When socializing it's good to be funny and tell jokes, however, there jokes are risky.  People may get offended by jokes if they take them seriously.  I remember telling a joke and a woman taking the joke seriously and telling me that all jokes contain an element of truth.  Jokes can be subdivided into positive, negative and dirty jokes.  It's easy to understand how some people can be offended or turned off by dirty jokes.  Negative jokes are jokes that contain a putdown.  For example jokes making fun of the intelligence of an ethnic group are negative jokes.  It's easy to see how someone who identifies with that ethnic group might get offended by such a joke. 

    One time my company was having a farewell party for an employee and someone suggested yelling traitor as she walked in.  That would have been funny but probably also offensive as she might have taken it somewhat seriously.  

    One type of negative joke that is safer than the putdown of other people type of joke is the putdown of self type of joke.  The comedian Rodney Dangerfield did very well with his "I get no respect jokes".  Even self derogatory jokes can be taken seriously by others and interpreted to mean that one has no self respect. 

    The safest although not totally safe joke is the positive joke in which one exaggerates someone positive quality in the joke.  The danger with that is that someone may interpret your positive exaggeration of some positive quality of theirs as making fun of them.

    It looks like I've just proved why no one should ever tell jokes. 

    The safest joke is probably one that exaggerates the positive about a neutral situation which no one will get to upset about if they take seriously.

    I'm not advocating never telling slightly negative jokes.  One should just be aware of the risks.  If one wishes to find jokes click here.


c o p y r i g h t   ( c )   1 9 9 9 -2004 Karl Ericson Enterprises.  All rights reserved

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