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Wedding Woes

Stop the jokes

My husband and I have an incredible marriage, but our relationship with his mom is strained. He has a small family, and we rarely see them. Every time we are around them, though, I feel awkward and ridiculous. I’m a funny person—90 percent of the people in my life say so—and my sense of humor is one of my favorite qualities and the only quality I feel consistently good about. My in-laws don’t see it, and all my jokes, which increase when I’m nervous, land with a thud. Every time I’m around them, I feel awkward and nervous because of my last interaction with them, which makes me extra nervous, and then I say something else weird. I am rapidly becoming Chandler Bing, and I hate it. My husband doesn’t seem to notice this, and no one has said anything about it, but I feel it, and it makes even brief visits with them uncomfortable for me. How can I move past this and not feel so miserable around my in-laws?
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Re: Stop the jokes

  • Stop trying to be funny.  

    Maybe 90% of the people in your life don't find you so funny but all of them don't want to hurt your feelings. 
    STARMOON44charlotte989875InLoveInQueens
  • CharmedPamCharmedPam Chicagoburbs
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its Third Anniversary First Answer
    member
    This is a know your audience thing.  LW could be funny and these inlaws probably just don’t get it.  Stop makkng jokes around them and keep it for people who appreciate it. 

    short+sassycharlotte989875
  • levioosalevioosa Southern California
    5000 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    member
    Yeah, just stick to "bland" conversation. I am really funny around some people, and then other times I can't be funny to save my life. Sometimes my humor doesn't jive with people due to it's sarcasm, darkness, or sometimes just sheer dorkiness. That's okay. I just stop trying to make a joke and stick to more "serious" ways of talking. 


    image
    short+sassycharlotte989875
  • I think it would be helpful for the LW to jot down a few "talking points", the next time she is seeing her in-laws.  For example, ask about their interests and let them talk.

    Since it sounds like they don't live close by, it's probably a combination of they don't get her humor and she doesn't get theirs.  And that's okay.  If she has a "Chandler moment", and she probably will even if she is trying to keep it more casual conversations, that's okay too.

    Though, another curiosity question came to me.  Why aren't her in-laws at least smiling or giving a small laugh to her jokes?  Because that is the social nicety.  My first thought would normally be that she is offending them.  But you'd think her H would know that and he hasn't said anything.  Do they truly not realize when she is joking?  Are they a little socially "off" themselves?   

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  • MyNameIsNotMyNameIsNot Atlanta
    Ninth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer
    member

    I think it would be helpful for the LW to jot down a few "talking points", the next time she is seeing her in-laws.  For example, ask about their interests and let them talk.

    Since it sounds like they don't live close by, it's probably a combination of they don't get her humor and she doesn't get theirs.  And that's okay.  If she has a "Chandler moment", and she probably will even if she is trying to keep it more casual conversations, that's okay too.

    Though, another curiosity question came to me.  Why aren't her in-laws at least smiling or giving a small laugh to her jokes?  Because that is the social nicety.  My first thought would normally be that she is offending them.  But you'd think her H would know that and he hasn't said anything.  Do they truly not realize when she is joking?  Are they a little socially "off" themselves?   

    That's what it sounds like to me. Like, maybe she has a dry or sarcastic wit that can be missed by some people, and the ILs just don't get it. Or maybe it's a language or cultural issue.

    My ILs absolutely do not think I'm funny, because twisted sarcasm rarely works when translated. So I STFU and ask about the weather.
    charlotte989875
  • I think it would be helpful for the LW to jot down a few "talking points", the next time she is seeing her in-laws.  For example, ask about their interests and let them talk.

    Since it sounds like they don't live close by, it's probably a combination of they don't get her humor and she doesn't get theirs.  And that's okay.  If she has a "Chandler moment", and she probably will even if she is trying to keep it more casual conversations, that's okay too.

    Though, another curiosity question came to me.  Why aren't her in-laws at least smiling or giving a small laugh to her jokes?  Because that is the social nicety.  My first thought would normally be that she is offending them.  But you'd think her H would know that and he hasn't said anything.  Do they truly not realize when she is joking?  Are they a little socially "off" themselves?   

    That's what it sounds like to me. Like, maybe she has a dry or sarcastic wit that can be missed by some people, and the ILs just don't get it. Or maybe it's a language or cultural issue.

    My ILs absolutely do not think I'm funny, because twisted sarcasm rarely works when translated. So I STFU and ask about the weather.


    So true!  Not so much sarcasm, but I work with (via e-mail) a lot of people from Indonesia.  They're all fairly fluent in at least basic English.  But it's been a good and interesting exercise for me in watching what I'm writing!

    It's amazing how much we use slang and common phrases in everyday conversation!  I have had to re-work many an e-mail, lol.  Like, "Sounds great.  We can kill two birds with one stone."  Wait (head tilt), they may not understand the phrase "killing two birds with one stone".  I need to rephrase that in simpler, plainer language.

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    MesmrEwe
  • Part of being funny is knowing how to work your crowd at any given moment...  Time for LW to go back to comedy school or tone it down with the IL's...  
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    short+sassy
  • I suggest you should try to change "conversation tactics", because seems to be his family does not like such type of communication. Possibly they do not have a sense of humor or just people, who do not like fun. Try to be more serious and pessimistic with them, it might work.  
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