We've all seen it. The bragtown express barreling through your social feed, blaring that someone did something amazing and it's just a regular Tuesday afternoon. The ones that live the Pinterest perfect life all the damn time. But that’s not reality. And if it is, bless them. I wish them all the sleep and no makeup days.
But really, let’s talk about how to share in a way that isn’t going to make you sound braggy. Because that’s just getting old, right? So put down your phone, don’t post that white flatlay, and let’s talk what bragging and sharing actually mean in todays online world.
There is Nothing Wrong With Sharing
One of the biggest things I think marked difference between sharing and bragging is the intention.
Sharing: This information, though an accomplishment for you, can either teach or be meaningful to another person. Basically, your intent is to add value to someone else through your experience.
Bragging: You are looking for validation through outside forces. You’ll notice that I don’t think that bragging comes from a place of malice. Usually, no matter how icky it feels on the receiving end, bragging is about validation no matter what the intent of someone’s bragging is (like making someone jealous, feel inferior, or generally lower than they are.)
I recently had an accomplishment that literally made me feel like I had somehow “made it” and despite a few shares on social to the post, fangirling to my husband and cat, and squealing with a few choice friends, I haven’t made a “deal” out of it, big or otherwise. The reason for this is that right now, saying anything too much about it would make me feel like I was bragging, not sharing.
I do, however, have an idea for a blog post that is centered around that particular accomplishment. When that is posted, I want to be sure that I’m sharing this to add value to someone else, not dance around my blog singing the “Look At Me Song” (written originally about and for my cat with my husband. </dork>)
So How Do I Know The Difference?
No one wants to be braggy. I believe that in my bones. What I have found is that people who do brag all over the interwebs don’t know that they are looking for that validation. Instead, they think that sharing in that way will fulfill them and their audience in the same way.
Don’t want to risk it? Like avoiding most things, it all starts with awareness. Taking a moment to evaluate can mean the difference between sharing and bragging. Some good questions to start with are:
Am I sharing this to provide value to my audience?
Does this contain an actionable step or beneficial nugget of knowledge?
Am I feeling the “look at me” feeling?
Where is that feeling coming from?
Yeah. The internet may be over #blessed (see gif : )), but that doesn’t mean that people will not benefit from hearing your experiences and accomplishments. When you come from a place of sharing, you know that it’s not about you, it’s about someone else.