Someone I dated told me that my self-deprecating humor made him sad.
He didn’t want me to devalue myself.
And I get it because yes, sometimes when you joke on and about yourself you start to make it true… but what if it already was?
Self-deprecating humor is heroin to the anxious and self-conscious. Let me fuel my confidence with the fire from my own disappointments being the punch line of my jokes. Let me feel nothing and everything at the same time.
I think that being self-deprecating can be very, very good and also very, very bad… like heroin. Wait. Not exactly like that. I mean, heroin probably feels very, very, very good but it is also seemingly not GREAT so. Let’s all agree to not do heroin, okay? Okay.
Let’s remember that we have value and that we’re worth a heap of gold and a box of gemstones and yet we also make mistakes and have horrible things happen to us and we are allowed to deal with that in the way that works best for us. And we are allowed to laugh at ourselves whenever we damn well please, even if it’s just to keep from being laughed at.
But in dating, in relating, in just general conversations with people at the cash register or on the phone, self deprecation can even the playing field and make everyone feel more comfortable. Or at least that’s how I’ve always felt.
Self-deprecating humor can turn a dysfunctional day from the video where that guy squishes a spider and one hundred thousand tiny spiders gush out of it into Zooey Deschanel with bed head, a mess but ultimately cute and quirky.
I don’t value myself less because I make fun of myself for failing the bar exam, or getting my car towed, or being absolute garbage at dating. Instead, these jokes let me talk about my feelings and the terrible dysfunction in my life in a way that makes it bearable. In a way that makes everything *not* spiders.
Because a lot of bad things feel like spiders and when you can’t talk about them it’s like losing a spider in your room and having your eyes open all night thinking that it is about to crawl over your foot and then somehow sneak into your mouth when you fall asleep and be one of the eight spiders that plummet to their death in your gullet every year.
So I’m sorry if my personal brand is putting the fun in dysfunctional, that I laugh at all of my own jokes, and that making eye contact with the chickens going to the chicken plant makes me cry.