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Humbleness vs. Boastfulness: Where Does One Draw the Line?

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at RIT chapter.

We all strive to achieve at something. It can be in school or work, maybe a club or sport. Whatever it is, we always want to push ourselves to do better.

That is how we grow as humans and create better connections with each other. Another part of us accepting our achievements is sharing them. But where do we draw the line between oversharing and not sharing enough?

Being active

Growing up, I was involved in various activities in my community and at school. Whether that was being on a sports team or volunteering at the local shelter, I was very active as a kid. This continued throughout my life and has brought me to where I am today. I gained leadership opportunities and jobs I never thought I would get.

Now, if you were to ask my younger self about anything I did, I would’ve responded in a very shallow way. “Oh it isn’t much, just a couple things here and there.” or “yeah, I am involved in that, but it doesn’t mean too much because so and so is involved in this and that.”

I immediately down-graded my experience and opportunities.

I could’ve been the President of the U.S. and would’ve shrugged it off and compared myself to someone else who I thought was even better at something.

Take credit

Overtime, I had many people tell me to own up to my experiences. They were tired of hearing me not taking more credit for what I have done. I completely understand why they thought that. They felt me being humble was not giving myself the attention I deserved.

Fast-forward to today: Boasting?

Now, when I talk to people, I love to talk about what I’ve done. I will mention my different positions or the people I get to talk to or the activities I’m involved in.

But as I do this, I see a look of disdain in some people’s faces. It’s the look of “here she goes again as she talks about yet another one of her things”. Sometimes I don’t realize it and just keep going with what I was saying. However, as of recently, I began picking up on it more and more. It makes me feel repulsive internally as I want to talk about this stuff after not talking enough about it.

How do I balance it?

What do I do? I feel that there is a war raging in my head. Where do I draw the line? I have people telling me to own up to what I’ve done, while another set of people looking at me in judgment as I continue talking about any of my achievements.

I don’t want to come off as boastful and bumptious but I also don’t want to come off as too humble and withdrawn from what I do. I want to continue to do what I do, but there are times of doubt when I get those looks.

Sometimes I feel they are sending me a message to stop. I ignore this message now, but I don’t know how much longer I can. How do I find a balance in such an unbalanced debate?

I'm a creative writer at heart and love to write about my experiences around me! My only flaw about this, is I tend to procrastinate sitting down and writing it out!