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You may have a friend in your life who keeps on saying things like, “I’m not good at anything!,” or when they face a failure or is hurt, they will say something like, “it is time to moisturize my face with tears,” and when someone snubs them or breaks up with him, they will say, “even I will not settle for myself, why would you do so,” or when they are faced with a really embarrassing situation they make a joke, “I put the ace in disgrace!”. This is what we call self-depreciation behavior.

This article is all about self-depreciation. You will learn the self-deprecating definition, signs of unhealthy self-depreciation, the psychology behind it, and much more. You will also be able to know about self-deprecating humour meaning. I will try my best to provide helpful information about this term so that you can have a better understanding of the concept. So let’s get started.

Self-deprecating meaning

Self-deprecating meaning is “belittling or undervaluing oneself; excessively modest.”

And self-deprecating humour meaning is humour where you put yourself down in a funny way, which people find amusing.

Self-deprecating definition

Here is a proper self-deprecating definition so that you can better understand the concept:

“Self-deprecation is the act of reprimanding oneself by belittling, undervaluing, or disparaging oneself, or being excessively modest. It can be used in humor and tension release.”

Self-deprecating names

Are you wondering what some common self-deprecating names are? Let me share some self-deprecation synonyms with you, and you will be able to understand it in a better way:

  • self-deprecatory, aw-shucks, self-effacing
  • demure, humble, unassuming, lowly, modest, down-to-earth, meek, unpretentious
  • acquiescent, deferential, unassertive, submissive, unaggressive, compliant, yielding, resigned
  • cowering, shrinking, cringing

Some other self-deprecation synonyms are as follows:

  • ingenuous, simple, plain, unaffected, naive
  • bashful, diffident, overmodest, retiring, sheepish, passive, quiet, subdued, reserved, shy, introverted, timid, mousy (or mousey), unobtrusive

If you are still confused about self-deprecating names, let’s have a look at some of the antonyms:

  • aggressive, audacious, impudent, brash, brassy, forward, cheeky, bold, impertinent, assertive, saucy
  • cocksure, confident, overconfident, hubristic, cocky, self-confident
  • egocentric, self-affected, narcissistic, self-centred, prideful, egoistic (also egoistical), self-complacent

Self-deprecating sentence

If you are wondering how you can use self-deprecating in a sentence, here are some self-deprecating sentence examples for you:

  • She has an excellent self-deprecating sense of humour.
  • A self-deprecating person never gets upset when people try to judge you.
  • Silly pranks and self-deprecating humour can make your married life fun.
  • The self-deprecating humour of a comedian can make the audience laugh like hell.
  • It was funny for him to make fun of his own weaknesses, but I am a little concerned about his self-deprecating behavior.

Some simple self-deprecating sentence examples are as follows:

  • He makes perfect self-deprecating jokes.
  • Sometimes you do not even realize that you are making self-deprecating statements.
  • She has a unique self-deprecating charm.
  • He is likable because of his self-deprecating humour.
  • She used to tell stories in a self-deprecating manner.

Self-deprecating example

Self-deprecating behavior can be classified into three different categories based on the way you use it. Here are self-deprecating examples for you to understand these categories:


Philosophers of Stoicism recommended self-deprecation as a response when someone insults. Instead of defending ourselves, we should join others in insulting ourselves. According to them, it can remove the sting from the insult. It can upset the one who is insulting as this whole thing is not affecting us in any way which was supposed to hurt us.

Politeness element

In British-English culture, traditionally, self-deprecation is an important element of modesty. They consider modesty as a virtue, and self-confidence demonstration is linked with boasting. It is a characteristic in the United Kingdom, New Zealand, Australia, and Ireland. Here it is frowned upon to blow one’s own trumpet. Belittling one’s own self is considered as being polite by putting first someone else.


One of the common self-deprecating examples is self-deprecating humour. It is very popular these days. It is a major component in most comedy shows. The audience likes it when someone makes fun of his own self, and they can totally relate to the comedian.

Self-deprecating psychology

We all have self-deprecating people in our social circle, and when you ask them, why did they do something? They will respond like, “because I am stupid and don’t have any idea what I am doing.” Honestly, I too have several friends like this, and I am not an exception myself. Sometimes even I can differentiate whether it is humour or truth when most people take it as humour. Self-deprecating psychology is not that difficult to understand. In my experience, it is difficult for some of us to show emotional intimacy, and we cannot show our emotions without making a joke out of it.

Why does a person show self-deprecating behavior?

According to self-deprecating psychology, it is a kind of learned reflux we use, often for denying the credit people give to us or to attack ourselves in areas will feel are not good enough. You can describe it as a way used by the brain to monitor the social environment, to which extent you are being rejected or accepted by the people. Thus our own self-criticizing scale is biased. It makes us feel that we are not worthy of praise. The reason behind this is that our focus is on feelings of unworthiness, weaknesses, highlighting shame, and other negative factors. We deal with ourselves the way we would never deal with others. These negative evaluations do not have a positive impact on our health if not controlled and can lead to mistrust and stress ultimately and in some cases depression.

Self-deprecating does not just revolve around telling yourself that you are an awful person. You undermine yourself, your own authority for tormenting and silencing yourself, maintaining humility by claiming to be wrong. Inferiorization plays a huge part in self-deprecation. As we make ourselves smaller continuously, deny ourselves, and torment ourselves for past mistakes that do not matter. Tormenting ourselves is not the right thing to do, as we have our own identity and are not who other people want us to be. It is difficult, no doubt.

I can understand totally I have beaten myself for my actions in the past, that really does not matter, from something in my life that went wrong to not saying  “no” when it was needed. If you keep piling up these mistakes and do not forget about them even if they lost their relevance, it will become difficult for you to move forward.

If someone does something bad, it does not make him a bad person at all. But that does not mean you should ignore your negative qualities. You must use a critical approach to understand positive and negative qualities. Try to appreciate yourself for the good qualities you have and try to improve the negative qualities. A little self-deprecating behavior is good as it allows you to laugh at your failures, but when it becomes extreme, it can be dangerous for you.

Deprecate vs. depreciate

Are you confused about Deprecate vs. depreciate? Let me make it clear for you. Deprecate and depreciate are from two different Latin origins. Depreciate is from Latin depretiare, a mixture of de(from), and pretium (cost). “To depreciate” is to turn out to be less in esteem. For instance: “It’s frequently said that a vehicle depreciates as it has been driven off the dealer’s lot.”

Depreciate is utilized with the meaning “to bring down the value of.” For instance: “The recent crisis in country depreciated value of currency.”

Allegorically, depreciate meaning is “to disparage or belittle.” For instance, “Regardless of what I do, he depreciates my endeavors.”

Deprecate is derived from the Latin word deprecari, a blend of de (from, away) and precari (to pray). “To deprecate,” something was to “ask it away.” In the seventeenth century, the word entered English with meaning, “to pray against evil, to appeal to God for liberation from.” For instance, one may go to church to “deplore God’s judgment,” that is, pray that it may be deflected.

The secular meaning of deprecate is “to plead earnestly against” and “to communicate sincere dissatisfaction with regards to.” For instance, “We deprecate the cruel activity taken against the nearby population.”

Deprecate vs. depreciate? Speakers don’t generally observe a distinction between depreciate (to disparage) and deprecate (to oppose). Since the qualification is a fine one, the words have got similarities.

Signs of unhealthy self-depreciation

Self-depreciation humour is good to a limit. But when it becomes a habit, and you actually start feeling depressed about your failures and insecurities, it means it is a time for you to change your habit. Here are some signs  that show that you have unhealthy self-depreciation habits:

You can’t handle praises.

While praises are generally all-around expected, the responses that they incite are not generally ones of appreciation. A clinical advisor from the DC zone, notes, “For a considerable lot of us, here and there, hearing words that should cause us to feel great can cause uneasiness, dread, and even frenzy.”

A failure to acknowledge praise could highlight some more profound issues. Individuals with low confidence frequently battle with compliments. Sometimes this can cause a panic attack in a person if the issue is deeply rooted.

It has become a reflex action.

Similar to the case with one of my associates, people having self-depreciation behavior ridicule themselves instinctually. On the off chance that you notice that your characteristic tendency is to participate in self-deploring humour and make jokes at your own cost, without first pondering the purpose, you might need to take some action in breaking this habit.

Your jokes crash and burn.

There is no more terrible situation than saying something that you hope to send a group into attacks of giggling; however rather, it causes the space to go quiet. This is particularly obvious when it is self-deprecating, in light of the fact that the punch line is kind of personal. These circumstances, in any case, can be learning encounters. Next time you face a similar situation, make sure to take some time to think about why your self-deprecating humour made others uncomfortable. You might have gone too far people may question why you are putting yourself down so badly, and you may have to change your self-deprecating patterns.

You self-depreciate when you are alone.

It is extremely difficult to persuade yourself that your self-depreciation is only a way to socialize. It turns into somewhat harder to justify, be that as it may when you’re the just one in the room. We can’t generally control our thoughts; however, we can control how we manage them.

You begin accepting the punch lines.

A definitive sign that you have to back off from self-deploring humour is that you begin tolerating it as reality what you initially expected it to be a happy joke. The purpose of self-belittling is to downplay your blemishes and deal with the defects of humankind, not approve insecurities.

Self-deprecating memes

For most of us, memes are a way to forget complications in life and laugh for a while. There are plenty of Self-deprecating memes that can make your day. If you are going through a tough time in career, relationships, studies, or “life,” you will totally relate to these Self-deprecating memes. Here are some of my most favourite memes:

Self-deprecating quotes

A self-deprecating person is aware of his own shortcomings and weaknesses. The individual is bold and fearless in pointing out their flaws and weaknesses in public. Mostly they do this in a funny way. It seems hilarious how people can talk about the negative aspects of life frankly and in a fun way.

If you are such a person, you might like to read some self-deprecating quotes. You can then use these quotes on your social media to show how relatable it is. So here are some of my most favourite quotes:

  • “I am so clever that sometimes I don’t understand a single word of what I am saying.” ― Oscar Wilde, The Happy Prince and Other Stories.
  • “There’s no room for demons when you’re self-possessed.” ― Carrie Fisher.
  • “All the shitty stuff people do to themselves… it can all be the same thing, you know? Just a way to drown out your own voice. To kill your memories without having to kill yourself.” ― Isaac Marion, Warm Bodies.
  • “They all laughed when I said I’d become a comedian. Well, they’re not laughing now.” ― Bob Monkhouse, Crying With Laughter: My Life Story.
  • “After years of self-deprecating behavior, I’ve never learned how to properly take a compliment. A part of me wants to argue with him, to tell him there’s nothing special about me.” ― Brynna Gabrielson, Starkissed.
  • “Don’t be afraid! We won’t make an author of you, while there’s an honest trade to be learnt, or brick-making to turn to.” ― Charles Dickens, Oliver Twist
  • “The average person’s self-esteem is so low that they are way less frequently surprised that they love someone than they are surprised that someone loves them.” ― Mokokoma Mokhonoana.
  • “I should have learned mindfulness, and it’s too late now because it’s no good learning it when you’re already in crisis: you have to start when things are good. But only the very, very oddest would think, Hey, my life is perfect. I know! I’ll sit and waste twenty minutes Observing My Thoughts without Judgement.” ― Marian Keyes, The Break.
  • “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, which is a pity because this week the National Association of Beholders wrote to tell me that I’ve got a face like a rucksack full of dented bells.” ― Charlie Brooker.
  • “People don’t care about being duped as long as they’re happy, which is the shortest form of happiness; hence ‘self-duprication’ becomes a habit.” ― Criss Jami, Killosophy.
  • “There is power born of humility . . . Humility, in business and in life, is a powerful asset and does not denote lowliness, unimportance, or self-deprecation.” ― Richie Norton, The Power of Starting Something Stupid: How to Crush Fear, Make Dreams Happen, and Live without Regret.
  • “On my way here I passed a local cinema and it turns out you were expecting me after all, for the billboards read: “The Mummy Returns”.” — Margaret Thatcher.
  • “I think women have a hard time not apologizing their way into negotiations. We tend to back in to these conversations in a self-deprecating and ultimately self-defeating way.” Mika Brzezinski
  • “You know when you tell a self-deprecating story at a dinner party, everyone’s laughing along with you? But then when someone else repeats that same story at another dinner party you feel they’re all laughing at you?” Toby Young
  • “I wish I could be as thin as Jessica Simpson. I think she looks gorgeous! I have had Jessica on my show several times, and I can tell you that girl is genuine and funny with a great self-deprecating sense of humor.” Rachael Ray
  • “Humans also tend to find community to be pleasurable, and within the boundaries of community relationships, words – often ironic and self-deprecating – are always spoken that take on other meanings when uttered by others.” Ta-Nehisi Coates
  • “I like girls who are self-deprecating. I like girls who make fun of themselves. If you can’t poke fun at yourself, what are you? I just want someone with a good soul. That’s about it. The rest I’m really flexible on.” Chris Evans
  • “It really is easy to forget the unpleasant if we simply refuse to recall it. Withdraw only positive thoughts from your memory bank. Let the others fade away. And your confidence, that feeling of being on top of the world, will zoom up-ward. You take a big step forward toward conquering your fear when you refuse to remember negative, self-deprecating thoughts.” David J. Schwartz
  • “Leonard Cohen can give you “Leonard Cohen” – the self-deprecating wit, the slow, considered speech, the perfectly-honed anecdote – Tom Waits is far more comfortable giving a journalist “Tom Waits” the character, whose conversation is really a series of strange tales, learned or ad-libbed.” Sylvie Simmons
  • “Democrats, if they’re smart and they’re not brain-dead, are doing two things right now.They’re having self-deprecating humor written for them. There was no humor in Cleveland. And they are not making this a Donald Trump.” Mark Shields
  • “The people I grew up around who I really liked were quick on the draw. It always just wowed me. And my mum would make weird funny comments. I can see in myself her self-deprecating, hippie humour. I can’t take myself too seriously.” Drew Barrymore
  • “I’m not saying this just to be self-deprecating, but I have always taken delight in playing people who are oblivious, because I do think I have giant, giant blind spots. It’s a very comfortable place to be.” Ty Burrell
  • “I do a lot of public speaking and presentations and I’ll always start with a self-deprecating joke to make everybody feel comfortable with my size because there can be hang-ups and anxieties.” Warwick Davis
  • “You can’t embarrass Joss Whedon, he’s got no pride! He fully admits it. ‘Oh, it’s me. I’m little and goofy.’ You can’t wound his pride. He’s too self-deprecating.” Nathan Fillion
  • “I’m a Larry David fan, right? And it seems to me that Jewish history from the Talmud on has been a self-deprecating, self-critical kind of humor.” Peter Eisenman
  • “It is only people who are lacking, or bad, or inferior, who have to be good at things. You have always been full and perfect, so you had nothing to make up for.” — T.H. White.
  • “I get that racism exists, but it’s not a catalyst for my content. I don’t need to talk about race to have material. My style of comedy is more self-deprecating. I think that makes me more relatable. When you deal with ‘topics’ – race, white versus black – you’re not separating from the pack. You’re doing what everybody else is doing.” — Kevin Hart.
  • “I have never been an ambitious person, and my participation in this industry is a fluke, but only male writers can afford to be coy and self-deprecating.” — Diablo Cody.
  • “At this, the duke stopped mid-step and nearly choked with laughter. “Beg your pardon, Sheffield.” He cast a speaking glance at his sister then turned his merry gaze back to Benedict. “Did you try to get your way?”
    Benedict lifted a shoulder with a self-deprecating smile.
    The duke clapped him on the shoulder, unabashed. “You’ll learn soon enough.”Benedict gazed down at Lady Amelia. “I believe I already have.” — Erica Ridley.
  • “What happened to your face?” Blue asked.
    Adam shrugged ruefully. Either he or Ronan smelled like a parking garage. His voice was self-deprecating. “Do you think it makes me look tougher?”
    What it did was make him look more fragile and dirty, somehow, like a teacup unearthed from the soil, but Blue didn’t say that.
    Ronan said, “It makes you look like a loser.”
    “Ronan,” said Gansey.
    “I need everyone to sit down!” shouted Maura.” — Maggie Stiefvater
  • “It’s bloody annoying being shy. I’ll spend a whole evening at a party asking everyone else about themselves. I’m not being self-deprecating; it’s because I’m too shy to talk about myself. So people come away from the evening actually having learnt nothing about me.” — Richard C. Armitage.
  • “Sometimes, Johan … ” He offered a self-deprecating grin. “It would be easier to forget the past.” I understood although I didn’t know that he knew that. “Sometimes … but without the past we wouldn’t be who we are.” — L.E. Modesitt Jr.
  • “I’ve always at least tried to be self-deprecating when I say anything about myself. As long as you set the bar low, it will keep people from putting you on a pedestal, so they can’t knock you off.” — Megan Fox.
  • “Nowadays, the truth is, I think a lot of the newer generation of action stars usually are pretty self-deprecating and cool. I mean, Dwayne Johnson is a great example.” — Adam McKay
  • “I realized that you didn’t have to make self-deprecating remarks or turn yourself into the butt of some unspoken joke. I also discovered that being big didn’t deter possible suitors.” — Maeve Binchy
  • You learn to laugh at yourself, and you also lean on comedy as a crutch to kind of take the edge off because comedians often are self-deprecating and they cross lines that they shouldn’t. Stuff like that brings a smile to my face every once in a while when needed. — John Cena

All these self-deprecating quotes are, no doubt, my favourite. But this one is close to my heart, and I can totally relate with this one, I know you will also find this relatable if you are a self-deprecating person:

“I’m self-deprecating – I spend a lot of time telling myself that things are OK, as opposed to having to tell myself to get over things.” — Courtney Barnet.


Self-depreciation is an excellent way to deal with your failures to move on with life. It also helps you in dealing with mean people who intend to hurt you. But everything seems good within limits. So if you feel like your self-depreciation habit is becoming unhealthy, you need to break the cycle. Writing a journal and ignoring the mean comments of others by saying “Thank you” can help you with this. If you feel like you are not going anywhere, talk to a therapist about your situation. they will help you in dealing with it with the help of some useful strategies. I hope so this article will prove helpful for you.

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