Our willingness in order to laugh at ourselves informs a story about us.
In the first place, it shows that we may be aware of our flaws. Most of us would like to assume that it also suggests an acceptance of those flaws. Indeed it may, however it could likewise suggest some self-loathing.
The is in our intent. If we consider the motivations of an individual who jokes about themselves, we will know whether to giggle alongside them. Likewise, if we consider our own motivations, we might come to better understand our needs; if we do, we may meet those needs in positive, constructive ways.
The most important question are these claims: what are we seeking to gain by laughing at ourselves?
Some individuals, faced with judgment or bullying, might partake in their own criticism. To them, the cost of demeaning themselves can be less than the reward associated with social acceptance.
If we seek to defend yourself from criticism, we may readily agree with our detractors, in order to conceal our vulnerabilities by appearing not to care.
Even when bullying is not really a factor, some individuals may still make themselves into clowns if it increases their interpersonal value; they may feel that their own only value is comedic.
Others might laugh at themselves in the hope that others will certainly contradict them; this kind of vain effort is likely to backfire.
In all these cases, an individual may or might not believe what they’re saying about themselves, since they are just aiming for a specific response. Certainly, their true flaws may be other than those they criticize about themselves.
Regardless, our behaviour might be similar whether we accept or resent ourselves. There exists a characteristic difference, however: in the former case, we display a sense of ease. In the second option, a sense of urgency.
When we laugh at yourself out of resentment, we have plans: we are seeking a specific reaction. This kind of laughter therefore carries an intensity that the various other does not, because it exists to gratify an unmet require.
Perhaps these types of jokes come too often, especially if we take the mean-spirited terms of others as an opportunity for it. It may appear contrived or even frantic. Perhaps the person making the joke seems less jocund than they ought to become; there may be some hint associated with anger, sadness, or fearfulness. The subject matter of the joke may be personal or unconstructive.
Enabling is definitely easier, but if there is something we can do for these people, it is to show them the acceptance they seek without the advantages of them to debase themselves.
This sense associated with urgency runs contrary to the particular authentic, light-hearted humor that will results from genuine self-acceptance.
When we are aware of the inherent flaws, weaknesses, and particularly our habits, we existing them to those we rely on with a sense of levity; we hold the expectation that they will laugh along, thereby recognizing our flaws alongside us, accepting us for who seem to we are all the same.
To accept these sorts of flaws in ourselves (and even to get loved ones accept them with us) does not mean that we resign ourself to them. We continue to fight against them, but we acknowledge the perpetuity of the fight with the same sort of ease that lends itself to laughter.
But our expressions of acceptance are not limited to ourselves. If we are prudent, we are able to even laugh at other people so as to acknowledge their imperfections without their prompt.
There is greater danger here. If we aren’t particular of a dynamic of believe in with the other person, and when they aren’t secure enough in their flaws to recognize them along with us, our own attempted exchange of approval can quickly turn into an trade of hostility.
Nevertheless, there is also the potential for all of us to relieve others of the burden of initiative. If they are timid and vulnerable, they may not be willing to reveal much of on their own to us in the first place.
But with this strategy, we are able to convince them that not just do we see their flaws, but we also accept them despite all those flaws. This may prompt them to lower their defenses, from a realization that we are trustworthy.
This can be a two-way street. To tease others without first developing trust is much closer to bullying. We need to be rigorous along with ourselves; if our various insecurities make us inclined to belittle others, we must not fall into the trap of believing that our unkind words and phrases are somehow virtuous.
The best way to truly take initiative is for us to create ourselves vulnerable first. Our first jokes should be directed at ourselves, not others. This way, it becomes a simple matter of reciprocity for others to open by themselves to us.
Laughter & Identity
It follows, then, that we need to take responsibility pertaining to developing ourselves before we can really help others. Whenever we can laugh at ourselves, we can accept ourselves and become trustworthy.
Simply by laughing at our imperfections, we put them in framework. When we acknowledge those flaws, we accept their inevitability as part of being human, yet we still take responsibility for them.
Such laughter is also a proclamation of our identity. When we place our vulnerabilities on display, all of us assert that our identity is secure enough that others are not able to threaten it.
When we have a sense of humor regarding ourselves, we cultivate a far more open environment that promotes others to do the same. Via this means, a sense of intimacy can start to flower.
We grow, and the relationships grow along with us. When we can laugh from ourselves, we lay claim to our faults, replacing apology and insecurity with paradox.