When humour hurts

Without a sense of humour our lives would be too serious, so in some respects it’s important for us to have one. What happens though when humour gets in the way of our relationships; when it becomes bigger than the relationship itself, when we expect others to conform to our behaviour?

Unfortunately it’s not always easy to equate what people say as being humorous because it’s very much part of our culture now. More people are now using humour, to communicate; but there are still those of course who don’t buy into this lifestyle who will often get caught up in the crossfire. To live comfortably with someone who uses humour, we would have to exhibit the same traits.

The most common humour:

Bitchy humour: is often used to bitch about someone or something. Whether you’re talking about someone or something it’s easy to fall into the trap where you’re doing it all the time. It’s not great to bitch about anyone, but it seems to be an accepted part of society.

Insulting humour: is taken in the manner of poking fun at, an insult, or speaking badly about another person that becomes totally inappropriate in conversations. Those who use sarcasm may also use insulting behaviour.

Sarcasm: Dictionary defined, sarcasm speaks for itself. “In sarcasm, ridicule or mockery is used harshly, often crudely and contemptuously, for destructive purposes. It may be used in an indirect manner, and have the form of irony.”

Sarcasm is the most destructive of all humour. When used continually it’s hurtful and annoying. It’s also often difficult for anyone to answer back on someone’s sarcastic remark and from my own experience, it’s not always easy to work out when someone is being sarcastic and ‘the other person doesn’t get it.

No one should have to conform or compete with someone’s humour. In reality it makes relationships difficult and puts distance between two people.


12 May, 2013

6 thoughts on “When humour hurts

  1. My husband uses humor a lot, but his is playful humor. I’ve gotten used to it now. I use to not be able to tell when he was serious or just being silly. He is a very laid back person. The “type B” person that just doesn’t let things get to him. No stress or worry on his part.

    Some of his humorous self has rubbed off on me. It’s like he doesn’t take life too serious and is able to deal with things very well.

    I think there are people that are sarcastic in their humor and hurt people purposely, which is not the way to be. I’ve been on the other end before where people have poked fun at me, especially when I was a teenager, but I’ve learned to blow those type of people off.

    1. Thanks Lisa. I’m pleased you’re okay with your husband’s humour. I think it becomes difficult when humour is used all the time and is very much taken out of context of what is being said or being addressed at that time. We have to know when it’s important to be serious.

      Unfortunately though, people who live with humour tend not to realise that what they say has the potential to hurt, after all they’re being humorous and aren’t on the receiving end of what they’re handing out.

      If we’re using the different types of humour together that can be difficult, particularly if we’re on the receiving end all the time.

      I’m pleased you’re okay with yours.

  2. Some people use humor to put other people down. This should NEVER be done. It can do a lot of harm to a person’s self esteem.

  3. I agree. The right form of humour is a wonderful thing. The wrong sort can be demeaning, degrading and is inappropriate.

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