Humblebrag humor

Humblebrags range from amusing to obnoxious. But I think it can work really well for you if used right.

In my most recent Heartographer podcast episode, “Deconstructing the Joke,” Matthew Baldwin and I talked about confidence, and some subtler ways of demonstrating that. He helped deconstruct an interesting notion that I’ve intuitively understood in my years of online dating coaching, but which I had never really unpacked that obviously. Self-deprecating humor is, inherently, kind of a humblebrag.

Let’s take the example we used in the podcast, of a guy who good-naturedly jokes that he’s not remotely handy, that he doesn’t even know which end of the hammer you’re supposed to hold. Ha ha! Debunking historical masculinity tropes! But beyond that initial layer of humor, there’s something deeper going on: this man is so secure in himself, and so confident that he has plenty of actual value to add to the world, that he’s comfortable stating his utter weakness in this expected area of traditional masculinity. He’s so cool and so overall smart and useful and skilled that it’s OK for him to not just admit, but actually kind of boast, that he sucks at anything handy. Thus, the self-deprecation actually works to make him look better, more confident, and it has the added bonus of making him just imperfectly flawed enough to be more approachable. In this way, the guy’s self-deprecation is actually kind of a humblebrag, albeit a much subtler one.

Please pop on over and take a peek at the whole post, including a bonus goofy video for those of you who have lame jobs and need some Monday levity. 🙂

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