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Although I have partaken with some insight from the article and even the comments section, I see I still have a long way to go before seeing some of my own questions fully answered.
I have always been keen on telling jokes or making fun of things whilst being rather sensitive at how insensitive some of them might be. I have battled against many a foe or friend on this particular point and have so far seen more evidence for the “if-it’s-not-funny-it’s-wrong” argument rather than anything else. I have inadvertently ventured into the faux pas and gaffe territory more than once and joked about what would be deemed as totally inappropriate by so many and still encounter laughter by rape or cancer victims (I was unaware at those times of the latter). I have also noticed lack of humour –or actually of how to simply react - from some of my German friends when I present them with any sort of joke about anything remotely connected to the WWII or the holocaust but I have seen so many other nationalities at least giggle with a few.
I find that since it is so difficult to ascertain what is hilarious, we shouldn’t jump to judgement and prejudice too quickly.
On another topic the article mentions “This is interesting because it suggests that anyone can be sexist”. I would have most definitely assumed this would be general knowledge by now? The same way I have seen misogyny in women and the opposite in men.
I believe that we are all entitled to being spared from annoyance, though I also feel that too much weight is too often placed on the offender. We ever so often feel emotionally confused about something and choose to attack instead of simply admitting to ignorance. Being offended is frequently not unlike a child’s tantrum – a burst of ego.
I personally, strongly believe that there are no taboo topics when it comes to having a laugh. There are nuances in timing. If I lose someone to cancer and someone makes a joke about it, I might not laugh due to the recent nature of my hurting, but I sure as heck won’t tear down the fellow and dive into accusing platitudes.
John Cleese, one who sometimes makes me laugh sometimes doesn’t, makes a sound contribution here:
Stephen Fry on offence:
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