Are you your own worst critic? Especially the kind that cracks a joke on pretty much everything about yourself? Neither are you alone in this, nor should you feel too guilty about it.
As ridiculed as millennials might be for their strange ability to create ironic, self-deprecatory humor out of basically anything, turns out this act of laughing at one's own self is actually a sign of great health, according to a recent study.
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Researchers at the Mind, Brain and Behavior Research Center in Spain (CIMCYC) have found that being able to crack a joke at the expense of yourself makes you a much happier person. This contradicts previous research on the topic, which associated self-deprecatory humor with negative psychological effects, Daily Mail Online reported.
Researcher Jorge Torres Marín explained: "In particular, we have observed that a greater tendency to employ self-defeating humor is indicative of high scores in psychological well-being dimensions such as happiness and, to a lesser extent, sociability."
The findings, however, tend to vary depending on where a person lives, he added. "The results, as well as being consistent with the positive connotations traditionally attributed to the act of 'laughing at oneself' in our country, also suggest that the effects of self-defeating humor on well-being may differ depending on where the research takes place."
The study, which was published in the journal Personality and Individual Differences, primarily broke down the different styles of humor and explained that "adaptive" styles also include the kind of humor that has the potential to make social relationships stronger.
But this is not to be confused with self-enhancing humor, where one sustains a humorous stance even in adverse and stressful situations. Yet, both self-deprecatory and self-enhancing humor are linked to both psychological well-being as well as negative concepts.
Meaning, they can equally be associated with satisfaction, happiness and hope, along with anxiety and depression. However, the report said: "People who tend to use aggressive or self-defeating humor do not manage anger or rage as well... Meanwhile, self-defeating humor was linked to a greater tendency to suppress anger."
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Another benefit of this style of humor, as the study pointed out, is that it can be "employed to conceal negative intentions and feelings." But the style does possess certain dark traits.
As the research said: "Humor enables individuals with low scores in honesty to build trust, closeness, etc. with other people and thereby use important information in order to manipulate them or obtain advantages in the future."