Conventional wisdom would tell us there are some things we shouldn’t make jokes about, but clearly, conventional wisdom hasn’t got the sense of humor we do. In a time where things seem grim on the daily, even the topic of death becomes fair game.
And with good reason! Here are 8 reasons dark humor can actually be helpful to you in these times.
It allows you to talk about the unspeakable
Nobody wants a long, serious conversation about their mortality. At least, not regularly. Joking about it, on the other hand, allows a topic we usually leave off the table to be front and center. It’s us having the conversation we need to have.
It’s a pressure valve for when things get to be too much
Imagine being surrounded by death all around you, and how stressful that gets all the time. Black comedy allows you to deal with it in a different tone, and lets you finally address the elephant in the room. It’s a way to let off the pent-up tension without wallowing in it.
Being banal about the taboo removes its power over you
Remember how the name “Voldemort” was so unspeakable in the Harry Potter universe but how cavalier Harry himself was about it? Harry, of all people, knew what devastation he-who-must-not-be-named is capable of, yet his willingness to name him shows that Voldemort has no power over Harry. Jokes about the death? Guess what doesn’t have power over you.
Good gallows humor empowers the powerless
It’s always possible to make dark humor turn bad — if it’s done at the expense of those who are suffering. But when it’s done to empower them, then it serves its purpose. The darkest of jokes tend to come from them, often to the shock of others.
It is literally psychologically beneficial to you
Studies upon studies have shown that laughing over dark jokes really makes a person feel better. Not only does it improve your overall well-being, it actually helps increase sociability among kindred spirits. So go ahead! Read the room right (we can’t emphasize this enough), and crack a horrible joke at the perfect moment!
It’s a sign of intelligence and emotional stability
More studies! And this one turns everything on its head. Conventional knowledge would tell us that people who joke about these things are being silly and glib, and the emotional whiplash is a sign of instability. Except, being able to joke about these things actually means, we recognize the darkness as a part of us, and one that we can and should deal with.
Dark humor reframes your experiences
Laughing at the taboo doesn’t trivialize it, so much as it allows you to look at the topic with a new perspective. Instead of diminishing it, the humor actually adds to it. It’s a way to deal with depression. It’s a way to remember an awful experience in a positive way, because the laughs are now part of the memory.
Because it’s okay to not be okay
Ultimately, dark humor can be anything from a cry of help to a way to cope. Either way, it’s a reminder that in these times, it’s okay to not be okay, and it’s all right for us to try to look at the horrible things around us differently.
Take care of your mental health out there, everyone. It’s just as important as your physical health.
Do you enjoy dark humor? Sound off in the comments to tell us what you think.