David Granirer - North America's Psychotherapist/Stand-Up Comic
Volume 1, Issue 8
Editor: David Granirer, mailto:email@example.com
Publisher: David Granirer
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IN THIS ISSUE
1. Welcome from the Publisher
2. How to Turn Negativity Into Laughter
3. Whats Good Stories
4. Classified Ads
5. Contact Information
PRIVACY STATEMENT: WE WILL NOT DISTRIBUTE YOUR EMAIL
ADDRESS TO ANYONE. PERIOD.
1. WELCOME FROM THE PUBLISHER
Humor is not always a good thing. This months issue focuses on how to deal with unhealthy humor. Hope this helps!
*****Come Have A Laugh!*****
My stand-up comedy shows continue at Cafe Madeleine, 3763 West 10th Ave, Vancouver. Clean, intelligent comedy in a smoke-free environment, Fridays at 8:00 p.m. Reservations recommended (604) 224-5558. Bring in this newsletter and buy one entree, get second for 50% off. Opening the show are students from my Langara College Stand-Up Comedy Clinic Course.
2. HOW TO IDENTIFY AND RESPOND TO UNHEALTHY HUMOR
by David Granirer © 2000
Like any tool, humor can be good or bad, depending on how its used. It can build relationships and create happiness, or it can be used to wound and manipulate others. Many of us have experienced times when someones use of humor felt wrong or hurtful, but in the moment its been difficult to figure out why. In order to understand and respond to unhealthy humor, it helps to have some concrete examples and techniques to get the situation back on track.
Unhealthy humor falls into three categories: Avoidance, indirect expression of anger, and a method of gaining power and control. Avoidance is the easiest to spot. Weve all experienced occasions when weve tried to address a sensitive issue only to be met with jokes. True, humor can be a positive way of defusing tension, but if its overused it becomes counterproductive. One way to deal with this category of unhealthy humor is to acknowledge it, point out its effect, and ask for a behavioral change: Those jokes youre making are really funny, but we still have to deal with this issue. How about we try the serious approach so we can move ahead?
The second category, indirect expression of anger is a little more difficult to spot due to its passive aggressive nature. A person will make a joke or cutting remark at your expense, then deny he meant anything by it. Cant you take a joke? Youre way too sensitive! Granted, there is a kind of humor which involves good-natured banter, but when the banter targets areas of emotional sensitivity it crosses the line into being destructive.
In dealing with this kind of humor its a good idea to acknowledge that the person is just trying to be funny (whether or not this is the case, this gives him or her an out) then stating the effect it has on you without being drawn into having to justify your reaction. You may also want to follow this up with a request for behavioral change and possibly a consequence for non-compliance. I know youre just trying to be funny, but Im uncomfortable with those jokes and Id like them to stop. If you keep this up Im going to leave.
The third category, humor used as a method to gain power and control is a variation of category number two. Some time ago I was on a TV show along with a well-known comic who shall remain nameless. Being around this individual felt unsafe because so much of his humor involved subtle put-downs. I felt like anything I said would be twisted around to make me look stupid or to get a laugh at my expense. Though some people who use this brand of humor may not be conscious of what theyre doing, it puts the receiver on the defensive, thus creating a power imbalance.
And the hard part of confronting such behavior is its covert nature. Often the put-downs are very funny, and if its done in public, you risk losing even more face by challenging it. If you want to take the risk, use the same statement given for dealing with category two humor. What did I do? I just kept my mouth shut and got out of the situation as quickly as possible. No one has the right to demean us, and sometimes the best protection is just to leave.
For other free articles about laughter go to http://www.granirer.com/Articles.htm
For free back issues of this ezine go to http://www.granirer.com/Newsletter.htm
*****GET MORE LAUGHTER IN YOUR LIFE!*****
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3. WHATS GOOD STORIES
Its so easy to see all the bad things around us, that sometimes we forget about all the great things that go on. And we need to hear about good things because that gives us hope and inspires us to go out and do more good things.
In this section, I want to hear from you. Whats happened in your life thats good? What things have people done that inspire you to be kind to others? What funny things have happened?
Email your short stories to me at firstname.lastname@example.org, and if I publish yours, you get a free copy of my tape Im OK But YOU Need Professional Help!
This months story is from an incident that happened in my family:
When my son Jonathan was eight days old he had to have an operation to fix a blocked tear duct. Well it was really hard to see our little baby be in the hospital. And the toughest part was when we had to hand him over to be taken into the operating room.
But when the anesthesiologist came to take Jonathan he had this little bubble blower and was blowing bubbles. And even though Jonathan didnt know what was going on, having a chuckle made us feel a whole lot better. In that moment we went from fear to hope, from tension to relaxation. We also felt an immediate connection and trust for this man who a moment before had been a total stranger.
And now that Ive studied it, my guess is that what happened wasnt just emotional, but also physiological. According to Daniel Goleman, author of Emotional Intelligence, a study found that when people are happy, there is increased activity in a brain center that inhibits negative feelings, and a quieting of brain centers that generate worrisome thought. So when that doctor made us smile, our brain chemistry changed, and thus our feelings and thoughts became more positive, which is exactly what we needed to help us cope.
As Ive said before, my definition of humor is: Acts involving surprise that create good feelings. And if I wanted to get even more technical, I could now say that those acts positively affect brain chemistry more quickly than any drug!
DO A GOOD DEED!
Help fight world hunger and save the rainforests!
If you go to the hunger site http://www.thehungersite.com/ and the rainforest site http://www.therainforestsite.com/ and click on the appropriate buttons they will donate food to a hungry person and also help save the rainforests. You can visit these sites once a day to make donations. The site is sponsored by various businesses who fund the donations in exchange for exposure and good PR. However to make a donation there is nothing you need to buy.
4. CLASSIFIED ADS
Speakers: Learn how to incorporate stand-up comedy into your
presentations. Check out Davids stand-up comedy skills coaching
for presenters at: http://www.granirer.com/ComedyCourse.htm.
5. CONTACT INFORMATION
David Granirer gives laughter in the workplace presentations helping hundreds of organizations throughout North America reduce stress, increase wellness, and cope with change. For more information on his presentations, stand-up comedy, products, and articles call
(604) 205-9242 or go to http://www.granirer.com/.
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