Self-Deprecating Humor: Is It Really Funny?

November 28, 2021

Self deprecating humor. We all use it, myself included. When you’re with friends or even alone, and make a mistake you laugh. “I’m so dumb!” It can lighten the mood when an accident happens, but what are these thoughts doing to your brain long term?

According to studies, negative self talk can increase the chances of dementia, depression, and a higher anxiety rate. It makes sense, when we consistently tell ourselves we are dumb, stupid, clumsy, etc… We begin to believe it. This is what happens when one is in an emotionally abusive relationship, or has contact with a narcissist. The more they berate you, the more you take their word as truth. The same thing happens when you repeatedly berate yourself. You will feel much worse than you did to begin with, tricking your brain into believing lies and exaggerations.

Examples of negative self talk and self deprecating humor are as follows. These are not all of the ways that one can harm themselves, but these are some less obvious examples to make you think about your thoughts.

“Why do I always screw up?”
“I’m such an idiot.”
“Of course I dropped that. I knew I would!”
“I can’t even help myself. How can I help others?”

There are some things to remember the next time one of these thoughts arises: they do not define you. The more aware you are of these thoughts, the clearer they become. A term that I personally use is “my brain is being mean today.” This is a great way to separate you from your bad thoughts. Remember, they are not your real feelings. They are a subconscious attack on your person.

How can I change this?

The best place to start is to start paying attention. When you berate or insult yourself, even for the sake of a joke, stop and think. Why did you say that? You know it isn’t true, and now you feel worse. Instead, don’t say anything that isn’t necessary. Take the thought and keep it in your head to analyze later. Remind yourself that you are human, we all make mistakes. Trying to reframe your thoughts isn’t easy, but the more that you do it the easier it will get. I’ll end with a quote from “Bojack Horseman” (Image below!)

Thanks for reading, friends. I have been extremely busy with school and work but I am starting my 25 Days of Joy on December 1st! This is a special event on my Weekly Wellness Facebook page where I will share something that brings me joy every day for 25 Days.

I HIGHLY encourage everyone to participate and share what they are grateful for, you might be featured on the blog or even win a special prize! 

Let me know your thoughts!