A sense of humour is something that I really value. I know mine has served me well. But I’ve also noticed a tendency I’ve had to use humour as a survival strategy. As a means to avoid confrontation, to soften the edges of a conversation that I find difficult or to deflect attention away from myself.
In the past, I have preferred to make a self-deprecating joke in favour of accepting a compliment.
I’ve chosen to lighten a situation with a quip in the face of someone disagreeing with me rather than stand firm in what I believe in.
In the face of unwanted attention, I’ve used humour as a barrier of defense before swiftly making an exit.
Humour has been my shield and my sentinel.
Over the past little while, however, I’ve noticed a shift. As I continue to do the work to regulate my nervous system, the more connected to my backbone I’m becoming.
Humour can be a fawn response. Fawning is a strategy we employ for safety. When we are in a fawn response, we forfeit our own needs in deference to those of another based on the unconscious understanding that that is the price of we have to pay to be ok in the situation or relationship we find ourselves in.
A healthy connection to the fight response allows for a felt sense of your own worth. When you can stand in your own self-worth, you are grounded in the understanding that you matter. That what you have to say matters. That what you think matters. And that how you feel matters.
The more viscerally connected I become to this understanding, the less I feel the need to deflect.
I can say thank you to the compliment and let it be that.
I can stand in what I believe in the face of disagreement and not feel the need to lighten the load.
In the face of unwanted attention, I can say, this is not ok with me.
I can use humour as and when I want, but not as a scapegoat to rescue me from standing in my own truth.
I am practicing releasing humour to its rightful place and allowing strength and integrity to take theirs.