5 Tips to Learn How to Laugh at Yourself

February 7, 2018

Learning to laugh at yourself is the simplest path to inner peace. It also helps us be more resilient and kind. But it’s not easy as it might seem, nor is it an ability that is born from one day to the next. Only the most evolved or fortunate of us manage to really get there.

To learn to laugh at yourself, you must have a well-developed sense of self-awarenessBut even more important is a high level of self-acceptance. If we are lucky to have grown up in an environment that encourages these abilities, great! If not, we have to work every day to acquire them or develop them.

We live in a society where everyone judges everyone else. And so often we do it without any tact at all. This type of environment is the product of our collective insecurity.

Nevertheless, many people are frightened by these judgments. Learning to laugh at yourself is a way to become independent of other’s opinions. How can we do it? Here are some tips.

“Happy are those who know how to laugh at themselves, because they will never stop having fun.”

-Saint Thomas More

1. Balance who we are with who we want to be

One thing is who we are, and another is what we would like to be. It seems quite clear, but sometimes it is not as simple as it seems. We so often confuse the two. This happens especially if we are instilled with a very rigid idea of what “should be”.

That can make it difficult to distinguish between reality and the expectations that shape us. When this happens, it’s like being constantly in debt.

laugh at yourself

This “want to be” and “should be” can get in the way of valuing who we actually are. For example, say you’re short. You’ve heard so many jokes and negative messages about short people that you end up despising your height.

You feel intimidated by tall people and put on terrifyingly high heels to hide your stature. You don’t take advantage of situations in which coming in a smaller package is an advantage. You don’t laugh at your height when you can’t even reach something on our tippy toes…

2. Develop selfish intelligence

To learn how to laugh at yourself, you have to turn down narcissism and turn up healthy self-interest. Narcissism has to do with a feeling of personal pride. Healthy self-interest, on the other hand, is all about trying to seek out the good and beneficial for ourselves before we look for it for others.

When you feel a lot of personal pride, it’s difficult to laugh at yourself. In these cases, we want to be the best, the most beautiful, the most intelligent. But since these are impossible desires, they only produce frustration.

By contrast, if we analyze situations in a self-interested way, we can accept ourselves as incomplete people. We recognize that we have to be true to ourselves above all. 

This way it’s much easier to laugh at our mistakes and failures without thinking about how others see us. We are talking about healthy self-interest, just to be clear.

3. Judge yourself with kindness so you can laugh at yourself

Sometimes we are our harshest critics. We judge ourselves harshly. We don’t accept our mistakes and punish ourselves for them. So often, we demand much more from ourselves than we can give.

a rose shadwo

If you want to learn to laugh at yourself, first learn to treat yourself kindly. This means understanding that we are fallible, incomplete, and unfinished creatures.

Saying, doing, or thinking something wrong isn’t a grave sin. It is a weakness that makes us more human. Making mistakes gives us the opportunity to improve and keep growing.

4. Learn to be your own partner in crime

If we can’t count on ourselves, we can’t count on anyone. Instead of having a harsh and inflexible inner voice, we should give ourselves support. We should try hard to forgive ourselves instead of blaming ourselves. Try to motivate and appreciate ourselves instead of punishing and scolding.

When we know how to support ourselves we don’t become lazy or negligent. Being excessively harsh on ourselves only leads to emotional distress. In contrast, being more flexible and kind leads to balance and a better relationship with ourselves.

5. Exercise your laughter

Look for reasons to laugh every day. Laughter is wonderful for emotional health, but it also helps us to be less rigid. It helps us take life less seriously and allow it to flow more spontaneously. In the end, all of this helps us to feel better about ourselves.

a smile and a frown

Learning to laugh at yourself is fundamental to good mental health. It also helps us socially. When we understand that arrogance and pride just get in our way, we take a huge step forward. Humility, on the other hand, makes us less sensitive to criticism, teasing, and other people’s opinions.