I read the following a few weeks ago on social media and felt vaguely irked:
“I’m almost embarrassed by the reaction to my first book; can’t believe I’ve sold over a hundred copies in the first month – who knew?”
What’s with the self-deprecation?
If you want to share your delight about the success of a book, go ahead and shout it from the rooftops! Well done, you. Only the most churlish of people would be jealous of your success, so why try to dress it up as something else?
Until today, I didn’t know this behaviour has a name; humble-bragging. This oxymoron means “bragging masked by complaint or humility” and dates back to a phrase coined by an American comedian in 2011. In fact, by typing the term into a search engine, I discovered tomes have already been written about it – from psychological studies to hilarious celebrity examples!
Now that I know it’s a thing, I don’t feel quite so bad about finding it irritating. Who knew? Okay, probably everyone other than me…
My goodness, how windswept I looked as I bagged another Wainwright summit!!