It’s a relationship killer. And yet, it’s HYSTERICAL!! People LAUGH!
All. The. Time.
However, if you take a closer look, the person who’s not laughing is the person the “joke” is targeting.
“Aww, come on, I’m JUST KIDDING.” he says… to soften the blow. Later he’ll try to help her understand that everyone was laughing but her, stop being so dramatic and lighten up! “where’s your sense of humor!?!”
This is called “Biting Humor”. Also known as insult, hurtful or cutting humor. A popular approach is sarcasm. And as many can attest, this style of humor is destroying marriages, friendships and have even gotten people FIRED from their job.
‘Biting Comedy’ has it’s place with entertainment and performance purposes. It’s for the stand up comedy stage and for the sitcom and movie screen. It’s designed to be big, bold, and in your face. It’s supposed to shock and surprise the viewer. It can be funny because, as a human who cares about others, it’s a truth that should never be said – because it IS hurtful.
We are not all ‘comedians’, ‘comics’ or ‘entertainers’ performing. So when we try and make good use of our ‘Sense of Humor’ we often mirror what we see or hear. It’s funny on stage…. it’s what gets the laughs… so we try it at home.
On stage, a stand up comedian says: “Does anyone believe in soul mates? Where your souls are a perfect match and are designed as one? I do – I found my soul mate! Now that I’m 15 years married, I now realize how dark and depraved my soul really is!” and the audience erupts in laughter.
Imagine this same couple out with work friends, and he says the same thing in front of his wife.
We use our sense of humor in daily conversation. We may say something purposefully or accidentally that is witty, surprising, delightful or charming that brings a smile, a giggle or a laugh. Maybe even a chortle!
But when we use someone else as the punchline of our humor, it’s damaging. Damaging to that persons esteem and damaging to your relationship with them.
When this damage is happening emotionally, it begins to erode the love, the intimacy and the trust.
Wikipedia has an list of all styles of humor and comedy HERE. Take time to review and see what styles you align with and what styles you should stay away from.
Keep Biting Humor OUT of your relationships!! Personal AND professional. You just may save your marriage!
And your job!