I enjoy laughing with others. I am embarrassed to accept that I also sometimes enjoy laughing at others. The goofier their action, the better. I like to notice irrationality and silly mistakes, as long as they don’t hurt anyone. Yet, I don’t like to be a laughing stock.
I don’t like anyone to notice my personal embarrassments and goof ups. I often struggle with remembering where I parked my car, the list of items I was tasked to get from the grocery store, or the name of the acquaintance I just met in the check out line.
I have a choice. I could be stiff and defensive. I could thwart any attempt of others to laugh at me. Or I can learn to laugh at myself. I believe the latter is a healthier option.
When I laugh at myself, I get almost the same kick that I do when laughing at others. I get entertained without being unkind. It keeps me humble. It also helps others laugh at me without engendering any guilt.
Laughing at myself thus is a true win-win. It is an expression of humility. I should learn to laugh at myself.
Learn to laugh at yourself. If you don’t someone else will.
Amit Sood, M.D. is Professor of Medicine, Director of Research and Practice in the Mayo Clinic Complementary and Integrative Medicine Program, and Chair of the Mayo Mind-Body Initiative.
Akimboo recommends the two-minute Beginner's Guided Meditation for Desk Workers at your next break!