This article is from the archive of our partner .

Tuesday we introduced a new form of bragging: The underbrag, or the brag that isn't, except it is. Today, we check back to see how you're doing. 

But first, a refresher. The underbrag is a post-brag-brag, post-humblebrag form of bragging. It's the third wave, if you will. It is when you announce boisterously your mistakes and foibles, regardless of your fears of being judged, shamed, punished, or fired. It is the willful thumbing of the nose of brags; the I-don't-care-I'm-going-there-oh-yes-I-did-too announcement. Instead of revealing something widely considered good and envy-producing about the braggart, it reveals something mortifying that you might not want to admit. But you admit it anyway.

Ideally, the underbrag is also funny in a self-deprecating way, and possibly empowering, but never sad. "I got dumped on a Post-it note!" is a good example because it shows that you're JUST FINE WITH IT thank you very much, and not that you're pining away or weeping into scattered containers of Ben and Jerry's. "I'm surrounded by scattered containers of Ben and Jerry's!" works as an evocative underbrag, too, though—just don't fill them with your tears. Or, "I got an F on my book report!" See what we mean? It's all in the enthusiasm.

As Oliver Burkeman puts it in the Guardian, interpreting the underbrag philosophy quite well: "If I mention that I fell asleep drunk on the sofa last night, surrounded by the detritus of a half-consumed McDonald's meal and empty cider bottles, you might not envy me. But that's precisely the point: by telling the world, I'm implying that I don't care that you don't envy me, and that I am secure enough to report my debauchery without needing to contemplate the consequences. Which is why you should envy me." 

A good underbrag is often debaucherous. The only reason we don't envy Burkeman for his McDonald's and empty cider is because we're currently sitting in our own detritus of cheap white wine bottles, half-emptied coffee cups, and stale flour tortillas wrapped around hunks of cheese. Things got crazy last night!

As for you, well, you seem to be catching on quite well, too. A few samples:

Got it? Go forth and underbrag.

Image via Shutterstock by Christopher Sista.


This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to