Humor plays an important role in the world. I’m quite fond of it. There are many different purposes for using humor. Of course comedy entertains us. I’m sure I am not the only person who loves a great romantic comedy whether it is in book form, television or movies. Humor can also help diffuse a tense situation. Some people, including myself, use humor as a defense mechanism, or a way to cover pain. I’m also fond of this particular way to use humor.

Judging by all the memes, posts and other things that have come out in the last year, COVID has brought forth quite a bit of humor. It’s been a stressful time for many people and unfortunately sometimes that humor comes at the end of a nasty, sharp, barb. For me, it has been difficult to decipher intent behind a random comment here or there. And my go to response is humor, sometimes of the self-deprecating variety.

Not too long ago, in one of my favorite book groups, a person that I don’t know well made a comment about a book of mine, not the actual writing or story, but something else. I was very perplexed by the comment and my initial reaction was hurt. So I did what I usually do, I responded with humor. The response to my humor, challenged my perception of the comment. Maybe it was not intended to throw shade or blast the cover design. That got me to thinking about the use of humor on Facebook and other social media platforms. Without seeing the other person’s facial expressions, or listening to their tone of voice, it might be nearly impossible to detect intent.

Back to social media, where two other times, I learned I’d been the topic of conversation behind the scenes and I was catapulted back to high school (not a particularly fun time for me). Once again, I used self-deprecating humor as a means to cover the hurt. I wonder to this day if that was the best way to handle the situation. I also wonder about all the times when I was in a position to confront something, such as an inappropriate joke in the workplace, if my use of humor was the right way to hold up a mirror to their bad behavior. Because sometimes a quick joke is all it takes to get the message across. Most of the time, the other person got it and backpedaled quickly, but sometimes they didn’t, nor did it really change anything. Is humor a gentle way of confronting someone, or a cop out? Interesting question that I don’t really have the answer to. In all the social media examples, either I misinterpreted the original comment, or my use of humor was enough of a mirror to reflect back to the person how it might have been hurtful. I suspect, I won’t change my tact anytime soon, but maybe as I age, I’ll have enough courage to simply ask, “Did you intend that comment the way that I interpreted it, because it kind of hurt if you did?”

The bottom line is that I do believe humor will continue to play a prominent role in my life. I often hear readers say my books have laugh out loud moments, and that is music to my ears. Perhaps humor used correctly is a good thing, certainly it is in books. But I suspect there are times when humor isn’t the tool to pull from my toolbox. Want to check out how I use humor in my books, you know the drill, click on the links below. You can also check out the two Affinity Books (Dreams in a Jar and Country Living) on sale this week in My LesFic by two great authors, JM Dragon and Jen Silver and see how they use humor. By the way, I know that all of you can’t wait to treat your ears to the audible version of my award winning book, Locked Inside which is now out. Early feedback is outstanding. I picked the right narrator by choosing Heidi Bindhammer. Hope y’all will give it a listen, because I really want to work with Heidi again! Don’t forget about my newest, Sculpting Her Heart which definitely has some laugh out loud moments!

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