Is there a word for someone who is a gifted artist pretending to be self-conscious about her work, to the point that she overindulges in self-pity and criticism, in an attempt to receive gratifying or reassuring comments?

Despite the rave reviews, Barabara acted ____, and refused to accept the compliments.


If someone is self-conscious, that's humility. If you think it's pretended, that's false humility. If it's to get compliments, that's "fishing for compliments".

  • yeah, i did think of “fishing for compliments”, but it seemed more like something people use colloquially. i was wondering if there was a more “formal” or “literal” word that one could use to epitomize the example i had – stocklipglue Nov 9 '17 at 9:54
  • 1
    I could go with self-effacing, which is both formal and neutral; it gets harder to say succinctly when you add an element of disingenuousness. – Rob_Ster Nov 9 '17 at 19:41

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