I do many things in my life. I am an amateur author, I teach martial arts for a living, I founded and operate a Christian Ministry, but really, if you look at my choices in what I do, they are to affect people’s lives and make them better. (I will not argue the point about my religious bent right now, it is something I do to hope for better lives for those who follow my Ministry.) I am also a jokey person. I don’t take myself too seriously and I joke around. My friends know this and my friends joke back.
Sometimes, however, I forget when a joke when not made sure it is a joke to all can have ramifications beyond what a person thinks. How, when I make a joke, if the other person doesn’t know it’s a joke, my joke can leave a lasting effect which can hurt relationships and people. Last night brought all this to realization. Well, really someone’s response to events which occurred last night really brought all this to a head. I made a joke between me and a student last night and I think she took it as a joke (especially regarding her tweets this morning). However, she tweeted something this morning which made me think about how important my relationships are and how one small joke could seriously hurt those relationships.
My student tweeted:
Is it bad that I keep thinking about that 15 minute span at Taekwondo last night when @RBMayIV went from calling me his best student and then I called him a butt and he took my belt away for ten minutes which was slightly mortifying… pic.twitter.com/pFDPaRxyuU
— Nicholette Neilson (@Nicholette121) August 8, 2018
I took it a step further in m mind as well. How one joke can ruin a person’s outlook on themselves and destroy their self-esteem. This, of course, is the absolute last thing I would ever want to do. This whole thing has made me take a hard look at myself and how I live my life. I will definitely have to be more careful to totally communicate with my friends and students when I am only joking. I don’t think I told her I was.
This is a real lesson, not just to me, but for a lot of people. We need to make sure when we are joking, and “teasing”, that people know we are joking. If we are joking around a person doesn’t know those same words and/or actions can become either really offensive or really hurtful. I will try to do better in the future.