Going through life, I’ve always found that humour and my sense of it, have helped me pull through some really tough times. There’s a Dutch saying that freely translates to: “A day without laughter, is a day wasted.” This is basically my motto and I always try to have a good laugh every day, no matter how bad it has been. Recently I tested what my values were and the top one among those was humour. This says a lot about me as a person. I love making people smile and sometimes it almost feels like it is my mission in life to entertain people. Humour can be used in various ways as a defence mechanism. Here are some tips.
#1 Handling insults like a pro
The best use of humour is self deprecating humour as a deflection of someone’s insult. This takes some training, but it is the best way to shrug off insults with your Humour Armour. If someone says something particularly nasty we are often angry and feel that a snarky remark or a bigger insult is a good deflection. These can be effective, of course, but you may not always have a witty response that will burn the insulting party harder than you just got burned. I’ve always found that the best way was to just make a joke about yourself and how the insult is correct about you. That way you’ll find that the person who is insulting you won’t get the satisfaction they sought. If you find this hard, you can train. Just ask a friend to insult you and think of a way you could reply with a self deprecating joke.
#2 Humour during hard situations
Life can be hard sometimes and it’s never a good idea to let whatever is going on get the better of you. I know it’s hard, but cracking a few jokes or bringing up some funny anecdotes can really help to make the mood just a little better. For instance, during funerals I’ve always found it helpful to bring up a funny story you remember. You should remember that you’re celebrating that person’s life and what better way than to bring up a fond memory of a funny situation you were involved in? Similarly, whenever you get bad news, there is always room for humour, even when a lot of people don’t think so. You just got to find the right way to make a joke. Sarcasm and, again, self deprecating humour can help here.
#3 When you smile, the world smiles back
Whenever I am feeling a bit down, or my day just isn’t going the way I wanted it to, I always try to put a smile on someone else’s face regardless. Because when I do, I always feel a little bit better. You may not feel like doing this when you’re not feeling like laughing at all, but trust me, if you can make someone else laugh, even at the expense of yourself, you’ll feel better. And again, if you’re feeling down, it’s possibly the best time to make a really harsh joke about yourself, because it will mean you are no longer taking everything so seriously.
As you can see, I’m a big fan of making jokes at my own expense. This doesn’t mean I don’t value myself, or that I don’t have any self-esteem, but it does mean that I am able to put things in perspective. Life is just too short to waste an opportunity to laugh. 🙂
Jeffrey, I love your approach to use humor, self-deprecating humor in particular if all else does not come to mind, when dealing with difficult people or situations, even at a funeral home viewing. I would only offer a quote of my own, “In a flurry of jest, truth is professed,” meaning if you can think on your feet & say something that makes everyone laugh, while the afterthought by the recipient is, “I’ve been had!” –A great read, Jeffrey, & good advice! Phil