When a Laugh Really Isn’t Funny

Painful Humor

I love a good laugh and being able to laugh at oneself is of utmost importance in getting through this whole life process without taking yourself too seriously.  There is however a major difference in laughing at yourself and using self-deprecating humor.  I have found that a lot of young people pick up this behavior as a way to maneuver through school and often they  wind up carrying it into adulthood causing great harm to themselves.  So sure, everyone is laughing at your jokes, however, you are using your words against you.  Though the adulation of making others laugh may feel great, inside you feel small and insignificant, and you end up programming your brain that you are those  things.

This is some of the worst programming we can do on ourselves.  It usually starts with someone poking fun at us, then even stronger than that, full blown bullying starts with: look at so and so they’re ugly, stupid, fat, have nasty acne, and the list goes on and on.  If the bullying is really bad our defense mechanism may say, “I couldn’t ignore them, I can’t beat them up, so instead I’ll join in on the jokes so that it looks like it doesn’t hurts me and in a twisted way they’ll then accept me.”  So, as an example, let’s say someone  insults you about your acne, you might respond with “Oh please, I’m just in touch with my moon cycle, check out all the craters on my face.”  It is important to realize that though this may make others laugh and ease the tension of others looking at your face with serious acne, what you are doing is using your words against you.  Then, when this becomes a patterned response within you, it can actually become a part of your personality where you present this energy before anyone has even approached you with it; where you are stating, it is acceptable to treat me this way and why don’t you join in on it with me so we can bond together.  The other person who very likely wasn’t even thinking about this, is now drawn into your field of attacking you, creating negative karma for themselves without even realizing what happened.  They were simply following your lead and just want to connect with you.

How can we stop this pattern?  How can we support someone when we know they are uncomfortable with their appearance or ability?  How can we really help and be authentic at the same time?  Here are a few suggestions that may help you shift the conversation:

  • Don’t judge someone over the way that they look.
  • Don’t buy into talking about a person in a negative way with a group or one on one.
  • If the person has a major physical issue, ask about it once honestly and sincerely.  If it’s appropriate you may interact with them teaching them that they can be real and not self-deprecating.
  • Offer suggestions to help them if they desire the help and if you have enough experience and wisdom to help and not harm.
  • Simply accept the person.  This will help them relax enough to accept themselves.

And here are some great ways to help shift out of speaking badly about yourself:

  •  Don’t negatively judge yourself and consciously pay attention to what you are saying.  Be kind, be real and either speak authentically about yourself or don’t say anything at all.
  •  Review your relationships.  Find a way to shift the interactions with others where there is  self-deprecating humor and find new ways to bond.  State it in a way that feels good to you, for example,  “You know I was using humor to try to make others or myself feel more comfortable with me.  The truth is this hurts; I don’t feel comfortable and I can’t control how others feel either.  All I know is that I am no longer willing to put myself down or let others put me down as a way to break the ice.  Will you help support me in this shift and is there a way I can help you with something that’s been bothering you?”

It’s amazing what using compassionate words along with a little authentic communication can do in empowering us to be our best selves.  Healing comes in many different ways and it’s glorious when we take simple and profound actions to take out seemingly small things that cause so much harm.  Here is to hearing you speak up for yourself and for everyone around you.  May I start you off with my usual way of addressing you all - Hello Beautiful People!!!

Free Healers Meditation for Overflowing Energy

Listen to Brook’s teachings on why we sometimes feel depleted when working or interacting with others and a powerful meditation to make sure you always have more than enough energy to be of the best service possible!

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