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  1. #1
    Mamma said knock you out Mempy's Avatar
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    Default Taking Yourself Less Seriously

    I wonder what people mean when they say, "Don't take yourself seriously." You often hear it in relation to other things, too. The first thing that comes to mind for me is a straight-edge man who has always been too concerned with doing a good job. He dresses for his job, frets about projects and pleasing superiors, and has been driving himself nearly over the edge with stress for years. One day, noticing that he's on the verge of a breakdown, a coworker says, "Lighten up. This assignment isn't life or death." The reason someone would take something so seriously is because something of consequence is at stake. In this case, it's his job, but it goes deeper than that; it's his pride and his self-esteem, too, I think.

    What is the secret to taking yourself less seriously? In other words, the message is too vague. It's difficult to figure out how you could implement that philosophy. If the cause of taking yourself too seriously is that you perceive something to be at stake, what is it? Does self-worth have anything to do with it? Does taking yourself less seriously mean you will necessarily take life less seriously and have more fun?

    I think this is a desirable thing. I'm just fuzzy on how to do it.
    They're running just like you
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  2. #2
    soft and silky sarah's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mempy View Post
    I wonder what people mean when they say, "Don't take yourself seriously." You often hear it in relation to other things, too. The first thing that comes to mind for me is a straight-edge man who has always been too concerned with doing a good job. He dresses for his job, frets about projects and pleasing superiors, and has been driving himself nearly over the edge with stress for years. One day, noticing that he's on the verge of a breakdown, a coworker says, "Lighten up. This assignment isn't life or death." The reason someone would take something so seriously is because something of consequence is at stake. In this case, it's his job, but it goes deeper than that; it's his pride and his self-esteem, too, I think.

    What is the secret to taking yourself less seriously? In other words, the message is too vague. It's difficult to figure out how you could implement that philosophy. If the cause of taking yourself too seriously is that you perceive something to be at stake, what is it? Does self-worth have anything to do with it? Does taking yourself less seriously mean you will necessarily take life less seriously and have more fun?

    I think this is a desirable thing. I'm just fuzzy on how to do it.
    Hm... I sometimes get people telling me to "lighten up" too. Occasionally what they mean is they want me to laugh at somebody's non-funny jokes, or they think I ought to do something I don't feel like doing, just because other people enjoy doing it. But the times when I actually think it's good advice are:

    Whatever I'm worried about doing or saying something that isn't going to have big repercussions, but in my mind it's gotten all blown out of proportion and has become a matter of personal pride -- winning some contest against myself.

    or

    When I'm worried about people's reactions to me (either who I am or something I did), but in reality, people aren't thinking about me quite as often as I believe they are, and "lighten up" is a gentle reminder of that.

    I think taking yourself less seriously in these ways does allow you to laugh at yourself, which means you think of yourself as part of the human race again instead of needing to be well above average (or a shining example of somehing-or-other). And your life becomes more fun when you're responsive to what's actually going on around you rather than wrapped up in concerns that really don't even need to be concerns.

    Sarah

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by sarah View Post

    When I'm worried about people's reactions to me (either who I am or something I did), but in reality, people aren't thinking about me quite as often as I believe they are, and "lighten up" is a gentle reminder of that.


    Sarah
    Reminds me of the old saying

    When you're 18 you care what others think
    When you're 40 you don't care any more
    When you turn 60 you realize they weren't thinking about you anyway.

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mempy View Post

    What is the secret to taking yourself less seriously? In other words, the message is too vague. It's difficult to figure out how you could implement that philosophy. If the cause of taking yourself too seriously is that you perceive something to be at stake, what is it? Does self-worth have anything to do with it? Does taking yourself less seriously mean you will necessarily take life less seriously and have more fun?

    I think this is a desirable thing. I'm just fuzzy on how to do it.
    Start with a dry black humorous view on life and your existence.

  5. #5
    @.~*virinaĉo*~.@ Totenkindly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wolfy View Post
    Reminds me of the old saying
    When you're 18 you care what others think
    When you're 40 you don't care any more
    When you turn 60 you realize they weren't thinking about you anyway.
    Yay -- I doubled up on steps #2 and #3!
    I'm ahead of the curve!

    "Hey Capa -- We're only stardust." ~ "Sunshine"

    “Pleasure to me is wonder—the unexplored, the unexpected, the thing that is hidden and the changeless thing that lurks behind superficial mutability. To trace the remote in the immediate; the eternal in the ephemeral; the past in the present; the infinite in the finite; these are to me the springs of delight and beauty.” ~ H.P. Lovecraft

  6. #6
    veteran attention whore Jeffster's Avatar
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    Strange, I can't remember anyone ever telling me to take myself less seriously.
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  7. #7
    Senior Member Simplexity's Avatar
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    I think I like screwing with people to much. I get complacent when I'm to serious so I turn up the lack of seriousness to account for myself. I think it takes the edge off of things. Both personally and internally and for others externally. It's like a little background that makes your best qualities more approachable and appreciated.

    People feel comfortable more when you revert back to your serious self, or when you react negatively and revert to some of the more negative personality traits you posses. It is more reassuring for others if they get a fuller spectrum of behaviors. It leads to better trust and understanding. I would tell you specifically how it's handy for me but I think it would change for not only different personality types but for different people as well. I've never really had a problem with it, because I would always alternate on an almost bipolar spectrum. I noticed that it was more endearing to people when I took myself less seriously because I was a little hell razor.
    My cold, snide, intellectual life is just a veneer, behind which lies the plywood of loneliness.

  8. #8
    Wild Card Atomic Fiend's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jennifer View Post
    Yay -- I doubled up on steps #2 and #3!
    I'm ahead of the curve!

    W00T!

  9. #9
    Senior Member Rogue's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aimahn View Post
    I think I like screwing with people to much. I get complacent when I'm to serious so I turn up the lack of seriousness to account for myself. I think it takes the edge off of things. Both personally and internally and for others externally. It's like a little background that makes your best qualities more approachable and appreciated.

    People feel comfortable more when you revert back to your serious self, or when you react negatively and revert to some of the more negative personality traits you posses. It is more reassuring for others if they get a fuller spectrum of behaviors. It leads to better trust and understanding. I would tell you specifically how it's handy for me but I think it would change for not only different personality types but for different people as well. I've never really had a problem with it, because I would always alternate on an almost bipolar spectrum. I noticed that it was more endearing to people when I took myself less seriously because I was a little hell razor.
    I like this person! I like sarcastic humor and make-believe stuff..but people NEVER know when I am kidding and tell me to "take meyself less seriously" when that was what I was doing in the first place!
    "bad things happen when people touch me!!"

  10. #10
    meh Salomé's Avatar
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    I don't know if you can learn how to do this, or even if it's desirable. I see absurdity in almost everything, I don't look for it, it's just there. It's related to cynicism - which is not a desirable trait. In good humour it makes me laugh, in bad it makes me irritable. In either, I can't take most things, including myself, seriously.

    I hope you appreciate how difficult it was for me to give you a serious answer.
    Quote Originally Posted by Ivy View Post
    Gosh, the world looks so small from up here on my high horse of menstruation.

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