“It is of immense importance to learn to laugh at ourselves.” —Katherine Mansfield
We all know that humor is a good thing. There is nothing better than a clever joke, a witty one liner, some slapstick comedy, or a moment in time sealed with a giggle, chuckle, or side-splitting-laughter. It is easy to laugh at others, which is why romantic comedies, stand-up comedians, and improv shows are where people run when times get hard. What can be hard in life is seeing your own comedic moments and laughing through embarrassment or self-consciousness.
Take me for instance, I lack all forms of physical grace. I can’t dance due to lack of rhythm. I can’t walk without tripping over air. I am always apologizing for running into walls or furniture. If you know me, I’m often a fantastic shade of blush because I’ve just done or said something to embarrass myself. I’ve always been clumsy and I’ve never had the ability to control the words that move from my brain to other people’s ears. It’s why this is written and not a radio show — writing requires me to review, edit, and polish to some extent so that my brain has a filter. Because of my constant state of embarrassment, I’ve gained the skill of laughing at myself.
Even in the writing I do here, I’ve developed the ability to share freely. If I’m making myself chuckle as I share my truth, maybe it’s bringing a giggle your way as well. I consider laughing at myself a skill and a gift because it’s something I have needed to do to enjoy being who I am — graceless and loudmouthed. Life has serious moments and they are important, but without the ability to laugh our way through whoever we are and whatever we do, life would be too serious. Next time you make a mistake, trip over words or air, and do something to make yourself blush… laugh. Really take a moment to laugh. The embarrassment will flee and you will be free to be yourself… clumsy, graceless, filterless, and loudmouthed… or whatever perfect combo you are!
Sarah Deats is a Behavioral Health Technician at RI International and the Hope Inc. Stories Inspiration Engineer.