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You’ve got to be kidding me…..

Last month I wrote about using comedy to reduce stress by watching funny shows or videos.  This month is humor in relationships.  My grandmother raised me and she was a kidder.  I grew up with that sense of humor.  I hated those little red maraschino cherries so she would hide them in my soups.  When I bought my first house she gave me a beautiful set of kitchen towels.  They were decorated with mushroom pictures as she knew my intense dislike of the fungus. I still have one of the towels.

One of my favorite things to do when I teach on April 1st is inform the class the format has changed to all pushups.  I tell them in the new hour long pushup class starting today we will do one arm pushups, one leg pushups, pushups with a step, pushup on the wall, pushups that travel across the floor, etc.  Not every one gets my sense of humor.  One time a women packed up and was walking out the door as I yelled, Wait, it’s April Fools Day, just kidding!

I have found there is a fine line between kidding and teasing.  Not many people like teasing one dictionary definition being “make fun of or attempt to provoke (a person or animal) in a playful way.”  My grandfather had a reputation for being stubborn. My grandmother often called him a stubborn Swede.  Any time I was being stubborn, which was quite often, everyone in the family would call me by my grandfather’s name.  I was fine with this and saw nothing wrong with being stubborn.  However, If you tease some one about something they are sensitive about, it is a form of bullying.  Kidding is more of a slang term but one definition I found is to talk or deal jokingly with, banter and jest with.  I now feel we have to also be very careful with kidding, even with those close to us that we know well and think can take it.  You kiddingly say something to someone that made them laugh in the past but if having a bad day and it could make them cry.

One of my good friends and I both like to go to interactive art fairs and museum events where we can make our own crafts.  Once at an art fair in Red Wing we decorated white sun umbrellas with sharpies.  She was done in about 10 minutes and left to see art.  Perfectionist that I am, it took me about an hour to decorate my umbrella.  I then added more decorations with my own personal sharpies when I got home.  Knowing that anytime, we approach a craft project our joke is she will see me again in two or three hours.

Not only friendships but romantic relationships benefit from humor.  Most of us are attracted to people with a sense of humor.  Some research has shown if a guy tell jokes during meeting a dating prospect he is 30% more likely to get a date than the serious suitor.  In my relationships if the man did not get my sense of humor, it didn’t last long.  If you can laugh about some of the little frustrations in life it takes away stress.  A blog in Psychology Today ( Link here ) states humor works if you both are respectful.  Humor needs to be harmless, blameless, and never used as a weapon.

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Photo by Patrick Schneider on Unsplash