I have been looking forward to writing this post for a long time. One of the greatest gifts I have encountered has been on the receiving end of mockery by good friends.
First, a bit of clarification. I have always called it mockery until I did research for this post and found a better collection of terms, thanks, Merriam-Webster!
The definition of raillery is "good-natured ridicule." Whereas mockery can have a sharp sting that is intended to inflict pain, raillery and its merry band of synonyms, don't have the same biting intent of tearing one down or destroying.
Synonyms include backchat, badinage, banter, chaff, give-and-take, jesting, joshing, persiflage, and repartee. Feel free to toss these out at your next dinner party or scrabble game, no charge.
Many of the times I have laughed hardest has been at my expense. I am not the most humble of men and these friends remind me, I don't rule the world or know it all. I would rather my friends calibrate my perspective than put my customers or co-workers in the position of needing to adjust my view of the world.
My friends know me better than anyone else, they know my sources of foolish pride and are willing to laugh mercilessly at me until I recognize I am struggling with a "first-world problem."
One friend is known for granting new names for each of us. He was torn between two names for me; either Weasel-Donkey or Praying Mantis. Thankfully, this is only between you and me, and these names will never see the light of day. His wife mentioned she wanted a name, and I encouraged her not to press too hard for one of these unique names.
Because of this gift, I don't easily offend, and I am quicker to laugh at my mistakes. I am nowhere near perfection, but I will have a lot of fun making progress.
How quickly do you laugh at yourself?
How do you react when you do something foolish in private? How is it different in public?
How seriously do you take yourself?
Who can you be silly around?
What are the physical effects of laughing at your yourself?