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  • We know by instinct that humour is pretty important in relationships. But the reasons

  • are often left a little vague. It isn’t that we crudely want entertainmentthere

  • are enough comedians on TV. We don’t just want a laugh per se.

  • For two people to be able to tolerate one another over time we need to laugh.

  • In the nicest way at our partner and at ourselves. Spending time closely around someone

  • inevitably exposes us to constant departures from what we can call normality or balance. Our partners

  • will be a little crazy in many areas and we will be too of course. They might turn out

  • to ring their mother five times a day, clean the kitchen as if surgery was going to be performed

  • there, always insist on inviting friends around

  • or want to arrive at the airport six hours before a flight.

  • We need to say something, but doing so directly and in a serious voice can be painfully counter-productive.

  • Too often, the partner just feels swiftly attacked and refuses the insight. Leading to stifled irritation and bitterness. This is

  • where humour comes in. Humour is the most effective way of criticising another person without

  • arousing their irritation or self-righteousness. Their laughter isn’t just fun it's a

  • sign that they have acknowledged an attempt to reform them.

  • If people tend to get annoyed when criticism is delivered in a serious tone, it's

  • It's that they can't see the extent to which their attitudes have abandoned proportion and balance.

  • They are unable to spot their deviation from the mature meme.

  • So the comedic gesture involves subjecting the troublesome aspect of the other

  • to extreme exaggerationwhich then jolts them

  • into recognition of a problem, while at the same time offering them the

  • relief of feeling that they arn't, of course, quite that bad.

  • In the late 1980s, the then British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher grew increasingly authoritarian with her colleagues and fellow

  • politicians. Serious-minded articles appeared in newspapers urging the Prime Minister to

  • be more collegiate and empathetic. It didn’t work at all; Mrs Thatcher simply got offended

  • and dug in. But then a comedy show using puppets called Spitting Image turned the Prime Minister

  • into a deep-voiced, psychopathic matron with a tendency to whack her naughty colleagues

  • over the head with a truncheon. This obviously wasn’t how Mrs Thatcher actually behaved,

  • and yet it was a tenfold exaggeration of a realand painfultruth about her.

  • Remarkably, presented in this form, the Prime Minister could see the point, felt assuaged

  • by the wildness of the exaggeration and was in a position to laugh at herself. In her

  • memoirs, she recalled tuning into the programme and chucklingrealising that she would

  • henceforth need to learn to reign in a tendency that had clearly gotten out of hand. The comedy

  • show was rehearsing a move we all need constantly to make in our relationships.

  • Here too we should use the tacit of kindly comic exaggeration.

  • To point out the failings of another person.

  • Imagine responding to a partner who had become overly agitated about signs of dirt in the kitchen

  • in answer we might massively over-play the gravity of the issue and insist: ‘Let’s commit suicide

  • over the bread crumbs by the sink: youre right, life is no longer worth living on these

  • term; We could nip round to the late night pharmacy and get a bottle of sleeping pills

  • or take the bread knife to those larger veins in our ankles. Soon, we won’t have to worry

  • about this messy world any longer. Come on, it could even be fun.’ One would during

  • the speech need to be chirpy, relaxed, with just a playful twitch of the lips as one elaborated

  • the technical details. As comedians know, tone is everything. The comic move is to blow up

  • departures from the norm to such manifestly absurd proportions, that even the partner

  • can see them for what they always were: over-reactions. Comedy skilfully teaches us that the way to

  • get someone to see that they have over-reacted is not to sound mature and reasonable. It’s

  • to continue to pump up the problem until the over-reaction becomes so clear, so benign

  • by its outsize dimensions that our audience starts to laugh. Well have learnt to criticise

  • through humourand our relationships will be a whole lot more secure as a result, especially

  • when we allow our lover to magnify our own failings into jokes in turn.

We know by instinct that humour is pretty important in relationships. But the reasons


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B1 中級 美國腔

幽默的人際關係 (Humour In Relationships)

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    Jane 發佈於 2021 年 01 月 14 日