Now, I’m no doctor. But let’s diagnose a little bit.
Let’s start with a few questions:
> Do you make fun of yourself in a way that puts you down?
> Do you feel making fun of yourself makes you humble?
> Do you feel making fun of yourself makes you likable?
Looks like the chains of self-deprecating humor are on your neck.
According to Bill von Hippel and his colleagues,
“Over-confident people present more confident faces to the world, and their perceived confidence leads others to see them as more desirable and to be less likely to try to compete with them.”
Doesn’t sound familiar?
Unfortunately, many people suffer from this problem. You’re being choked by the iron collars of self-deprecating humor.
How To Get These Chains Off Your Neck
1. Stop Making These Jokes
Yep. You have to stop doing it. Don’t stop and you’d always feel you’re never good enough. Trust me, keep doing it only if you’re comfortable with the insecurity that engulfs you.
So, how do you stop? Easy peasy!
First of all, get this in your head, this isn’t who you are? You’re not an idiot, you’re not dull, you’re not……(yeah fill in the blanks).
>Write Everything Down.
Write out the problem and recall every detail, what happens before you make these jokes, where you make them and even how you make them.
Maybe this thing comes up whenever you’re hanging out with friends, and in attempting to seek affirmation, you joke in a way that puts you down.
Solution- When next you’re hanging out, expect these moments and you’re on your way to avoiding them.
> Know Why You Need To Change
Remind yourself of how dropping this kind of talk makes you healthier and wiser. Try stepping out of your head a bit so you can think clearly anytime you feel like relapsing.
> Tell Your Friends
Isn’t this what friends are for? Let your friends know of your struggles and they’d help you break through
2. Engage In Positive Self-Talk
Like all bad habits, if you want to drop it, then you’d better replace it with something else. If you’re flushing your mind of negative humor, then you should be filling it up with positive talk.
Let’s see some tips to improving your positive self-talk.
#1 Make Positive Affirmations
Hey. Be real here. Don’t make statements like, “I’m the best blah-blah-blah ever” cause it’s confusing. What’s your definition of best? Instead, say, “I’m proud of the work I’m putting in improving my cooking.” That’s more realistic and easier to relate with.
And if you want to get these affirmations established in your subconscious, keep repeating them.
#2 Shake Up Your Circle
Jim Rohn said we’re the average of the five people we spend the most time with.
If you’re still in company that poisons your mental state, then those iron collars aren’t getting off your neck anytime soon.
So, drop those holding your thoughts hostage and surround yourself with people that infuse positive energy in you.
#3 Focus On The Good Times
Instead of talking about that time you made a mess of everything while bathing your dog, let’s hear your story about the day you killed that painting gig.
3. Act As If
Even if you don’t feel like it, just act like it. Yep. I’m saying you should fake it till you make it. If you constantly talk yourself down for being too old to do something, act like you’re so young, maybe get some new clothes or something, just act like it! There are no imaginations in your subconscious mind, everything is real.
If you’re ready to fake a bit, then-
Use the easiest trick on earth, smile. When you smile, you’re boosting your mood.
If you badmouth yourself for being awful at public speaking, when you’re asked to make a presentation, exude confidence. It may appear fake at first, but people will believe you’re a pro.
If you’re going to be acting like you’re it, then you need to change your attitude. If you have a networking event to attend and you’re already talking yourself out of attending, think more of the info you’d miss out on if you’re absent.
If you’re fighting self-deprecating talk, then chances are that you might be suffering from impostor syndrome. You don’t believe you’re as good as people say you are. You’re always regretting compliments because it lifts you from the lows you talk yourself into. Do this for a change — Be thankful for being you and for being good at what you do.
4. Don’t Do It To Others
I hate rules. But there’s nothing to hate about the Golden rule. It says, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” If you’re hurting, then it may be because you haven’t stopped hurting others. Let’s check out how you can stop using self-deprecating talk on others.
* Give Advice Only If You’re Asked To
So someone comes to you whining about how they’re in such a difficult place and how their life is one big mess, and you go all Mr. Fix It and worsen the situation. The thing is, most times people complaining just want to get the problems off their head, they need their thoughts off their chest. And by the way, you’re trying to get negative talk out of your head, what kind of advice do you think you’d dish out?
* Always Wish People Well Even If You Disagree With Them
Your words are formed on the inside long before you let them. out. If you have good thoughts about people, the words you’d express would convey it. If you don’t think people should have it good because you’ve talked yourself into being in a bad place then you’re not getting out anytime soon.
5. Don’t Encourage It
You’re lying with dogs, and that’s why you’re getting up with fleas. If you’re in bad company, then your friends would be using negative humor on you.
You need to speak up, pre-plan what you intend saying and stay on point. You need to let them know the ways self-deprecating humor affects you and why they should be taking you out of this pit instead of digging further.
There are no overnight gains, but you’re not going to succeed if you don’t take action. Follow these steps and hear the chains falling.
Originally published at medium.com