Self-Praise Is No Recommendation: Definition, Meaning, and Origin

Last Updated on
August 30, 2023

We often hear idioms that have deep roots in the English language, and "self-praise is no recommendation" is one of them. This popular saying carries a profound message about modesty and humility, urging us to be cautious when singing our own praises.

In short:

  • "Self-praise is no recommendation" means that when you praise yourself, it's not as credible or genuine as when others commend you.

What Does "Self-Praise Is No Recommendation" Mean?

When we talk about "self-praise is no recommendation," we're discussing the idea that talking highly of oneself may not always be the best route. It hints at a universal truth that sometimes, letting others recognize our achievements and qualities can be more meaningful and genuine.

  • It suggests that one's own praise might not always be objective or sincere.
  • People tend to value opinions and praises from third parties as they are often seen as more unbiased.
  • The idiom encourages modesty, implying that it's better to let your actions speak for themselves.
  • Excessive self-praise can be perceived as arrogance or vanity.

In many cultures, modesty and humility are valued virtues, which is why this saying is a gentle reminder not to blow one's own trumpet too loudly.

Where Does "Self-Praise Is No Recommendation" Come From?

The idiom "self-praise is no recommendation" has been passed down through generations, emphasizing the value of humility over arrogance. While the exact origin is somewhat hazy, the sentiment it conveys is age-old.

Historical Usage

It's been said, "He who sings his own praises often gets the tune wrong."

This related saying mirrors our idiom's sentiment and hints at the ancient wisdom that true merit will shine through without the need for one's own proclamation. Over the centuries, many wise figures and scholars have shared thoughts that align with this idea, suggesting its deep-rooted significance in human interaction and societal norms.

10 Examples of "Self-Praise Is No Recommendation" in Sentences

Let's explore various ways it can be woven into conversations:

  • She's the golden child, no doubt, but she needs to understand that self-praise is no recommendation.
  • When he boasted about his achievements, his grandmother whispered, "Self-praise is no recommendation."
  • It's always better to stay humble; after all, self-praise is no recommendation.
  • Why does she feel the need to highlight her successes so often? Doesn't she know that self-praise is no recommendation?
  • He was quick to share his accomplishments, but so it goes; self-praise is no recommendation.
  • As a leader, she believes in the principle that self-praise is no recommendation and lets her team's results set the tone instead.
  • You might think talking about your achievements will impress them, but quite frankly, self-praise is no recommendation.
  • They say self-praise is no recommendation, so it's best to let others acknowledge your hard work.
  • She would always say, "Let your work shine so brightly that you don't need to. After all, self-praise is no recommendation."
  • If he spent less time boasting and more time working, he might realize that self-praise is no recommendation, but I guess to each his own.

Examples of "Self-Praise Is No Recommendation" in Pop Culture

The idiom "self-praise is no recommendation" may not be as flashy as some modern catchphrases, but its timeless wisdom has made subtle appearances in various forms of media over the years:

  • In the movie The Devil Wears Prada, Miranda Priestly, played by Meryl Streep, often lets her achievements speak for themselves, subtly reminding us that self-praise is no recommendation.
  • Many motivational speakers, including Tony Robbins and Les Brown, have touched upon the concept, suggesting the power of letting others recognize one's worth rather than boasting about it.
  • In literature, characters like Mr. Darcy from Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice embody the essence of the idiom, with their actions speaking louder than words.
  • Songs like "Humble" by Kendrick Lamar touch on the importance of humility and indirectly remind listeners that self-praise is no recommendation.

Though the idiom might not always be cited verbatim, its principle remains relevant and finds its way into contemporary narratives and themes.

Synonyms: Other/Different Ways to Say "Self-Praise Is No Recommendation"

There are several phrases and sayings that convey similar sentiments as "self-praise is no recommendation."

These idioms also emphasize the virtues of modesty and humility:

  • Actions speak louder than words.
  • Let your work do the talking.
  • Pride comes before a fall.
  • Empty vessels make the most noise.
  • Boasting is not becoming.

These sayings, like our featured idiom, remind us of the importance of allowing our deeds to shine instead of merely our words.

10 Frequently Asked Questions About "Self-Praise Is No Recommendation"

  • What does "self-praise is no recommendation" mean?

It means that praising oneself may not be as credible as when others commend you. Essentially, it's a call for humility and letting others recognize your qualities and achievements.

  • Where did the idiom originate from?

The exact origin is not clear, but the sentiment it conveys is age-old and emphasizes humility over arrogance.

  • Is it negative to use this idiom?

Not necessarily. The idiom is a gentle reminder about the value of humility. However, the context in which it's used can determine its tone.

  • Are there other idioms that convey a similar message?

Yes, phrases like "Actions speak louder than words" and "Let your work do the talking" have similar connotations.

  • Why is self-praise viewed negatively?

Excessive self-praise can be seen as a lack of humility and may come off as arrogance or vanity to others.

  • Can this idiom be used in a professional setting?

Yes, it can be used in a professional context to emphasize the importance of teamwork and recognizing collective achievements over individual boasting.

  • How often is this idiom used in daily conversations?

While it might not be a daily utterance, the idiom is recognized widely and can be used in various scenarios where humility and modesty are being discussed.

  • Is it important to always follow the advice of this idiom?

While humility is valuable, it's also essential to recognize and be proud of one's achievements. Balance is key.

  • Are there cultures where self-praise is acceptable or even encouraged?

Yes, cultural perceptions of self-praise can vary. In some societies, it might be seen as confidence, while in others, it may be viewed as immodesty.

  • Is there ever a right time for self-praise?

Self-affirmation is crucial for confidence and self-worth. The key is to ensure that self-praise doesn't overshadow or diminish the contributions and worth of others.

Final Thoughts About "Self-Praise Is No Recommendation"

Throughout history, numerous cultures and societies have valued humility. The idiom "self-praise is no recommendation" encapsulates a universal truth about the significance of letting one's actions speak louder than words. In today's age of social media and constant self-promotion, this saying remains an essential reminder of the virtues of modesty and the power of genuine acknowledgment from peers.

  • Self-praise, while an affirmation of one's achievements, can sometimes overshadow the collective efforts of a team or community.
  • True appreciation comes from external recognition, making it more genuine and heartfelt.
  • Being humble doesn't mean downplaying one's achievements but rather recognizing them without unnecessary boasting.
  • As with many things in life, balance is essential. It's okay to be proud of what we've accomplished, but it's also crucial to remain grounded and grateful for the opportunities and support we've received.

In essence, "self-praise is no recommendation" but serves as a gentle nudge, urging us to walk the fine line between confidence and arrogance with grace and humility.

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