May 22nd 2018
Laugh loudly, laugh often, and most importantly, laugh at yourself ~Chelsea Handler
Growing up, I was surrounded by friends and felt alone. Then, when I got to high school, I was alone and had to learn to deal with not only feeling alone in a crowded room but also literally being alone in a crowded room. That was the time in my life where I was at my lowest and wishing for change. It may have taken a while, but I soon learned to find company within myself.
The life-changing art of laughing at your own jokes, is the art of being your own best friend. I had never realized that being your own friend was an option until I was about 17 and I felt as though I didn’t have a friend in the world. I spend a lot of time at school making casual small talk but I spent all of my free time alone. As much as that time alone really sucked and made me feel crumby because “high school is supposed to be the best years of your life”, I feel like that time has really helped me grow into the person I am today.
So when I say “laughing at your own jokes”, I don’t mean being that weird kid who sits alone at lunch and talks to him/herself. What I mean is, be the kind of person you want to be friends with and things will get better. Without putting much thought into it at the time, I had mentally constructed a subconscious list of qualities I wanted in a friend and then I began to embody them.
I started small with my sense of humor. Being quick witted for most of my life, I didn’t have much trouble making jokes on the fly, but I DID get more comfortable saying the jokes out loud, even just to myself. Soon enough, I had enough courage to express my humor outward and people began to take notice of my newfound confidence.
I also realized that I enjoy people with a lot of layers to them so I began building myself out a bit more. Before I was 17 years old, I really couldn’t tell you who my favorite singer was, what some of my favorite movies were, or any hobbies I had (because I didn’t have any). After coming to that shocking realization, I began to explore and I am happy to say that I have not only found some great hobbies like yoga and meditation and writing and hiking, but I also have a list of favorite things that help give me dimension as a person (I even have a favorite book that isn’t something I read in middle school!)
And all of this growth happened because I learned the true value of laughing at my own joke. You see, no one will want to be your friend if you don’t even want to be your friend. If you tell yourself that you suck and no one likes you because you’re a terrible person then no one will like you! And they won’t dislike you because you’re a terrible person, they’ll dislike you because you’re negative and a drag to be around.
Laughing at your own jokes not only makes you more likable and funny, but also more confident. By having faith in your own sense of humor and your own personal development, you are setting yourself up for a positive future of social interactions with other people who have learned to laugh at their own jokes!
So let your inner comedian shine and watch life change in front of your eyes!