Self-deprecation in response to good results is intended to fish for even more compliments than those results already warrant.
Using self-deprecation for their social benefit is a habit that those who’ve finagled ways to garner positive attention regularly employ. They aim to highlight their various good outcomes by setting low expectations and allowing the objective results surprise people into showing them boosted praise.
This article aims to explain why making a habit out of being self-deprecating in the face of your good performances in life is a bad one to adopt.
Acting Against Objective Truths
Though not lying, you wouldn’t be aligned with the truth by being self-deprecating in reaction to good outcomes in your life.
You may argue that your subjectivity has been tuned to such a high standard, that you no longer operate by the same metrics of normalcy as the rest. However, your subjectivity would only be able to affect what you perceive truth to be. An objective truth is one whose conditions for being true are met without bias of any sort.
For instance, the average individual’s reaction to a high grade on an exam, by objective standards, is something your subjectivity can’t influence. If we remain within the context of influencing others, then that objective truth would need to be abided by in your attempts to make a favorable impression on those around you.
Being self-deprecating in response to results which others deem to be objectively positive, will communicate that you deem those operating objectively as wrong, or lesser, by your standards. You’ll do your part to muddy the waters of objectivity and may even have success in having those who listen to you second-guess their objective stances.
A Scheme Unveiled
As those same individuals discover that you have been reacting in conflict with objective standards, they’ll begin to wonder why you did.
More likely than not, people will predict you to have a good sense of objective standards. They would thereby quickly exclude the possibility of ignorance propelling your self-deprecation.
What they’ll be left with in their analysis of your self-deprecating reactions, would be self-serving attempts to elicit favorable reactions from others.
You’d be discovered to be masking your desire to be rewarded more than you should be.
As mentioned prior, self-deprecation in the face of already good results is intended to make those results be received more positively than they deserve to be. The sneakiness, dishonesty, and complexity with which you’d have attempted to gain more praise than you deserve will rub the ones around you the wrong way.
The Child With More Toys, Wants Toys More
In stepping away from the more nuanced social interactions at play, it is worth mentioning how your self-deprecating dialogue can affect the less analytical around you.
A sense of vicarious discomfort washes over us when we witness an already privileged child act like a spoiled brat in public places. You’ve likely come across children who disrespect their parents, make a scene, and cry out in despair when they don’t get what they want. Blind to the privileges which already riddle their lives, these children see only the lush green gardens whose gates they can’t invade.
There’s a certain snobbiness to someone being perpetually disappointed with objectively positive results. Labeling themselves as avid perfectionists, they’ll go on to complain about every mistake they make and fight for every mark not received. Though initially gaining the respect of those who admire a constant stride toward perfection, they quickly go on to lose it with time.
Those who work hard to receive, and are proud of, a B-plus will feel as if their standards aren’t good enough compared to those who complain about the A-minus. Though the perfectionist in this scenario doesn’t have the obligation to care about how their quest for perfection makes those around them feel, they wouldn’t escape the realities of those feelings in their social dealings.
The Dilemma of Perfectionism
The stringent goals you set for yourself aren’t immune to being freely perceived by those around you. An overlooked aspect of our complaints about good, but not perfect, results are others’ desires to humble us in our quest for perfection.
The privileged peer who never stops complaining is an identity people don’t respect. The distinction between a respectable desire to achieve more and an annoying string of unwarranted complaints is marginal and difficult to not cross.
This therein, is the dilemma of perfectionism. Your perfectionist desires in one domain are sure to damage your performance in another.
Remember, it’s okay to strive to be better. However, your quest for perfection should not discriminate against getting your social interactions right. Strive to better influence those around you just as you strive to achieve good results elsewhere.
In carrying your quest for perfection into the social realm, you’ll come to find that being too vocal about your strict self-expectations will make others hesitant to empathize with your goals.
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