I noticed an interesting juxtaposition of defense mechanisms.
A few people I know don’t laugh or joke with people they don’t know, or people they don’t feel comfortable with. Laughing is vulnerable, and they’re not comfortable with that level of intimacy without a corresponding level of trust.
Quite a few of my students laugh and make jokes to avoid being vulnerable. “I don’t know what I’m doing, and I’m going to cover that up by making a joke and getting some laughs instead of admitting I need help.”
(Students are not the only people I’ve seen that defense in.)
Of course, plenty of people fall into neither category as well. This isn’t a statement of all people, just two opposite behaviors I found somewhat fascinating.
I have no mind-blowing conclusion. These people are never in the same place at the same time, and so it took a while before I put their behaviors together … and it intrigued me.
People are so interesting.