What Being a ‘Silly Girl’ Is All About
It was only when I looked up the dictionary definition of ‘silly’ that I realised I had previously formed my own definition of it and lost sight of the true meaning. I don’t know about you, but discovering that ‘silly’ means to ‘have a lack of common sense’ and to act ‘absurdly or foolishly’ was not what I had anticipated. But, oh well, I am just a silly girl!
I should note that being a ‘silly girl’ is not the same as being an idiotic girl. Justifying making horrible or dangerous life decisions with the claim, “I am just a silly girl!”, tarnishes the silly girl aesthetic. To me, a silly girl is playful, humorous, easy-going, creative and light-hearted.
We live in a silly world, and there is evidence that suggests that being constantly serious may not be as beneficial as embracing the silly side of life every now and then.
Why a ‘Silly Girl’ is a Healthy Girl
- People who use humour in everyday life are more creative, regardless of the type of humour. Frequency of humour use is key to becoming more creative (Proyer, Wellenzohn, Willibald et al, 2014).
- When positively framed, self-deprecating humour is correlated with desirable personality traits which are more conducive to creativity (Proyer, Wellenzohn, Willibald et al, 2014).
- Several studies have found humour to correlate with creativity in the workplace; particularly liberating humour, (where people see things in a new light). This also relates to how comfortable we are with being laughed at. People who hate being laughed at score low for divergent thinking, whereas those who enjoy being laughed at score more highly.
- Freeing yourself of seriousness within your relationship with yourself can allow you to be more comfortable with trying new things. This is because you do not have the ego, pressure or expectations for yourself that come with taking yourself too seriously.
- Intrinsic motivation is important for positive action and performance. Creative people tend to have fun at work rather than see it as a chore. This leads them to be highly motivated (Perchtold-Stefan et al, 2020).
- Humour brings pleasure -> pleasure enhances motivation -> motivation leads to creativity.
- This is why framing usually laborious tasks as fun is helpful as it increases engagement and motivation.
- Acting playfully is linked to being able to come up with new ideas. Play generates new ways of thinking about the environment, enabling you to break away from usual patterns of behaviour.
- Dark humour is often used at the expense of oneself or others. There is a fine line between amusement and outrage. It is suggested that this form of humour is perhaps more creative than the other styles as it is more challenging to find the balance. However, it is one to be careful of as it always has the risk of someone being harmed.
- Laugh so that you don’t cry – gallows humour is dark humour used in crisis and misfortune, making light of a situation but not at the expense of others. It is an effective coping mechanism and has been shown to help cohesion with colleagues.
- Through the release of emotions, sharing gallows humour enhances camaraderie; it allows people to examine a situation abstractly and reframe their feelings.
Overall, using different humour styles in everyday life, not taking yourself too seriously and allowing yourself to be playful can result in a healthier and more productive life.
What Being a ‘Silly Girl’ Has Done For Me
For me, being a ‘silly girl’ means finding the fun in any task that I do which I find helps me to stay motivated, focused and positive. I am the most engaged and creative when I am enjoying a task. Even if something is undeniably bad, using gallows humour to laugh at it relaxes me and enables me to get through stressful periods more easily.
Humour is a big part of all my relationships with those closest to me, and makes me feel more connected to them. It is important to discover what types of humour work best for you and those around you. Over the past few years, I have associated with more constructive, optimistic humour styles. I find that this has enabled me to build healthier and stronger relationships with myself and others. Of course, I still use all humour styles, yet now I definitely have more of a grasp on how to use humour beneficially.
If you would like to read more on the benefits of humour and ways in which you can add more humour to your life, this is a very interesting but easy read: