The purpose of this study is to consider and clarify the affirmative side of self-deprecating humor in daily scenes, focusing on interpersonal relations. We conducted inquiry survey whose subjects are 137 Japanese college students―67males and 70 females (M = 19.33, SD = 1.38). When we conducted covariance structures on effects of interpersonal relations on self-deprecating humor, we found that it was perceived as socially desirable in addition to favorableness and warm feelings if they have entertaining relation and feel happy to be with each other. However, it is showed that use of self-deprecating humor is perceived as lack of self-confidence if they have strong emotional ties. Accordingly, the survey shows that self-deprecating humor is perceived differently according relation between friends and it can be said that it is necessary to use it properly to each friend.
In this study, we viewed self-directed humor as “Aikido-humor” by using the analogy of martial art, Aikido. The objective of this study is to evaluate its possible application to preventing bullying. A role-play experiment was conducted with 26 groups, each consists of three university students who had friendly relationship with each other, totally 78 subjects. We asked one of the three members of each group to respond with self-directed humor to aggressive utterance made by another while two sets of six-minute conversation under two different conditions: without and with an observer. The result suggests that the aggressive speaker feels like to reduce emotional distance with the respondent who responds to the aggressive utterance with self-directed humor. On the other hand, it was observed that the aggressive speaker doesn’t feel affinity for the respondent when there is a third party who doesn’t involved in the conversation even if the respondent responds with self-directed humor. Thus self-directed humor, here considered as Aikido-humor, may function as a kind of management communication which tends to make the interpersonal relationship of conversing parties negative while maintaining the mood of conversation when there is a third party. However, further consideration would be needed to make it a practical method to prevent bullying because it is also associated with risks such as encouraging aggression and making detection of victims difficult.