How's Your Sense Of Humour?

An elderly gentleman, on his way home from his local shops, sees a group of people queueing outside a bakery. The shop is small, and a staff member is controlling the number of people entering.

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The queue takes up space on the pavement, as people maintain social distancing. The elderly gent decides to give them space and steps off the path to ensure appropriate distance.

He misjudges the edge of the pavement and stumbles, reaching out to break his fall with this hands. Wanting to avoid landing on both knees, which are replacements, he twists and ends up on his back.

The bakery staff member runs over to offer assistance, as does a passerby who happens to be a trained nurse. The nurse sits with him at a table outside the bakery for 20 minutes or so, checking for concussion, nausea, etc.

After a while, and feeling steadier and more confident, the gentleman thanks the nurse and continues his short walk home, where his wife sorts his cuts and his grazed hands.

As my Dad recalls this story of his unceremonious stumble (his words, not mine!), the first comment he makes after he reassures me he's OK is ...

"I was hoping, as I went down, that I could recover the situation by going into a forward roll and coming back up to standing, arms outstretched. Ta Daa!"

One thing I love about my dad (aged 84) is his sense of humour. Yes, he admits he felt a little embarrassed by falling in front the queueing audience and other passersby. But instead of feeling sorry for himself, he sees the funny side and cracks a joke.

His sense of humour has been passed on to me, although recently I've forgotten I have one!

I find myself feeling quite serious a lot of the time, probably not surprising, given the pandemic. I have to remind myself that I can only control my own actions, thoughts and responses to others ... and I can't control the state of the world.

I believe a sense of humour helps us to be more positive, and positivity also improves our energy levels ... and as a result, we can achieve more and help others too.

I've seen lots of examples of people demonstrating a sense of humour over recent months, particularly on social media. Like many, I've become a fan of Andrew Cotter's videos with Olive and Mabel. (You'll probably enjoy them more if you love dogs!)

So how's your sense of humour holding up?

If it's been lacking recently, what could you do to give it a boost?

Debbie Inglis

Resilience Coach, Square Two Development Ltd

Having spent 16 years in the education sector, I left suffering from burnout. Looking for another career - coaching ticked all my boxes. At the time it was still a growing industry and I was one of the first to gain a PGCert in Life & Business Coaching (Derby University). I'm now on a mission to help prevent school leaders and teachers leaving the profession because of overwhelm, illness & disillusionment. Loving the huge benefits of having coaching skills to support others, for the last 10 years I've been sharing that by training school leaders, teachers and managers in the private sector in coaching skills. My 4-day course is accredited by the ILM (Level 5) and the CPD Standards Office. Following overcoming a series of personal challenges, I've become interested in mental toughness and resilience, and the strategies you can use to manage and overcome life's challenges. In 2015 I became licensed to deliver 3 Mental Toughness online assessments (for adults and young people), and now use this as a support for identifying coaching goals, building leadership resilience and delivering Mental Toughness & Resilience training. With a mission to support the coaching industry, and facilitate the development of other coaches, I've led a Coaches CPD group in the East Midlands since 2011, and I'm also a Coach Supervisor. Connect with me if you'd like to chat about any of the above. Best wishes, Debbie