Self Deprecating and Introversion

Self Deprecating and Introversion
Let’s have some deep conversations. 
Do you fixate on the bad more than the good about yourself?
Introverts tend to be uncomfortable with being the center of attention, and being complimented tends to shine a light on us, especially in group settings. 
Yet to create impact, you need visibility and positioning as an expert in your field.
On the other hand, it is easy for negative thought patterns  to become the norm, because of refusal to accept or believe compliments from others.
One way of dealing with  the pressure of being the center of attention good or bad is to become self-deprecating.
Self-deprecation is the act of reprimanding oneself by belittling, undervaluing, or disparaging oneself, or being excessively modest. It can be used in humour and tension release.
By self-deprecating an introverted person is able to turn attention from themselves.
Excessive use of self-deprecation can be a red flag that you have low esteem and could most likely suffer from imposter syndrome .
A lot is said about imposter syndrome, but there is less said about self-deprecation, which when overused can become an issue.
I believe it is important to understand triggering behaviours, patterns and reactions to know when there is a problem or not.
Whilst watching a new quiz show on TV last Saturday one of the contestants introduced herself by saying “I am a placement specialist”, she quickly followed it up by saying ” it’s nothing fancy it just means I place teaching assistants in jobs”  and laughed nervously.
I perked up at this behaviour as I could recognise it.  It is also important to notice peoples’ discomfort or reaction to how you introduce yourself, non of the celebrities laughed, they looked uncomfortable. Even the host  who would usually make a joke after introductions didn’t.
What followed confirmed to me that there might be issues with self-esteem and imposter syndrome.
When asked what she would do with the money, she said she would give it to the previous contestant who had lost his chance for her to take a turn, and she would buy a hot tub for her parents. She mentioned no rewards for herself.
At first glance, this is kindness, but I believe if you put yourself through a game show situation with some big money involved, yet cannot see what reward you will give yourself if you win, it indicates not feeling deserving or someone who puts themselves last.
 This combined with her self introduction was very telling and I have seen it numerous times,  in my own self previously and with clients I now help to create increased visibility  and impact.
An awareness of this is powerful, because it can be the root cause of not feeling good enough and ultimately suffering imposter syndrome.
It is usually ingrained and a habit that serves as a coping mechanism, so it takes sometime to untangle from it.
Sadly, the introverted woman can struggle to gain recognition because of self-deprecating behaviours and imposter syndrome, here are some red flags to look out for ?
  • The tendency for overthinking can lean towards the negative more than positive.  When alone your self-talk is self-deprecating and the overriding thought pattern is that of not feeling good enough.
  • You struggle to take compliments, you rather make a joke about it as the compliment makes you feel awkward, rather than celebrate or draw attention to yourself.
  • You overly compare your performance against others. Choosing to celebrate others rather than draw attention to your accomplishments.
  • Focusing in an unbalanced way on your weaknesses when pointed out, and allowing it to stop you from performing
  • Fear of being judged, causes excessive hiding and not wanting to engage in group activities.
  • One way of masking self-deprecating issues is through the use of humour e.g I am the blond one you can tell Ha-ha etc.
  • Feelings of inadequacy, keep you from stepping up and you would rather nominate others to go first.
You may be reading this and thinking “oh my God this is all me”.
Well, there is hope and you can transform and adapt to achieve and celebrate  yourself, your gifts, talents and success unapologetically.

Here are 5 ways

Live Consciously

Self Deprecation is a default  reaction and you might find you instinctively use it to diffuse tension. Whilst it is a great attribute to laugh at yourself every now and then, you have to  be willing to also celebrate yourself in equal measure, without feeling awkward and underserving.  Take on the responsibility of noticing your behaviours around people and when complimented.  By catching yourself before you begin self-deprecating and tuning into how you are feeling, you are able to recognise whether you are actually being funny or about to belittle yourself.

Get Comfortable Being Uncomfortable

All growth starts with discomfort it is the law of nature.  Your comfort zone never stays comfortable, you experience a sense of continuous discomfort with your state of being and maintaining the status quo.  The best approach is to step out of comfort into the uncomfortable learning zone. Volunteer to go first in meetings, but make sure you have prepared before hand. This will mean putting yourself straight away under the spotlight and  setting the standard. Once you have taken your turn, accept your performance and just enjoy the rest of the meeting. Take time out after ever triumph to express gratitude for taking the leap. This can be done by little celebratory events and rewards. Though the next bit might make you uncomfortable and feel boastful, “practice makes progress”,  make sure to tell a friend about your success  every opportunity you get. This will boost your confidence and self worth.
Focus on the success even if you made mistakes in the attempt, chose to focus on the positive.

Build Competence

Conscious incompetence is sometimes a genuine reason for self-deprecation and imposter syndrome.  Why stay uncomfortable and keep “winging it”. People would tell you to “fake it until you make”, but I believe the right mindset is  “face it until you make it”.  Continuously invest in growth and put yourself in a growth environment to develop your competence and assert your expertise. 

Develop Leadership Skills

Many introverted women (and men) don’t see themselves as born leaders. The tendency to stand back and take things in mean people could discount their contributions and elect others first.  But, Introverts can be leaders who lead from behind. Like  the shepherd who stays at rear the of the flock, helping them navigate, and creating an environment where the more nimble and agile are able to run ahead so that the others can follow.  The task of the leader is to help individuals flourish in their roles, setting boundaries for the flock, and helping to resolve tensions. In this instance having a talent for self-deprecating and using it effectively can come in handy to help you put your followers at ease as you lead them. But should be used wisely not to lose respect.

Get Accountability and Support

This may look like the last resort, but I can assure you that the quickest way to resolve any issues that eminent from ingrained habits and self sabotaging behaviour is to get support. This can be by having Coaching,  Mentoring and being in a group where you can have accountability and support to  maintain tenacity to change.  

So, if  you are an introverted woman struggling with this,  let’s connect and explore how to harness your strengths to thrive