Ridicule is to deride, criticize, debase or make fun of others, or another, in overt and subtle ways, through words and innuendo.
Forms of ridicule can be as mild as joke and jest at the expense of another, or malicious ridicule intended to slay and slander another with words.
Public ridicule is common these days, unfortunately, and is often a societal default as criticism and barbs hold sway in the news and social platforms.
Synonyms for Ridicule
- laughter (to laugh at)
- gibe / jibe
- put down
- satire / satirize
A Societal Habit
Negativity and ridicule tends to be a societal habit. Many use ridicule for humor and to stir up drama for entertainment. I mean…it would be boring if everything were sunshine and roses with everyone getting along, right?
For many, the default is to be critical of others.
Often, jokes and shared humor circle around ridicule. Comedians would be out of business without ridicule.
Ridicule and negativity are both habits that are a matter of conditioning.
We can recondition.
The first step is to begin to become aware of any negative and derisive thoughts toward others.
Ridicule is ridiculous and harmful. So many people today are getting caught up on the melee of antagonism, ridicule and criticism. Many people seek to elevate themselves by ridiculing others. But we need to get rid of ridicule, for it is divisive and destructive to all of us. To humanity.
The moment we observe ourselves thinking ‘better than’ kinds of thoughts, is an opportunity to explore what inadequacy in ourselves we’re unconsciously seeking to cover up and ameliorate by standing upon the ridicule of others.
“Better than” thoughts can take oh-so-many forms.
Many years ago in my mid 20’s, I started attending a Unity Church for a while. Ultimately, my goal was to meet a nice, aspirational man who — like me — was spiritual but not religious.
I remember stopping to put gas in my car after church. It was a beautiful spring morning and I was in a yellow dress (Sunday best, kind of thing), and feeling pretty self righteous about having been up early for church.
As I looked around and noticed those who were clearly dressed (or not) for church, I had a moment of pride in what I was doing versus what they were doing… especially those who hadn’t prioritized their spiritual life as I had.
And then I realized what I was doing… how critical of others and how righteous of myself, who actually went to church for an agenda that was less than spiritually motivated. And there I was judging others. I felt ashamed, and I’m glad. I’m glad that I realized what I was doing so that I could call myself out in that moment.
Now, at 62, I still have “calling out” moments, but they’re vastly less in number and shorter lived between a thought entering my mind and it promptly booted out to be replaced with loving understanding of the others, and of myself.
When we belittle another, we belittle ourselves. Why would we do that?
But we can recondition.
We can be big.
We can uplift each other.
The beauty of it is that when we uplift another, especially when it’s hard to do, we uplift ourselves too.
We can be big… and have big hearts. It’s the little things that make a big difference. Don’t belittle. Be big.
I love this Kahlil Gibran quote for the powerful profundity of just 7 words.
“To belittle, you have to be little.”
~Kahlil Gibran, poet, artist, 1883-1931
An Antidote to Ridicule
Here’s a powerful antidote that serves to uplift ourselves and others whenever we’re feeling disdain for another.
- “What am I seeking to avoid in myself that I feel the need to belittle another?”
- “What is this anger (or other negative emotion) telling me about myself that I can remediate and elevate?”
- SEE IT: Recognize it for the role it has played to help you get to where you are, then release it in gratitude for its service and let it know it can now retire as no longer needed in you or by you.
- RELEASE: Release the judgement, anger, resentment, indignation, self righteousness… whatever it may be.
- FORGIVE: Then, see the GOOD in the other and the good in you! If they are doing bad things (or if you have), they too are trying to cover a hurt or fear of some kind. See them whole and yourself as whole and FREE from that darkness.
- LOVE: And Love… just love, for that is who you TRULY are.
And if the ridicule is coming to you from others, remember…
“You can spit on a rose, but it’s still a rose.”
~Marty Rubin, author
And remember, the rose doesn’t mind. The rose just keeps on being a rose.
Ridicule From Others
It’s inevitably born of malcontent often caused by fear, born of hurt or feelings of inadequacy. Rarely is it truly about us, for when we are out of the picture, that person will find another target.
It’s disconcerting to feel that kind of “slap”, especially while joyfully engaged, and yet it is all too common.
From schoolyard to office cubicle, church choir to pew, and sadly, even in some personal relationships, wherever humans are gathered there is the inclination to find what’s (perceived) as wrong with others. Such inclination is genetically wired to aid our survival. I.e., the “what’s wrong with this picture” concept… always scanning for what’s odd and out of place kept our ancestors alive for longer.
But now… now we can consciously apply this proclivity toward a higher good. We can seek to see “what’s right with this picture” in every scenario we encounter.
Time to Evolve
So we’re naturally inclined toward the negative, until…. Until we become aware of that human-animal proclivity and consciously elevate it through our human-divinity destiny and our innate ability for conscious creation.
It is a societal habit rife everywhere. But we can begin that personal transformation and in so doing, begin to uplift ourselves and those around us, whether or not it is ever known by them.
Yes… it’s best to seek uplifting relationships for who you hang out with matters. But for those that aren’t positively aspiring, we can at least uplift our thoughts of them and any circumstance rather than be dragged down by it.
Those empaths of us are especially affected by it. For others… it is water on the ducks back. Most of us have some kind of internal affect from the negativity of others.
But all of us can create our own inner salve that heals, soothes and transforms.
Positivity absolutely transforms our lives. Reframing thoughts to turn negatives to positives can become a way of life.
We are alchemists gifted with the power to transform our lives and that of others, not by efforting but by being and aligning with our highest and best… by aligning with love and positivity.
We can create our own affirmations and put them to good use daily. When difficulties present, such as ridicule, we can employ those invocations internally or out loud in private when we can. Often, these can produce an immediate elevation, (even if sometimes we have to say it or think it more than once).
AFFIRMATION TO DISSOLVE RIDICULE AND NEGATIVITY FROM OTHERS
“I know your intention to ridicule is born out of a hurt or fear or void within you. I forgive you and I love you.”
CREATIVE PROMPT: Ridicule
(Ponder and create in your medium of choice)
- Become aware of where, when and how ridicule creeps into my thoughts and/or speech, toward self or others.
2. Identify an antonym to ridicule toward reframing a negative thought to a positive.
10 ANTONYMS FOR RIDICULE:
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