Critical humor hurts. The young husband gently touched his wife’s full figured hips and says “ I guess we’ll be getting a king sized bed real soon. He then chuckles. Sensitive about her new weight gain, she is hurt and replies. ” What are you trying to say? Are you making fun of me? He says, “You are over reacting, I was JUST KIDDING’
I laughed as a popular comedian held up a mans glasses from the audience and said, ” I think I can see Kansas”. The man from the audience also laughed. But I wondered if he also felt the pain of the implied criticism about his poor eyesight. Critical humor is a put down of the person or their physical or mental weaknesses.
THINK BACK to all the times you have been the victim of criticism disguised as humor. How did it feel? How did you react?
Most of us will attack defensively only to be told that we were over reacting. Then we wonder if we were mistaken. After all, the person had a smile on their face and even laughed. But you still felt like they attacked you so you had to fight back somehow.
I love humor. I think it is healing, restoring and sanity in the midst of craziness. But I am convinced that it should not be used as a sneaky way to insult someone or make the abuser feel powerful. Some use it just to get a laugh.
As children many of us played the DOZENS. If you are not familiar, it was a game where each person traded insults about each other or their family. It was only effective if there was a crowd of observers that could LAUGH at the exchange. Often the person would not get angry until you talked about their mother. Ha! Well I propose a better game to play for young folks and some adults who still practice the dozens. It’s called the POSITIVE DOZENS. Each person tries to outdo each other with words of encouragement. There is still room for a lot of humor but the funny thing is that playing the POSITIVE DOZENS does not hurt. I don't know if your Mama would be happy with that but I know mine would.
Rosie Horner is an inspirational speaker and interactive presentation skills coach. Put more punch in your presentation with Timely Talking Tools! http://www.rosiehorner.com