When someone ridicules or makes fun of you in some way, you may feel inclined to go on the defensive and fight back. This can lead to a bitter relationship and grudges being held on both sides of the playing field. Instead, it may be a better strategy to disarm the apparent offender by owning the remark instead.
The Segway Whisperer
As some of you may remember, I somehow became known for my impeccably poor sense of balance these last couple of years. I managed to fall off of a Segway and crash a scooter within a span of a couple of weeks. Not surprisingly, the Dot Com Pho crew latched onto this and started to poke fun at me.
Initially, I went on the defensive. I reminded them that the only reason I fell off the Segway was because I was trying to turn off the Flip Video camcorder mounted on the handlebars, losing control as a result. They pressed on and while I wasn’t hurt, per se, it wasn’t exactly nice to be known for crashing Segways rather than for my freelance writing endeavors.
Eventually, I came to own this reputation as a “Segway Whisperer” of sorts. I’d say things like, “I probably shouldn’t ride that; it has two wheels.” I even went and purchased a t-shirt that reads “I do all of my own stunts” on the front (Adam Savage of Mythbusters has the same shirt).
Laughing in the Mirror
Because I am able to have a sense of humor about myself, the jokes don’t have the same kind of sharp edge that they once had. We all poke fun at one another and laughs are had by all. No relationships are ultimately harmed, because we can all laugh at ourselves.
And that is the key. You shouldn’t be willing to laugh at someone else until you are willing to laugh at yourself. Life is too short to waste it away with such a serious disposition.