In and from this blog post we are continuing with the relationship series. We will in blogs to come however return to the point that we discussed in the previous blog-post about redefining the word ‘freedom’ from the ‘freedom to consume without consequence’ to freedom that stand in the context of what is best for all.
In this particular blog post we are having a look at another reaction. We’re looking at the reaction of feeling ridiculed when another perceivably laughs at you. Now – the reason why I am including this in this relationship series is because it is something that I’ve most extensively experienced in my relationships, however the context could also be class-mates or colleagues or siblings or for example parents. I am writing about this because it is something that I’ve experienced very strong reactions to and when I looked at the memories connected to this experience, they were very emotionally charged.
So let’s say that my partner laughs when I speak and I interpret that laughter as him laughing at me. What I have seen that I’ve done is to in that moment, there’s like a pause – like a point before I decide to react and take it personally and then I make the decision, I take it personally and my entire body/beingness contorts into a reaction. I’ve been quite surprised to how strong this reaction is. Like I can’t stand being in my own skin, it is almost like I have a panic attack. And then what has happened in such situations is that the more I react and take it personally, the more the other person (at least, that’s what I perceive) is laughing even more and then I react even more – most often until the point of crying. So obviously this point of deliberately laughing at each other in spitefulness is something that kids do and that they learn from adults and that can be used in ‘social combat’ to bring each other down if and so the kid being laughed at is open for ridicule.
The problem is that I’m not a kid and I am not surrounded by mean kids. But I still experience myself the exact same way I did as a child – it is in many ways literally like living in the past or being haunted by an echo or a ghost. Whenever I am very serious and/or argumentative and my partner starts laughing, my entire stomach turns to knots and I go into this reaction. Though not before a moment of silence of deciding to go into the reaction. Because I often – not always – see the ridiculousness of my own behavior. It will particularly be in moments where I am taking myself very serious. Now – by the way: this has nothing to do with the actual motive of the other person – I don’t know where they are coming from or why they are laughing. How could I? I’m seeing the entire moment from a thick filter of past memories that are filling my bodily experience, my eyesight, my ears so I can’t really see what’s going on.
Now – let’s briefly look at some background information as we ask ourselves the question: Why do I react when people laugh?
I was a very serious child – at least to some extent. I did not understand humor and I did not understand sarcasm or irony until I was a teenager, even then I did not find it funny, but I understood the social code of it and how it was being used. I never enjoyed watching people who fall on their asses in home movies, nor have I ever enjoyed so called ‘funny movies’. I have developed a sense of humor over the years though and also some self-irony but it has mostly been a deliberate installation or upgrade that I’ve done to myself so as to make myself a more effective participant in the system. What I find funny is mostly stuff to do with animals being cute or when things are absurd. So I never really got the point of sarcasm. I’ve surely used it deliberately to pull others down and that is from my perspective the only purpose with that type of humor. Real humor is to laugh with something or someone – not to laugh at them. So perhaps it is therefore I react so strongly, because I know that if I were to do the same, it would be deliberately to bring another person down, make them feel like shit and make them feel small so that I could feel big and powerful. I mean – I am saying some really harsh stuff here, but if you look inside yourself, isn’t that exactly what sarcasm is here for? And the very worst thing about irony and sarcasm is that it has been defined as ‘humor’ and as ‘innocent’ – so when people use it against each other, they have the excuse (that give them permission to continue) that “It’s just a joke” – “aw man, you can’t even take a joke?” I can’t remember how many times I’ve heard that sentence and every time it feels like a hot metal rod is being poked into my stomach. Because it is the awareness of what is happening is wrong – wrong in the sense that you know that this is unacceptable – but then there is a social rule that turns the point back at you and tell you that there’s something wrong with you. And I suppose this is where the intensity of the reaction comes from – the experience that I can’t do anything about it.
To some extent I can’t even say if the people I remember ridiculing me were in fact ridiculing me because I’ve become so overly sensitive to this point, that I can barely stand hearing someone laughing around me, I immediately think they’re laughing at me. And of course – which is even more absurd – I’ve done it to others as well. Why would I do it to others well-knowing the effect it had on me? Well – for that very purpose. It is like pushing them down into the mud with your boot in their face while claiming that it’s all ‘good clean fun’. It can’t get any nastier.
So I remember this particularly from when I was a new school kid and I quickly started feeling awkward and embarrassed. It was like those years between six and twelve just sucked all the joy of expression out of me. I don’t know if I’m particularly sensitive when it comes to ridicule but I feel like this point has entrenched my entire childhood leaving me scared, subdued and timid. Eventually I started calculating what I could say and how I could say it in a way to prevent ridicule. I never even really investigate what music I liked for example, I simply picked something that I believed to be ‘cool’ or popular and then I pretended that I liked that, same with clothes. Now that I look at it, I am quite surprised of how extensive this was and if I am not the only one who had this experience – if everyone in fact experiences this or something similar, what the fuck are we doing in this world? What a sick, twisted society we’re bringing children into. And I can see it now when I go to schools, how tough kids are on each other. Another point of ridicule and laughter I’ve faced in my life is from adults and particularly my mom. I actually have the exact same experience with my mom as I’ve had in my relationships of feeling so small and so furious at the same time. And as an interesting side note I can mention that my mom has told a story of how her father, my grandfather would be teased and ridiculed by his teacher as a child and how she too felt persecuted in her childhood. It would appear that everyone recognizes this experience and has some painful memory in and through which they’ve encased themselves to never again have to face the ridicule.
But what I see from all this – is blame. Blaming those who ridiculed me or who laughed for how I allowed myself to experience myself in taking their laughter personal. So that is obviously what I will be working with in my self-forgiveness – of bringing it back to self. But I will also take on the point of standing as the person that deliberately ridicules because this is imperative to let go of as well as expose and show.
Of the particular points that has come up in this writing, the main points I will focus on as I begin the process of releasing this point from within and as me are:
1) Taking perceived ridicule personally and blaming the person ridiculing
2) Defining myself according to ridicule as small and stupid
3) Becoming furious and feeling desperate towards ridicule
4) Deliberately ridiculing others to bring them down
5) Deliberately adopting a specific humor and style to avoid ridicule
6) Suppressing my self-expression to avoid ridicule
7) Defining myself as a serious and sensitive person
So that is it for this post. In the next post we will continue with self-forgiveness and walk through each of these points so that we can release ourselves from the bounds to the past and to memories and instead live here without being haunted by ghosts or seeing the world through filters of the past.
Thanks for walking with here!
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