No Good Deed Goes Unpunished

Orangeville, ON (James Doan) Most of us can tell the difference when someone mentions an amount of money earned. They can either be informative or bragging. There is a similar distinction in mentioning something praiseworthy that you’ve done.

When someone talks about a good deed, a donation or a commitment they made, it can come off as a kind of moral preening. The name for this is “virtue signalling.”

Why would onlookers put a negative interpretation to a positive gesture? This has implications for how we convey information in a bio or a blog post.

* The gesture may seem insincere or motivated by a desire for approval.

* Discussing the moral move can seem gratuitous – as unnecessary self-congratulation.

* People may disagree with the moral values involved and not want to make a direct comment.

Keep those dynamics in mind when you post, tweet or blog about your own good deeds.

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