Do you ever really feel the urge to sort “LOL” after trauma dumping, complaining about your co-worker or another scenario by which you’re positively not laughing out loud? I imply, actually, if I had a greenback for each time I typed “LOL” or “haha” with a clean face, I’d have … some huge cash. Really, I’m positive many people would. Folks have shared the identical sentiment on boards akin to Quora, Reddit and GirlsAskGuys.
Does this really feel relatable to you, too? Aside from your well-meaning grandma who thinks “LOL” means “lots of love,” you might surprise why you sort one thing that’s so removed from what you truly really feel — and if it’s hurting your capacity to be emotionally intimate. What do specialists say in regards to the causes and results of typing these three letters?
Why You Really feel The Want To Tack On ‘LOL’
Therapists have a number of theories as to why your thumbs run to the “L” and “O” buttons earlier than urgent ship:
You battle to precise your feelings comfortably.
In a society full of toxic positivity and stress on ladies to “smile more,” it may be uncomfortable to look that you simply’re feeling something apart from glad. “Many of us are not taught how to healthily feel and express anger, hurt, or disappointment,” mentioned Madeline Lucas, a licensed medical social employee and therapist at Real. “We can feel wrong or bad when something upsets us, and are uncertain of how to get that out of our system.”
However as I’m positive you recognize, it’s not possible to by no means really feel a unfavourable emotion, and getting these feelings out is in our greatest curiosity. So, you might textual content “LOL” to defuse the stress — for your self or the individual you’re speaking to — after sharing that feeling.
“It saves us from having to own and express, ’You know, this actually isn’t funny, and is in fact hurtful or upsetting to me, and I may even be upset with you for that reason,’” Lucas added. “We often fear saying this directly because of the potentially awkward, uncomfortable and real conversation that ensues.”
“Texting ‘LOL’ during an unfunny moment protects us from having to be vulnerable or fully seen by the other person.”
– Madeline Lucas, licensed medical social employee and therapist
You’re making an attempt to guard the connection or the opposite individual.
On the same be aware, when sharing one thing deeply hurtful and emotional, you might fear that you simply’ll come throughout as burdensome or that your good friend will fear an excessive amount of about you. Including “LOL” is a fast strategy to lighten the temper. “Additionally, texting ‘lol’ during an unfunny moment protects us from having to be vulnerable or fully seen by the other person,” Lucas defined in an e-mail. “It takes away the seriousness of that statement.”
You’re speaking your intentions (albeit not directly).
When your message might be learn as offensive, nevertheless, you may use “LOL” to indicate you don’t imply what you mentioned in that manner. “For example, LOL can be used at the end of a potentially controversial or upsetting statement when the person who uses it wants to make sure the receiver knows it was said in jest or that the sender isn’t being offensive,” defined Erin Phillips, a licensed medical social employee in Kansas City, Missouri, with Thriveworks, an organization providing in-person and on-line remedy providers nationwide.
You wish to shut down the dialog.
“LOL” can even really feel useful when the opposite individual is the one expressing harm. As necessary as communication and vulnerability are in relationships, it’s comprehensible that they could additionally make you’re feeling uneasy on both finish. Nonetheless, typing “LOL” (or the laughing emoticon or “haha”) to deal with that may harm your relationships.
It may possibly invalidate the opposite individual’s emotions, in response to Lucas. “If someone shares with us that they are upset or hurt, and we don’t know how to respond or feel like taking responsibility for that, ‘lol’ can be a way of sort of shutting down the conversation or hoping the other person cuts it out, discontinuing the conversation,” she wrote. “It can feel vulnerable and uncomfortable to be accountable for hurting someone else, and ‘lol’ can feel easier sometimes than an apology, or asking for more information to better understand the other person.”
You’re defending your self from their potential rejection.
Particularly in relationship, it appears, many people are afraid to return throughout as “too interested.” On the identical time, nevertheless, we all know that relationships can’t occur with out work and taking probabilities. “LOL” can really feel like a contented medium, to an extent.
“‘LOL’ can be used to proactively deflect a negative response,” Phillips mentioned. She gave this instance: “Hey! I was wondering if you’d like to go out sometime and grab a cup of coffee. If not I totally understand, just thought I’d ask. LOL.”
If the individual isn’t , that final addition may make you’re feeling higher, as if hanging out collectively isn’t an enormous deal to you both manner (even when, in actuality, it’s).
Ought to You Contemplate Being Extra Conscious Of Your LOL Use?
In different phrases, is it unfair to your relationships and dangerous to your long-term well-being? Whereas typing “LOL” “is not necessarily always hurtful to one person or the other, my concern would be that it has the potential to rob a situation of genuine, authentic connection and vulnerability,” Lucas mentioned.
If these are values of yours, mindfulness is one thing you might wish to contemplate. The consequences will not be as scary as you assume, both.
“Maybe we can really show up and be seen, and the other person can do the same, and we’ll be okay,” she added.
Phillips famous that the short gratification that comes with texting and abbreviations — whereas helpful at instances — in the end provides as much as misunderstandings. “While intended to be convenient and quicker for corresponding, these acronyms have become their [own] language full of misinterpretations and confusion,” she mentioned.
How To Pay Extra Consideration To Your LOLs
Including that LOL/haha/laughing emoticon can simply turn into a behavior that’s arduous to interrupt, for varied causes. That’s honest: Communication and relationships are ongoing processes. Lucas inspired asking your self some questions once you really feel the urge to sort “LOL,” akin to:
- What function is that this serving me?
- What’s the danger of sending this textual content with out “LOL”? (Is it vulnerability? Being totally seen? Probably creating battle?)
- How would I genuinely like to speak or specific this?
As a psychological well being skilled, Phillips mentioned, she believes within the significance of being aware of her phrase utilization (even when it’s arduous). “If someone didn’t make me at least smile with a text, they probably aren’t going to get an LOL,” she mentioned. “And if there’s any possibility my text could be interpreted as controversial or offensive, I either rephrase it or don’t say it at all.”
This isn’t to say humor isn’t OK to make use of, simply that you simply most likely don’t wish to overuse it. “I am all for using humor as a way to cope on tough days and in difficult times,” Lucas mentioned, “but I think we have to be mindful that when we use ‘lol’ in texts, it diminishes or invalidates our very real and valid feelings.”