Taking Things Lightly

Humor and light heartedness grease the wheels of relationships and make them turn more smoothly.

I see having a sense of humor as one of the most useful attitudes to have. All attitudes provide a lens though which we view what happens in the world. When we have an active sense of humor, we have protection from taking things too seriously. We are more in touch with our common humanity and are able to have compassion for others more easily. Good comedians are successful because they help us laugh at our human foibles.

Does this mean we shouldn’t treat serious things with gravity? Absolutely not! Laughing inappropriately and poking fun in a malicious manner are instances of abusive behavior. We can tell the difference by whether compassion is present in an interaction.

Having a sense of humor is something we develop and learn growing up. As someone whose parents never joked, I’ve had to consciously learn to lighten up and see the humor in things. We can learn by observing how others do it as well as by coaching ourselves to look for the light side.

Another quality that lends itself well to light heartedness is assuming positive intentions. When partners forget things, we often leap to conclusions about their motivations. Rather than assuming something negative, we can ask questions or express feelings which will often uncover either remorse or new information that explains what happened.

It is very interesting how what can become a huge fight for some people will be glossed over smoothly by others, all because of how differently people perceive and interpret a mistake or slight.

Looking for the good in others also contributes to light heartedness. Catching others “doing good” is a habit of mind. Too often we have learned to only pay attention when others are doing things we don’t like. Refusing to dwell on what you don’t like can be a good quality as well, as long as a behavior isn’t abusive to you. After all, we are all unique individuals and the world would be a boring place if everyone was just like us!

Next: Recovering from Betrayal and Hurt


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