The ability to laugh at ourselves and each other strengthens the bonds of our relationships and builds intimacy. Adults can be so serious, and this is especially true for the workaholic and perfectionist. People are funny though; comedy is far more true to reality than drama. We have to be able to recognize the humor in life and in human behavior if we are to survive.
On the topic of relationships, Anne Wilson Schaef writes:
“How serious we are about everything—especially relationships! Often in our most intimate possibilities, we forget that our laughter at ourselves and at each other in one of the vehicles that our creator has given us for grounding ourselves in reality. And relationships that are not grounded in reality don’t last.
We have to know others very well to be able to see their funny sides and to share in the frivolity of family functions. Let’s face it, we human beings are a funny lot. No robot has ever been capable of the antics we can think up.”
Sometimes all you can do is laugh. People can be stubborn and difficult, immovable no matter how much we reason and plead and argue. We can’t change them. Rather than grow frustrated with them, allowing our anger to divide us, we can simply laugh with them at their own stubborn selves. That ability to laugh strengthens our relationship. People behave in all manner of bizarre, quirky, and funny ways, and we must laugh at the hilarity of human behavior. So often people find fault in your behavior that really is just something they themselves are insecure about in their own life. People project their guilt and shame onto others, causing them to do all sorts of irrational things. When we stop to realize what we’re doing and why, we can’t help but to laugh at ourselves. I can’t tell you how often I laugh at myself now when I realize I’ve said yes when I meant to say no, or I find myself assuming I know what other people think, or struggling with a similar problem for what feels like the thousandth time. Our relationship with ourselves is as important if not more so than our relationship with others, and it too is built through our ability to laugh at ourselves. Like the Joker says, Why so serious? Relationships and life are more fun when we learn to laugh.