Is there a difference between ‘celebrating your achievements’ and ‘showing off’?

I seriously want to know what you think

I recently shared an achievement on social media, about riding my ebike, and was feeling pretty good.

I’m 61, reasonably fit and committed to keeping up my level of activity as I age – it’s got so many benefits. Riding my ebike keeps me feeling young, and young at heart, and helps my body stay in shape.

Have you ever flown down a hill on a bike at over 35kms an hour – it’s invigorating to say the least (and yes maybe a bit stupid) but I can’t stop grinning all the way down the hill and feel so alive!


Showing off?

After posting my little message and a few photos celebrating my achievement, I got a comment, to the effect that I’m now ‘showing off’. It was probably meant to be a ‘fun’ comment but it rankled at the time. Am I too sensitive perhaps?

Am I guilty of showing off or am I letting others know that I don’t see my age as a limiting factor in my quest to stay active into the future. Therefore it could be seen to be inspiring others to take the plunge of riding a bike or doing something similar as they age. I’m celebrating my achievements!

A few other friends have said similar things lately – they get negative comments about their life choices, their passions, or receive disparaging remarks when they share their achievements – like whether to run a marathon or take on something big – it might not be everyone’s cup of tea but good on them for being committed to taking on the rigorous training and following through.

I am always inspired by people who make these sorts of commitments and invariably tell them how excited I am and wish them well in their endeavours. That’s being supportive!

Is there a difference between celebrating your achievements and showing off?

Do you think there is a difference between ‘celebrating your achievements’ and ‘showing off’? Keen to hear your thoughts as I’m trying to write something along the lines of a woman over a certain age celebrating her wins without being seen as a bragger or show off.

I asked this question on my Facebook page and had many positive comments, which I’ve shared below:

  • Celebrate your wins. You deserve it. You don’t strike me as a person who brags.
  • Celebrate your achievements compared to the standard. Bragging occurs when you compare to others with the aim of highlighting your superiority! Maybe? Not well expressed!
  • I think over a certain age if we achieve something new we are proud of ourselves and I certainly do think it’s bragging just simply pride.
  • Crikey! It’s only the concern about “what others might think/say” & THAT is “their problem” not yours! Would you ever see a ahem, man write that? Go, write & share!
  • I think it helps all of us to look back on our life & realise just how much we have achieved.
  • At my age, wins are a personal triumph. Just enjoy every moment and love time with family and friends.
  • Time to celebrate and enjoy every minute of it.xx share the joy .
  • Celebrate your wins for sure. It isn’t bragging it’s acknowledging your achievements, so go you x
  • Go for it! You have a wonderful natural style.
  • No one else is going to celebrate them for you – I say go for it & be proud of all your achievements!!
  • Celebrate, brag, tell everyone, shout from treetops, we will all be reading, listening and celebrating with you.
  • Go for it Deb.
  • Celebrate away! I’ll cheer you on..
  • We all celebrate with you 😀 Love hearing about wonderful happenings.

I don’t have any big news to share at the moment, but if I did, I know it would be well received based on these comments.

In these days of social media, influencers, hype, some of the honesty and authenticity can get lost. I’m not into trying to be something I’m not, what you see or read is what you get!

My youngest daughter also said it depends on how it’s done, how you go about sharing news, and as long as you are humble and honest then it’s nor bragging. When did she become so wise??

The not so gentle art of humble bragging

Do you know what humble bragging is?

A statement in which you pretend to be modest but which you are really using as a way of telling people about your success or achievements. Source

There’s a fine line between being humble and bragging!

This New York Times article was a great find too – Etiquette Lessons for the Braggart

There are many reasons people feel the need to publicize their successes, ranging from sharing the joy to one-upping. But what research shows is that talking about ourselves just feels good.


So to brag (or celebrate) or not? Professor Whitbourne suggests stopping before you open your mouth or type something and asking: “What are you trying to accomplish? What is your goal? You have to ask yourself, ‘Why am I sharing my information?’ ”

It’s a good question.

Your thoughts?

What are your thoughts? I’m really interested to know what you think. Ageing is hard enough in many ways and celebrating your achievements is important in my opinion.

celebrate – I am affirmations

I know I will continue to celebrate my accomplishments, no matter how small!

Thanks for your visit and I’d love to hear from you.

Deb xx

Linking up with Natalie for #weekendcoffeeshare

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72 Replies to “Is there a difference between ‘celebrating your achievements’ and ‘showing off’?”

  1. Keep sharing your achievements! We love to hear them! I get some pretty nasty comments on my recipes sometimes too, but I just bite my tongue and move on. At 61 (for you), and 68 (for me), we NEED to celebrate our achievements 👍

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks for the support Deborah, biting our tongue is a common thing isn’t it? You’re so right, we definitely do need top celebrate our achievements :). How can someone criticise or write a nasty comment on a recipe for goodness sake??? Have a lovely day 🙂


  2. I think it is good to share achievements – I think for people of ‘our age’ and certainly for me growing up in the UK, ‘boasting’ was frowned upon, but why shouldn’t we share our achievements? I’m never going to run a marathon, but I can celebrate a friend doing so.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Yes maybe it’s more of a thing in ‘our age group’, as boasting was very much frowned upon when I was a child. Exactly my thoughts – I can cheer on my friends who do wild and exciting things I wouldn’t do for a million dollars! Thanks for joining in 🙂


  3. HI Deb a great post and some really good responses from your community. There is a fine line between celebrating and bragging isn’t there? I agree with the comment that it is really the problem of others, usually jealousy – we should be able to be excited and share our achievements. We are pretty good at pulling ourselves down but hold back when we’ve done something we are proud of. It probably stems from childhood when sharing our achievements was ‘showing off’. Your true friends will cheer you on and encourage you and that is all that matters. Share away – if we can’t be happy and excited for ourselves there is something wrong in the world.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Hi Sue, thanks for your positivity and you’re right it probably does stem from our childhood when we were ‘up ourselves’ if we thought about celebrating our little wins along the way. I am now more of a cheerleader for others and must remember to include myself in that co-hort! Thanks for being a loyal cheerleader of all I do, you are a great friend!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Debbie -you are awesome at celebrating successes of everyone. You are also one of the most sincere people whom I have ever met. If anyone took your comment as bragging – that’s totally on them. I read the exact same post and thought it was inspiring! Please do not change a thing

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Oh that’s so lovely of you to say Donna! The comment that sparked this post was probably meant as a joke but it really got to me for some reason and made me think of similar experiences. It sat with me for a while and took me ages to write but I’m glad I did – we all need to celebrate ourselves more and we need more peace in the world! Thanks for being my friend 🙂


  5. Lots to think about here Debbie. Before it goes out if my mind I want to say Professor Whitbourne should keep his mouth closed! If we stopped all the time before we spoke everyone would be so correct and sound so false. I know someone who does this and you never really know her true thoughts. And I never once thought you were showing off. There is a big difference. Keep sharing your achievements

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks for that Ali 🙂 I tend to agree with you about things being false i when they say things. I’m with you, we need to continue sharing our achievements!


  6. You’re inspiring! Keep sharing! I would say it was meant to be funny….like saying “you’re too cute” or “some people have all the fun”….. it’s hard to know how our written comments will come across….thus my overuse of emojis! 😂 I always think about this idea of celebrating vs bragging if i highlight blog stats or year end bookish data. Why does my Joy need to diminish your happiness? Interesting discussion post Debbie!

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Hmmmm…. First off, I think there are just some people who will see anyone’s personal celebration as bragging. You can’t worry too much about them. (Although I think maybe the “bragging” comment on FB may have been meant as a joke.) I personally detest humble bragging (“I can’t believe that the Nobel Committee awarded silly old me the top prize.”). I would much rather the person come out and share their accomplishments so we can all celebrate with them. Confident people love to acknowledge and celebrate the achievements of others.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yes I think you’re right Janis and I’m starting to learn not to worry about them! Yes humble bragging is awful and so insincere. Love that last sentence ‘confident people love to acknowledge and celebrate the achievements of others’. Thanks so much!


  8. Interesting alright! I find it hard to praise myself but that is so ingrained it’s because of growing up with a high standard for myself. I made it that way and it’s still a part of me …even though I know I can share what I find I do well “I” can be concerned about being inclusive & thoughtful about others who may not be doing so well. I think light heartedness is great to have as an attitude and my husband keeps telling me to be more like that! Hard to break these lifelong things. I admit social media is not a kind place for many and comparisons are made. In fact, I have done that too. So, what to do? I think when people know you & your motives then it should be fine to share all the triumphs as well as the not so good times. There is such a thing as false positivity and for some people it’s not helpful to their emotional health because they are not actually sharing their truth! Sorry, did you want an assignment type response? Well, here’s another point…(then I will go!) at a time I want to be shouting out my 5 years of surviving this awful head and neck cancer, I am reining in that desire because of those who aren’t doing so well…it’s called survivor guilt I believe. Keeping doing what you do well Deb, your blog is the cheeriest place in bloggy land! D x

    Liked by 2 people

    1. This is a brilliant response Denyse and sums it up perfectly. Some days we tend to overthink things and yes survivor guilt is a real thing. You have so much to celebrate and should do so, as should I and anyone else who wants to do so. Thanks for your support and lovely comment, you made me smile 🙂


  9. Show off!



    Share your achievements!

    If others don’t like it, they can unfollow you or scroll on by, or leave a comment which you don’t have to take any notice of.

    You know your intentions are good … you’re not doing it to put anyone else down, so you’ve already answered the Prof’s question.

    I expect to see a lot more bragging in future posts. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  10. You are very entitled to share your achievements, Deb – that is definitely not showing off! And it doesn’t matter what any other person thinks about it – they are entitled to their opinion, but your opinion of yourself is all that you should worry about. You can say, “thank you for sharing your opinion. My opinion is that I’m entitled to be excited about my achievement and talk about it.” Toni x

    Liked by 3 people

  11. I don’t think I’ve ever read one of your posts that has made me think you were ‘showing off’ I read your achievements as encouragement that if ‘that’ Deb can do such and such a thing, maybe I could too! Celebrate your achievements far and wide, you never know when you may have inspired someone to try something that had been a bit too nervous to try.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thanks Deb, I’m glad to hear I can be inspiring in some ways. We all learn so much from each other and we all need to celebrate our achievements.


  12. I often wonder why our brains always see the one little negative thing in amongst the plethora of positives? There will always be a light-sucker who wants to rain on our parade and I don’t think we should give them the satisfaction of a response or taking what they say to heart. Just live your life openly, honestly, and joyfully – everyone who matters will be cheering you on and the few miseries out there can suck eggs 🙂 xxxx

    Liked by 3 people

  13. I do try but I hear that nagging voice telling me what ever I achieved was no big deal. Others have gone before me and done better. I don’t want to be that bore in the room. Is it cultural, introvert personalty quirk, or just me?

    Liked by 2 people

  14. I think it’s a positive thing to share your achievements if you do it, as you always seem to do, from the perspective of ‘I did this, you could too’ – as opposed to ‘I did this so I’m better than you’. The latter is showing off but the former is inspiring 🙂

    I sometimes worry about sharing my travels. I know not everyone is as lucky as I am to be able to travel so much, constrained by personal circumstances such as finances or family commitments. Am I showing off if I say ‘I’ve been here, I’ve been there …’? I hope not – I want to inspire those who CAN travel to do so, and maybe entertain those who can’t by bringing little bits of the world to them. But have I got the tone and balance right, I wonder?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Sarah, I am pleased (in some ways) that you also wonder if posting about travel or doing other things can be a form of showing off. Really are all bloggers showing off in some way or celebrating their talents – I prefer the latter! I would never want anyone to think I am saying I am better than them but it all comes down to perspective doesn’t it? You’re not showing off at all when you post about your travels, you are showing us some wonderful places and how we too can be inspired to visit, via your amazing words and photos. You have the tone and balance spot on! Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts, I did wonder if I should have written my post at all (after I pressed publish) but am glad I did.

      Liked by 1 person

  15. I think there is a difference and I know it when I see it. One of my friends comes to mind who always posts photos of herself daily. She’ll be stretching, posing, have her leg up on the wall, be in splits and say “share your photo of yourself at 60.” Or, “60 can be beautiful!”

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yes think you’re right, we do tend to know it when we see it but for some reason it raised a question in my mind that particular day! Lucky friend to be able to do the splits and put a leg up the wall at 60 🙂 Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

      Liked by 1 person

  16. I think we need to celebrate our achievements – no matter how small they might appear. No one knows the work that goes on behind the scenes and sometimes the courage required to do whatever it is in the first place. When people make narky comments it says more about them than you.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. That’s so very true Jo, nobody understands the work that goes into some of the tings we all do and we have every right to celebrate. I just need to turn off that doubting voice in my head! Thank you for the voice of reason 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  17. Debbie, Keep celebrating your achievements! I know the fun and exhilaration of cycling and I read the exact same post with a smile 🙂 I pay attention to what my family and true friends say to me as I know they genuinely care about me. I hope you do, too. Thank you for linking up with #weekendcoffeeshare.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks Natalie, I know what you’re saying is right, it’s just that sometimes that doubting voice pops into my head and I question myself!


  18. When I published my first book, somebody told me that I was bragging because I always kept going on about being dyslexic, Debbie. But it was a dream come true for me, and all they were trying to do was spoil what I thought was my party.

    Unfortunately, whenever we put ourselves online, we’re always open to people who will try and shoot us down. I will engage with them in a friendly and professional manner, but I’ll never come down to their level. As somebody else mentioned, it’s their problem, so enjoy your success and share the good news.

    There are far too many blog posts out there that contain nothing but bad news or complaints, so reading positive blog posts is something I will always prioritise over those that spread doom and gloom.

    Liked by 5 people

    1. Hi Hugh, it’s always lovely to hear from you and to read your thoughts on this topic. I admire you so much for your creativity and resourcefulness and love your books as you know! I agree with you, I’d much rather read positive blog posts over doom and gloom. Thanks for joining in and sharing your insights.

      Liked by 1 person

  19. Wow, sometimes I’m amazed at the synchronicity in life. I was drafting a blog looking back at what I accomplished (a big series of anniversaries coming up) and felt like I was bragging. I even used that word. But, I am proud of my accomplishments. I do want to celebrate a bit. I worried I’ll get some negative comments (like you did). But I read all the comments here (in your post and in the comments)…. and I know that most will be supportive – celebrating with me. So thanks

    Liked by 2 people

    1. What perfect timing Pat! Your post was great and fitted in well with my post :). You should be proud of your achievements and have done a lot – we need to celebrate our wins!


  20. Hi Deb,

    Well – you certainly asked an interesting question this week.
    I tend to take such questions apart to try and come up with a credible answer so here goes.

    1) There will always be some people who can’t bear the thought of others succeeding. This group just needs to be identified and ignored if they speak their discouragements.

    2) I think one difference between sharing self-celebrations and showing off is simply that the former is publicly stating simple facts you’re proud of versus the latter which is self promotion which costs someone else something; their money, their attention, or most likely the esteem they deserve from others for their own accomplishments.

    I don’t see your items taking anything away from anyone else, so it can’t be showing off.

    On the other hand, you will be disappointed and perhaps even hurt if you expect EVERYONE to be emotionally mature enough to just be happy with you for the cool things you accomplish. Think of these people and the moments they bring as another chance to be the adult in the room and extend them whatever grace you can muster after you examine their comments for any possible chances for growth yourself, dismiss them if they really are void and somehow leave the person better off than your found them and getting a kinder response from you than they likely deserve.

    This is what mature grace looks like – and Deb – it’s what you look like to me.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Gotta chime in and saw I agree with these comments! The line is fine from an audiences perspective, but it’s not from our own. You know the motives of your heart, so if another judges wrongly, it says a lot about them. Showing off stems from pride, celebrating achievements stems from pursuing growth!

      Liked by 1 person

  21. So many comments already reflect my ideas about this so I won’t reiterate too much, Debbie. My first thought was isn’t this why SM exists, to share our lives and perhaps the successes that make up those moments? Because they are moments. I’ve seen plenty of sad posts as well where people share their grief over a loss. Again isn’t this the main reason we use SM to share the news with friends and family who care enough to give a darn? I used to share my photography on IG and FB but got so few likes that I stopped. Of course I share news about life moments and enjoy posts of the same. I mainly share photography on my blog. SM is what you make it but there is a clique-ishness to it that leaves me weary. So no, you aren’t bragging. Sharing the important and fun moments of our lives is an amazing feature of SM so keep doing it! Screw the trolls and haters.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thanks Terri, there have been so many great comments. Yes I had similar thoughts about social media and how people use it. I didn’t think I was bragging either but it’s nice to have your support and understanding.

      Liked by 1 person

  22. I read that post about your ebike, Deb. I did not for one second think you were bragging. At 66 myself, I’m more than happy to hear about people our age getting out there and enjoying life.
    Also, it’s your blog, you get to say whatever you d@@m well want 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  23. Ooohhh, good food for thought. I wouldn’t think you are bragging…I also LOVE celebrating the successes of others and rarely think of people as bragging necessarily. I think sometimes we share our successes because we’re proud of ourselves and because just maybe we want to encourage others. sometimes I struggle with sharing because I don’t want to cause someone to feel bad or discouraged about their own life, but then I think “no, I can’t control how anyone feels”. I think it’s all in the heart behind the sharing and people who truly know us will know we are not “bragging”

    Liked by 2 people

    1. You’re right Kirstin, we are proud of ourselves and sharing is fine when we come at it from that perspective as you so rightly say. Thanks for joining in!


  24. I think it’s all about the delivery. I totally agree we should celebrate our wins. I guess it’s the way it is worded and sadly for some people it can come across as bragging. An example could be, “My new balcony is so amazing” or you could say, “I am really happy with my new balcony”. I don’t know how to describe it but the first statement I would consider as bragging 🙈 or is that just me? 🤣. Keep celebrating your wins!! We work hard for them.


  25. I believe it’s very important for us to celebrate the little [and also big] things whenever we can.
    It’s what sweetens the whole journey as we live on.

    Then, as for the difference between celebrating your wins and bragging, the intentions behind the act should show what category it falls into. There would always be people who would get offended by your happy displays.

    Liked by 1 person

  26. Everyone deserves to celebrate their achievements! I don’t think it’s bragging unless you are saying it in a way that implies you are better than others.

    Liked by 1 person

  27. As we age, we get fewer pats on the back, winks or glances; (we) the unseen. I believe we slip under the radar, not quite in the eye line. The beauty of a youthful bloom has dissapated, now our personslities, experiences and anacdotal memories are the most interesting (ear catching) pieces of us. Yes, we now have the essence of life to offer; the best bits. The parts I mention take a bit of work to be seen, a glance won’t reveal us/me. Others need to work at it a bit. They need to spend time, have conversations make our aquaintance to reveal us. So when It happens, that something new, the feeling we had learning or acheiving something for the first time, we shiuld celebrate. Add a new quivver to our bow, if we are proud or excited, we should celebrate the small stuff, it is what makes us, … us.

    Liked by 1 person

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