At some point in the past two weeks you have probably self-deprecated yourself.
You made a mistake while playing sports and declared yourself “not very good.”
A friend said you were smart and you nodded “no way”.
For many people self-deprecation is common, but sometimes too common. Maybe you grew up with stories of saints hanging their heads low or maybe you are just trying to fit into a politically correct culture in which any display of superiority could be interpreted as offensive or bigoted.
Interesting to note there isn’t a lot of self-deprecation in the Bible. You don’t hear Jesus saying, “I come from a boring, uneventful family”, “I’m only 5’8 and I’m not too happy about it.”
There is a lot of humility in the Bible but that’s different. Humility is recognizing who you are whether you’re a CEO billionaire or a sinner in need of redemption. The most common humble reference in the Bible has to do with Christ, ourselves, and all Christians being “servants”. We’re servants of God, however, so that is hardly self-deprecating.
In deprecation as in most social actions it’s less important what we do and more important why we do it. Comedians use deprecation for humor and it has a great effect. It makes them relatable.
Most of us aren’t comedians, however. We use deprecation because we don’t feel confident about ourselves or at least sub-esteem our lives. That type of deprecation will more likely incite pity than laughter; no one wants to relate to someone with a sub-average, pitiable life.
If you really feel the need to point out your inadequacy to friends or someone you are trying to get to know, try following it up with something that is positive.
“I’m horrible at karaoke…but I’m great at open mic poetry.”
Think over your conversations and think of the image of yourself that you are handing on to others. Share the good truths about yourself shamelessly. Quit apologizing for your natural deficiencies.
Start telling the world what you are a good at, how you have succeeded, been blessed, or just got lucky. True, you will die one day and none of it will matter, but lets not think that far ahead. Enjoy your gifts and share them if you think they could provide enjoyment or inspiration to others.