Humor wins

My wife says we’re closer than we were years (decades) ago. Why?

“You laugh at my funny stuff now. You used to never laugh.”

I could argue and say, “Well you weren’t funny then; now you are,” but that’s just defensiveness.

Humor connects people

Everybody says they want a connected family more than anything, but then anytime we have a choice of taking offense or defusing it with humor, we always take offense.

I think we all must have a secret love of being offended; we grab every opportunity to be ‘hurt.’

I can’t believe you said that.

You never care what I think.

What am I, chopped liver?!

I’m tired of . . . putting up with this / being ignored / always being the one to  . . .

It takes guts and courage to go the other way and reject offenses.

Next time you smell an offense, try this:

+ Don’t fight or bristle. Go along with the comment or thing that irks you.

+ Be lighthearted.

+ Pretend this is a game where you’re confident and unhurtable.

+ Exaggerate it and turn it positive, without making any negative response towards the other person.

+ And picture this: It’s not an offense, it’s a puffy, colorful beach ball! And you want it to bounce off you and playfully head back to them.

Them (giving you the choice to be offended): “That was so ridiculous I don’t even know what you just said.”
You: “Well you should replay the tape because it was genius.” And smile.

Them: “Wow – the candles on your birthday cake could heat the whole house!”
You: “I know! If you’re lucky, you’ll have that many one day and still look this good.” And smile.

One time at breakfast my boss mentioned something that bothered him about a coworker and two of us cautiously pointed out he did the same thing. “I do? (scary pause) Well I guess I just need to keep quiet and eat my biscuit . . .” Defused. No offense. Nothing personal.

My wife and I are much better at this today. In the old days everything was so stinking serious. Today, when one of us says something the other doesn’t like that could be taken offensively, the other will say quietly and mockingly serious, “Will you please SHUT. UP.” It’s our secret code for I’m giving you grace and I will NOT let this turn into anything.

You don’t have to be super successful at this. Just succeed enough to keep offenses from dominating.

A sense of humor is just common sense, dancing  – William James

A person without a sense of humor is like a wagon without springs. It’s jolted by every pebble on the road – Henry Ward Beecher

Hatred stirs up strife, but love covers all offenses . . . Whoever covers an offense seeks love – Proverbs

Who in your family is best at using humor to ignore offenses?

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A Family Like Yours is 31 Days of encouragement to help you appreciate, influence, and love the family you have (no matter what).

This is day 22.

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About the Author


Gary Morland helps you feel better about your most challenging family relationships, and helps you actually improve those relationships - all by adopting simple attitudes, perspectives, expectations, and actions (the same ones that changed him and his family).


  1. Melissa

    Best post yet, Gary!!! You should write a book. Oh wait. You did! Three as a matter of fact. :o)

  2. Great post. And timely for me. There never used to be any thing in my marriage relationship that would cause offense. Well… there was but the offense never “took” because of humor. Recently (5 years or so) we’ve become much more serious about everything and offense sets in. Thanks for this tip. Humor may be the thing that has gone missing.


  3. Krista Danielle Casada

    I wish this worked for me. I’ve given up trying it because in my experience, somebody else would be offended because my attempt at humor would be seen as not taking a grievance seriously.

    • I meant to mention that risk. It can be an art. I’ve had the same thing happen. Sometimes other things might need to happen first. Thx Krista.

    • Krista Danielle Casada

      I appreciate that.

    • jill

      Krista, I agree with you. Sadly, it just doesn’t seem to matter what I say or do, so I choose to remain in my little isolated hidey hole of my mind.
      It’s much safer for me that way.
      I personally like to find humor in many situations, the clogged toilet is a good one actually. I also associate music, and can burst out in song in just about any situation. Sadly, I’ve been told to sing tenor, ten or twenty miles away.

      • Krista Danielle Casada

        I so hear you, Jill. Keep singing!

  4. Tondra Denise

    I LOVE this!!!

  5. m

    Oh, this is good, real good!!! My hubby asked if I wrote this…lol;) As you can see, HE is the one with the sense of humor here ha! However, I’m a quick study…this was a good one; we laughed out loud, together!!! Thanks again, G!
    Blessings & <3

  6. Pam Cason

    Such wisdom!


    This was encouraging. I have always found humor in things and sometimes feel maybe I am not everyone’s cup of tea because of it. Which I can still find funny. :)

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