Wedding Woes


Dear Prudence,

I am a highly successful professional with a long career. I am not bragging; it’s true. I am being honored by a local organization for my work, and I deserve it. Self-esteem is not the problem here. The problem is that I cannot tell people that I am being honored. I cannot stand to ask for recognition, and I did not ask for or apply for this honor. I do not like to be the center of attention. I am actually modest, shy, and highly introverted, but I found my calling and I’m good at it. My avoidance of the spotlight is a strong counterreaction to having been quite conceited as a child and having been told that this was not an attractive quality, and it’s true, it’s not! So I stopped! I tell people very little about my work and have told almost no one outside my immediate family about this upcoming honor, not even my siblings. I think my reaction is extreme and even a little weird, and maybe I’m depriving my family and friends of a chance to celebrate with me (which cannot really be done because it’s happening at a private ceremony). But I’m not comfortable asking for congratulations. “Oh, by the way, I’m being honored by XYZ Agency soon.” It just feels … icky. What should I do?

— False or True Modesty?

Re: Wut?

  • If you feel icky bragging about a work honor, you can simply not do that. 
  • ei34ei34 member
    Ninth Anniversary 2500 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    Just don't talk about it then?
  • I'm confused about the "problem".  Do they not want to go to the ceremony at all?  Or are they just uncomfortable telling people about it?

    It seems like the latter.  There's nothing wrong with not mentioning it to people.  Probably no one outside of the LW's industry would even know.  And, if they do and mention it, the LW can make a casual mention like, "I did receive that award!  It was such an honor."  And then change the subject.
    Wedding Countdown Ticker
  • CasadenaCasadena member
    Seventh Anniversary 1000 Comments 500 Love Its Name Dropper
    I kind of get how this LW feels.  You want to be recognized and have people know about it, but it feels braggy to go specifically TELL people about it and also a little uncomfortable to be presented with a big honor even if you do think you deserve and worked hard for it. It's hard to "toot your own horn" sometimes. I actually think Prudies response was a great compromise.  Essentially, passively update your linkedin profile - dont' make a big post about it - but people can see and congratulate if they wish.  
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