Why do we misbehave? I’m not sure what was going through my head today, but one thing or another got me thinking about this as I drove around Buffalo, NY today. Misbehavior, which I am basically known for among my group of friends, was always one of those things I was drawn to, yet never knew why.
I mean don’t get me wrong, I’ve never considered done anything illegal or harmful (at least not too bad haha). But there’s always something in the back of my head urging me on to take advantage of any situation I can to get a few laughs in. I’ve seen this phenomenon happen in other people as well, what is it that drives us to do these things?
Is it some odd piece of human nature, forcing us to laugh instead of cry?
Is it something from our culture or society that just seeps into us from watching too many movies or something like that?
While I know the answer is never that serious, I guess I never realized how integral it is to our experience in this world. Even the most well-behaved people are known for their occasional joke or prank, despite them taking different forms from the more riskier behavior shown by some.
I guess it’s easy to forget how silly and fun-loving all of us can be under the right circumstances. Day in day out, we’re going through our daily grind, thinking of what we have to do in the next 5 minutes, or 5 hours, or 5 days. We get so wrapped up by that some of our lighter personality traits tend to be forgotten.
I also realize we tend to do this to our characters. We get stuck in one mode of characterization so long, we forget that these people have a fully functional personality. We forget that just because they’re the hero in an action story that they can be softer and more caring too. Or that the protagonist in a romance can be just as cruel as he is sensitive to his love interest.
Men, women, it doesn’t matter. There’s definitely a duality to everything personality trait a character has. An yin and yang so to speak, that needs to be addressed to make the character seem real. I’ve noticed that misbehavior tends to be somewhat neglected in this aspect. Maybe it’s because they want their protagonist to be as white as the driven snow. Or they want to save the misbehavior for the villain. I’m honestly not sure.
What I am sure of is that you need to make everyone more three-dimensional, and what better way to do that than by writing in a practical joke every so often?
So what do you think? Agree? Disagree? Think I’m nuts? Whatever you’re thinking leave your thoughts in the comments section below.
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Featured image courtesy of Ian Stennard under this creative commons license. No changes were made.