Careful with Hiding your Success and Being Modest

Impression Management
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Jaap de Jonge
Editor, Netherlands

Careful with Hiding your Success and Being Modest

🔥NEW Being modest about your achievements or successes may seem like a nice trait to most people, depending on the culture perhaps.
But Roberts et al. found from 8 experiments, in both public and private settings, and for both family, business and romantic relationships, that modesty can actually backfire on you. Because although those who hide their achievements are perceived as more modest than those who shared it, they are also seen as less competent and less warm. I think one possible explanation for this could perhaps be the mechanisms described in the Johari Window.

Anyway, according to the researchers individuals often hide their successes from others but such hiding has relational costs. Apparently people who receive such communications by a successful person can feel envious (jealous) and happy for the other person's success at the same time. "Sharing one's accomplishments with others is superior to hiding for maintaining one's relationships."
Source: Roberts A.R., Levine E.E. and Sezer O., "Hiding Success", Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 120(5), 1261–1286.

All of the mentioned studies were conducted in the United States. I think people from the US have a more positive attitude towards "selling your achievements" than Europeans or Asian people do.
⇨ So… How is modesty viewed in your country? For example when applying for a job, when presenting the successful results of some project to the management team, or when presenting your company to stakeholders or investors.

  parmeggiani
Manager, Italy
 

Modesty in Italy

Very similar to US culture. Anyway a huge difference is in how people present their achievements. You can brag about you...

  Dr Ranjith Nayar
Manager, Singapore
 

Modesty in Singapore

Generally in Asian cultures, flaunting your successes is considered beneath you, though times are changing. In Singapor...

  David Mensah
Student (University), United States
 

Hiding your Success

It is good to live a modest life and hide your success, so that you can have peace of mind. This is because illiteracy i...

  Lenicio Noble
CEO, United States
 

Hiding your Accomplishments

I agree that living modest life gives you peace of mind, but when you hide your accomplishments in order to not receive ...

  Paramathmuni srinivas Kumar
India
 

Revealing Success is OK as Long as it is Truthful

There is nothing wrong in revealing ones accomplishments which are truthful I suppose if the context demands that. I thi...

  Rebecca Gordon
Coach, United Kingdom
 

Gender Differences in Modesty?

Interesting discussion. What are some thoughts on whether there is a difference in modesty between genders when sharing ...

  Ashok GANESAN
Analyst, Austria
 

Difference Between Sharing and Selling Achievements

There is a difference between sharing your achievements and selling your achievements. The former is essential, while th...

  Gera
Teacher, Kenya
 

Questioning the 'Success'

In addition to questioning why and how we tell about our so-called 'successes' or achievements, it is also equally impor...

  Steven Gertel
Professor, United States
 

Real Success

Those who pretend "I did this on my own" are both arrogant and self centered and NOT perceived as successful, but are re...

  Maurice Hogarth
Consultant, United Kingdom
 

Modestly Successful

As in many things, there isn't one right answer. Not only do different national cultures have different perceptions abo...

  Amir Momendoust
CxO / Board, Iran
 

Modesty Definition is Different in Various Corporate Cultures

This is an interesting topic! Besides the overall social cultures and values, corporate cultures are very important in t...

 

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