When I was looking up the correct spelling for ‘self-deprecation’ on Google, I came across Wikipedia’s (surprisingly short) entry on the subject. A particular section caught my eye:

Self-deprecation also refers to making negative statements regarding one’s own appearance or abilities, such as saying “I’m so fat” or “I’m such an idiot”, often with the intended result that their friends will tell them that they really aren’t. Statements and patterns of behavior such as these may indicate self image or self esteem problems. Informally, self-deprecation can then border into “fishing for a compliment”; where one states something about themself, that they believe is untrue (ex. “I don’t think this shirt looks good on me”) , so as to provoke responses from people to say the contrary and ultimately drench the original speaker with compliments.

But can you do both? Can you ‘fish for a complement’ yet also believe that you are those things?

I believe you can. I believe this because I think that is exactly what I do when I talk to people about my problems, which is why I created this blog – to ensure I had an outlet for my thoughts, but that I wasn’t constantly bothering my friends about it. This ensured that my own motivations for talking about my problems wasn’t motivated by a need for ‘fished complements’ but by the desire to sort my emotional issues out in an arena where people didn’t know me, so didn’t feel the need to complement me – only if they feel I deserve it, not out of pity because I’m their friend.

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