers at Harvard and the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill and its findings were published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology.

2 types of humblebraggers

Humility-based. For example, “I hate that I look so young; even a 21-year-old wants to hit on me!”.


Complaint-based. For example, “Why does my boss always ask me to work on the most important assignment?”


Are you guilty of either of the 2 mentioned above? In Singapore’s case, I guess we see a lot of complaint-based humblebraggers.

Details of the research

According to the researchers, 70% of 646 people who were part of the study could identify with a recent moment when they heard someone humblebrag. And it’s not surprising to know that 60% of these humblebrags involve the humblebragger complaining.

Some of you might be thinking, “There’s not much difference between the 2 types of humblebraggers leh”.

Well, you might be right on that.

Do you know that if you nod when you suggest something, the listener would tend to agree? Here’s a video on the ten ways to control others with psychological hacks:

There’s only a slight difference between the 2 types. Regardless of either, both types were seen negatively by others. In fact, they associate humblebraggers with incompetence and are less likely to abide by their requests.

Ovul Sezer, an assistant professor of organizational behavior at UNC’s Kenan-Flagler Business School, says, “If you want to announce something, go with the brag and at least own your self-promotion and reap the rewards of being sincere, rather than losing in all dimensions.”

Image: Imgflip

But then again, I wouldn’t put myself up on the pedestal because most of us are humblebraggers to a certain extent. You might be doing it without realizing it and before you know, someone gets pissed at you.

I guess the bottom line is, be genuine and say no to false modesty.

If you’ve done well for a project and compliments are overflowing, just accept that it was a job well done and say “Thank you!”, rather than bashing yourself up and say, “No lah, this one not good enough” but secretly proud of yourself on the inside.

Ultimately, it’s almost impossible to please everyone. Just be comfortable in your own skin, that’s what matters most in my opinion.

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