How to Use Humor to Change Institutional Incompetence
There is a story about the author, Mark Twain, which goes like this:
When Mark Twain got pissed off, he would write a super gnarly, lacerating letter to the person or institution who pissed him off.
He would then go to the mail box (or whatever they had back then) and put it in the mail.
Several minutes later, his wife would walk out and remove the mail from the mailbox and throw it away.
It’s unclear if Mark Twain knew what his wife was doing.
The point of the story is that we need healthy forms (psychoanalysts used to call this “sublimation”) to channel our anger into something positive.
Humor is a good mechanism for this.
I think the best embodiment of humor as a coping skill is the Dalai Lama (with Chris Rock a close second).
Below is an example of my attempt at humor in response to being temporarily locked out of my accounts by a financial institution. I don't know if it worked but laughing felt better than being angry.