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Busy Bragging Makes You Look Less Competent

Employees who “stress brag,” or “busy brag,” are more likely to be perceived as less competent

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Busy Bragging Makes You Look Less Competent

Boasting about how inundated you are at work might appear to convey professionalism and dedication to the job, but it can actually have the opposite effect, experts say.

Employees who “stress brag,” or “busy brag,” are more likely to be perceived as less likable — and less competent — by their colleagues, per a study published in the journal “Personnel Psychology.”

Unfortunately, the point-scoring phenomenon — call it performative anxiety — has become all too common in the corporate world.

This is a behavior we’ve all seen, and we all might be guilty of at some point,” said Jessica Rodell, the study’s head author and a professor of management at the University of Georgia’s Terry College of Business in Athens, Georgia.

“When I was wondering about why people do this, I thought maybe we are talking about our stress because we want to prove we’re good enough,” she said.

Busy Bragging Makes You Look Less Competent

To test the effect of stress-bragging, 360 participants were tasked with analyzing statements from imaginary colleagues who had come back from a conference.

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Some coworkers gushed about how much they enjoyed the conference while the busy bragger griped about how it was just “one more thing” on their plate.

“I was already stressed to the max … you have no idea the stress that I am under,” read the made-up response.

In general, survey participants deemed the corporate worrywart both less likable and competent than their more positive counterparts.

Worse still, respondents paradoxically felt less inclined to help the braggadocious stress balls, seemingly defeating the purpose of boasting about busyness.

“People are harming themselves by doing this thing they think is going to make them look better to their colleagues,” said Rodell.

Unfortunately, work stress is infectious, the research showed.

By Ben Cost for NY Post


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