Is your humor serving you or undercutting you? Here’s how to tell


“I’m such an idiot.
“It’s like I’ve lost my brain today.”

“Ugh—I’m all over the place.”

Real talk… did reading these “self-digs” make you go 😂 or 😬?

Whether you forgot to ‘unmute’ yourself as you began talking on a Zoom call, or you tripped over your words mid-sentence…

Taking a stab at yourself might *feel* like an easy way to relate to people or lighten an otherwise serious mood.

But, it’s also an easy way to undercut yourself.

And trust me, I’m all for not taking yourself too seriously. I think a little self-deprecating humor can go a long way when it comes to being real with people or building genuine trust… 

But if you’re unsure of how to use your sense of humor to connect with others or you’re wondering whether constantly putting yourself down is serving you…you’re NOT alone! 

Check out this video from a recent coaching call to learn how to tell the difference between humor that serves you and humor that undercuts you.

The bottom line?

👉  Figure out your intention before you crack that joke: are you about to be self-deprecating or self-defecating?

Because here’s the thing: humor can be GREAT—it puts people at ease and creates a more open and authentic environment. 

But there’s a difference between making it fun and trying to be funny… 

  • When you’re making it fun: your focus is on the setting and how you want to make others feel.
  • When you’re trying to be funny: your focus is on yourself—pointing fingers at your own insecurities. 

When you tear yourself down in the name of “fun,” it puts people on edge. They go from laughing along with you to feeling uncomfortable, like they need to take care of you. 

So next time you’re about to make a joke, ask yourself this…am I being self-deprecating or self-defecating?

  • Are you having a sense of humor about yourself for the sake of keeping things light for everyone?
  • Or are you just sh*tting on yourself? With the subtext of: “look at me, I suck, build me up,  take care of me…” which isn’t fun for anyone.

Now the good news is: if you’re not sure whether your particular brand of self-deprecating humor is landing in the way you intend it to, you’ve already done the best thing you can do! You’re checking in with yourself about it.

Step two is to ask a trusted friend or colleague for their honest feedback. Tell them you’re wondering if your humor is landing in a way that’s serving you or undercutting you. And if it’s a trusted friend or colleague, they’ll tell you!

Also, there are many ways to keep things fun without trying to be funny or turning all the attention back on you. Think…

👉 starting meetings with lighthearted warm-ups 

👉 infusing presentations with interactive elements and GIFs

👉 implementing reward systems and playing games

And remember: it’s NOT about suppressing your natural sense of humor just to get others to take you seriously. It’s about taking care of both yourself and the people around you by using humor with intention. 

Ready to work on being more discerning about how you show up in your interactions, and how to both put people at ease and communicate with a grounded authority? 

I’ve got just the thing to set you on that path, my friend…

It’s called The Confident Communicator—my newest, game-changing course! 🙌

This course will teach you practical tools and step-by-step frameworks for how to: 

✔️ dial down nerves when the pressure’s on

✔️ exude authentic confidence

✔️ share your knowledge with more authority and a truly empowered mindset

✔️ and articulate your ideas more clearly (and succinctly!) than ever before

Join us for The Confident Communicator today! >>>

Thanks, as always, for being here, and for being on this path of learning and unlearning with me. 


Read this next…

How to Exude Authentic Confidence and Convey Your Expertise When It Matters Most

Do you ever get frustrated when you find yourself not speaking up in meetings or missing opportunities due to fear of not saying the…

How to Stop Rambling – Fewer Words, More Impact!

Whether you’re in a job interview or pitching a strategy to a new client, try giving them your BLUF. How to give your BLUF…

Oh Baby! Hello From The Other Side…

Some goodies to tie you over while I’m out on maternity leave Guess what? On October 14th, my husband, daughter and I took the…