Don't ever laugh at someone. Being laughed at can damage the Soul. A deep wounding can take place leaving a scar and even result in "Soul-loss"; a Shamanic term for when a part of us leaves due to being unable to bear the pain.
Instead, laugh with others - but only when their humour is genuine.
Beware the sarcastic, joke-laden person, for their humour masks their own woundings. All the times they were laughed at and their feelings were diminished. And the other took refuge behind the safe facade of a frozen smile, or a joke at their expense.
Immense hurt can be inflicted through humour - it can even be used as a psychic barb to intentionally harm others. Whether it's the racist comedian, or the sexist man, all of their derision is thinly veiled in satire as deadly as it would be if delivered straight.
Yet somehow in our society to label this as humour, a joke, is somehow socially acceptable, and even required. We get away with much destructive hurt with the mask of laughter.
Humour is a common defense against feeling one's own pain. Very early on we learn to make light of and laugh at our feelings, in particular our vulnerability, our anxiety, our sadness and even our anger. Told repeatedly to "lighten up", and not be so serious, sad, angry, scared, etc, we swallow our true feelings and learn to falsely smile and laugh until it becomes so automatic we can't even feel our real feelings anymore.
And people will go to great lengths to avoid their true feelings and almost insist others join in with their laughter, yet when others don't, they can feel very threatened, and exposed.
So beware the falseness of some humour and never laugh at another, especially a child, or someone in a vulnerable state, or even the animals.
And notice the next time you feel yourself being pulled into someone's attempt at humour veiling derision and pause, see what happens when you don't "join the gang" and instead stand shoulder to shoulder with the one being made the butt of the joke. Notice how much pressure there is to join in, whether this in the workplace (which is extremely unpleasant and damaging), or socially, or amongst family and friends.
Instead strive for genuine, heartfelt laughter, in connection with others. After all, laughter is food for the Soul, when served well.
© Angela Dunning, 25 May 2015