In social media circles, as well as in real life, some people are just often offended when I open my mouth.  It's something that I've gotten quite used to over the years.  There have even been times when I've bordered on understanding it.  Sometimes, if only rarely, I've been upset to discover that I've offended someone.

In fact, recently I went through a period of self-doubt where I felt like I was obsessed with making sure I didn't upset anyone.  It didn't last too long thankfully.  Once I stopped giving a crap, I felt so much better about myself and the world around me.

It all came to a head during a social media exchange a couple of months ago.

I shared a funny picture, a friend then shared it.  A conversation thread ensued where we both made some funny comments, and someone messaged my friend to tell him I was way too offensive.  My friend took exception and stood up for me (which is something that I do appreciate enormously) but it was at that moment that I realized something.  I was back to my old self of not caring what other people think.  Not in a way that I think they're inferior, just that I value myself enough to realize that my happiness and fulfillment are not dependant on other peoples' opinion of me as a person.

If anything it aroused some curiosity though.

You see, online, I associate with a pretty diverse group of people, many of whom are very interested in personal development, and many of those are helping professionals.  Actually, to be even more precise, other than my offline friends who I've connected with, most of my online friends are entrepreneurs, coaches, educators or some other type of helping professional.  Then there are also artists.  One guy is what I would call an amazing landscape artiste.

But what aroused my curiosity, was when had to wonder when did a passionate interest in personal development came to preclude a sense of humour?

We're often told, as coaches and other helping professionals, that our job is to teach people how to succeed.  Our job is to help people to learn new skills so that they can then claim the joy that is rightfully theirs.

Now part of that skillset is to figure out how to inspire someone to succeed.  You won't hear any argument from me or any other coach about that.  I agree entirely that we should be able to inspire others.

What I find absolutely ridiculous is that some people seem to think that laughter has no place in personal development.  Believe it or not, laughter has a critical role to play in joy.  In fact, laughter has a critical role to play in any, no let me rephrase that, laughter has an absolutely vital role to play in every personal evolutionary development.  When you can't see that, then you've missed the point entirely.

I am, of course, one of those types that is heavily afflicted with a condition known as gallows humour.  It's a humour style that is considered by many to be very dark, and there are even many psychologists and psychiatrists who consider it to be unhealthy.  They can bite my shiny white @$$.  Gallows humour is, for those of us "afflicted" with it, a very necessary therapeutic tool and coping mechanism.

When I lost my sister 17 years ago, I joked about it.

When my dad died 16 years ago, I joked about it.

When I lost my kid 7 years ago, I joked about it.

There was nothing disrespectful about cracking jokes during any of those times.  Nothing at all.  It was how I coped.  And eventually, it was a large part of how I healed and moved on.

So yes, jokes, humour and laughter are all  part of personal development.  Just as much as inspiration is.

And yes, I still really appreciate my friend who stood up for me.



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    G'day everyone.  I'm an Aussie Life Coach, Clinical Hypnotist (www.americanallianceofhypnotists.org)  and author with a passion for making every relationship in our lives the best it can be.   I work at local, state, national and international levels.  I am also a Callahan Techniques Thought Field Therapy practitioner trained by Eugene Piccinotti TFT - dx, and I studied Neuro Linguistic Programming Master Practitioner Level (MNLP) under Steve G Jones at the American University of Neuro-Linguistic Programming
    (http://www.aunlp.org).  In other words, as a coach, I'll use whatever I have to use to help you to make the changes you want to make.