Not the Only One Laughing
Isn’t it interesting that often we just need some validation and “I understand you” around our negative feelings to pass, even quicker and easier.
Love that you spoke up about having felt hurt. Often we say things and don’t notice that they are potentially harmful to the other person, simply because we’re not in their shoes.
Part of what I am struggling with since I moved back “home” is the family teasing/insult humour social style. Jokes at the other person’s expense. It’s a really fine line, and honestly there is so much of it it’s exhausting. Sometimes the only one not laughing in the room is the person who is the subject of the joke. On one hand I’m the joker and on the other hand I see exactly what those jokes do to the other person. I also know how it feels to be the jokee.
I am finding too that I am so steeped in it that I am doing it outside of that social group. Not funny at all. I see it happen really quickly, and I apologise immediately, but by then the damage is already done. I’ve been really conscious of that over the past summer – lots of friends I don’t see often visiting – and in a way re-teaching myself not to do that.
As the receiver of the “harmful” jokes, I have also been teaching myself how to let them know it’s not OK. I tried ignoring it, but for them they need the acknowledgement (validation) that the joke was funny. So when there is no laughing, there’s another joke quick on the heels. It’s definitely causing me to be over sensitive, but at the same time it is behaviour I don’t like. I simply don’t like being treated that way.
Because this is family and I’m around them so much, it’s a bit of a process. It’s taking time. I’m liking this thread because I can see how training myself to take it slowly with them, can also ease that energy in other circles and other interactions. Because you’re right, so often the other person doesn’t mean to be harmful at all.
I really think too – and yes this will sound “out there” – but as we (humans) become more and more aware of our non-verbal communication, the more important this literal skill of knowing the other person didn’t mean to hurt us will be. Essentially, we are herd or pack animals. We are hardwired to keep each other safe, and that often means pushing each other’s buttons… but it is also not a conscious behaviour. For me, when a stranger pushes my buttons, or hurts my feelings, I reframe it as: what if that was ME pointing something negative or harmful or limiting about myself to ME. If the answer is yes, I work to change that thing. If the answer is no, then I allow it to be about the other person, and I work to let it roll off.
I had the opportunity to witness this on the weekend. My Dad and I were parked beside each other. Dad was backing out first, and a car he didn’t see yet honked at him like he had almost hit a pedestrian. So loud. So long, Definitely out of proportion. I was instantly angry, and I felt the rush of that take over my body, just the sheer force of it. But Dad just stopped, hardly reacted at all. (It was such a weird thing, it was like he was in a fish bowl when I was observing him.) Car went by, and then he looked at me and laughed a little and said “oops.” Then pulled out like it had never happened.
It’s given me an amazing image to work with in my head on this thing that is so huge in my personal interactions – invalidation and put downs and harmful negativity. I don’t have to get out of the car an bludgeon that idiot. I can just pause, note the adjustment, let them go by and then go on about my business. For me, this will take a significant amount of emotional stress off of my vision – where people just have so much resistance to Homeopathy. People reject what they don’t understand, and I am making a job out of educating them.
Thanks Ladies, this helps me a TON. Easier interactions and way easier moving through my own fear about when the Homeopathy blog is public and people criticise.