Have you ever laughed at something that you shouldn’t? It might have been a serious matter and something in the formulation or voice made it so funny that you burst out in laughter? Did you ever use humor to express a problem? Here is how it works!
Someone that jokes about a stressful situation creates for oneself space where the perturbator factor of his reality is incorporated in his normality. Therefore, one creates a space for his distress to accept it and to try to normalize it.
For example, Jewish people resort to humor in the most stressed moments (concentration camps) during Holocaust. The funny remarks worked in those moments as a distance from trauma. Jewish humor is characterized by self-mockery.
Also, during the Bosnian war (1992-1995) humor was seen as a way of preserving the victim’s mental health or as a way of survival.
“If someone is destroying your life, the worst thing you can do is just sit and let it happen. You have to find humor to be able to function during months of depression like those we have suffered here.” (quoted in Sudetic 1993.)”Funny as hell: The functions of humour during and after genocide
This function can work as a weapon for the people that are being treated offensively. They might not have the courage to speak up and to express the uncomfortable situation they find themselves in, but through humor, people can make a serious statement. Of course, this method is less efficient, as the person making the criticism can hide behind the humorous form.
“Ladies and gentlemen, when the train stops again, let’s pretend the train is full already!”
If you find this information interesting, there is a series of comics that portray a hipster Hitler that doesn’t want to seem a try-hard. I guarantee you will laugh, even if you feel bad about it in the end!