I have a couple that I am friends with, and partly because I sometimes I experience the same problems and also because I do not want to put people’s dirty laundry out here I will make this as general as possible. Humor is one of the most important things that you can have in a relationship, so how can it be the cause of a relationships demise?
Finding someone with the same sense of humor as you in the opposite sex is almost impossible. Sure there are some people that would laugh at everything, but it does not mean that everything that you say is funny, it means that that person just laughs at everything (or they are perpetually stoned). I have been told that I am funny. I call myself sarcastic by nature, those of you that have met me in person might think that I am very sarcastic all the time… however sometimes sarcasm can hurt.
We all have boundaries and secret weak spots on our personalities. Most of the time the only people that know those things are those closest to you and they can use them against you. If we are sensitive about the way we look, a simple remark can leave scars that are deeper than anyone realizes.
I was picked on as a child. My friend Julian could tell you stories how I was teased over and over for being too young for my class or too fat all the time. The teasing at times went beyond just verbal and it became either a physical thing or vandalism toward anything I owned. At the school we attended we used to have to provide our own desks, and mine was destroyed more than once. I have come a long way from those days and my self esteem is a lot better now, but believe me, those days were some of the most horrible in my existence.
So when is teasing too much? I personally believe that as soon as someone’s feelings get hurt regardless of how sensitive that person is. But what happens when the other person does not stop? How do you make that other person quit teasing? What if that person that does not let up is your spouse? I really wish I had the answer. You might be surprised how often this happens in relationships. All situations might not be as bad some of the ones I know about, but even if it is a simple “Your hips cannot make it through the door” every time other people are around can make someone feel minuscule.
One of the articles I read on the subject before I wrote this had a great quote
Virginia Satir, a family therapist, has said that “Teasing is often unacknowledged hostility. It is an attempt to avoid responsibility for being honest. Teasing is often an effort to disclaim the presence of hostility and in effect, everyone loses.”
I believe that so many people hide behind the pretense of humor to avoid real communication. Teasing should never replace actual communication, and if you are unhappy with your partner’s looks you should try to help and not tease.
Of course not all teasing is bad, and a sign of a strong relationship is being able to tease each other all the time. When the teasing becomes a war of words where the insults start to fly and tempers flare, it should be flag that maybe that form of communication is not the best.
Another article I read had a good quote about sarcasm,
Sarcasm comes from the Greek word “sarkasmos” meaning literally to bite into the flesh. Although the image is crude, anyone who has been the target of biting humor understands its sting.
It also had a great excerpt about humor
In C.S Lewis’ The Screwtape Letters a senior devil writes to a younger devil about a similar type of humor. “Every serious subject is discussed in a manner which implies that they have already found a ridiculous side to it. If prolonged, the habit of flippancy builds up around a man the finest armor plating against the enemy [God] I know … It is a thousand miles away from joy; it deadens, instead of sharpening, the intellect; and it excites no affection between those who practice it.”
I wish I had more answers than questions in this subject, but overall is more about having some food for thought. I just want to make sure that in all of your relationships, no matter how sarcastic or funny you think you are, you stop and think of others feelings… we are not all funny all the time.