I had a couple revelations this past week, one right after the other. The first one will come as no real surprise to anybody who knows me well, and it’s probably not very surprising to casual acquaintances, either:
I’m not as funny as I think I am.
In fact, I’ve been getting the impression on one of my favorite forums that I’m actually getting on some people’s nerves. My tendency to take everything lightly isn’t always appreciated, it seems.
I think there are exceedingly few people in this world who are exactly as funny as they think they are. That means that the vast majority of us fall into two categories. We are either not as funny as we think we are, or we are funnier than we think we are. Now it’s easy to imagine people in that first category. We all know somebody who tells jokes we think aren’t very good. What about the second category? The people who are trying to be serious, but what comes out of their mouths causes us to laugh? I don’t know about you, but I’d much rather be an annoyance or a bore than be the guy everybody laughs at behind his back.
Not to mention that people who aren’t as funny as they think they are tend to be happy. They are laughing and smiling, and that also makes them more pleasant to be around (at least when there humor isn’t actively annoying). They are also, I think, more likely to appreciate other people’s senses of humor, and who doesn’t like somebody who laughs at their jokes?
The one downside – the potential for offending others – is sidestepped with one simple thought (which I am blatantly stealing and paraphrasing, but I can’t recall who from). I’d rather be hated for who I am, than loved for something I am not.
So I’m not as funny as I think I am, and that’s great.