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“Mark Twain once said, ‘Against the assault of laughter, nothing can stand,'” says Kaplan. “Once you’re laughing at the sub self, you’re acutely aware of it. Normally, you don’t think of the trait as a sub-self. When it takes you over, you think ‘I’m angry’ or ‘I’m under stress,’ because the sub-self has taken your whole personality there. When you can identify it as a part of you and not your entire being, you can quiet it down.”
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While it’s easy to laugh at something funny, the ability to laugh at yourself can help you address the challenges that could be holding you back in your career and life, says Dr. Brian Kaplan, author of Almost Happy: Pushing Your Buttons with Reverse Psychology.
“To laugh a...
If you would not be laughed at, be the first to laugh at yourself.
Provocative Therapy is a system of psychotherapy in which the therapist plays the devil’s advocate, siding with the negative half of the client’s ambivalence toward his life’s goals, his relationships, work and the structures within which he lives. The provocative therapist also plays the...
“We all have sub-selves, or sub-personalities, such as our inner child,” says Kaplan. “That’s a nice use of a sub-self. But we also have sub-selves that dominate us. They’re loud, grab the microphone, and dominate the whole personality.”
For example, you ma...
In his book, Kaplan identifies more than 100 sub-selves that could be holding you back. For example, you may be a procrastinator. In this case, you can talk to yourself by saying, “Never underestimate the power of tomorrow!” “Always make magnanimous resolutions on your finest night, New Y...
According to the Mayo Clinic, laughing has short- and long-term effects on our health. As we bring in more oxygen, it stimulates our heart, lungs, and muscles. Laughing increases the endorphins that are released by our brain, and it cools down our stress response. Over a longer p...
Kaplan studied the work of Frank Farrelly, an innovative therapist who founded Provocative Therapy in the 1960s. Provocative Therapy uses humor and reverse psychology to provoke people to change. With the person’s explicit permission, you repeat what you hear their “sub-selves” saying and...
Another sub-self is the grim executive, which Kaplan calls “the stone-faced men and women of big business. Anyone feeling the burden of being held responsible for profit and loss.” In this case, you can call out the sub-self by saying, “It’s a badge of honor to look ten years older than y...
If you find it hard to laugh at yourself, I would be happy to do it for you.
“When you can laugh at that side—especially when it’s a bit over the top—then you can laugh at that part of you that’s sabotaging yourself,” says Kaplan. “That moment of laughter provides a window of opportunity to recognize what’s holding you back and prescribe your own solution...
Laugh at yourself by reaffirming the workaholic’s devotion to work. For example, you can tell yourself, “You should definitely spend all your time focusing on making more money and acquiring more businesses or investing in the market. Your children will be judged by their clothes and vaca...
“An idea is something that won’t work unless you do.” - Thomas A. Edison
We probably all know what it’s like when others push our buttons and drive us crazy. What if we pushed our own buttons and drove ourselves happy?
MORE LIKE THIS
If you do not have the right mindset to perform or develop this humor (laughing at yourself), then you will most likely only end up depressed, angry, and end up with lower self-esteem.
The underlying mindset to have should be playful and aim to make self-deprecating jokes instead o...
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