There is something warped in the way we think, about how we look or should look. I think we are the only animals who actually care about how we look all the time even when we are laughing or crying (trying to keep the mascara from running). For whatever reasons, the hyena giggles, it doesn’t hold back or cover its mouth in name of fashion, trend or sophistication.
In the 19th century, laughing out loud showed you lacked class, and we have carried this manner till today. If someone were to burst into laughter, we all turn to see what they are laughing at and even if we find it hilarious, we don’t join in the laughter. The best we can do is manage a little smile in the name of sophistication. It is almost like we love to imprison ourselves by following norms put in place by people who believed in dividing people into classes of society.
I guess that is why people found it cool to be hippie in the 60’s, they were tired of following norms. Teenagers always set the pace. Today’s teens have taken both the old and new. The trend is to put a fist to one’s mouth and then burst into laughter, collapse into heaps if you must, they don’t hold back.
One might argue that in a professional or unfamiliar surroundings, they would not want to be seen as behaving improperly. But what is proper, covering your mouth with three middle fingers, or coughing the laugh into your fist? We set these kind of rules for ourselves and bind ourselves by them. Then when break we our own rules we come down hard on ourselves and others.
We do not get any satisfaction for doing so, but actually enhance feelings of shame and low self esteem. But I guess at the end of the day we fear being judged and labelled so much that our actions and mannerisms have become involuntary. We often do what we feel is acceptable to society.
There is hope for us however, we are slowly breaking from the norms. I am so glad that the world is fast changing and we are loosening up a bit more. We can wear flip flops to work and not always wear suits and ties, high heels for ladies in the name of sophistication. We all don’t have to go to the office but some can work from our home offices with our children and pets running about us. We can have a business meeting at local café and when business is done we, chill and be able to have fun without thinking of etiquette.
Laugh out loud, double over give each other hi-5’s, after all “laughter is the best medicine”