Bah Humbug! Chances are you will encounter a few scrooges over the holidays. After years of trying to understand the negative responses that some people have to joyful events and to positive people: I found myself calling these folks, “humordoomers”. A humordoomer is a person who consistently uses negative humor to control and manipulate others. Humorphobia (a fear of positivity and humor) breeds humordoomers, skilled crafters who use subtle techniques to suppress humor in others.
Humordoomers are usually unhappy individuals stressed by the dual demands of accountability and limited time constraints. They are pessimistic leeches that can suck the energy right out of you. Grown in a petri dish of fear and anger, these folks are threatened by positivity and enthusiasm. They often use humor to manipulate others and to maintain a level of control of their world. Their negative humor reflects their unhappy immersion in the confining straits of their own wretched world. Often their techniques are so woven into the fabric of a culture that not only are they unaware of their own negative impact, their unsuspecting prey (you and me) are oblivious as well.
Humordoomers are especially frustrated at this time of year when there is “joy in the air”. The holidays make these miserable folks even more aware of their own unhappy existence.
Humordoomers are difficult to deal with. It is important to realize that many people find the holidays stressful. One tactic that you can use to deal with their behavior is to squash the negativity with kindness and understanding. Sometimes these folks need someone to listen to them and empathize with them. You will need to accept the fact that these folks may be dealing with challenging mental health issues. A note here---if you need to preserve your own energy, another survival technique is to avoid these scrooges altogether.
Your own holiday spirit mixed with some laughter and fun will often help those humordoomers move from Bah Humbug to Happy Holidays!
Additional strategies can be found in Mary Kay Morrison's book, “Using Humor to Maximize Learning”.