My wallet is sparkly green and has the words “High Anxiety” on its front.
Actually, it is supposed to be a pill box, but the moment I saw it at a thrift store I knew I needed a reason to carry it around with me everywhere, as a way to embrace in a bold way one of the not-so-likeable parts of my life. And hey, maybe it could help someone else out too, in some small way.
Just this weekend I got a reaction from a grocery store cashier, who liked it and stated that he should get “High Anxiety” on a t-shirt! And you know, I agree with him: I think many of us can benefit from doing something to embrace our weaknesses and weirdnesses, whether that’s qualities you have as an introvert or as someone with a health condition or really anything. We can all benefit from putting some glam into the, ahem, “glum” parts of our life. Here’s why.
Laughing at yourself is good for you.
A study at the University of California found that people who laugh at themselves tend to laugh and smile genuinely more in general than those who don’t. They’re also more cheerful. All of these qualities can benefit your overall health–who knew? Maybe we all knew this deep down, but it’s always good to have science to back it up. So, make a joke about your unabashedly introverted party tendencies. It’ll do you good.
It brings people together.
A difficult situation can bring people together for the better, whether it’s a natural disaster or an avoidable unnatural disaster (a political disaster, perhaps?). But you don’t need to wait for an urgent situation to make this phenomenon happen in your own world.
Many people face extremely difficult situations that no one else knows about–loneliness, anxiety, and depression, for example. Less intense struggles might include just feeling plain awkward in some social situations (I know the feels). When you make a point to showcase your own experiences–whether it’s with a funny t-shirt or button or a meme shared on social media or a (tasteful) self-deprecating joke–you can help people to talk about their struggles.
Perhaps others will just feel comforted in knowing that someone as seemingly awesome as you can relate to them!
It opens the door to more serious conversations.
Great communicators don’t just spurt out a bunch of facts to their audience and expect everyone to stay engaged. They actively try to keep everyone’s attention, whether it’s with humour or risqué statements. Once they’ve caught your attention they move on to the real juicy stuff. The organization Stand Up for Mental Health, in which people with mental illnesses are trained to be comedians, is a good example of this.
This technique can and should be used in everyday life! So go, educate the world on your needs as an introvert or on the fact that mental illness is a real thing. But do it in a sparkly way–then, you can help make the world shine a little more. (Note that corny statements are always a good idea.)