I Will Not Write Self-Deprecating Humor

We must learn to love ourselves. Self-help books tell us that, and why would their authors lie to us? Loving ourselves is a nice thing to do.

Look how dignified I can be when I put my mind to it!
Look how dignified I can be when I put my mind to it!
It seems to me that this idea extends to self-deprecating humor. It’s a way of controlling any jokes made at our expense by making our own jokes first, before anyone else can say anything. Making our own selves the butt of funniness is easy. We have an insider’s knowledge about our own lives. We don’t have to do any research, which makes self-deprecating humor easy. All we have to do is remember something, then exaggerate and lie about it until we have people in stitches. That’s the way to do it.

Self-deprecating humor is funny, too.

Well, a lot of it is funny. Let’s just leave it at that.

Okay. In the spirit of renewal and love of myself, I hereby resolve to give up making myself the subject of funny writing. I will treat myself with dignity. This won’t be easy. It will mean rearranging a few brain cells, and my brain cells don’t like to be moved around. They aren’t comfortable where they are, but they prefer to stay there.

There I go again! Dammit!

Let’s start again. I, Kathy Minicozzi, resolve to give myself nothing but respect and honor, and never to make jokes about myself. I have to give myself respect and honor, because if I don’t give it to myself I won’t get any. Just ask anyone sitting next to me on a subway train, especially if I have just squeezed into an empty spot on the seat and that empty spot is about half the size of my rear end. Fortunately, I don’t do this very often, because I am still alive.

AAAACCCCKKKK! Stop it, Kathy!

I can do this! I can write a whole funny piece without even once making fun of myself. I will not mention aging. I will not mention that I am fat. Nobody has to know that I spoil my cat. My cat knows me as “Mommy,” and she winds me around her little front paw. I think it’s the right front paw that I am wound around. She carries duct tape with her, just to use it on me. She cements her control over me by giving me just enough doses of purring, cuddling, nose nudges and leg rubs to give me the idea that she loves me.

Oh, I give up!

I’m going to go into the kitchen and get some comfort food.


Kathy Minicozzi is the author of “Opera For People Who Don’t Like It,” available on Amazon.com in paperback and Kindle.

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21 thoughts on “I Will Not Write Self-Deprecating Humor”

  1. Self-deprecating humor is my middle name!

    When my parents were naming me, they thought: “There’s a kid who’ll grow up to be self-deprecating.”

    1. We must always listen to our parents. That doesn’t mean we are going to do what they say, but at least we’re listening. 😉

  2. Self-Deprecation means something in psychology but I don’t know what because I’m stupid.

    1. Bill, I suspect you are a master of more than one type of humor! LOL!

    1. I agree. That kind of humor only works in sitcoms, and the self-aggrandizing character’s inflated ego becomes a target.

      (I’m thinking of Ted Baxter in “The Mary Tyler Moore Show.” He was a typical example.)

  3. I’ve known a few people in my life who were totally incapable of self-deprecating humor. They are, without exception, insufferable egotists, always making jokes at other people’s expense. So be thankful that you are capable of self-deprecation, or more precisely, incapable of giving it up.

    1. P.S. I try to stay on schedule offering myself as the butt of jokes, but lately I’ve been a little behind.

  4. Very sly piece. Nicely done! It reminds me of advice I heard at a humor writers seminar a few years ago: better to make fun of yourself than someone else. I always try to make myself the fool in the room, regardless of the subject matter, and as you said, that’s easy, though I’m not sure how you knew that about me. I think the key is to be gentle with yourself – leave the gloves on. I wish you much success in your writing!

    1. Thanks! A lot of my humor is self-deprecating. They always say, “Write what you know.” Well, I know my life and experiences better than anything else, right? Hehe!

      Making fun of someone else can turn nasty pretty easily. I’d rather poke fun of myself. I hate nastiness.

  5. Actually, self-deprecating humor is okay to an extent. It gives the reader a sense that you are all in life together. So, have fun just don’t take too many punches at yourself!

    1. I never punch myself, at least not on purpose! 😉

      I agree with you. You have to have a boundary, or else it becomes too much, and not funny anymore.

      Unless your name is Rodney Dangerfield. He was able to make “I get no respect” his catchphrase. He was a comic genius of sorts, though!

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