Don’t you just love being in awkward social situations? What would you do if you were the one who had been laughed at while you were being serious? What would you do if you were the one who had just laughed at someone who was being serious?
Would you press pause on the interaction and quickly ask advice from the internet?
Because surely someone else out there has been there done that and shared the results of their experience online, right? And maybe they’ve figured out the solution to this perplexing puzzle for you, so all you have to do is find their answer to your question, then copy and paste it onto yourself, and voila! all is well again, the awkward has been dragged and dropped into the trash and deleted.
Of course if you want to find the perfect answer to your specific problem, you’re going to have to go into more detail in the search bar, otherwise you’ll end up with billions of results (not that most of us bother to go beyond the first or second pages of results, especially not when in a hurry to solve a problem), and you may get distracted by the memes and gifs, and other funny things… which might be just what you need to soothe your anxiety.
The question in the title isn’t mine, it comes from someone out there who was surfing the world wide web hoping not to get tangled in it like a fly, and they ended up on my blog – ruh roh!
This is the original question, plus some other search terms which landed people on my blog (and probably left them with the feeling that they’d hit the windshield of a speeding car) yesterday:
I’m going to hazard a guess that the person asking the question is female, since I don’t think males worry as much as females do about the consequences of laughing at men.
“Men are afraid that women will laugh at them. Women are afraid that men will kill them.”― Margaret Atwood
Females (I’m using the term ‘females‘ because most women learn and start to do this when they’re little girls) also tend to laugh, giggle, smile when they’re nervous, anxious, afraid, angry, uncomfortable, uncertain of how they should be reacting and behaving in a certain social situation, particularly those with males.
A tangent: The other night I watched two absolutely brilliantly written, directed and acted episodes of GLOW, season 2. The show’s creators are female.
SPOILER ALERT! One of the storylines was about a man using his powerful position to place a female in an awkward social situation. He invited her to a business dinner at a hotel restaurant, when she got there she was told to go to his hotel room. She was immediately on edge, but went anyway. She smiled and laughed her way through the awkward situation trying not to upset or offend him, but then he decided that it was time to stop the pleasantries and get to business – the business of him getting what he really wanted from her. She bolted (YAY!) and he made her pay for it by making her TV Show, and all her colleagues pay for it. When she told one of her female colleagues (who was also supposed to be a good friend) about it – she was told that she shouldn’t have bolted, she should have sacrificed herself for the show and all her colleagues (BOO!). When she told her male colleague about it, certain that he would be furious with her like her female colleague, he did get furious with the powerful man for putting her in that awkward social situation, and he told her she was right to do what she had done and bolt (YAY!).
Back from the tangent to the question: I laughed at a Capricorn man when he said something serious to me, what do I do now?
The part about this man being a Capricorn is why this person ended up on my blog. I’m a Capricorn (woman) Sun sign. I’ve written a few posts about being a Capricorn, and when I put that question into Google, one of my (really old) posts – Answering Questions about Capricorn – is the second result from the top. That post is one where I did what I did with this post – used the search terms in my blog stats as a ‘writing prompt’.
Sorry… please (soul-footed) bear with me, I’m taking a break to actually read that post rather than look at it and go: Sheesh that’s a lot of words, I’m not going to read that (especially since I wrote it)! Yeesh, there are a lot of typos (Respect the typo! Typos can be very revealing… I saw one today in someone else’s post – your had typoed into tour – and it definitely answered the question they were asking themselves about what to do), but ego-shells wasn’t a typo. It’s funny… at least I find it funny. Ooooh, I’m going to use that image here too, it’s perfect for this!
And someone I was chatting with yesterday needs to read this bit at the end: “Because you want to be in control… that’s not going to happen for you with a Capricorn, although they might lead you to believe it… and you might actually be tempted to believe it.” Because it’ll make interacting with me less frustrating for them.
Everything you say to a Capricorn (or at least to this Capricorn – pointing at myself) will be taken under advisement. We’re goats (with fishy tails, which makes climbing mountains trick-or-treat-y), we chew things over, chew on things, including tin cans, rusty knives, and the chain of chainsaws which someone was using to cut off our head.
Sometimes we’ll ask for advice, and will appreciate it when it is given but don’t expect us to take it and do it. Sometimes we don’t ask for advice but get given it anyway. We’ll think about it, and add it to all the other pieces of advice, opinions, information, and research we’ve gathered and are collecting to make our own decision (and to review our own decision if we’ve already made one) for which we intend to take full responsibility. The action will be ours, as will the consequences of our action – it’s easy for you to tell us what to do with our lives and time (Saturn aka Kronos, Capricorn’s ruling planet, prefers it when you treat our time with the same respect and consideration which you give to your own time and would like for others to give to your own time) because you don’t have to live with the consequences, impact and effect of it on us (unless you live in close proximity of us, or rely on something we do).
Sometimes we’d like to let someone else be in charge, and maybe even be in control of us (because it’s so exhausting to be in control of ourselves), but when someone tries to do that, gives us an order however politely they do it, tells us what we should do or should not be doing… there’s a possibly primal, definitely Cardinal sign-al, reflex which kicks in.
Okay, I’m back from that post to this post (and will stop stealing its images)… and now I have to reread this post to know wtf I was talking about. Am I joking or being serious?
If I answer the question which inspired this post from an (amateur enthusiast’s perspective of the) astrological angle, I would first have to ask the querent:
Are you sure the Capricorn man was being serious? because both male and female Cappies like to deadpan (verb: say something amusing while affecting a serious manner), and sometimes we do it so well even we don’t know whether we’re being serious or humorous.
“Many a true word hath been spoken in jest.”― William Shakespeare, King Lear
Answering the question, minus the astrology, I’d also first have to ask:
Why did you laugh? because that is an important aspect of this scenario to consider, particularly if you’re trying to figure out what to do next. Did you find what he said to be funny? Funny-ha-ha or funny-strange? Was your laughter a nervous reflex, to cover up confusion or discomfort, to buy you some time to think about it, to hide or relieve your pain, to stop a suddenly and perhaps violent internal reaction of yours?
Please feel free to add your own reasons for laughing below in the comments as there are a lot of them and I can’t possibly think of them all (although I do have a considerable collection).
“Most men fear getting laughed at or humiliated by a romantic prospect while most women fear rape and death.”
― Gavin de Becker, The Gift of Fear: Survival Signals That Protect Us from Violence
Ideally I’d want to chat some more with the person asking the question before answering them, listening to their story to find their own answer to the situation because that’s a better answer than giving them one of my own.
However in this case that isn’t possible. Perhaps they would have left a comment with their question on my old post, but I’ve closed all comments on old posts because things were getting too confusing for me (people don’t always make note of the date of the post, and they may expect you to still be there in that time zone, stuck there and waiting, still thinking and feeling what you thought and felt then, never growing, changing, learning anything from your own ramblings, or moving on, remembering it all as though it was all fresh here and now).
Therefore I’m going to just give some simple guidelines which have worked and still work for me when I’m the one who makes the social interaction awkward (which is a regular occurrence for me).
This advice isn’t specifically tailored for dealing with Capricorns, or Capricorn men, but if the man does happen to be a Capricorn – most Capricorns, male and female, prefer the straightforward approach outlined below:
1 – If you’ve made a mistake, like laughing at something someone said which wasn’t meant to be funny and was serious – Admit your mistake straight up. Say: “I made a mistake.” It’s not as painful as it sounds to say that and do that. It’s actually the truth which sets you free from all those complications and consequences that come with trying to hide the fact that you’ve made a mistake.
“If you make a mistake and do not correct it, this is called a mistake.”― Confucius
2 – If your mistake upset them – apologise. Say: “I’m sorry, I apologise for my mistake.” This is also not as painful as it sounds to say and do. Think of it this way, you like it when people apologise to you when they’ve made a mistake which upset you, right? You don’t like it when people shift the blame away from them onto you for them hurting you, right? You hate it when you know someone made a mistake and not only do they not apologise but now they’re trying to cover up their mistake with this tangled messed-up web which will lead to more upset, mistakes and misunderstandings.
“Never ruin an apology with an excuse.”― Benjamin Franklin
3 – Ask them to repeat what they said and listen more carefully this time – listen. Say: “I’m sorry, I apologise for my mistake, please can you repeat what you said.” Listen not just to what they’re saying but how they are saying it, their tone of voice, where they place emphasis, where they pause, the words they choose to use, the look in their eyes, where their eyes are looking, the expression on their face, their body language, what is emanating from them. Put the phone away, and focus on them – you’re with them, so be there in person not just in body while your mind is thinking about that text message you got from someone else. This is not as tediously painstaking as it sounds, it makes conversations and social interactions more real, more fulfilling, more satisfying for you and for them.
“Listen with curiosity. Speak with honesty. Act with integrity. The greatest problem with communication is we don’t listen to understand. We listen to reply. When we listen with curiosity, we don’t listen with the intent to reply. We listen for what’s behind the words.”― Roy T. Bennett
That’s it… over to you!
I’ll just wait here… stuck in this post, in thing things I thought, felt and said here… don’t worry I have all the time in the world apparently… but I’m using it all wrong doing things I love with it, instead I should take time away from those to do things I don’t love… that makes sense… might as well listen to some music, as you may be awhile because you’re very busy and don’t have all the time in the world like I do (probably because I stole it from you like I stole those images from my old post)… what shall I listen to?