Kelly Flannigan Bos: The Relationship Rescuer


I'm Bringing Silly Back Into My Life

Play, fun, and being silly is important to our wellness and our relationships.

Being the adultier adult has some pretty un-fun bits to it, and it is important to find the fun. When the negative outweighs the positive in your life, something has to change. Perhaps your interactions with your husband are at an unfortunate ratio of 40 negative interactions to 15 positive ones; this is not a happy balance. I can feel it when my ratio is off with my husband, children, or even life in general. These are times when there is too much work and too little play.

John Gottman says that balance theory of relationships can predict the likelihood of divorce. This is done with the magic ratio - a stable relationship has 5 times as many positive interactions between partners as negative ones. If you want to increase the positive, consider increasing the fun.

There is something magical when I truly pursue silly fun, like when I jump on the back of the toboggan with my kids, sing in the car, laugh at nothing with my toddler, and dance in the living room with abandon. In these times, I let myself relax and get lost in the moment. It's rejuvenating for the soul. 

I love this New York Times article by Ron Lieber, author of The Opposite of Spoiled, that talks about making sure your holidays are times of play which to produce happiness and refreshment rather than booking vacations that are exhausting and over extended with things we think we should do. Play, fun, and being silly is important to our wellness and our relationships.

Bringing the Silly Back in Parenting:

I have written about this before, but the strategy of lightening up in stressful situations is a parenting gem. It makes you feel better and your kids feel better. So when you are struggling to keep it all together, bring in some silly! It really helps.

Instead of losing your cool on the sixth time you requested something of your children, sing it to them. Teenagers? All the better! To avoid the embarrassment of you breaking into song, they might just snap to on the first request next time.

And for goodness sake, let them be silly. I get that silly can start to grate on your nerves when you are running late for hockey, but make sure it is a part of your day and at the minimum, your week. Schedule it in... serve worms for dessert, greet Daddy with a Nerf attack when he gets home, plan after-school fun. Spread the sunshine, and let kids be kids! They have enough structure and unfun in their day.

Mix a little foolishness with your serious plans. It's lovely to be silly at the right moment. —Horace

Bringing Silly Back in Partnering:

I have also decided that silly is the new sexy. Who doesn't completely crush on the celebrities that can let loose and have fun? I am looking at you, Jimmy Fallon, or the dynamic Dax and Kristen. Even in the bedroom, silly can be fun. Yes, sex can be fabulous when it is serious, connected, or just plain hot, but sometimes when you are exhausted intensity, good or bad, can feel overwhelming. Parenting is an exhausting time. So have fun with sex and have a laugh.

Silly can also be fun for flirting. My good friend has come across a little gem for her relationship, and believe it or not, it is in emojis. She's never been a big user of this form of communication, but she was tired, had a two week old baby and found her relationship with her partner a struggle as they transitioned from one kid to two. She was looking for something to put a little cheer in their communication, and she has found it. Instead of the more familiar short or snappish texts and his short or snappish response, she is adding a series of happy fun hieroglyphics in the form of small unicorns, dancing babies, rainbows and beer mugs. Her partner is responding positively, and she is even getting cheery phone calls. There are lots of sexy emojis, but so far, the unicorn is the favourite.

'Have fun' is my message. You are allowed to be silly. There's nothing wrong with it. —Jimmy Fallon

I have a fairly serious job as a therapist, although I have definitely had some great laughs with clients. I am also a chauffeur, a cook, cleaner, and a whole bunch of other more serious things. Playful is a big part of who I am, and when I am able to let go and have more fun, I feel much more connected to myself. Couldn't we all use more of this self connection? 

Rachel Macy Stafford author of the soon to be released Only Love Today says in her book the Hands Free life , the most meaningful life experiences don’t happen in the “when,” they happen in the “now.” So let's get some more silly in our day... now.

"Do a loony-goony dance 'cross the kitchen floor,  put something silly in the world that ain't been there before" —Shel Silverstein

Are we having fun yet?

 RELATED: In Praise of Silly

I provide free relationship tips and articles on my Facebook page and on my website, come and visit me! You can also follow me on Twitter and join the conversation about healthy living and healthy relationships.