I first realised I had bad news laugh when one of my good mates called me to tell me that her dog had passed away. She loved this dog so much. Her pooch was old, blind and sickly so we knew the day would be coming soon, however, it still kinda caught me off guard. As she was driving away from having her fur baby put down she called me sobbing and broken and… I laughed. I fucking laughed. I know she was shocked to hear my cackle come back at her after she delivered such news. Thank God she knows me well enough to know I’m not a heartless cow.
I was so shocked that my response to something so sad was to laugh, and not just a little giggle either, it was the kind of laugh that I do while watching a Will Ferrel movie. It felt odd and unstoppable. That was the start of my bad news laugh.
The laugh has erupted in other bad situations too. When I overdosed my son on pain medication (he was totally fine but we didn’t know that at the time), when a friend’s nan passed away, when I lost a big job, when a friend was cheated on… and the list goes on. All the news was shit and my reaction was to laugh like a hyena.
It doesn’t always happen, sometimes I cry at bad news like normal people. The shit thing is that I never know how I’m going to react. I may burst into fits of laughter or howl like a baby, your guess is as good as mine.
My friends and family know I suffer from bad news laugh and fortunately they don’t judge me. At times the laugh has lightened the mood, so maybe it’s not so bad? Who am I kidding?! I know I’m not alone with my laughing, but when it happens I seriously want the earth to eat me up.
Thank GOD there is evidence that shows that often laughter appears when we are confronted with a difficult or frightening situation. Apparently emotions are our brains trying to compensate. My brain tries to catch up with the news by requesting I laugh like I’m at a comedy show. Not ideal at all.
Do you get bad news laugh, too?