Everybody thinks they have good sense of humor but they can't all have..
June 24, 2014 9:19 PM Subscribe
I take everything seriously and overthink every last thing.
How can I lighten the f- up?
[Long, drawn out, unfun, over-thought more inside.]
posted by Gucky to Human Relations (36 answers total) 16 users marked this as a favorite
I want to be "lighter" - have a sense of humor, be a bit absurd, let the superego take a nap for a while, etc. But somehow I've become this kind of dark, intense and over thinky person.
People do tell me how "funny" I am - but it's normally in a snarky, ranty sense or obscure reference "jokes" that are just me making analogies and normally extracted from a sense of fear, disgust or self loathing. (For reference: When the movie JUNO came out, about 10 people said, "I just saw a movie that's just like you in high school" and anyone who saw GHOST WORLD called me to say they saw a movie about me.)
My creative work, however, when I try to be funny is apparently just dark and cruel rather than funny.
I cannot tell a regular joke. Honestly. I make the accordion lesson girl from MY FAVORITE YEAR look like Shecky Greene.
In grad school I had a teacher kick me out of class telling me to, "Get drunk. Get high. Do whatever you need to do to just loosen up." I got very drunk to do my final project for that class and it was the only way I passed.
In my first job, my writing partner said, "I really admire your work, but I'd never want to go through what you do to get there." (basically the whole self torture overthinky thing.)
As I've aged, become more professional, have more responsibilities, I've got a lot less room for nonsense interjecting its way into my life and I miss it.
From therapy to meditation to medication to exercise, things over the last few decades designed to calm me from my overserious, overthinky state have had very little nonsense in them. They're aiming for mellow, not bristling with joy.
There's a complete lack of random fun chaos in my life. And when I purposely add it, it feels like I'm following a cake mix recipe on how to be wacky, rather than anything that's actually fun or genuine.
Please note: I'm not looking for a way to be hip or cool vs. square or have a second childhood in the midst of adulthood. I have pinball machines. My house is decorated in PeeWee Herman posters and Futurama action figures. I read Mad Magazine. I watch Adventure Time and Scooby Doo, Mysteries Inc. I have a tiki-themed bathroom and tin robots in every room. (These just ooze in. I swear it didn't happen all at once.) I'm not Cameron Frye's parents. I'm like a very intense 10 year old that won't crack a smile anymore.
I just feel like that sense of joy, lightness and absurdity isn't coming from me lately. Not that I never was, but that the battle between serious me and goofy me? Someone goofy got a smackdown and isn't rearing its head.
Case in point: Worried about this, the first thing I did was search books on Amazon: "How to Loosen Up", "How to Have a Sense of Humor" then Google Lifehacker for the same thing, then look up if there were a self-hypnosis style MP3 for it as if it's some sort of assignment for work.
Things to caveat:
- Yep, I'm in therapy. No need to suggest more. I have had "dance where no one can see you" as a prescription/assignment. I'm worried that therapy is partially contributing to the "no fun" lens on the world.
- I can still get totally geeked on things, even really goofy things, still, but I end up making them make sense in some way, either with doing lots of research or analyzing it to death until I've sucked the fun out of it like a crazed, fun-less vampire. This does not make me the life of the party.
- I come from a long line of people with substance abuse problems so, besides an occasional drink, I'm not going the chemical route to loosen the heck up. More than 2 drinks and I start playing out nightmare scenarios that I'll end up drinking vanilla extract like the uncle in "Family Ties."
So, how exactly does one chill the f out, lighten the f up and loosen up?