The self-defeating humor style is humor at the expense of one’s self. It has a bad reputation, because it is negatively correlated with self-esteem, positive personality traits, and creativity. However, some forms of self-defeating humor do not have such negative correlates. Gelotophobia, or the fear of being laughed at, and gelotophilia, or the enjoyment of being laughed at, illustrate the discrepancy between positive and negative effects. Gelotophobia, like standard self-defeating humor, negatively correlates with self-esteem, well-being, creativity, and positive character traits. Conversely, gelotophilia positively correlates with creativity, positive character traits, self-esteem, self-compassion, and well-being. Possible areas of future research are also discussed.

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