Monday, June 20, 2011

Defeating Negative Humor

Well, I finally thought of another self-improvement goal regarding my lovability pursuits. I've recently noticed how terribly excessive my negative humor is, where I indulge in things such as mock bullying, playful character attacks, and more. As of far nobody has taken offense and has even been amused, but still I think it would be best for me to reduce such a style of humor.

More or less I think this is a bad leftover habit from my childhood when I still had to deal with some pretty hostile people in school. Even as I gained more friends I was still the butt of people's jokes on frequent occasion, and in a self-depreciating manner I somehow learned to play along and participate, joining in on the jokes against myself even as they were atrociously malicious. I remember one time I was playing hacky-sack with a group of people who named the sack "Benjamin."

The negative, however, does not amount to a positive, and dwelling on the negative can very easily give way for people viewing you as negatively equivalent to the things you talk about. People want to be happy in life and live where bad things are the exception to the rule, not the trend, so I ought not joke around and tease about it as if it were the consistent tone of living. It might be alright on occasion, but I've been going too far.

To help alter this bad habit I'm going to add to my perfectionism list a new category: Humor. I still need to do more thinking on its precise restrictions, so that I know what constitutes a violation, but for now I think it would suffice to say that I've betrayed my goal if I engage in any playful character attacks or self-depreciating jokes, though there could be more. Hopefully doing this will make me more aware of what I'm doing, as my other categories have.

1 comment:

  1. Humor, even and especially ribbing others and self-deprecating, is crucial to maintaining a positive sense of life. It's crucial value being able to use one's mind conceptually in a day-to-day, very regular manner, both personally, such as by oneself, and socially. It's especially crucial in dealing with and enjoying peoples' company, especially those with bad ideas who have good sense of life aspects.

    It's like eating and drinking water, but for the mind. It helps to start conversation with co-workers and other people you have just a little familiarity with. Debating serious ideas is very very draining and requires a level of maturity that people don't have today. So exercising one's mind in another manner is crucial.

    It also involves body language, such as tone of voice and facial expression, a certain physicality that no other activity can match.

    Above all, humor is a way to keep one's mind sharp regularly. It's very immediate, and helps one bide time to build longer term values and ideas. It's creative, making things up completely or basing a joke on a work-related context or some shared experience.

    The big thing to keep in mind that the goal of regular humor is to keep one's mind sharp and enjoy peoples' company by finding common bonds or some minor aspect of them to riff, hopefully in a playful way, but even if it is crude, it's better than over-cautiously shutting one's mind off by not allowing it to process material. Finishing a joke is also a start and finish thing. It's good to regularly, day-to-day have some conceptual activity that you can complete very often. That satisfaction of a punch line is important; it's not enough to take weeks and months on completing bigger tasks, or to make good. Talking (e.g., humor) is enormously more conceptual.


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