I don't mean people with low self esteem.

But there are people who feel happy at being able to make other people laugh at their own expense. I remember someone telling me there is a word for them, I can't find it.

Let me explain:

I sometimes, while sitting with a group of people, might just tell them a personal embarrassing story, which might be completely fabricated, to make other people laugh. And when they laugh, I feel happiness.

I'm also self deprecating, but not in a way that I hate myself, rather, just my work (I'm a screenwriter) and knowing I can do better. I do not self deprecate myself in public (I don't praise myself either).

Edit: Now that its mentioned, I think the word I'm talking about was used to describe a person's sense of humor. Or it could be a word used to describe a psychological trait/disorder.

Edit: I just looked up humor styles on Wikipedia. And after reading it, I guess the word that closely matches what I'm looking for is 'Affiliated Humor' but in a 'Self Defeating' style.

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    – deadrat
    Commented Jul 25, 2016 at 4:38
  • @deadrat well.. self deprecating would be a likely personality trait. But I don't think it completely fits. I'll post some more detail to explain. Commented Jul 25, 2016 at 4:40
  • 2
    I think @deadrat is right on here with self-deprecating. This feels like this sketch from Kids in the Hall
    – Jim
    Commented Jul 25, 2016 at 5:18
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    self-effacing? ~
    – user180089
    Commented Jul 25, 2016 at 5:25
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    notANerdDev: @deadrat's suggestion, self-deprecating, is exactly the word that fits your description. It is almost always collocated in 'a self-deprecating sense of humor'. None of the other suggestions have this connotation. 'affiliated' and 'self-defeating' have none of the connection with humor. Note the great number of upvotes on the very first comment.
    – Mitch
    Commented Jul 25, 2016 at 13:26

3 Answers 3


The term you are looking for is self-deprecating. The Oxford Dictionary of English by Angus Stevenson defines the word as meaning:

Modest about or critical of oneself, especially humorously so: ‘self-deprecating jokes

  • 1
    I agree that what you meant to put is the right answer, you should correct the spelling and quote a definition with a link so that we can see why this is what OP is looking for. Once you do that you’ve got my upvote.
    – Jim
    Commented Oct 29, 2016 at 4:20
  • The OP already included self-deprecating in the question. "I'm also self deprecating, but not in a way that I hate myself,.."
    – user140086
    Commented Oct 29, 2016 at 10:50

I think that what you are talking about is a personality trait known as

being able to laugh at yourself


not taking yourself too seriously

This quote of course can also describe someone's sense of humor and can mean a lot of things. For one, it could mean that you are so optimistic about your friends enjoying an embarrassing story about you that you are willing to admit any flaws or even make up a story to make them laugh. On the other hand it could mean that you are mentally strong. That you are able to accept your faults and be yourself. So the only word I could think of that could describe a person like this would be:

Humble: having or showing a modest or low estimate of one's own importance 1

In your case, it would be a modest rather than a low estimate of one's own importance. I chose the word humble because you're willing to downplay yourself for the enjoyment of others, meaning that you do not care about looking "perfect" in front of others. You can be honest about your mistakes at times and still be okay with them. These are characteristics of humility.

1 The Concise Oxford English Dictionary by Angus Stevenson and Maurice Waite

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    I think the word might be a psychology term. Someone with the background might know of it. I just know for sure that there is a word used to describe this behavior in specific. Anyways, your answer does make me feel good about myself and is not wrong, thanks. Commented Jul 25, 2016 at 5:18

I would go for:

self-mockery (or self-mocking according to the Oxford dictionnary)

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    Nope... Self mockery of simply an action. What I am referring to is not just an action. But also the realisation of the after effects of that action. Commented Jul 25, 2016 at 9:36

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