I mentioned this last week: Often, when I lose my cool, I reflect back on it and wish I could have used humor instead of reacting the way I did.
So last week, after an icky incident on spring break with another adult, I finally resolved once and for all to stop wishing and do something about it. (Spring Break story HERE) I started poking around the internet for tips on “how to be funny”, “learn to be funny”, and “funny one liners”.
Guess what I found out? Humor isn’t that funny. Well, the consensus is that it is if you are born with it. If not, you have to learn it; the theory of learning humor surprised me. You either have to learn the theory, and then you’re always looking for a place to apply it (which negates the whole idea of “being present” if your mind is always racing ahead). The other option is to memorize good jokes. I can’t see how knowing a funny joke is going to calm me down enough to diffuse sticky situations. For one, it takes time to tell it…and maybe I won’t always have that kind of time.
THIS article opened with an interesting quote: “Humor is criticism cloaked as entertainment and directed at a specific target…” It was not the only article to mention that humor uses hostility, bitter truths…umm, wow – definitely not what I had in mind.
My goal is not to criticize or “make fun”. When I reflected some more, I realized that what I really want to be able to do better is to diffuse tension. To that end, when I looked up funny one-liners that might serve me, many of them were insults, albeit funny ones!
So maybe my goal isn’t to “be funny” after all. I think a more accurate intention is to become adept at diffusing tension. For now, sticking to my opera voice or using funny accents is what I am going to keep using with my children…but what to do when it comes to adult interactions? I am thinking that if I break out in operatic song in public, I will be promptly carted away by security personnel…
It seems like my mantra of “Live Love” is going to have to be more present in my life on all occasions, not just when I am interacting with my family and friends. If I had asked myself, “How do I speak with love?” before opening my mouth a couple of weeks ago, then maybe I wouldn’t have sounded irritated when I made my request.
So here is the affirmation I came up with:
So now it’s printed and up on my affirmation wall that I look at every morning when I brush my teeth. Here’s hoping that it sticks in my brain, and that all my interactions are laced with more love this year.