What kind of sense of humour would you say you have?
I honestly don’t really know, I guess I”ve never really thought much about it, and I guess it’s difficult to describe your own sense of humour accurately, well, in any case it seems to be for me. So I can only say how I’ve heard others describe it. A lot of people have told me that I have a dry sense of humour. I do like dry humour a lot, but I’m not that sure mine could be described as such, because as gloomy as I am, and despite I don’t smile a lot if I don’t have to and don’t show much facial expression, at the same time I am also quite a giggly person and I laugh a lot and dry humour vs being giggly seem rather contradictory to me. My brother has a very dry humour and he hardly ever laughs. Same about my Dad, who uses it less often but when he does, he does it masterfully and people keep quoting his dry statements for decades. And my Dad never laughs properly. He may chuckle sometimes if it’s either socially expected or something is like REALLY funny but he never laughs, he sometimes only fake-laughs for derisive purposes.
I remember when I first saw my psychiatrist when I was 17 and one of the first things she told me was that she likes my dark sense of humour. I do like making psychologists, therapists and psychiatrists laugh and always do my best to achieve it, because some of them are very stiff and clinical otherwise, and even with those who are not (that psychiatrist wasn’t, in case you’re curious), it just makes everything less serious and pathetic. I had a friend at school who once described my sense of humour as gallows humour, and that’s how people described some of my silly little poems that I wrote as a teen, and I guess that’s much the same as dark humour as well.
Speaking of psychiatrists and therapists, my last therapist (the psychodynamic one who had a problem with my blindness and told me how she classifies humans into schizoid and non-schizoid), kept telling me that I have a very self-deprecative sense of humour, in a way that made it seem that it was a very sad and worrisome thing. I get that it’s a bit of a problem when there’s something like AVPD thrown into the mix, but overall, I think a self-deprecative sense of humour is a very healthy thing that prevents you from treating yourself too seriously. It’s quite paradoxical though that most people I know who excel at this kind of humour and seem to have a lot of distance to themselves and pretty much everything, are at the same time extremely sensitive to criticism from other people. Sarcasm is also something that I use profusely, I guess less as a sense of humour thing but more a coping strategy because I don’t know how to be expressive like a normal person, well unless in writing, to the point that often if I say something that I genuinely mean once in a while, even my own family often think I’m being sarcastic. I suppose it’s my own sarcasm that’s also to blame for the fact that I interpret as what other people say to me as dripping with sarcasm all the time. Like most sarcastic people I guess, I also enjoy absurd, paradoxical and grotesque humour. I generally like the surreal.
Something that our Sofi excels at catching ever since she was a toddler and that we both really enjoy but no one else in our family seems to understand is a sort of situational humour. It’s not exactly what people typically call situational humour, but I’m not even really sure how to call it, I totally wouldn’t be surprised if it was something that only makes us two laugh in the whole world. But basically we both like to observe the world and people in it, and a lot of stuff that seems to be very normal and neutral on the surface feels really funny to us, often because there’s something else to it under the surface that makes the whole thing really funny, or it shows when you look at a situation from a different perspective or something like that. It’s really weird. That’s also why we both liked to play pretend all kinds of different scenes when we were younger. All kids play-pretend, but they usually play house, doctor etc. we did too, but what we enjoyed most was acting out situations in which we found something funny and showed it in a sort of odd, exaggerated way. So we often played drunk men, court trials like in the TV shows, truck drivers, grandma and granddaughter etc. Perhaps sometimes if someone sensitive observed those scenes they could find them offensive because of all the exaggeration, but we never really meant it in a way that would mock people as such, more just situations.
At the same time, I can be very childish, and so can be my sense of humour. I thought I’d probably grow out of it at some point, but so far it has never happened so I guess the hope is lost. I laugh at a lot of weird and silly things that most self-respecting adults just don’t. I remember one time when I was a teenager, I was chatting with my good friend from our online blind community on the phone and we had giggle fits over everything possible, and I heard my Mum muse to Dad about how it’s so weird that a lot of smart people laugh at really silly things and why that is. I don’t know if it’s a “smart people” thing, or even if I am part of the “smart people” club outside of my Mum’s brain because I never had an IQ test done as it’s practically impossible to measure blind people’s intelligence beyond verbal, but maybe there is something to it indeed, because I too know a lot of really intelligent people whose sense of humour is not that very sophisticated and it’s incredibly easy to cause them to be in stitches. I get quite frequent giggle fits ever since I was a little kid, especially in the evenings or at night, it’s almost like everything’s way funnier just because it’s night time. One thing will make me laugh and then suddenly everything feels extremely amusing. I sometimes also get giggle fits in very inappropriate situations, like publicly or when everyone else is somberly serious or upset, because some little, hilarious detail catches my attention, or I have an amusing thought, or suddenly I am reminded of something funny that happened X years ago. And then it’s not fun, it’s exhausting to have to focus all your brainergy on not exploding with laughter and not making weird expressions. You dream about being able to leave and relieve yourself, but as soon as you leave, suddenly you no longer feel the need to laugh anymore. Sometimes I wonder if it isn’t somehow related to my social difficulties and emotional regulation and how I normally keep stifling stuff and bottling it up, because I have the same thing with crying as well. I typically can’t cry when I’m alone even if I really feel the need to or think it could help me, unless I’m really very distressed or more angry than sad, but when I’m in social situations, I often feel like crying for seemingly no reason. I’m kind of scared that with time, my years of bottling up which has by now become my normal and I don’t know how not to bottle up, will take a revenge on me and I’ll turn into a hysterical, deranged old lady who will laugh her brain out at funerals, cry rivers on her birthday and blurt things out loud unpredictably. My grandma is actually very weepy and it’s progressively worse as she ages, my Mum too, so I fear it’s genetic.
And since I’m a lingua- and logophile, I also really enjoy all kinds of wordplay, puns and word humour, and making up my own words that I find hilarious. This is something that my grandad shares with me as well so perhaps I take it after him. My Dad also likes word humour though less sophisticated and more immature than my grandad.
How about you and your sense of humour? 🙂