Rational Emotive Behaviour Therapy was developed by Dr. Albert Ellis in the 1950's. Educators are beginning to rethink how they address behaviour in schools. Slowly we are appreciating that if students are to learn how to better manage themselves emotionally and behaviourally more successfully then REBT has a lot to offer through RATIONAL EMOTIVE BEHAVIOUR EDUCATION
I appreciate clever humour; intelligent wit and banter in the right context
in the right company can be amusing and entertaining.
What do you do when someone habitually says something that is not
clearly received as being particularly funny and which contains some kind
of veiled attempt to jibe or ridicule? When the attempted joke falls flat it is
followed by 'Only joking!' 'Just kidding!' 'Only a joke!'
Here’s an example; ‘nice shirt but it’s wasted on you!’ ‘Yeah good one’
you think and then before you can say anything ‘only joking’ he says. Or,
‘where did you get your haircut? You should ask for your money back!’ (for the
umpteenth time). And then you know what comes next don’t you?
If, as happens often you respond to
this 'only joking' joke with a hint of confusion expressed in quizzical tone
accompanied by a facial contortion you will get the reply; 'only joking ...' And
this makes everything right again. End of story. Right?
This is an easy out for the person who is known to embed a subtle message of
criticism in some vague ambiguous utterance or contained in supposedly playful
banter that can be construed as borderline offensive and less than amusing.
This is not clever humour by any means. It is predictable and not worthy of an
adult, senior in years.
Now I appreciate that it may be an issue of interpretation and so one may be
inclined to allow the 'only jesting' jester the benefit of any doubt, but ....
there is a consensus that when this jester jests he is also conveying a not so
subtle jibe or dig at the targeted jestee.
I'm paranoid I hear you say but I'm not the only one who receives these
gems of kiddology in such a fashion. The jester in question will also add to
the 'only joking' line 'you should know me by now' chestnut. Now it would seem
I don't know him that well and I should for if I had I would have ‘got the
No I don't know him (nor should I nor do I want to) whatever that means and his
'just a joke' caper is not a joke at all!
What's the goal of the 'just joking' and 'you should know me by now'
faux wannabe humorist? What is he doing that he thinks others don’t know what
he’s doing? I do have some theories but I won’t go into them here. I will
however suggest some ways to deal with such boorish behaviour:
Avoid spending unnecessary time with him.
When he is only joking just respond by saying ‘is that so?’
Say ‘I don’t quite get what you mean but I’ll sleep on it.’
Say to yourself ‘his behaviour is bad but he is not totally bad.’
Remember that there are people in the world who lack any kind of insight
and thus don’t change.
Say ‘that’s interesting’ and move on.
Tell him his behaviour can be offensive (though this doesn’t
sit well with a narcissist).
Ask him to explain what he just said as it isn’t clear.
I will leave you with this quote from Clementine Ford who writes:
‘ ….. smart comedy doesn't spin gold out of an easy target.
Jokes that rely on sexism, racism, homophobia, transphobia or ableism to draw a
laugh aren't saying anything new or interesting. Instead, they're doubling down
on tired, hackneyed tropes about people who experience less power than the
person telling the joke.’