A New Year's resolution, despite myself?!
>what is everybody doing to ring in the New Year?
I did nothing; it does not represent MY New Year, anyway (stupid Gregorian calendar!) ;-P
But I did enjoy at least watching, for the umpteenth time the German New Year's Eve comedy classic, "Der 90. Geburtstag, or Dinner for One", just to see if I would still find it funny, and I did! I still had to laugh out loud at its mostly slapstick antics (brilliant comedic timing, though!), and it does help to just laugh at life's little absurdities sometimes... even if "life's little absurdities" do equate to no more than the butler habitually tripping over a tiger-skin rug - call it the revenge of the tiger, if you like, but I still find it works every time, much like Monty Python's purely slapstick, and totally silly, fish-slapping dance! lol
Speaking of humor, a quizz in Psychology Today magazine got me thinking yesterday. It seems you can break humor down into basically four types:
1) put-down humor, i.e. laughing someone's expense, generally harmless if used to ridicule politicians and those in authority, but wreaking havoc in interpersonal relationships;
2) bonding humor, i.e. "we all seem in the same boat";
3) hate-me humor, self-deprecatory - even brilliant comedians specializing in this can have a dark, self-destructive and even suicidal side;
4) laughing at life (I guess Dinner for One, the European classic, falls into this category!) ;-))
However I discovered with horror that I can tend to use put-down humor, and slightly more even than my also above-average 'laughing at life' type... Despite myself, I feel a "New Year's resolution" coming on, to keep this more in check, and use more of both the bonding and the laughing-at-life kinds instead... ;-))
Maybe the "put-down" tendency comes from the Aussie larrikin, take-the-piss-out-of-anything-that-moves tendency, but when one guy habitually used it on me (as seems generally the case: men tend to use it more on women, because they get socialized to relate in a taunting, teasing, bantering-type manner, and put-down humor does equate to a power, status and control thing), it DID cause the relationship to end very badly indeed! ;-P
I might have occasionally erred on the side of inappropriateness, but nothing like this guy's habitually ripping the shreds off!
"In today's personality stakes, nothing is more highly valued than a sense of humor. We seek it out in others and are proud to claim it for ourselves, perhaps even more than good looks or intelligence. If someone has a great sense of humor, we reason, it means that they are happy, socially confident and have a healthy perspective on life.
"This attitude would have surprised the ancient Greeks, who believed humor to be essentially aggressive." (Psychology Today, August 2006).
And the ancient Greeks seem strangely in tune here with primatologists and evolutionary biologists, who identify the bared-teeth grimace of chimpanzees (the origin of our laughter) as a threatening sign of aggression.
So, humor can amount to a valuable communication tool, like any other, but do realize that it also amounts to a double-edged tool, and has its dark side like any other, and do become aware of when, and how, you use it!
You can probably find this article, and quizz, by googling the magazine, and looking up the archives? I thoroughly recommend it! ;-))