Expert Author Dorothy M. Neddermeyer, PhD
The Self-Deprecating person uses self-deprecating statements to avoid standing out or to avoid engendering positive recognition. A person, who has high self-esteem make statements that clearly and concisely state their truth. We are all meant to shine; each in our own unique way.
Some people use self-deprecating statements to shrink, so that other people won't feel insecure around them. Some people self-deprecate so others won't blame them for being conceited or arrogant or criticize them. Some people put themselves down in the hopes others will build them up. This can be an opportunity for an act of kindness on your part.
True humility is awareness of ones strengths coupled with the awareness that we all have unique gifts. There is a difference between boasting and sharing ones accomplishments with those who will be happy to hear. Strategic self-effacement can be advisable, but not if it is an expression of inferiority feelings.
Stop people from putting themselves down. Every self inflicted put-down statement adds to a person's lack of belief in him/herself and his/her abilities. Many people who tend to do this need someone else to give them permission to stop doing it.
The following statements are a few examples how you can avoid joining the Self-Deprecator and helping them to stop the put-downs.
o S: "I'm not so smart. But if it were me, I think..."
R: "You are entitled to state your opinion. Your opinion is as valid as anyone else's. If your idea is good, that in itself is testimony to your smarts."
o S: "I didn't do a very good job. But I worked hard on this project."
R: "If you did your best--that is what is important. You have a right to tell me that you worked hard on this project without minimizing your performance."
o S: "I never do anything right."
R: "Never is an absolute--there aren't any absolutes. It is worthwhile to be more objective about what you do well and what you don't."
o S: "My memory is like a sieve."
R: "Fortunately you remember a vast number of things. Every time you remember something, let it register that your brain has a tremendous storage and retrievable system."
o S: "I'm always putting myself down."
R: "It's great that you are doing so now. It gives me an opportunity to help you change this pattern/habit."
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