One of the big steps to becoming your True Self™ is cracking the code of secret messages you are really sending when you make self-deprecating remarks. In this chapter, we will teach you how to find your True Meaning™ behind the things you might say in an everyday conversation. As you know from previous chapters, other people always hear the True Meaning™ of the things you say but because we are so focused on our Delusive Self™ we trick ourselves into thinking we are saying what we mean.
When you say: I'm so awkward.
What you really mean: I have crippling social anxiety.
When you say: I'm sorry.
What you really mean: I am not very self-confident.
When you say: I'm so fat.
What you really mean: I feel very insecure about my weight.
When you say: I'm not pretty
What you really mean: Even though I recognize that I do not fully align with our culture's beauty standards, I think I do a decent enough job of presenting myself as an attractive member of society and would like a little recognition for making the best of my situation and continuing to try and look good unlike all you other fucking slobs.
When you say: I'm an attention whore.
What you really mean: I value the time you pay attention to me, probably more than the average person, but at the same time I recognize that this behavior is frowned upon and I perhaps am too wanting with your attention. That said, while at some level I believe myself to be that which I proclaim I also do not consider myself a serious offender and seek to cut off the idea at the pass by making a self-deprecating remark.
When you say: I'm an idiot.
What you really mean: I am not an idiot, I am a fairly smart person who in this one instance has made a mistake by speaking without really knowing what I was talking about. That said, because I made this mistake I will be upset with myself for hours and hours, not actually forgiving myself so much as just forgetting that it happened, only to remember it later and feel the same amount of shame and anger at myself, all of this happening over and over again for the rest of time or at least until they invent that memory wiping machine from Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind or something.
When you say: Sorry to bother you.
What you really mean: In fact, I do not see myself as a bother at all but instead am passive-aggressively saying that you should appreciate my efforts to go out of my way to help you in some capacity and because I am not feeling such appreciation I will attempt to guilt you by making it seem as if you have more aggressively rebuked me. Ironically while my initial communique may not have been a bother to you, I recognize that by attaching this pithy guilt trip onto the end of our conversation thus implying your need to feel guilty, I am in fact actually bothering you thus making "Sorry to bother you" a self-fulfilling prophecy.
When you say: It's fine.
What you really mean: It's not fine. It is everything but fine. If you had a dictionary that showed you a picture of the thing that was the completely opposite of whatever word you were looking up, like if you looked up "left" and it showed you an arrow pointing right, when you would look up "fine" in that magical negating dictionary it would show you a picture of this situation where everything is not fine.
When you say: I'm so ugly.
What you really mean: Love me.
When you say: I'm a terrible person.
What you really mean: Love me.
When you say: I'm going to die alone.
What you really mean: Please love me.
When you say: It's okay.
What you really mean: Please, just love me.
When you say: No really, I'm okay.
What you really mean: Dear God will someone just fucking love me? Is that so impossible?
When you say: All right.
What you really mean: All right. Probably. Maybe. Not really.