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Jokes- how to deal?

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Imagine you are in your friends living room on a Friday night. Everyone is gathered around, having a few laughs or whatever and then...a herpes joke emerges and everyone laughs. No one knows you have it and you cannot deny that you feel a bit sad after hearing the joke and all the laughter that followed. It wasn't a joke so much about herpes but herpes itself was the joke. What do you do? How have you dealt with these instances?


Personally I feel sad and angry and have some resentment towards the person for awhile but I don't want to be like that.

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Sounds like you are taking it personally.... and it is sooo not about you. It's about human nature and our tendency to make fun of anything that is difficult, different, or uncomfortable. Just about every joke out there has the possibility of hurting or insulting SOMEONE. So out of a whole evening of jokes and fun, you allowed one or two jokes to put a dent in your enjoyment and you are still carrying the upset even now.


So my advice? Lighten up. They didn't know. Perhaps though, you can use this as a learning experience so you consider what jokes you pass on to others in the future. You never know when someone in the room may have some connection to the joke who may be hurt by it. And if someone jokes about Herpes in the future, try to see the funny side of it. It's not worth it to take it to heart.... because it certainly wasn't meant as a personal attack on you ;)



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I usually just laugh along . . . like the old joke "what's the difference between love and herpes . . . herpes lasts forever! hahaha".


It's not the best joke since just about 100% of the population has one or more of the 8 types of human herpes virus: 1 is HSV1, 2 is HSV2, 3 is chicken pox (90% of humanity has it, and it can recur as shingles), 4 is mono (90% of adults have it and it's often shedding contagious viral particles from the throat, just in case you wanted to know), 5 is CMV (also can cause mono, usually asymptomatic, can also be an std, mostly complications are seen in immune-compromised patients), 6 and 7 cause roseola (affects mostly children, and most of humankind carries it), 8 is KS (rare, causes tumors, usually involves immune-compromised patients). There might be more, but those are the main ones (most animals have their own kinds of herpes viruses too, even fish - but the only animal herpes virus known to cross-over to people is monkey virus, and it requires a bite from an infected monkey to get it, in case anyone was curious).


So I figure when people tell a joke like that, they are essentially making fun of themselves and/or showing how little they know about the world . . . since they undoubtedly have more than one kind of incurable herpes virus lurking around in their bodies already . . . indeed, having a few different types of herpes is the normal human condition, not a big deal, and not much anyone can do about it anyway. . . but of course, jokes about any virus or disease are best avoided - since it's not really a joking matter for people with more severe kinds, auto-immune issues, or rare conditions that have potentially serious health consequences.


Of course, if this joke happens at a party and you have an audience, you could always make a stiff drink, announce to the room that you think it's rather ironic that the person who told the joke undoubtedly carries a few different types of herpes viruses already, and that in general you think it's trite and unimaginative to tell jokes about diseases, or race, or people with disabilities, or religious minorities, or misogyny, etc., and you think the joke teller should do the world a favor and find some fresh material . . . then if you happen to slur your words in disgust during your diatribe, you can deflect any potential come-backs about your sobriety by paraphrasing Winston Churchill and saying "it's true I am drunk, but I will be sober tomorrow, and [the joke teller] will still be a fool" . . . then you can make a funny joke to defuse the situation, or say something like "but seriously, don't worry about it, I like you, people say I've got no taste, but I like you" . . . or if it's not your style to cause a stir, you could always just laugh quietly to yourself at their foolishness while pretending to be nice . . .

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I had a fantastic and amazing friend joke in reference to a common running injury (and I quote),"Well herpes is common and I don't want that.." Everyone in our run group laughed.. Including me :). You know, removing yourself from a situational comment that personally resonates is what this is all about. Your friends are not educated nor they do they know that there's a strong possibility statistically that they're already carriers. I'm

Sure if you think back maybe you have used "jokes" that maybe could have hurt someone if they were standing in the same room. The most common being,"that's gay" or "how retarded". Does that make it ok? Absolutely not! But, it does make us human because we err and hurt when we don't understand the power of our words in the time of usage. So, forgive. Trust me. They have never had to manage what we go through on a daily and are simply unaware. Peace, love. Either choose to educate or choose to accept that people today are just human and make mistakes. There is something to the old adage that ignorance is bliss, huh? Even good people make mistakes that hurt those they love the most.

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refer back to a week or so ago on this forum.... I posted "my epiphany...herpes is, in fact, a joke." I love comedy and I love to laugh. I have learned that we all laugh at other people and the things that make us uncomfortable. just because we are sensitive to the joke, shouldn't make it not funny. it takes time and acceptance to get to this point but I have to say..... if I can laugh at gay jokes, Ukrainian jokes (I'm Ukrainian), black jokes (love of my life is black), why shouldn't I laugh just as much about herpes jokes? laughter is good, all good humor is based in pain. laugh along, and be free. its not judgement, its laughing through the pain and realizing that we all have something that is worthy of a stand up comedy routine. laugh along and mean it..... its ok . its actually pretty funny. no one get through this life without a challenge and if herpes is your biggest hurdle, consider yourself lucky :)

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