Self Deprecation

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Can Self deprecation sometimes show you in a good light?

There's a terrific cartoon from The New Yorker we saw a while back that shows a shy looking man sitting on one side of a desk with a more bullish man on the other.

The bullish man says:

"You've just self-deprecated yourself right out of a job."

Self-deprecation is all well and good in order not to appear big-headed, a show-off or arrogant.

However, being too self-deprecating can make you appear weak, ineffectual and even a bit colourless.

Self-deprecation can also be extremely annoying.

People get fed up with hearing:

"Oh I'm not really very good at this,"


"Oh no, it was no big deal to get it done, nothing special."

"This old thing? I've had it for years."

You get what we mean.

You'll know someone (or heavens! be that someone yourself) who bats away compliments as though they were playing for the Ashes.

That's when self-deprecation can be at its most infuriating.

Someone praises you or flatters you and instead of accepting the compliment you make yourself small by almost disapproving of yourself.

Isn't that a weird thing to do?!

Especially if you are interviewing for a job, the last thing you want to do is come across as so humble as to be invisible.

Most companies are looking for people who are pretty robust; too much self-deprecation and you'll look like you could be squashed by anyone with a strong opinion.

It's important to find the balance between being overly self-deprecating where you simply aggravate others and being self-deprecating enough where you come across as thoughtful and considerate of others.



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