Sunday, August 11, 2013

The Etiquette of Humor IV

The subtlety of a child wearing spectacles and reading a hardbound book delivers the same “kids are smart” punchline.


There is a big difference between sharing our accomplishments and extolling our virtues to anyone we happen to meet. Close friends and family members allow us to brag a little because they are just as pleased as we are about positive, successful outcomes, but no one wants to have someone make a mockery of their success.

Others are not as interested in our successes. Even when we are bursting with pride, the good-humored conversationalist does not go on and on about what a wonderful job they did, or how bright their child is. Many recognize this due to past social blunders where they held someone uncomfortably captive with their good news story.

In the event you find yourself captive of a braggart, comment politely about their remarks and try to redirect the conversation. Abruptly changing the subject can leave a proud individual feeling socially awkward for having shared their good news. 

Responding to another’s good fortune with a good-humored response can both acknowledge the other person’s pride while simultaneously and smoothly opening the pathway for more general conversation that can be shared in equal terms. Sociability is all about navigating the nuances of equality. 

What a great story! Speaking of which...

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