“I’m such a klutz!” you might say, almost as a reflex, when you stub your toe in the office or spill a drop of coffee on the floor.
Self-deprecation such as this is an attempt to replace mild embarrassment with a touch of levity. A little bit of humor is harmless enough, right?
Most of the time, off-hand comments that make you the butt of your own jokes aren’t dangerous. However, when you habitually make statements about yourself like, “I always wait until the last minute,” or “I’m never aware of my surroundings,” you could be doing psychological damage that’s not funny at all.
When you put yourself down just to be cute or comical, you send out a signal that you don’t take yourself too seriously. You chuckle, other people laugh, and you figure you’ve been charming and entertaining for the moment. Yet, because of the complicated nature of your inner workings, you might be creating undesired side effects.