Maybe it’s just me, but do you ever spend time thinking about what super power you would have if we all suddenly developed powers? Not which one you’d LIKE to have, but what your personality and strengths lend themselves to?
Well, that’s alright. I still haven’t landed on a solid answer to that one. Maybe telepathy? Maybe something else. I’m not sure. Regardless, I think there’s one superpower that is liable to get overlooked during this self-examination: the power of being silly.
We all know someone with this superpower. My grandfather was one. That man could make a funeral look silly. In fact, when he died, we talked about all wearing funny hats during the service- he would have loved it. Games, silly songs, toys, junk food, he never, ever, ever grew up.
I went to a friend’s birthday party this afternoon. This is a friend who is in his early 30’s, and has, for time immemorial, had a squirt gun fight at his birthday party, in his parent’s lawn. And today was no different.
I’ve participated in that squirt gun fight before- it’s a riot. A bunch of grown adults, chasing each other around the yard, screaming and shooting each other with water guns. is a sight to behold.
Today, however, I didn’t participate. I had things to do after the party, and I had Penelope with me, and she doesn’t much care for being squirted, so I decided to just watch. And as we were standing there, watching my friends fill up their guns and take up positions on the opposite sides of the yard, I found myself smiling in anticipation. And when the fight began, I was laughing along with the rest of them.
Letting ourselves be silly is a form of vulnerability that can be a little scary for us to display. ‘What if they laugh at me?’ or ‘That’s not very grown up!’ can be common deterrents. It can be scary to put aside our fears and inhibitions and take off running across the yard screaming and firing a squirt gun into the chest of a friend or acquaintance.
But if we can learn to master that fear, a couple of magical, superhuman things happen.
- We reset ourselves. When we do something and immerse ourselves fully into it, it causes an emotional and spiritual reaction. We lose track of time, we relax, our worries and anxieties drift by the way side. When we’re finished with whatever it is, we often feel drained, but refreshed too. When we immerse ourselves in something silly, it often means that we will spend a lot of time laughing, and laughing has about a million and ten benefits, everything from lengthening our lives to making us more likable. This helps us to reset spiritually and emotionally.
- We boost our productivity. Sure, it may not feel very productive in the moment, playing games, or riding a skateboard through the office, but in the long run, we can focus better after having a little bit of fun.
- Silliness boosts our creativity. And I don’t just mean that’s true for us artsy types. Every person on the planet is born creative. Maybe you’re a brilliant painter. Maybe you have a way with words. Maybe you can create systems and tables to show and analyze data. That is creativity. Humans are better when we can be creative. And silliness is a great way to open up those floodgates, especially if they’ve been closed for a while.
- Silliness promotes better relationships. This is true of all kinds of vulnerabilities, but silliness is pure fun. When we allow ourselves to be silly in front of the people we care about- and with them- it lets us open up to them and it creates trust with them.
So let’s not overlook the superpower of Silliness. Maybe we can even dare to practice it a little bit.
Superhero Action of the Day: find something that feels a little silly to you. Do it. Maybe that’s throwing a solo dance party while you put away laundry. Maybe it’s saying hi to a stranger. Maybe it’s trying out the slip and slide. Whatever it is, do something silly for yourself today.