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Forge
A publication from Medium on personal development.

Humor

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Human beings aren’t robots or mind readers

Photo: We Are/Getty Images

I know you’re busy, so let’s start strong. There’s nothing you can do that will “make” someone do what you want them to do. I’m very sorry, but I see no benefit to you if I lie and say that your passive behaviors will magically result in the outcome you’re too scared to ask for. It’s 2021, babes — I’ve neither the patience nor the marbles left in my head to coddle fools.

As humans, we have a bad habit of thinking we can do something that will somehow prompt someone else to take the action that we want. We…


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As a wise philosopher once said: “Humor is just another defense against the universe.” Okay, maybe it was Mel Brooks. But you know that’s at least a little bit true.

Yes, we are living in Very Serious Times: pandemic, politics, climate change, oh my. So is it uncouth, Shanna Loga asks on Medium, to, say, post a silly joke on your social media accounts while Very Serious Things are happening? Or does the wildness of the world mean we need dumb humor more than ever?

Loga recounts how she was chided by a friend for sharing a humor piece on…


It’s time to revisit all the dumb things we found hilarious as kids

Credit: MoMo Productions/Getty Images

Over the past year, when I couldn’t do the things that normally brought me joy — travel, go to concerts, chat over tea with my best friend — I tried to cope in all the expected ways. I read, exercised, and learned some new skills. I forced myself to see the pandemic as an opportunity for gentle self-growth. But as the weeks stretched into months of being trapped at home, none of it was enough. I felt dull, like a robot on autopilot.


Photo: Leonardo Laschera / Getty Images

I’ve recently developed a new laugh and it’s hideous. So hideous, in fact, that if a normal laugh knew I’d just evoked its good name to describe the emission, it’d spite-block me on social media and start an internet rumor about my mother. To avoid any such drama, I will rebrand it The Cackle.

I should note that I still have my non-hideous regular laugh, which comes out in the rare event that I experience pure, unfettered joy. Lately, though, most laugh-like vocalizations emerge in the form of The Cackle, and exclusively at moments where most people would consider laughter…


Watching the events of yesterday, I burst into hysterical laughter

Photo: Amblin Entertainment

Taps microphone. Coming to you live seven days into the new year, I would like to state for the record that I have lost it. I don’t even know what “it” is, but it isn’t here anymore, can confirm.

My completely natural response to the events of yesterday was hysterical laughter to the point of tears. And I mean hysterical. The sound of my laughter was unfamiliar to me. It was like a DC villain was commandeering my mouth. My hands were permanently placed in the air like the “I don’t know” emoji. You know when you’re in a Halloween…


Feeling better isn’t all that complicated, apparently

Smiling woman reading a book.
Smiling woman reading a book.
Photo: Tara Moore/Getty Images

Talking to your friends about your depression doesn’t have to be so hard. In fact, I bet they have tons to say about it. Many of them would gladly write books to help you get over your issues. Here are some bestselling titles they might come up with.


Stop playing against your partner

Young woman cleaning windows on a clear sunny day.
Young woman cleaning windows on a clear sunny day.
Photo: CasarsaGuru/Getty Images

If you’ve ever felt that you do more than your fair share of the vacuuming or that you could be taking out the garbage more efficiently but don’t know where to start, let me offer an unlikely source of help: economics. Yes, the lessons from that textbook you studied in the 12th grade can offer you and your partner a ready-made toolkit for better capitalizing on your time, putting you on a route to household bliss.

Let’s start with the concept of division of labor, the idea that more gets done when each person takes on one part of a…


Do not let your inquisitive toddler win

Credit: Westend61/Getty Images

It’s bedtime, and you’re trying to get Little Socrates to brush his teeth. He would rather question the nature of reality, which is incompatible with the fastidious scrubbing of every single one of his little pearly whites.

Some questions are too big for us adults to fit into our everyday lives: What is important? What is really true, and what is false? How do we know we can trust our senses? Why do we exist? We stack them neatly in the cupboards of our minds, away from our daily concerns of work and family and health and news and, oh…


Forced separation is making everyone giddy to watch each other eat pancakes over webcam. I’m out.

Dominic Lipinski — PA Images/Getty Images

With apologies to the company that has recently become synonymous with group videoconferencing in quarantine: If I never see another Zoom meeting link in my email, it will be #toosoon.

From board meetings to book clubs, lunch hours to choir practice, it would appear that forced separation has made all y’all positively giddy for virtual togetherness. Everywhere I turn, people want to watch each other eat pancakes and do karaoke and reenact the Battle of Winterfell over webcam. But if I’ve learned anything from my stint in self-isolation so far, it’s that group video chatting — even with beloved friends…


It’s not too soon

Photo: Nick David/Getty Images

The biggest risk I ever took with a joke was in a London pub on a rainy Saturday afternoon.

I was out for a drink with a few acquaintances, and one woman in our group was telling the rest of us about the night she’d said her final goodbye to a man we’d all known. I’ll call him Edward. He’d passed away at almost 80, in the hospital, after living the splendid life as the most English of Englishmen.

“I wanted to say all the things you could never say out loud to him as he lay there,” my acquaintance…

Forge

A publication from Medium on personal development.

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