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Negative humor in the workplace is also known as workplace bullying. This is a very insightful piece on how this practice really hurts individuals, relationships, and enterprises.

You may have enjoyed a good laugh at similar jokes created at the expense of certain groups. It usually feels good to chuckle and feel “in on” the joke. But while all comedy has overt meaning,
much of it also delivers a hidden, negative message, one we may not consciously recognize or realize we are sending. Our joking at someone else’s expense—even if they aren’t present—sends a strong message defining “insiders” and “outsiders.” And if we happen to be members of the group being targeted, such humor can undermine our sense of self-worth, commitment to the organization, and performance.

In many instances, the offended person falls into the double bind of being insulted and then told not to feel insulted. In fact, the retort, “Can’t you take a joke?” implies that you are overly sensitive. This puts the labeler in control and the labeled as unworthy of a valid complaint.


Read the full article HERE