10 things high achievers never do in public (so you shouldn’t either)

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High achievers often stand out because of the amazing things they can do. They’re often seen as brilliant and reliable – many people can’t help but look up to them and see them as an inspiration.

The recognition that high achievers receive from people can be flattering, but it’s also a responsibility.

High achievers tend to deal with people’s high expectations of them. Just as they usually receive a trail of accolades, a single mistake often results in harsh criticisms from those waiting for an opportunity to ruin them.

Because of this, many high achievers avoid getting their achievements to their heads and stay focused on their craft.

They ensure avoiding some behavior, especially in public, like:

1) Resort to Humblebragging When Receiving Compliments

High achievers often give a straight “thank you” when they receive a compliment. No humblebrags, no awkward self-deprecating comments, just a genuine appreciation for the compliment.

You see, people often think a humblebrag makes them seem modest, but truth be told, it often comes across as more irritating than just openly showing off.

Imagine you’ve done something impressive and people are showering you with praise.

It feels great but also a bit overwhelming, right?

It’s tempting to deflect the attention with a humblebrag, but high achievers recommend just keeping it simple and accepting the compliment gracefully.

Think of a humblebrag as a tricky balancing act between appearing likable and not coming off as boastful.

And sometimes, people don’t even realize they’re doing it.

I remember once congratulating a friend on her promotion, and instead of a simple thank you, she went on about how this just meant more work and important meetings because the company couldn’t get by without her. That response left me feeling more sour than celebratory.

So, the moral of the story? If you want to be a high achiever, don’t hide behind a humblebrag. Just say thanks and keep the spotlight on your achievements.

Related: 9 signs you’re in a relationship with an emotionally intelligent person

2) Brag Excessively About Their Achievements

High achievers have this cool trait where they don’t go around trumpeting their accomplishments for all to hear.

Sure, they’ve done a ton of incredible things, but you won’t find them bragging about it in every conversation.

This could be because they’re so used to hitting goal after goal, but I reckon it’s also a way to keep their egos in check. Because let’s face it, nobody likes a show-off.

Now, don’t get me wrong. Most high achievers I’ve met are passionate folks who absolutely love what they do.

They don’t bust their chops for the applause or the fanfare, but because they genuinely enjoy the grind.

This isn’t to say they can’t revel in their victories or share their latest endeavors with enthusiasm.

But here’s the difference – these superstars also know when to pass the mic. They don’t dominate the chat but are genuinely interested in hearing about other people’s wins too.

So, the takeaway here is to be proud of your achievements but remember to turn the spotlight on others every once in a while.

3) Use Their Achievements as a Free Pass to Be Rude to Everyone

You know those folks who score a win and suddenly think they’re king of the world? Yeah, that’s not the high achiever way.

Getting lots of compliments might make some people feel like they’re on cloud nine and can do no wrong.

They might even start looking down on others, thinking they’re somehow better. But a high achiever?

They won’t let success go to their head or give them a license to be rude, especially not in public.

Like I said earlier, high achievers keep their feet firmly planted on the ground. They know their success isn’t just a lucky break but a result of their blood, sweat, and tears.

This understanding makes them relate better to others, recognizing that everyone is fighting their own battles behind the scenes.

High achievers respect everyone around them. They know success doesn’t make them superior; it just means they’ve hit their targets.

Remember, being successful doesn’t give anyone the right to act like a jerk. If anything, it should make you more understanding and humble.

4) Be Dismissive of Ideas Different From Theirs

Ever noticed how high achievers seem to have this zen-like calm when they’re faced with ideas that challenge their own?

They don’t get ruffled or defensive; instead, they lean into the conversation with genuine curiosity and a thirst for learning.

High achievers are not just spectators; they’ll dive headfirst into a thoughtful debate.

We all know how it feels when our ideas are questioned. We’ve poured our hearts and souls into these concepts, so it’s only natural to feel a little defensive.

However, high achievers offer a different perspective. They remind us that keeping a cool head and staying objective is the best way to tackle these situations.

They teach us that shutting down opposing ideas is not the winning strategy. Instead, embracing different viewpoints and engaging in productive discourse is the way to go.

After all, your ideas are not a shield to hide behind, but a platform for growth and learning.

So, next time your views are questioned, take a page from the high achievers’ book and keep your cool.

5) Take Offense at Being Corrected by Others

Here’s the thing about high achievers: they take corrections on the chin and don’t let it ruffle their feathers.

Even in a crowd, they don’t make a fuss if someone points out a mistake. They understand that being successful doesn’t mean they’re mistake-proof.

On the contrary, they welcome corrections as a chance to get it right next time. They know they can’t be a know-it-all and are always ready to learn something new.

What’s even more impressive is that they don’t take corrections or criticism personally.

They know that a little stumble here and there doesn’t take away from all the hard work they’ve put in.

Folks who hide behind their achievements and get prickly when corrected are often just insecure about their worth. They fear that any mistake will confirm their self-doubts.

High achievers, on the other hand, see corrections not as a personal attack, but as an opportunity to grow.

So, remember, it’s not about always being right, but about being open to learning and improving.

6) Dismiss People’s Questions About Their Craft

Being a high achiever is like being a magnet – folks are naturally drawn to you and curious about your work.

Sure, it can be exhausting to be in the spotlight all the time, especially during social events.

But high achievers are always gracious and patient when bombarded with questions about their expertise.

You’ll never see a high achiever shooing away curious folks. Whether they’re artists, business gurus, scientists, or politicians, they’re always ready to share their knowledge.

They understand that their success puts them in a position where people trust their expertise and look to them for guidance.

I once bumped into a hotshot lawyer at a party, and maybe it was the drinks talking, but I just had to ask them about a property issue that had been bugging me.

They could’ve shrugged me off or told me it wasn’t the time or place, but instead, they laughed it off and gave me a polite response.

Even though I felt a bit embarrassed later, I appreciated that they didn’t snap at my unscheduled Q&A session.

So remember, even when off the clock, high achievers know how to handle inquiries about their craft with grace and patience.

7) Compare Their Achievements With Others

High achievers have this solid understanding of their own worth. They don’t need a constant pat on the back from others to feel accomplished.

Their hard-earned achievements speak for themselves. So, you won’t find them sizing up their successes against others’.

They’re not the type to turn every conversation into a comparison contest or a personal brag-fest.

And you know what’s even cooler? High achievers love to cheer on others’ victories. They don’t view others’ accomplishments as threats or as signs they’re being outshone.

They believe in the idea that the world is a big enough stage for everyone to shine and excel in their own way.

So, take a leaf out of the high achiever’s book: don’t measure your worth by comparing your achievements with others’.

Celebrate your successes and be the first to applaud others when they hit their goals too. Remember, life’s not a competition, but a journey to be enjoyed.

8) Demotivate Others Pursuing Their Career Path

High achievers often serve as role models for young students or professionals aspiring to tread the same career path.

Despite knowing all the tough trials they’ve overcome to reach their goals, high achievers won’t throw a wet blanket on anyone’s dreams.

Instead, they encourage people to give their all and chase their own version of success.

Some folks might feel threatened when others want to follow in their footsteps, fearing that they might be outshined.

They might even act condescending, but that’s not the high achiever way. High achievers cheer on everyone striving to make their dreams come true.

I recall a time when I shared my ambition to study arts with someone I admired. Instead of encouraging me, they seemed to question my abilities.

That caught me off guard, considering we used to have long conversations about our shared passion for art.

While their journey might have been challenging, discouraging others feels like stealing their chance to explore their passion and discover new things about themselves.

So, remember, a high achiever’s role is to uplift, not bring down.

9) Be Pessimistic About Learning New Things

Some folks, with age and success, develop a cynical outlook towards fresh ideas without fully exploring them.

But high achievers? They’re a different breed. They don’t turn their noses up at the unknown or display a pessimistic attitude towards learning new things.

On the contrary, they’re usually buzzing with curiosity to delve into uncharted territory.

Why is that, you might ask? I reckon it’s because high achievers are committed to constant evolution, keeping up with the changing tides.

They’re led by their natural curiosity, eager to understand how things have morphed over time.

Unfamiliar concepts don’t scare them away; they stoke their appetite for learning.

So, remember, being a high achiever is all about staying open and positive about learning. It’s about embracing the unfamiliar with curiosity and enthusiasm, not disdain or pessimism.

10) Ignore Colleagues Needing Their Help

High achievers understand the struggles that come with pursuing goals. That’s why you won’t catch them ignoring colleagues who reach out for help in public.

They’ve experienced the power of support from others on their own journey, and they’re eager to pay it forward.

High achievers know that a small act of kindness can make a big impact.

Moreover, high achievers are excellent team players who value productivity.

Instead of keeping all the work to themselves and leaving their colleagues to fend for themselves, high achievers believe in sharing the load and collaborating with others.

They’ve come to realize that lending a hand to someone struggling with a task can make the work easier and more efficient for the entire team.

They know that success is not just about individual accomplishments, but about fostering a supportive and collaborative environment.

So, if you encounter a high achiever, don’t be surprised if they’re always ready to lend a helping hand. They understand that true success is achieved together, not in isolation.

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Lachlan Brown

I’m Lachlan Brown, the founder, and editor of Hack Spirit. I love writing practical articles that help others live a mindful and better life. I have a graduate degree in Psychology and I’ve spent the last 15 years reading and studying all I can about human psychology and practical ways to hack our mindsets. Check out my latest book on the Hidden Secrets of Buddhism and How it Saved My Life. If you want to get in touch with me, hit me up on Facebook or Twitter.

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