Laughing with, not at each other
"Love, friendship, laughter... Some of the best things in life really are free."
- Bob Marley
Who doesn't love to laugh? It's tough to be in a bad mood when we laugh. Try to be angry and laugh at the same time. It can't be done. I'm not referring to that fake laughter when pretending to be having a good time. I'm referring to genuine laughter, especially when it's laughter shared with family, friends and coworkers. When we are laughing, we are not thinking about any of the tough stuff we may be dealing with that day. We are taking a joyous exhale break. It's positive energy for the Soul.
The lines get blurred when what passes for funny depends on who is laughing. There is a big difference between roasting our friends to get a big laugh and taking cheap shots at others to get an easy laugh. When people start becoming the punching bag or constant punchline of the jokes, it can get old real fast, but not always for everyone. Sometimes the line can get crossed, but not everyone draws the line in the same spot. This is where it can get tricky regarding what is funny and what is just a poor attempt at humor.
Being rude, offensive or mean can be really funny in the right context among the right group of people, but it can also backfire quick when directed toward the wrong person at the wrong time. It should not make it harder to enjoy laughter, even if it makes it more challenging to create laughter. If we can get everyone in the room to laugh, it can create a much better vibe than if the laughter is sparse and at the expense of others, whether they are in the room or not. I have found the best laughter occurs when everyone is in on the joke.
We know laughter is referred to as the best medicine since it makes us feel good. It gives us a natural high. It provides so many different benefits for our mental and physical health. We may even find ourselves gravitating toward those people in our lives who make us laugh on those days we could use it the most. Next time you need a good mood booster, look to share some laughs with those closest to you. It makes it even better when everyone can laugh together, with no one feeling laughed at. Otherwise, laughter can turn from a medicine to a weapon. There's not much funny about that.
Very Well Mind: The Health Benefits of Laughter
Greater Good: How Laughter Brings Us Together
Scientific American: What’s So Funny? The Science of Why We Laugh