On Not Taking Myself Too Seriously

My husband says I would be a lot funnier if I didn’t take myself so seriously.

Trying hard not to take myself too seriously.

I’m not so sure exactly what he means by this. I didn’t think I took myself that seriously at all. But lately I’ve been fairly enamored by genuinely funny people, especially writers. I wondered if quick wit was just something some people were born with.

Mike is genuinely funny. Most people don’t know it, because he is the quintessential introvert and doesn’t often let his funny side show. He’s an engineer and highly analytical. I’m an engineer too, but I always thought I was far less analytical. I’m the “emotional” engineer in this family.

Yeah, right.

The other day I was participating in a twitter chat with the Houston Bloggers and we were talking about how to hone your writing voice. I’ve been writing for a very very very long time so I think I’ve done that. Lisa threw out some descriptive words for various types of voices and I immediately jumped on one.

Analytical.

I knew instantly that my voice here is not particularly funny, not sarcastic, not sugary sweet or poetic. It’s analytical. (This post just confirms it!) Things happen and I reflect on them intently…or rather…I analyze them! Being analytical is not just about math or science, it’s also about the kind of self-awareness and observational tendency I have.

Perhaps I do take myself kind of seriously. I work at my life, proactively, trying to be more awesome every day. I don’t think that goal is keeping me from being funny.

Mike says I have to be able to laugh at myself first, or I can never make others laugh. So I’m on a mission to figure out how exactly to do that. So far I’m at a loss. Which is super weird.

I’m not a big fan of snark or sarcasm so that’s not the kind of funny I mean. Anyone can be snarky, including me. That isn’t attractive at all. I’m thinking of a few of my favorite writers in particular who can convey strong messages while keeping me laughing at the same time. Jen Hatmaker is one. Jon Acuff is another. Anne Lamott comes to mind. I would agree that all three are able to laugh at themselves for sure.

What do you think? Are funny people just born funny?