Sword and Shield: The Emotional Importance of Having a Sense of Humor
If I had to pick one character trait that really matters to me, I will always choose “having a sense of humor”.
Not just for myself, but for anyone that I surround myself with. I think that’s pretty common for all of us. For me, having a sense of humor isn’t just about comedic relief, it is about being able to deal with anything that life can throw at you. I’m far from the first person to suggest that comedy can have a huge effect on our attitudes, emotions, and mental state.
But why is having a sense of humor so important?
Sword and Shield
A sense of humor has the ability to take the power away from anything that we might be facing in life. Basically, if you can laugh at something, you can shrug it off. Imagine that you are trying to scare someone. You puff up your chest, raise your fists, and put on your meanest “mad dog” face. Instead of being scared, the person just laughs at you, no matter how intimidating you actually may be.
Now, take that same scenario – only the person laughing is you, and the “intimidator” is a problem in life you are dealing with. You’ve taken all the power away from whatever challenges you’re facing. It’s not a coincidence that most of the comedians you see talk about their lives as their subject matter. They make fun of their situations and themselves, not only because it is funny – but because it is a way for them to deal with those issues.
Rooted in Reality
Where a lot of people get confused here, is that they think that by laughing at an issue in your life – you are avoiding it. That’s not true. If anything, the total opposite is true. If you can look at what seems like a major issue, rationalize it, and laugh at it – you’re just showing that you are rooted in the reality of the situation. Even people who have stared death in the face can tell you that throughout their ordeal or shortly after, they were laughing their asses off.
Humor isn’t an escape. Humor is a way to say “I’ll get through this.”
I can already tell you there will be two basic reactions to this article. One will be the people that agree. The other will basically be the people that are saying I think you should just laugh everything in life away and not care about anything.
That second group of people is dead wrong. What I am saying is that when you have the ability to process a situation, you have confidence in yourself, and you have faith in the plans of the universe – there is nothing that you can’t crack a smile at and take head-on. It’s a matter of attitude and I think that once you have developed that attitude, your life will be better for it.