Sunday, June 18, 2017

Dark side of funny

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You know what the worst part of being funny is? The 80-20 bias people have towards you! 80% think you're "hill areas"(now that was just sloppy). And 20 just blink when you crack a funny one. It especially hurts when someone says it to your face, "You're not funny, you're ridiculous." I've encountered that a couple of times BTW and it's more depressing than unrequited love. It's as hurtful as telling an artist that their art is mediocre or an expert scientist that their research of 20 years is going to amount to nothing (Note that these comparisons are highly exaggerated, but it's a blow to one's confidence nonetheless.)

Humor, just like abstract art, is open to interpretation. People's reactions to both have a large spectrum. The same jokes which make people writhe in pain with laughter may seem nonintellectual, senseless or immature to others. I personally find myself sniggering for parts of a TV show no one else finds funny and often can't even bring myself to smile when the laughter track in the show goes off. When among friends, they ask me "why that smirk?" but internal jokes with oneself can rarely be explained.

The other thing which is provoking is how people psychoanalyze you for posting funny things about your life on social media. I've never really been a person who posts about how awesome my life is or how perfect I am. Epic fails, shoddy jobs, breaking resolutions, cheesy jokes, these are what I and some of my friends like to see on social media. It's all peaches and cream until I see this video on "what people actually mean when they post stuff on social media". It doesn't even declare, "Stop posting funny things on Facebook, it seems you're avoiding bigger things in life and focusing on being funny." It asks you, "Are you trying to hide from your problems by being funny?" To summarize, it creates self-doubt and questions your belief in yourself.

I've also heard people say, "Oh so you think they find you funny? They're not laughing with you, they're laughing AT you." Next time someone tells you that, educate them about self-deprecating humor. Its sole motive is to make people laugh at you. If they're doing that, MISSION ACCOMPLISHED! But before you give a chance to people to laugh at you, laugh at yourself first. It means at least some people will find it funny, although others may find it sad.

Some famous names in comedy found their gift of making people laugh when they were themselves in a dark place. One great name, Robin Williams, even let the darkness consume him. Reasons like these make the world believe that funny people are often the saddest. But it's not always true. Sometimes being funny helps you fit in, de-stress, make more friends, woo a romantic interest or gain attention. It's not always an after-effect of trauma. It's a gift you inherit from your parents, it's a medium of spreading the joy among others, it's a way of life not everyone will understand but most will appreciate.

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