I write about my life and life itself seen through my eyes for who can write through the experiences of others if not their own?

Friday, September 04, 2009

It's Not Funny!

“Say this word again” my coworker urged while pointing to her computer screen. The room filled with laughter in anticipation of my rehearsal. I walked away from her desk while she asked me again to repeat the same word I had mispronounced.

“No” I said trying to sound firm but nice, “I honestly don’t enjoy it when you mock my accent”.

Suddenly the room grew quiet as if for the first time the audience realized the joker had feelings.

That is who I am. I am a joker. I joke a lot. Humor is part of my life and how I handle life. I enjoy making fun of myself, self-disparaging humor if you will, maybe in a self-mechanism way, I laugh at myself before others do. Whether I have a sense of humor or not is a matter of interpretation or appreciation. But when humoring others, I believe in separating the person from the joke.

A good friend I have known for over 18 years and I communicate by humor, that is our way. Through our jokes, she knows me probably better than most and vice versa. I know about her children, her late husband, her loss, her grief. I also know she has struggled with her weight all her life and although she jokes about her figure, I never do.

A funny joke should never come close to home. It shouldn’t.

There is a big difference between laughing with and laughing at. Big difference between entertaining and hurting.

The purpose of humor is important to the success of humorous communication. When humor is used to hide anger and aggression and even the insecurities of the person delivering the joke mixing in humor underlying messages of hurtfulness, it is not funny.