Laugh lots and strengthen your emotional fitness aka Emotional Intelligence. Here’s a quick stress test that hopefully will give you a chuckle or two.
Did you laugh a bit because one of the test questions was close to a truth for you? Were you able to laugh at yourself?
I have known many moments when my truths were yearning for life in solitary confinement or wanting to call the child abuse hotline for the benefit of my inner child.
Eleanor Roosevelt hit the hammer on the head when she said, “You don’t grow up until you have your first good laugh at yourself.”
Emotional Fitness Thoughts
Learning to laugh at yourself is not easy. It comes with age and perspective. It comes with realizing you are not the center of the universe. That requires a heavier level of thinking than children and some adults are capable of.
Small children are designed to think they control all that happens. Why? Because at least then there is hope something can be changed. Children learn very early on that they do not control others or what happens, better to try to control yourself. Which adults need to think about a bit more.
Children laugh at the silly or ridiculous, but not at themselves. Nor can adults ruled by child-like thinking laugh at their foibles and shortcomings. Makes for a sadder life for both.
When you can live at peace with the idea that you are human and not perfect, you have become an adult, but also a comedic genius. A stutterer who has learned to say “Is there an echo around here?” fairs better than the one who speaks less and less for fear of being scorned.
Emotional Fitness Tips
Laughing at yourself is a learned skill. Here are some steps to follow to developing a healthy ability to laugh at yourself:
Tip One: Watch the comedians that use self-deprecation as a comedic tool.
Josh Blue, winner of The Last Comic Standing won fame poking fun of his cerebral palsy: I don’t swear. I just have really well-timed Tourette’s.
Rodney Dangerfield built his career on self-deprecation; here’s a quote from his autobiography, It’s Not Easy Bein’ Me. “According to statistics about men in their eighties, only one out of a hundred makes it to ninety. With odds like that, I’m writing very fast. I want to get it all done. I mean, I’m not a kid anymore, I’m getting old. The other night, I was driving, I had an accident. I was arrested for hit-and-walk.“
Susan J. Vamos, a plus-size comedian, uses the following line in her show: “Now, get ready for the fat lady to sing (and you aren’t going to enjoy it because I’m tone deaf.)”
If these can do it so can you.
Tip Two: Develop some throwaway lines. Comedians use them all the time when jokes either work or do not work.
When people are laughing at you try: “Guess my writers deserve a raise.” or “Guess I really am the Last Comic Standing..”
When people aren’t laughing and you want them to try: “Guess I’m not ready to be the Last Comic Standing.” or, “I told my writers that one wouldn’t fly. It is like an obese eagle.”
Tip Three: When you cannot laugh at anything, you need to see a therapist. Why? You most likely are dealing with a trauma reaction, what EFTI calls a Life Blow.
You are recovering from a LIfe Blow when you find laughter re-entering your life. However, talking to a competent therapist will speed the process.
Parenting Tip: When you kids are laughing, join in.
This post was inspired by the WordPress Daily Prompt: Roaring Laughter by Ben Huberman. The prompt: What was the last thing that gave you a real, authentic, tearful, hearty belly laugh? Why was it so funny?
Not that I answered the question? Have you noticed I rarely do?
Thank you for all you do to support me. You keep me going. If you liked this post, share, like, or comment. Either one boosts my morale, increases my ratings, and when shared might help another.
LINKS OF INTEREST
These links are for those not familiar with Emotional Intelligence or the idea of Emotional Fitness.
Easy Emotional Fitness Exercises (www.emotionalfitnesstraining.com
The five components of Emotional Intelligence (www.sonoma.edu)Emotional Intelligence (en.wikipedia.org)Emotional Fitness Tips for Parents (parentsarepeopletoo.com)
An Emotional Fitness Program for Parents(amazon.com)