I tend to run myself down, and most often in public. It often gets me glares and pfffts.
It is a holdover from my youth, as I was not the all knowing, amazing uberdom you see before you today. When I was young I used humor as a defense mechanism, after all if I made fun of myself then no one else could do it. Not to mention that I could often defuse a hostile situation with my jokes.
These days I am not the shy retiring youth I once was. I am confident and sure of my skills, talent and personality. But still I am the first to run myself down. I like to make people laugh and it is much safer to make fun of myself than it is to make jokes that might offend others (not that I have trouble offending others anyway) and to be honest there are areas where I might not be quite so confident.
Take this blog for example. This is my first attempt at sustained writing. I have tried my hand at fiction and opinion and many other styles of writing and I can concede that there have been moments when it hasn’t sucked. But I work in a world filled with amazingly talented writers (like the one sitting next to me shivering with the cold of an English June) and I know that I don’t hold a candle to any of them. That is OK, I am new to this and I like to think that even if my prose is not as good as I imagine, I at least bring a unique perspective and perhaps once I put in enough time I might even become a halfway decent writer. But I do know that if I don’t try I will never become better.
So for the time being the way I will head off criticisms (mostly my own) of how well I write I will continue to make fun of it.
But I won’t stop, that would be an actual failure and the worst joke of all.