Humor – Using laughter or joking, especially sarcasm or irony, to get out of a jam or to soften feelings of anguish or discomfort in a given situation.
Laughter helps us connect. Sharing a private joke, chortling over a funny movie, or exchanging conspiratorial grins in a crowd is some of the most intimate things we can do together. There is a lot of truth to the saying, “the shortest distance between two people is laughter.” Making ourselves and others laugh is not a bad way to go through life, but it can mask hidden emotions. Humor becomes imprinted as a personality style throughout life because it is so rewarded. Lots of smart and funny people use jesting to keep their true needs hidden and protect themselves from feeling vulnerable.
It is better to feel the hurt, even to cry, than to cover up our feelings so much that we forget what they are. Is our laughter healing or is it concealing? Laughter, especially if we frame it around sarcasm and irony, can cloak the anguish or discomfort of a situation.
A little laughter and a few tears every day are good for the soul. Being comfortable with the full range of our emotions and keeping a check on our humor barometer is healthy. If it moves toward sarcasm, dial it back to the mid-range level. Soon, we’ll develop a sensitivity to our emotions and those of the people around us helping us to tune into when we are covering up instead of just having fun.
Cite: Kagan, M. and Einbund, N. Defenders of the Heart. (2008). Carlsbad, Ca. Hay House, Inc.