Why I’m Giving Up Self-Deprecating Humor in Favor of Just Saying Nothing I Guess

I’ve been known by many people as a person who constantly makes fun of themselves, but after some of my friends grew concerned about the state of my self-esteem, I realized that making self-deprecating jokes all the time can have a negative impact on how I view myself. That’s why I decided to replace those jokes with saying nothing at all, whatsoever.


Before I made this decision, I would always have a hard time finding the line between being humble and just being flat-out mean to myself. Whenever someone would give me a compliment, I’d immediately jump to making fun of the very thing they were complimenting, or pointing out something else about myself that I viewed as undesirable. Now, however, when someone gives me a compliment, I just return it with total silence. It’s great!


I don’t even say “thank you!” I just stand there like a brick wall.


It wasn’t only when receiving flattering statements. Just a month ago, when I was overcome with social anxiety and feelings of self-doubt, I used to fill up any empty space in a conversation by insulting myself in order to keep things light and fun for everyone else. But now, I don’t say anything at all, which has been really eye-opening for me.


However, despite me making this overwhelmingly positive change in my life, the same friends who told me to stop making self-deprecating jokes still seem to have a problem with the correction I made, which I don’t understand at all.


One of my friends, Jamie, told me that I shouldn’t just say nothing – I should be saying “positive things” about myself, while also “contributing to conversations in a normal way.” But I’m afraid I just don’t have the reference material for that kind of thing.


Shouldn’t it be enough that I stopped poking fun at myself constantly? Now I have to say good things about myself too? That seems like overkill to me.



My therapist also told me that “the way we talk about ourselves has a huge impact on our mental health.” I thought she was congratulating me on the choice I made to stop talking altogether, but she actually told me this because we had been on the Zoom call for 35 minutes in complete silence and she wanted me to talk more. But what does she know anyway?


I’m happy about the change I made, and that’s all that really matters. It has made almost every aspect of my life extremely difficult, but that’s the sacrifice I’m willing to make in order to finally have sort of okay self-esteem.