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  • Ken Clark

Being Thankful for The Comedians In Our Lives


Over the last decade of being a therapist, I’ve come to trust one measure of happiness above all else… laughter. In general, the more laughter we have in our lives and the more funny people we surround ourselves with, the greater overall life satisfaction we report.

The comedians are, in their own way, the modern day philosophers of our lives. They help us find perspective on the world around us, remind us not to take our lives (or mistakes) too seriously and teach us that joy can exist in the midst of pain. The jokesters in our world are therapists in disguise who heal us through dad jokes and teach us to lighten up on ourselves through their own vulnerable, self-deprecating humor. They make workdays something more than tolerable, long monotone lectures amusing and awkward family moments survivable.

Being thankful for the comedians in our lives is about letting them know that when all is said and done, they are a big part of what makes this short life enjoyable for you. Whether they’re a sibling, a coworker or our favorite YouTube personality, stopping to thank them for who they are let’s them know that their gift of timing is a precious resource in this world.

Laughter Is The Best Medicine, Especially For The Comedian

One of the biggest misconceptions about the comedians in our world is that they’re just naturally funny. The reality for many of the funniest people you know is that humor was a coping mechanism forged throughout the early parts of their life. Without it, the pain, isolation, bullying or helplessness in their world would have crushed them.

For many comedians, when they make someone laugh, it’s their way of creating a healing connection with their fellow humans. It’s the safest way they know how to interact given their history of hurt. It’s their fear's comforting survival response to a moment that is too tense or remained silent for too long. For most, it’s the version of themselves they like best, which means you're seeing a moment where they felt the most insecure. It's their way of making sure they’re included, valued and helping others to feel the same.

Thanking the Comedians In Our Lives With Something More Than Laughter

The laugh is what they expect, but a genuine “thank you for being you” or "I'm glad you're my friend" will be the applause they remember the rest of their lives. They know they can make people laugh, but like the rest of us, they still wonder if they’re seen as something more than their most valued skill. They, like a lot of us, battle impostor syndrome and wonder if anyone would notice if they just disappeared.

If you really want to thank the comedian in a way that fills their soul, tell them that you’re thankful for everything about them, not just their laughter. Yes, thank them for making you laugh all those years, but remind them of all the moments in between where they were a loyal friend, good parent or caring coworker. Remind them that there is more to them than the punchlines they provide, even though those are pretty darn awesome too.

Go do it. Go make the biggest class clowns in your life smile for once. Put them on the spot by telling them how your world is a better place with them in it. When they try to make a joke to get out of the moment (as comedians are notorious for doing), don't let them get away with it. Tell them one more time, something like, “No, but in all seriousness, I’m thankful for you.” It’ll matter more than you know.

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