The Quotidian Associations №008 | Self Criticism & Self Agrandisment

The Quotidian Associations №008 | Self Criticism & Self Agrandisment
Photo by Annie Spratt / Unsplash

I've been reading some Derrida as of late. Whenever I do this, I start to think about things deconstructively. I playfully consider the binary opposition between two related concepts and think about what would happen if the privileged and the non-privileged position switched places.

Today I was thinking about how I live in a culture that tends to valorize "self-awareness" and how this often leads to what I read as a performative false humility.

When I write "false humility," I'm referring to people who will perform a very public form of self-criticism, people who will highlight their flaws, making sure that others see (1) the flaw, but more importantly, making sure (2) that other see them highlighting those flaws. I think this is an attempt to show off one's level of self-awareness. So much of the performative self-criticism I see could be described as a "humblebrag."

Through a deconstructive lens, we see that this form of self-criticism is inverted self-aggrandizement. Performative self-criticism is a thinly veiled form of bragging. (At least that's what I think it is...)

Likewise, when someone is bragging about themselves reveals deep insecurity and doubts about one's self. They are performing a criticism of their insecurity.

Perhaps the braggart is more authentic and honest than the "self-aware" individuals who frequently berate themselves publicly for their shortcomings.

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