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3 Situations Where We Laugh, 3 Situations Where We Don’t Laugh

Laughing is one of the great joys of our lives. It makes us feel good, helps relieve stress, and has many other benefits. According to the Mayo Clinic, laughter can increase our oxygen intake, soothe tension, and improve our mood and immune systems.

However, just because something is good for you doesn’t mean that you should do it all the time. While it might be good for us to laugh, sometimes there are situations where this just isn’t appropriate. What are they? How does somebody know when they should laugh or not laugh? While we can’t cover every situation in this blog, here are “3 Situations Where We Laugh, 3 Situations Where We Don’t Laugh”.
While this might seem like common sense, sometimes, if the joke doesn’t “land” the way it should, laughing (or not laughing) might make the joke even funnier. Have you ever heard the phrase “something is so bad it’s good”? Well a joke, good or bad, is usually a situation where laughter is appropriate provided that it doesn’t come at the expense of somebody who isn’t in on the joke.
If a friend tells you that their beloved pet passed away, it is generally appropriate not to laugh. Death isn’t something to make light of. An appropriate response would be to tell the person that you’re “sorry for their loss.” Also, sometimes all you need to do is listen. There are multiple ways to act when you hear bad news, but laughter isn’t one of them.
If somebody has a shirt on with a video game joystick in the center, and it says something like, “Kickin’ It Old School”, that is a shirt we are meant to laugh at. If it’s Halloween and somebody comes dressed like a hot dog or a Marvel Character with big fake muscles, this is also something we’re meant to laugh about. Now, if the costume isn’t very good, or doesn’t look good on the person, that is something we keep to ourselves and don’t laugh about.
If someone is walking with a tray of food and they trip and drop it on the ground, this isn’t something that we laugh about. If we’re doing group reading and somebody has a hard time, or doesn’t read as well as some of the other students, that is also a time where we don’t laugh. One thing to remember is that NOBODY IS PERFECT. Mistakes happen to us all. People that laugh at other people one day, might be the same people getting laughed at another day. It’s always better to be understanding and give people grace as they work through a problematic situation.
This is a higher order concept but one that is very valuable. After we hear bad news, there’s a certain amount of time when making funny comments isn’t appropriate. This differs depending on what the situation is. However, there’s also an idea called levity. This is something that is said that’s funny (not in an uproariously comedic way), but it manages to bring a smile to the face of the person who has had the bad news given to them. Also, comments said to relieve stress during sad or emotional situations are usually said by A) people that are really close to the person receiving the bad news and B) have an understanding of the situation. They are people that know the others involved so their comments make sense within the context of the stressful circumstances.

At recess, a high or middle school field, or just being out in the real world, somebody is bound to get hurt. A ball might hit someone. A person running might trip and take a face-plant. During football practice, somebody might take a really hard sack. These are situations where we don’t laugh. Again, everyone is human and everyone gets hurt. People often play games and sports because they’re fun. And sometimes fun hurts. No matter how perfect or good at a sport you are (or think you are), there’s going to come a point where you will get hurt. You wouldn’t want people laughing at you, so you shouldn’t laugh at them.


Laughter is a great thing. Knowing the right times to laugh and not laugh, will go a long way toward making you someone that is seen as a good friend, and able to read situations.

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