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Over the last year or so I’ve trying to cultivate the fine art of self-appreciating humor.

If self-depreciating  is humorously putting yourself down, then self-appreciating humor is putting yourself up.

I think this is a valuable skill for the sexual man to have in his arsenal. When done right, women find it greatly attractive. But there’s not much teaching on how to do it. So I’d like to take a stab at explaining it.

I’ll start with an example:

Gary Halbert was a legend in the industry I work in (direct-response copywriting). He was also a master of ego-centric humor.

A man of his accomplishment has three options when talking about himself: he can either “play humble”, come across as a douchebag, or entertain his audience.

Here’s how he introduced himself while giving a speech at a marketing seminar:

“I’ve been in self-publishing since 1968. I have made so many millions of dollars that I have become a legend in my own mind. None of you should feel jealous about that. Because I have the same capacity for keeping my money as a pig has for solving geometry problems. I have a big earning capacity because I have to. I’m so stupid about money.”

Of course, a lot of it’s in the delivery. So to get the full effect, watch the video clip:

The humor allows him to signal his high status without offense. People laugh but the impression made on their minds is:

  1. He’s more accomplished than me
  2. He doesn’t need me to validate his ego
  3. He’s comfortable with his flaws
  4. He knows how to survive in the face of uncertainty

When you break it down, it’s easy to see why women want to submit to men who display these qualities. We are attracted to what we lack:

  1. Women rarely have notable accomplishments
  2. Women need constant validation
  3. Women constantly worry and try to hide their flaws
  4. Women have no idea how to survive without security

The key to pulling this off effectively is to bluntly state one of your alpha qualities and then joke about how bad you are at a beta quality.

Which do you think is more attractive to women?

“Don’t worry about it babe, I make so much money and I blow it on stupid shit I don’t need all the time. If I wasn’t a complete dumbass with finances, I’d probably be a millionaire.”

Or:

“Don’t worry about it babe, I have our money so well budgeted that we can retire 15 years earlier than the average American. I don’t take many risks, but I know how to manage what I’ve got!”

A Simple Formula for Bragging:

  1. State an alpha accomplishment or trait
  2. Exaggerate how good it feels to your ego
  3. Contrast it with how much you suck at a beta trait

Combine two or more of the above and you have an effective self-appreciating joke:

“I always relied on my good looks to get by in school so I never got used to working hard for others.”

“People ask me if it’s hard being the leader. Not for me. I love telling people what to do.”

“I have no idea how much money I make. All I know is somehow the money never runs out when I’m blowing my money on stupid shit.”

“Is it safe to have this much sex? I should know this. I am a doctor.”

“With hair this good at my age? You know I can’t go out in public, babe. I’m just not in the mood to fight off all those aggressive women.”