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36. Laughing when you’re not supposed to

When someone trips and falls, it is O.K. to laugh. I mean it is a bit rude and everything but c’mon, at least there is a reason behind it. Imagine laughing when you’re really not supposed to. Like at a funeral, or when the person falling down on the sidewalk is an old lady!

I have a friend that likes to talk. She likes making friends, and is pretty good at it as well. One of the things that people like about her is that she laughs at other people’s “funny” stories when everyone else refuses to laugh. However, she was caught in a super awkward moment not long ago:

We were introduced to someone new while hanging out with one of our mutual friends. The new guy was cool, and had a thick accent that made me ask him to repeat himself over and over up until the point when he would say “never mind” and it still took me two tries to understand that he meant “never mind”. Yeah, it was bad. I got better at it the more I heard him speak, but my friend didn’t.

He was a German guy. He sounded a bit mean when he was telling us a story about his dog, and how he rescued the puppy from a construction site but I figured sounding angry was just a German thing. The story continued, until he finally said:

“Then he died in his sleep” with a surprised expression and the palms of his hands aimed toward his face in front of him.

He stopped talking, and looked around. And my friend, thinking it was some type of joke started to laugh. I can understand why she would think it was some type of joke just by looking at his expression, but it wasn’t a funny story.

“He died!” the guy repeated, quietly.

And she started to laugh once again. Me and the guy just looked at each other and tried to talk about something else. Later on, as a good friend would do, I sent her a text under the table asking “Did you understand his story?” (wondering if maybe there was something that I missed) and she replied with “No, what did he say? lol”.



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  1. I laugh when I get nervous. During a work out with a personal trainer…if hard, I get uncontrollable giggles.

    I misunderstand people all the time and laugh, but it’s geared toward laughing at me being a dork. But it can easily be mistaken for laughing at them.

    I can’t help it, it just happens. So I embrace it. then if something bizarre happens…I just say “Oh, my gosh. I’m so sorry, I didn’t understand.” See I have no issue with announcing my ignorance…I’d rather laugh with them at my expense than to be embarrassed and run off.

    Lake Forest, CA USA

    May 31, 2011
    • Good point.. accept yourself just the way you are. 🙂 Smart woman.

      Have you ever laughed near an angry person?! I strongly advise you not to. One time, a professor came in late and spilled his coffee as he was approaching his desk. He started yelling and cursing at the table and a girl (poor girl..) started to laugh. Big mistake!

      Don’t worry, she lived.

      June 1, 2011
  2. oh yeah!!..I’v laughed at inappropriate times!!….or when I got up to speak at my mum’s funeral everybody laughed…I just mentioned how I needed to adjust the mike height???

    May 31, 2011
  3. I laugh when im in a lift full of people. Not sure why

    June 1, 2011
  4. That’s pretty hilarious… I’m glad my reaction to not understanding what someone has said is just a vague nod and to look slightly distracted 😛

    June 2, 2011
    • You’re right! That’s the thing to do, just nod. . or half-nod . . or a very vague nod. Its polite enough to do and is likely not to offend anybody

      June 8, 2011
  5. I have definitely been guilty of laughing at accents. I am totally in for it when I go to another country.

    June 8, 2011
  6. Optimus the Ninja #

    I laugh at everything. I really can’t help it – I just get giggling fits.

    Last week, my choir was performing at an event and the dude standing next to me kept making mistakes. For a moment, I thought, “People will probably think it was me who’s screwing up”… but instead of being mortified, I just started laughing. The conductor looked at me for a second, which I guess was supposed to shut me up, but made me lose it even more. I couldn’t get a single note out ’cause I started laughing uncontrollably. I had to lip synch through the rest of the song.

    I was in the front row, mind you.

    June 16, 2011
    • And there you go folks, a perfect example of laughing when you’re not supposed to. Hahahaha

      June 18, 2011
  7. Meri Greis #

    I laugh all by myself every time I remember funny moments

    June 16, 2011
    • Haha, and then someone asks you “what’s so funny?” and then you realize that it won’t be funny to them and appear even crazier.. haha, sorry I just imagined that and had to type it out.

      June 18, 2011
  8. Meri Greis #

    I laugh all by myself every time I remember funny moments me alone then my mom gets puzzled ha!

    June 16, 2011

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