Imagine a fat person entering a party. He knows very well that everyone at the party would laugh when he enters. He enters and loudly says to everyone “make way for the elephant” and everybody along with him starts laughing. What would you think of such a person? He’s a jolly guy.
People like being around them. People consider them to be happy and cheerful. Their presence can lift up your gloomy mood and help you come out of your sadness. They are people who can laugh on themselves. You will find them making fun of their own self.
It will be interesting to know how these jolly people make fun of themselves.
It is difficult to laugh at oneself. Laughing at self may be considered as a sign of self realization in a positive sense but many people just laugh at themselves so that they don’t need to bother about others laughing at them for some reason. The fact is that they laugh at themselves before anyone laughs at them. They want to even out the fact that people can laugh at them for anything that they do. This is a defense mechanism that they use.
Defense mechanisms operate at an unconscious level and help ward off unpleasant feelings (i.e. anxiety) or make good things feel better for the individual. The person uses something called “coping techniques”. He behaves in a manner which is opposite to what he actually is feeling just so that he can cope up with the situation.
Imagine a boy riding a bicycle. He loses balance and falls down and finds himself lying on the ground in front of a group of girls.
He feels awkward at the thought of what those girls would be thinking and now they would laugh at him. He does not have the courage to face this situation. So he lies there on the ground as if he is lying on a heap of grass and starts laughing at himself. Now that he has laughed before anyone could laugh at him, it does not matter if the girls laugh. Can you imagine what the girls would think about him now? May be they would sing, “He is a jolly good fellow.”
The anxiety, fear and lack of confidence in these people roots where they failed to achieve something or couldn’t do what they wanted to.
“The burden of life is lightened with I laugh at myself.” –Rabindranath Tagore
This is what they do; they laugh at themselves because want to show that they are happy before others would laugh at their lack of achievements in any aspect. They remain underachievers because they don’t have the confidence to move ahead. And they have always chosen to laugh at themselves instead of being determined to improve upon their mistakes or shortcomings.
A wavy “t” crossbar indicates this jolly trait in the handwriting.
Neha Rathod is a Psychologist, specializing in Industrial and Clinical Psychology. She is a Graphologist and counselor at CPAG.
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