Thursday, July 24, 2014

The Importance of a fake laugh.

I realized today that I have perfected a fake laugh.  It's a good fake laugh. It sounds as if I'm having a good ha-ha over something that was said. My fake laugh is meant to appease the person before me.

The word "appease" is an interesting choice.  It means "pacify or placate by acceding to their demands." And why do I want to placate them?  I want to placate them in order to make the moment pass easily without bearing the burden of nuance, emotional extrapolation or lingering resentment. 

That's exactly right.  I fake laugh when I'm slightly afraid of the person before me. And what are the demands I am placating?  By offering some stale platitude or stale joke, or superficial assessment of life or contradictory evidence of common sense or just plain delusional personal long-winded bs, the conversational bully is daring me not to find them supremely amusing.  It has elements of superiority in it. You think the phrase 'daring me' is too harsh?  It's not too harsh.  It's true. 

My fake laugh establishes quick fake solidarity with a person that I will only see briefly but is important to the moment. A workman or the dentist or a cross the street neighbor. Many others. You know who they are.  My fake solidarity laugh will cement their neutrality and allow me to move on.    

That's right.  All of that.  Every bit of it.  I avoid any aftermath of an encounter with a bully with whom I have no emotional connection but who is in my life in a semi-important manner.
The fake laugh maneuver is not cowardly.  It is smart.  I'm sure the new Pope would approve.

Together with realizing that I had perfected a fake laugh, I realized that a fake laugh is one of the best social tools right along with eating with your mouth closed and saying 'please' and 'thank you.'


  1. You're wonderful! I know The Fake Laugh and usually escape using cowardly excuse of desperately needing the loo and then hide behind the rhododendrons for a bit

    1. Ah, the loo defense. Of course. Thank you, Janelle for reading.