“No one looks stupid when they're having fun.” I saw this phrase a while ago on a post by Amy Poehler. It stuck with me for two reasons:
- It's been a long time since I've had so much fun that I felt in danger of looking stupid.
- I've definitely observed the enjoyment (or silliness) of others and with a slightly perturbed look on my face thought, “you should really calm down."
After giving these realizations a little thought, both hold deeper significance.
Let’s back up to #1. At first glance it could seem that I have less fun than I used to. I think it's true that I have different types of fun than I did when I was a kid, but I still enjoy life and try to make a habit of enjoying it as often as possible. What I think changed for me is my concern with judgement. Don't get me wrong, I've been known to stay awake all night fretting over one verbal slip up in a conversation. I'm not proud of it, but by no means am I the super confident, your-opinions-mean-nothing-to-me type. But when it comes to having a good time? To hell with anyone who would judge me for that. (This is not an endorsement for reckless abandon. This is an endorsement for good clean fun.) I worry about plenty of other things that (as mentioned above) keep me up at night. I refuse to worry about someone's opinion that my fun is somehow annoying or out of place.
Moving on to #2. I have looked at others and wondered why their particular form of enjoyment works for them. Before you call me a hypocrite I would like to point out that, that was the past version of me. Now I look at these scenarios and force a smile even if I don't immediately mean it. The best thing about someone enjoying themselves is that they give off positive energy. I realized by my unnecessary judgement I was blocking this energy and even morphing it into negative energy sometimes. Why would I do that? Because there's just too much happiness in the world and I need to zap some of it out? Um, no. Incorrect.
My judgement is basically always irrelevant when it comes to others’ actions. And if their actions give them joy, provided those actions are harmless to others, it is my duty to allow that joy to live and flourish.
"No one looks stupid when they're having fun" may seem insignificant, but the phrase is powerful. It's a PSA of sorts. When you’re enjoying yourself, really soak it in. Enjoy it! When you observe others having a good time, even if you don’t understand it, combat the urge to roll your eyes because fun isn’t stupid.
Have fun, let others have fun, and the world will be a more fun place to live!