Heart to Heart: I’m tired of the insults being masked as jokes


Dear Laurie,

A family member thinks it’s funny to make jokes about me but I don’t think it’s funny. The jokes are geared toward areas in my life that I don’t feel good about myself and he knows that. I have told him that I don’t think it’s funny, but he continues to say the same things and I’m tired of it.

Am I being too sensitive? I feel I have a really good sense of humor! Luckily, I don’t live with this person. What do you think?



Dear Jennifer,

This is a good topic for discussion. If you don’t feel the jokes are funny then they’re not. It’s about vibration and a resonance. So called “jokes” that attack, disparage, insult or negatively judge a person’s character is low vibrational humor. For example, higher vibrational humor ignites joy not insecurity or uncomfortable feelings.

One option is to consider communicating your needs and requests to that family member. I suggest asking him, “What is your intent behind your insulting humor? Does it make you feel better to make me feel bad?”

It may be helpful for both of you to create a code word that can be used to alert your family member that what they are sharing is not funny to you. And the agreement is that when you say this code word, this means stop. Another request is to ask him to pause before making a joke and ask himself, “Will my joke upset or bother Jennifer in any way? Is my joke at her expense?” And, if yes is the response, don’t say it.

In your situation or any situation, if your communication isn’t receiving a positive result and you feel repeatedly misunderstood, disrespected and not heard, not connected or walking on eggshells, ask yourself, “Is this a healthy relationship for me?” If your answer is no, then you have the choice to create some boundaries and take a step back.

If you decide you need a little distance, it does not mean he is wrong, bad, lesser or not good enough in any way. And it doesn’t mean you are wrong or bad or not good enough for choosing space. It is not necessary to “create” a case for taking a breather and “prove” he is wrong and you are right. It’s simple. You are not in agreement with his behavior. You can have an understanding that you are better off with some space between you. You still have love and compassion. Love doesn’t go away. You love from a distance knowing your energy is better spent in more resonate relationships.

It’s OK to unhook yourself and create boundaries. We all deserve people in our lives that respect and support us, encourage us, and this applies to you too. This is you respecting yourself.

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Laurie Martin is a certified life coach, speaker, yoga teacher and advice columnist. Laurie is the author of three books: “Language of the Heart: Unconditional Love, Living Fully Empowered;” “Smile Across Your Heart: The Process of Building Self-Love;” and an e-book, “The Conscious Breakup Guide, Navigating Yourself Through the End of Your Relationship.” Laurie’s next Smile Across Your Heart Course is February 2015. Her website is www.smileacrossyourheart.com.