Reader Challenge

Positivity Challenge Week 15: Embracing Silliness

There’s not enough opportunity in the normal adult’s life to bring silliness in. We go to work, we act professional, we come home, watch tv, go to bed. And that fun part of ourselves is pushed farther and farther to the back. We let it out when we play with our kids or our nieces and nephews, but other that that, it’s rarely seen.

One of my fictional Positivity Mentors (that’ll be next week’s topic) is Phoebe from Friends. While her character may have been conceived and initially portrayed as the dumb blonde, the writers clearly saw that Lisa Kudrow could give them so much more than that and created one of the most interesting characters in television history. From her bouncing careers to her street smarts from being homeless, to the search for her birth father, and her carrying surrogate babies for her brother, Phoebe takes every challenge that life throws at her and hits it out of the park with a smile on her face. But the thing I love most about Phoebe? The fact that she unabashedly embraces silliness. “The One Where Phoebe Runs” is the episode that comes instantly to mind:

There’s not enough opportunity in the normal adult’s life to bring silliness in. We go to work, we act professional, we come home, watch TV, go to bed. And that fun part of ourselves is pushed farther and farther to the back. We let it out when we play with our kids or our nieces and nephews, but other that that, it’s rarely seen.

It’s so easy to be overly cool and cynical today… especially on the internet. When we let ourselves indulge in something not quite so cool, we label it a guilty pleasure (seriously, go read Sara Habein’s great takedown of that concept). But when we turn off that cynical part of our brains, we find ourselves able to let more light and positivity into our lives.

This Week’s Challenge

Embrace Silliness in Your Life. Wear that Hello Kitty bra under your super-professional dress. Go see a kid’s movie by yourself. Run like Phoebe (just don’t hurt yourself). Take note of how much fresher and happier you feel afterwards.

This Week’s Mantra

The poet Horace knew the beauty of being silly, in this quote commonly attributed to him: “Mix a little foolishness with your serious plans; it’s lovely to be silly at the right moment.”

Mantra Apr 17

If you want a reminder of your mantra for the next week, feel free to click the image above to download the full-size version suitable for desktop wallpapers, printing, or framing.

Disclaimer: I am not a medical professional or mental health expert, and there are problems that positivity cannot overcome, so please do not take this advice in lieu of a doctor’s care.

Not all challenges will be relevant to everyone, so I welcome you to come and go as you please and take from each challenge what works for you! Please make sure to share your thoughts in the comments!

By Crystal Coleman

Florida girl living on the west coast. During the day, I consult in social media and community management. I have a really cute puppy (Elphaba) and a British husband (I keep him for his accent) as well as an unhealthy relationship with parentheses.

22 replies on “Positivity Challenge Week 15: Embracing Silliness”

I am not easily embarrassed because I grew up with a father who LOVED to act the fool, so you either learned to find it funny or want to crawl in a hole from humiliation every time you went out in public with him. My mom and sister never learned to roll with it, so it is hilarious to fuck with them. My favorite thing to do to them when shopping is wait until they are in an aisle alone, pull my pants down far enough that just my butt crack hangs out, and then stand there looking at whatever is on the shelf until they notice my ass is hanging out of my pants. It is HILARIOUS, mostly because they get so flustered by it.

And yes, I realize my humor is incredibly juvenile. It is what it is.

Silliness is really important! Mine tends to come out the most when I’m with my sister and parents, but I also try to go out of my way to be silly at work sometimes. My job isn’t super buttoned-up, but sometimes it feels like it is, which is when I bring out the silly. (Also, silly is totally one of those words that start to look weird after you read/type/think of it too many times!)

I don’t know if I could deal with a job where some occasional silliness wasn’t welcome. My favorite was at the theatre I used to work at, the costume designer decided that every day at 3pm was dance party time and whoever was available would run around the costume shop dancing for 10 minutes. It was great.

Me and my sister get our silly on with random rhyming words. We also mercilessly imitate each other. An extract;

SISTER: “I’m just cooking raice.” (happens to say Rice in a weird way)
ME: Raaaaice?

I love Phoebe! And silliness is pretty much a family trait. There are still times that I rein it in–certain times and places at work, for example–but my dad and, to some extent, my mom are goofballs and instilled that in my sister and me. Mr. Dormouse is a weirdo too, so we fit and are silly together.

Nice! (and CC to @doormouse, for her silly Mister, too). My husband and I have often remarked that we almost hope our apartment is bugged because we sure would be entertaining to whoever’s listening. Silliness doesn’t have to be a public thing… saving some silliness for private moments can be a really special bonding thing.

Maybe start the silliness out small? Read a tongue twister out loud when no one is around. Listen to a silly song and try to sing along. Chances are it might make you smile. Then try saying them in front of a mirror. Perhaps you’ll slowly want to bust out your greatest dance moves.

Be silly when you’re walking the dogs (alone). Because a) probably less people around and b) you can always use ‘I was playing with the dogs!’

The majority of my skipping, dancing and acting scenes out happens when I’m walking the dog. And can’t see anyone else around.

Be silly with the dogs when there are other people around. You can pretend it’s just you and the dogs, but a part of you will know you are being silly in front of other people and it will help with the self-consciousness.

Or you can keep repeating “Fuck off, I’m having more fun than you” in your head if you feel you are being judged.

Thanks to my job as a Preschool teacher, I can afford to embrace silliness every day. It really is good for you. I think it’s important to not lose that freedom that being silly brings. I hate seeing little kids think they’re above acting silly. I see it more and more in the preschoolers. It blows my mind how a lot of them act like mini teenagers more than mini kids. One way to be silly if you don’t want to run and risk hurting yourself is to dance around by yourself. No one is watching, so why not bust out your worst moves?

Teaching helped me lose any trace of self-consciousness when it comes to silliness, too. Nobody appreciates silly like a five year old. My students were a little older, but we worked silly time into our schedule every day. I found it really helped the kids who were a little shy or reserved, and it gave my rowdier kids an outlet.

Plus, it’s impossible to be in a bad mood when you’re making funny faces or talking in a silly voice.

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