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Ever since high school, I’ve struggled with depression and the act of loving myself. It wasn’t until I got to University that I started to get more in touch with my emotions and ultimately began to reflect on why my past experiences and behaviours have shaped the way I am now.

After researching what self-deprecation is and how it’s expressed on an everyday basis, I figured I would share some signs of self-deprecation and how it’s affected me. 

Undermining My Accomplishments

This is one of the biggest signs of self-deprecation for me. I can’t accept my accomplishments, which results in me thinking of reasons to explain the accomplishments instead. For example, every time I got a good grade in a course, I’d never credit the hard work I put in. Instead, I would say things like “it’s probably a bird-course,” “the professor was an easy marker,” and “I couldn’t have done this myself.” I stopped having confidence in how I did things, which is SO wrong. I thought everything I did was a fluke of some sort, or I just got ‘lucky’; it really made me underestimate my capabilities.

Using Crude Humour to Cope

You’ve probably heard of the term “self-deprecating humour”. And you also probably know where I’m going with this. That’s right. I use a lot of self-deprecating humour to try and cope with my insecurities and emotions. I forget to realize that just because it’s in a ‘joke’ form doesn’t make it any less okay. It’s still self-deprecation at the end of the day, and the joke never really ended up being funny anyway. 

I Can’t Take a Compliment

Asides from the two mentioned above, acting awkward and not being able to take a compliment is another one I struggle with. Whenever someone tries to compliment the way I look, my style, something I’m doing, I can never fully accept the compliment. I always think they’re complimenting me out of pity or sympathy towards me. For example, someone complimented an Instagram Post I created for one of my extracurriculars. Instead of saying ‘thank you’, I replied with “it’s not even that eye-catching. It’s pretty basic”. This mentality has ruined the way I take compliments. I forget to understand that people are genuine and I shouldn’t just awkwardly react or straight up reject the compliment.

I just thought I’d share some crucial signs of self-deprecation that I’ve noticed throughout the years. This is not to say I’ve entirely stopped these habits, but I’m slowly trying to unlearn them and begin to love and healthily uplift myself.

Mehak Narula

Queen's U '22

Mehak Narula is a fourth-year student studying Linguistics and German Studies at Queen's University. In her free time, you can catch her watching anime, drawing, and buying (overpriced) coffee!
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