Everyone likes to be around someone with a sense of humor. Someone that doesn’t take life too seriously can be a pleasure to have a conversation with. They can make you feel at ease and less stressful compared to someone who is very serious and gets angry at little things. There’s nothing more buzz-killing than someone who is more focused on being right than having a good time with friends and family. That’s why having humility is an important skill to develop for building relationships whether it’s social or professional. Making fun of yourself from time to time is a great way to make people feel comfortable around you. It will also help you cope and thrive with people that may seem aggressive or intimidating to you.
To be able to make fun of yourself from time to time shows a great deal of security. Those who lash out at others are riddled with insecurities that they are forced to deflect onto others. These people are no fun to be around. And when this does happen to you, don’t take it too seriously because chances are it has nothing to do with you. In most cases, it is a personal problem that person is having. So go along with it. It’s fun. It shows you have confidence in yourself and are comfortable in your own skin. And people like that and will gravitate towards you. If someone makes fun of you in an aggressive way, lean into it and take it one step further. Another option is to act dumb. Here’s an example:
Insecure Douche: Hey you know nothing about basketball.
You: Is that the sport with touchdowns?
I know this is a silly example, but it’s a good one. In this scenario the Insecure Douche is obviously upset about something. As a result, the Insecure Douche deflects that insecurity onto you with a verbal jab. Then you reply confidently and with a slight grin on your face. This is so powerful. By doing so, you deflate what the Insecure Douche says. It completely disarms him or her and makes them look and feel like the bad person. When someone attacks someone else, whether it’s in nature with animals or by the water cooler with a co-worker, they don’t want to attack someone that’s already down for the count. That’s why some animals paly dead. It’s a defense mechanism. In a more relatable case, when people attach someone else verbally and don’t get the same aggression back in return, it throws them off because they expect the pushback. When there is no pushback, they will feel beat because you have no opponent and you can’t win a game against yourself. Let’s look at another example and let’s say you are talking with a group of friends, when one friends says to you:
Insecure Friend: That’s a terrible haircut.
You: Darn. I should probably cancel my modeling photoshoot for tomorrow.
In this example, a friend is more teasing you than taking an aggressive jab. But nevertheless, this still comes from a place of insecurity and it is still a deflection of that onto you. This scenario is just a less aggressive example. But the same principles apply. Sarcasm and humility can be some of your best friends when there are shots fired in your direction. By coming back with the above response, you are showing everyone around you that you are not playing the Insecure Friend’s game. It also shows that you are comfortable with how you look. While the Insecure Friend is processing an unexpected response from you, the rest of the group will clearly see that he or she was being mean for no reason at all. If you came back with someone equally aggressive, then the true winner is difficult to see. Showing that you aren’t playing the game and you aren’t effected by his or her words is a great way to put you above that Insecure Friend. More importantly, you aren’t being mean to anyone and you will make yourself feel better about yourself that you were the “bigger man”. Another benefit from doing this is that people will want to be around you much more than the Insecure Friend or the Insecure Douche from our other example. It will show to your friends that you belong and will help you make new ones.
Leaning into the verbal jabs thrown in your direction will help you cope with insecure people, build friendships, and help you feel better about yourself. There’s no reason to respond to someone that’s having a hard time with their life. That’s their problem. Don’t take it personally even though it may seem like it is. Make fun of yourself from time to time. It’s a fun way to deal with difficult people and create a fun environment around you.