THE BLOG
09/21/2015 03:59 pm ET Updated Sep 19, 2016

What's Up With The Humble Brag?

Nicolas McComber via Getty Images

A friend recently told me about the humble brag. I was intrigued by this concept, which apparently really is a thing and has been defined (and certainly used and perhaps overused) for quite some time now.

Urban Dictionary defines the humble brag as "subtly letting others know about how fantastic your life is while undercutting it with a bit of self-effacing humor or 'woe is me'" gloss.

I must admit that I'm probably guilty of invoking the humble brag at some points in my life so apologies to all if you've ever been the victim of my humble brags. Now that I know about the humble brag, I vow to really try and never again humbly brag. At the same time though, I can't help but notice the humble brags. They seem to be everywhere -- most especially in the parenting world.

Here are a few humble brags (just so we are clear on how these work) that have crossed my path:

Another mother recently told me how she is so busy and overwhelmed running around to a couple different schools because one of her children is "so advanced" (her exact words!) that this child has to go to a school separate from her other children (assumingly her non-advanced kids I guess?) You get it right? The humbleness is in how tough her life is because her kids are on different school schedules and the bragging part lies in her admission that she is the mother of a "so advanced" child -- a genius perhaps? Hmm, I wasn't really sure how to respond to that. I just smiled trying not to throw up in my mouth.

Yet another parent also complained to me about their family's "crazy busy" weekend schedule what with all of the travel sports tournaments their kids were invited to play in not to mention the select performing arts shows they must sit through week after week. Life is tough for them. But wait -- it's also really great because of their awesomely talented children. You see it right? The complaining trying to mask the bragging but really the bragging part kind of taking over at some point.

Other humble brags I've been privy to come from the ridiculous amount of money one mother told me she has to shell out for her child who seems to get invited to every birthday party out there -- even the ones for the kids that weren't invited to her own kid's party. Hmm -- not really sure what do with that information. Do I tell her to try and make her kid less popular?

I've thought about this a bit and came up with a solution. It's pretty simple -- just separate the bragging and the being humble parts from each other.

Brag when you want to brag but at least be honest about what you are doing. I brag about my kids all the time, but it's usually within the confines of my own house to my husband or on the phone with my dad or some close family members or friends who know and love my kids and who I think would actually want to know about a cute story or something like that. Wait did I just humbly brag in telling you that? I digress. Wait was that another humble brag?

Be humble when you want to be humble. That comes easier for some people. Be self-deprecating, complain, bitch, moan, whatever you want to call it. Be careful though because a gripe session can sometimes turn into a bragging session before you know it. Like the time you couldn't stomach any food for a week and soon you had the body of a super model.

So maybe it's not that simple. Maybe it is a slippery slope. Sorry about that. I wish I could help you out more. But really -- that's all I have for you -- my mere and very simple words of advice that just happened to be published here in this national publication for you to read and share with everyone you know.