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The benefits of making fun of yourself

Photo by Bartira Augelli for

Recently, I stumbled upon an intriguing blog post outlining the advantages of self-deprecating humour and poking fun at oneself. These benefits include increased self-esteem, stronger social connections, reduced stress levels, enhanced self-awareness, and greater resilience.

The authors suggest that while indulging in self-deprecating jokes, it’s crucial not to take oneself too seriously. By injecting some humour into self-reflection, you can foster connections with others and create a comfortable atmosphere.

Research by Ursula Beermann and Willibald Ruch reveals that laughing at oneself is associated with higher levels of optimism and improved moods. In their study, participants who rated themselves highly in the ability to laugh at their own foibles exhibited more frequent and intense smiles and laughter when presented with distorted photos of themselves. 

The findings of the study affirm the efficacy of the new approach. Among the participants, 80% exhibited a genuine smile at least once upon viewing their distorted image. Moreover, individuals who self-reported an ability to laugh at themselves, corroborated by peer assessments, demonstrated both more frequent and more intense instances of smiling and laughter in reaction to their distorted self-images. Additionally, this group displayed fewer indications of forced smiles or negative emotional responses.

However, no correlation was found between a participant’s capacity to laugh at themselves, as indicated by both self-assessment and peer evaluation, and the level of laughter provoked by distorted images of others’ faces. This suggests that the propensity to engage in self-deprecating humour is a distinct characteristic, independent of one’s overall inclination to laugh.

Furthermore, individuals who embraced self-deprecating humour tended to possess a more cheerful disposition and were in a better mood overall.

In an interview, Jordan Peterson said that self-deprecating humour can raise people’s status: 

“People admire that because it’s an indication of an ability to transcend limitations,” he says.

For a deeper dive into this concept, check out this engaging video of Jordan explaining his thoughts on this topic.

Not taking oneself too seriously is a unique personality trait that correlates with maintaining a less serious demeanour overall. Life presents its share of highs and lows, and it’s essential not to let negativity overshadow our outlook. Laughter serves as a powerful tool in navigating challenges and fostering a positive mindset.

On the flip side, while it’s beneficial to approach mistakes with levity and humour, it’s equally crucial to exercise discretion when employing self-deprecating jokes. Overdoing it may be perceived as seeking validation or engaging in people-pleasing behaviour. Therefore, it’s important to strike a balance and use self-deprecating humour judiciously.

In my previous post, I discussed the fears I encountered while establishing a presence on social media. One strategy that helped me navigate this journey was embracing self-deprecating humour and not taking myself too seriously. 

I have always found that people connect more with me and my business when I showcase my failures and quirks in a light-hearted manner.

Here are my favourites Reels I have created with a lighthearted touch:

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