When you’re complaining about bad service, it’s easy to get frustrated with what usually ends up being less-than-helpful responses. Psychology Today points out that humour is a great defence that can help you with your argument, provided you do it right.
Picture: Britta Frahm/Flickr
Using humour when you’re complaining is all about striking the right tone and taking the edge off the complaint so it’s easy for the recipient to swallow. To that end, Psychology Today suggests a few ground rules:
1. If our humour is too heavy handed, our complaint won’t be taken seriously.
2. If our humour is too offensive it can make the recipient even more defensive than they would have been if we just told it to them ‘straight’. The line between funny and offensive is not only thin it is also subjective. What some people consider funny, others might find insulting.
3. If our underlying tone is too condescending, angry or sarcastic it will cancel out the ‘funny’ and we are unlikely to get the result we want.
4. The biggest danger we face when using humour to complain is that our efforts might come across as simply — not funny.
Stand-up comics have been doing this for years, but inserting a joke in your complaint delivery can turn a potentially uncomfortable situation into something a little more pleasant. Just remember not to be a jerk about it. Head over to Psychology Today for a few different examples of how (and how not to) use humour when complaining.
Does Humor Make A Complaint More Effective? [Psychology Today]