Nervous Laughter #nervouslaughter #inappropriatelaughter

It happens to the best (worst??) of us. Laughing at a time when laughter isn’t appropriate. I’ve read about people who have laughed at funerals, at church during an important message or when their kid is freaking out at school.

20130117-073208.jpgDon’t laugh!

Last week at work I laughed when the parrot bit my boss. Totally the wrong time — and in fact I did NOT find it funny. I was actually really worried about my boss, but all he heard was my laughter and he was not pleased.

(The bird, for his part, went into time out for the rest of the weekend.)

Anyway, I like my job — obviously I like it, since I’m the only one who works there other than the two owners! — but I couldn’t seem to explain to my bosses that nervous/inappropriate laughter is a THING that happens to people as a stress response. They think that I’m either (a) not interested in keeping my job, (b) a sociopath who laughs at others’ pain, or (c) both.

Le sigh.

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8 Responses

  1. My Aunt Susie laughed hysterically when her husband got struck by lightning (he was okay). The situation was scary and crazy and funny (the hair stood up on one side of his head). Everyone said she was heartless but I’m sure it was nervous laughter.

  2. I don’t do this so much anymore. But when I was little, I did it all the time and it sent my mom through the roof. She would come in the room and try and give me some serious news, like her aunt died or something, and I would smile. I don’t know WHY. I certainly wasn’t happy her aunt died. It just happened.

  3. Oh no!! I think your boss(es) need to be more sympathetic!! This is so freaking common!!! Boo. Hope it works out.

  4. My mom loves to tell the story about how she and my dad borrowed a car that was a stick shift, which neither of them really knew how to drive. For some reason they decided to go downtown (in Seattle) which if you don’t know is practically vertical. As they started sliding downhill toward the Sound, my mom was laughing maniacally and my dad (who was behind the wheel) just kept yelling over and over “Why are you laughing?! This isn’t funny!!”

    So yeah, it happens all the time.

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