Every one of us have been laughed at in our lives. I am not talking about the chuckles, snickers and gut busting laughter we hear when we tell a good joke or intentionally say something funny. I am talking about when we are laughed at either when we were not trying to be funny or tried something and we failed. Laugher when it is not expected is ridicule, ridicule can cause us to want to retreat into a hole (and pull the hole in with us). That is not the right way to respond to ridicule – instead you should always turn ridicule into the fuel you need to succeed.
The painful sting of ridicule.
We all have felt it at least once in our lives, the painful sting of being laughed at when we were not trying to be funny.
We could have been sharing an idea with a group of our peers at work, we could have been sharing our opinions on politics on social media, or we could have been sharing our deepest feelings with a close friend or a love interest. Instead of receiving approval, agreement or at least respect for what we had just expressed, we felt the sting of ridicule.
That sting of ridicule may have been just laughter. Unfortunately, that laughter is often accompanied by finger pointing, name calling, insults, put-downs, and more.
No one likes to be ridiculed!
I have never heard anyone say, “I am going to say something, and I hope people make fun of me!”
We, as humans, are always searching for approval and acceptance. I believe that starts when we are very young. Most of us were praised when we said our first words, when we took our first steps, or the first time we used the big boy or girl toilet. From those early days in our lives we become addicted to praise. We wanted to do anything and everything we could to hear words of praise from our parents/guardians. As we grew older and started to move away from our family unit, we still craved the praise from our teachers, coaches and other role models in our lives. Starting around middle school age (if not earlier) peer pressure appeared in our lives. Now we were seeking approval and acceptance from our peers – and at least for me that was the hardest approval to gain.
Being ridiculed hurts and can led to bad decisions.
When you are ridiculed for a thought, opinion or an idea, you feel everyone in the room is looking at you and laughing at you.
Your first instinct is to retreat. You may decide at that moment to keep your mouth shut. You may want to never share your opinion or idea ever again with another living soul.
That is the worst thing you can do.
NEVER, allow me to repeat that – NEVER allow any one person or group to silence you. When you allow that to happen you have not only given them power over you, but you have lowered your own self-worth/ That can be one of the most dangerous things you can do to your self-confidence and self-esteem.
Turn that ridicule into fuel and be an overcomer!
Do not allow those who mock you, laugh at you, say your opinion or idea is stupid or impossible discourage you. Instead, turn that ridicule into fuel and use that fuel to be proud of your opinion, your idea or the fuel you need to do what they say can’t be done!
Take a dignified victory lap.
It might take some time to get to this point – but more often than not your opinion is proven right. Your idea does work. You archived the goal they said that could not be done. When that day comes congratulate yourself. Remember that victory and draw upon that next time you are ridiculed.
If you must take a victory lap around those who reduced you, do it with dignity. Do not rub it in their face. They already know they were wrong to laugh at you. Let them see you were right on their own and never gloat – your success will do that for you!