If you look for synonyms of self-deprecating, humble, and modest come up. The sad thing about that is that there is nothing healthy about being negative about yourself. It could easily come across as fishing for compliments, or that you do not think much of yourself. Neither of those is an attractive feature, nor is it helpful to your own self-esteem. Everyone has flaws, but there is no need to point them out, or dwell on them. If someone else did this to you it would be considered bullying, and so it is bullying when you do it to yourself.
There are consequences in how we present ourselves. Whether it is how you introduce yourself, or how you behave in an interview, or even on a first date. People often have a habit of indulging in a bit of self-deprecation. Whether it is due to a belief that humility is a character trait worthy of praise, or that we were raised to consider bragging as a negative.
We often take that to the extreme by putting ourselves down. The long-term effects of self-deprecation can be deeply damaging. Why? The more you put yourself the down, the more people will begin to believe you. In turn, you yourself start to believe it, too.
Consider the many ways that you put yourself down and how you can deal with them.
I’m So Fat – This is a common comment, and we all feel overweight and unattractive sometimes. The worst way to deal with that is by saying it loud. If your weight truly bothers you, think about how you can deal with it effectively. If you only say it aloud so people will rush to disagree with you – that’s not a subtle method.
I’m A Failure – We all fear falling flat on our face, but no one succeeds at everything, all the time. It’s okay to make a mistake; it’s how you respond to it that matters. Get up, dust yourself off, and go back at it again. Look at all of the things that you have achieved.
I Don’t Look Like A Model – Guess what? Only models look like models, and that means that 99% of the population is on par with you. There’s nothing wrong with how you look- it factors into you who are as a unique human.
I’m An Idiot – Just because you make a mistake or do something dumb, doesn’t mean you are dumb. Name-calling only makes you feel worse. It’s time that you cut yourself some slack.
No One Loves Me – You have friends and family who love you, even if you haven’t been lucky in the wide world of dating. It won’t always be that way. The best way to meet the right person is by first taking time to love yourself. It makes you more attractive to others, and you can’t make someone else happy if you can’t be happy with yourself.
We often see self-deprecation as a way to discover the layers beneath someone’s outer shell. This is just an illusion though, and it may be rooted in fairy tales. Consider Cinderella, dressed in rags and the prince still manages to see through all that, to her inner beauty, this has become a powerful message that has long resonated with many. The obvious point here though, is that the prince’s eye was caught when Cinderella was covered with magic, dressed in a ball gown, and finished with glass slippers.
This does not mean that you need to go around bragging about your achievements, it simply means that people will see you as you present yourself. If you constantly present yourself as though you are decked in rags that is exactly how people will see you.
Most importantly to note however, is that you - all of you, will believe the things you say about yourself.