1. Scrunch up your face by drawing your eyebrows together and tightening your lips (imitate image on the left).
2. Any time you interact with someone, be skeptical and maintain a certain level of emotional distance.
3. When someone addresses you, pause before answering so that you can process your judgments and let it show that this is what you are doing. In other words, give the other person time to know you are judging and evaluating things in your head. This intimidates them.
4. Make a conscious effort to not laugh at yourself. Any kind of humour will ruin your serious intentions.
5. Complain. A lot and about everything. This will train your mind to see the negative that exists in everything.
6. When someone makes a bad joke, remain emotionless and expressionless and just stare at them… your non-expression will communicate that you aren’t impressionable. You’re like a tough crowd at a comedy show.
7. Cultivate anxiety by focusing your thoughts on worries about future events. You can even spend time meditating on this in a conscious way.
8. Don’t enjoy the present moment. If you catch yourself doing so, shift gears, shake it off, and re-focus your attention to past and future events.
9. Set big, unrealistic goals of accomplishment for yourself and take on a lot of responsibility. Tell everyone about these big ambitions. If you fail to meet your goals and expectations, don’t leave your house because people will ask how things are going and you will feel humiliated as you cover up your failures.
10. Be really dramatic. Tell long-winded stories to re-enforce your interpretations of events and seek people’s approval of these interpretations. Ditch people who don’t buy into your drama because they probably just don’t get it.
I’m on a roll here. Feel free to add some to this mix. I recently received feedback that I take myself too seriously and that I can come across as very stern and intimidating. So, I figured I would ask around and investigate how consistent this experience is that people have of me. Those who know me well just laughed and said that they think my seriousness is hilarious. here are some of the exact comments: “haha. well, you do have a penetrating intensity. It’s not a negative intensity”, “haha, yes, I thought you hated me when I first met you”, “hahaha, people do think you’re very serious, but I think it’s so funny”, “hahaha, yes, but I think it’s just that you have this intense look when you are really focused”, “hahahahahahaha, it’s because of your face!”. My face? What am I supposed to do about my face?
Childhood memory: My parents used to laugh hysterically at me when I took myself too seriously. I would get really frustrated and yell at them “Stop laughing! I’m being serious!”. I was being serious! They would laugh harder and tell me to get a sense of humour. Eventually, I did but my face stays scrunched sometimes when I am focused. Apparently, that’s hilarious.
Top ten ways to take yourself really seriously aren’t very good yoga tips, but laughing at them and yourself might be. 🙂