Why Are People So Annoying?

January 29, 2015 7:04 PM

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It's human nature to want other people to think well of us. And indeed we are often called upon to put our best foot forward--highlighting our accomplishments and character traits in job interviews and on first dates. So we get a lot of practice in effective self-presentation.

The simple answer is that, despite all our natural inclination and practice, much of our self-presentation backfires. And it backfires because we too often misunderstand the tradeoff between self-promotion--blowing our own horn--and humility. The fact is that modesty, or even self-effacement, can be...

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