Rugged individualism always looks so easy in action movies. The anti-hero doesn’t care what anyone thinks, because he can afford not to. The rest of us face an unpleasant chore — earning respect the hard way. No wonder we feel tempted to brag a little.
Don’t do it. Just my humble opinion.
We’ve all been taught to think we have to promote ourselves to get anywhere. Actually, we don’t. Anytime you brag, you risk some of these outcomes — especially with the infamous humble-brag:
- You’ll look arrogant.
- You’ll sound insincere.
- You’ll spark someone’s jealousy.
- You’ll come off as ungrateful.
Sure, everyone will pretend to cheer for your huge award or promotion— even if they’re not happy for you. Either way, it’s not worth it. You already have the promotion, right?
Look at the top 1 percent in any profession. They don’t brag.
And yet, you need people to recognize your abilities. There’s a much safer, more effective way to go about that. I’m calling it the PMS technique, so you’ll remember. Here’s how it works:
- Perform. A musician sings their hits before a live audience. An athlete plays their sport at game time. Jessica Jones bends a pipe into a pretzel. None of them have to brag. They simply do.
- Manage. Showing off is just performing at the wrong time. Wait until you’re needed, or invoke a need. Don’t stand around talking about how great you are. If you want to impress someone, demonstrate how your skills can help them.
- Support. You should spend a good chunk of your time building up and helping others. That’s what they’ll remember.
Bragging is a fruit that hangs so low, it practically touches the ground. Anyone can do it. The biggest braggers have one thing in common — it gets them nowhere. We think it does, because cheaters brag all the time. But remember, the bragging didn’t help them. The cheating did.
Cheaters brag so much because they feel a need to convince everyone they actually earned their success.
We all struggle with the bragging paradox. We’re told we have to brag in order to get ahead. But when we do, we’re criticized. We endure punishment for merely whispering our own praises.
So stop playing the game. Ditch your bragging habit. The next time you achieve something, try this:
- Keep your good news a secret for a day.
- Talk to three other people about their lives.
- Do a favor for someone who deserves it.
- Do something useful to advance your career.
By doing this, you’re actually practicing PMS. You’re investing in yourself and your relationships. You’ll allowing yourself to feel good about your own achievements, without the need to validate them in the parking lot of public opinion. All of this builds genuine humility — the kind that comes from a strong foundation of quiet confidence.
Some people master the art of bragging. They do it so well, the world showers them with fleeting rewards.
There’s nothing wrong with sharing good news, or even announcing accomplishments. But it’s a shitty tool for career advancement, one that’s just as likely to blow up in your face. Don’t make it your go-to move.
You’re better off with PMS.