“Yay! Aren’t I An Accomplished, Smart, Successful and Lovely Person?”

When nice things happened to us, back in the day, we couldn’t wait to share the news with someone we loved. Found a new apartment? We rushed to the phone to call our best friend. Landed a dream job? Dad will be thrilled, we thought. Met a new guy? Mom will be tickled pink.

Now many of us “share” our good fortune with our world of “friends” on the internet. But we’re
doing more than sharing.

Shameless self-promotion is running rampant. One old-time PR person literally congratulates herself on Facebook every time she gets publicity for one of her accounts. For goodness sakes, that’s what these accounts are paying her to do!!!!! She sounds as if Steven Spielberg is going to make a major motion picture about the hair dryer account she represents, and we’d all better know about it.

Someone else devoted an entire blog to the news that a self-help book she wrote won a bronze award of some kind, and although she was going to keep it to herself, a friend told her she should, “by all means,” share the good word.

Have we taken to this audacious self-promotion to A) convince ourselves we’re stars in a world where everyone wants to be a star, B) simply brag, or C) enhance the lives of the 50 or 500 people we’re telling? The book award winner said that although she’s traditionally been reserved about telling anyone other than a couple of people about her accomplishments, she actually “admires people who state and share their success.”

I couldn’t disagree more. The classiest, really successful people do not state and share their success by blogging, tweeting, or instagramming about it. They let others share the news about them. An acquaintance, who happens to be one of the most brilliant, wealthiest men on the planet, never brags about his endless successes. Instead, The New York Times did devote two entire pages last week to an article about him.

A woman I know well was so publicly low-key about her successes, you’d never have guessed she was one of the most successful women on Wall Street. I still believe “actions speak louder than words.”

What we do and how we do it say
far more about us than flagrant self-aggrandizement. Just think
about Superman.

Do you tout your accomplishments?

  • Marianne Stern

    Thank you for giving us the information and support we all wish we had from a next door neighbor/relative/grandparent.

  • M-T

    Being the child of French parents, where discretion is everything, and having grown up in the US, I admire the Yankee gift for self-promotion and smile “discreetly” at the French horror of it. I am a very proud citizen of both countries and have spent a lifetime (60 plus years) happily co-existing in two beautiful cultures. Sadly, the age of the shameless selfie is having its effect everywhere.

    I closed my FB account a few years ago and have never looked back.

    Excellent post, Geri

  • Jewel

    Hmmm. What you’re saying is bragging is unattractive – and now you want to know how many of us are going to brag about not bragging. . .

    • Hi Jewel,

      Interesting way to look at it!

      Geri

  • Robin

    I do not find it necessary to tout myself. I must stay right sized. I have had success in my life but I have learned more from my failures or challenges. If I walk around with my nose up in the air saying look at me I will probably trip over my feet. My Mom told me to watch out for who I step on on my why up because I might just have to kiss their kisters on the way back down! 🙂 Thanks.

    • Reese

      Hm. Great way of putting it. I think, if we keep ourselves open to the lessons, we all learn more from our challenges.
      Experience really is the best teacher, eh? Thanks for sharing.

  • Mick

    I’m not even on Facebook. The largely banal, useless garbage people post about themselves is of no interest to me. I don’t want to know.

    • Hi Mick,

      It is fascinating what some people post. However, there are often wonderful posts that I 1.) enjoy 2.) inspire me 3.) teach me something.
      You just have to skip (sprint) by the rest.

      Geri

    • Sharon

      Women hate other women, ain’t no use denying that fact. My worst memories are of women dissing me, especially women siblings and my mother. Even my daughters! Therefore, retired and relaxed in my late fifties, I keep men as friends, much to my husband’s amusement. This Paltrow woman is strange, but she has her world… Self promotion on Facebook. I can’t understand the devotion people have toward publicizing their every move on the Internet as if NSA doesn’t exist. I’ve given up email, won’t ever return to it, using the phone or dropping notes in the US mail is fine with me. A hundred years ago we had email anyway, and it didn’t promote anything except anxiety and hair loss. Big cities had two mail delivery and pick up times before noon, letters and in the afternoon, some cities had three post times.

      Nothing new under the sun except the dissolution of the humble spirit which comes from a total lack of morals and intelligence.

      • Reese

        Ooh! That seems rather harsh, Sharon. ALL women do not, categorically, hate women. I don’t think the world can be that easily drawn. People are far more complex than that and, I think, if you give them a chance to… be human?… you might be in for a pleasant surprise.
        Generally, the biggest thing that puts a person in a defensive mode is an insecurity about something (or, in some cases, a lot of things!). If you remember that the other people you meet have their own crosses to bear, it might make it easier to see beyond the surface and, in fact, make a new friend… perhaps someone who is in need of a friend but doesn’t know how to reach out. Make it easy for them. Be the first to reach out a non-confrontational hand in friendship. You can’t lose and, hopefully, everybody wins.