How do you respond to "you have no sense of humor"?

I’m sure everyone knows the situation where someone offends you, and you tell them so, and they say “you have no sense of humor” or “I am only joking” but then they keep saying the unfunny insults over and over.

I used to have a book that gave a response to handle that line but now I need it and I can’t find it. I tried to google for it because I think it’s a common technique that would be in any book about assertiveness or conflict management.

Does anyone know the response that I’m thinking of? I think it might be to just say “well you may be right about that,” and then leave it at that, but I tried that and it sure didn’t work.

I would also love suggestions on how to handle that situation. It’s a work situation and he has a position of authority over me. I have to handle it on my own, I don’t want to go over his head or anything else. I know he is picking on me because he sucks and the handwriting is on the wall for him, so I am trying to be patient and comport myself with as much patience and dignity as I can til he gets fired. Punching him in the face isn’t an option.

He basically needles me all the time, and when I tell him I don’t like it and I’d prefer to not chat, he comes back the same every time, “I was JOKING! GOD!” We used to be friends but now I can’t stand him. How do I get through a few more months of this constant crap?

“Well, no, I do have a sense of humor. But usually, humor means that something is actually funny.”

How’s that?

“Your mom has no sense of humor.”

“I was Joking, God”
A: “If you were joking it would be funny”
A: “Grow up, moron”
A: <Laugh hysterically for an uncomfortable length of time> “your so fucking funny… dickhead”

And remember violence is golden :wink:

Simply break out laughing in one of those 100% phony Ha-Ha-Ha types of laughs, or even better, show no sign of a smile and go Hee-Hee-Hee as loud as you can.

If you’re one of the fortunate few who can fart on demand, do that while staring directly into this person’s face and wink.

“I was only joking.”

“Your breath is worse than usual today.”

“you have no sense of humor”:
“No, that’s not true. If I didn’t have a sense of humor I wouldn’t be able to tell that you’re not funny.”

“Actually, I have a good sense of humor. It’s a lot like having a bad sense of humor, except it doesn’t make me think you’re funny.”

“it was just a joke”:
“It was? But… jokes are supposed to be funny.”

THAT was a joke? Wow, remind me never to invite you to a party.”

“I fucked your mom.” Then when they start to get pissed, say “Oh, hey, only joking! She sure is hot though!”


Something tells me these did not come out of the pages of Coping with Difficult People. :slight_smile:

I can’t say I fucked his mom, so I usually ask him irritating questions about his wife. He used to have her on his screensaver, a family photo of them all on vacation, so I have seen that she is just a regular looking woman. So when he makes stupid sex comments to me, sometimes I say things like, “your wife must be really secure to be okay with you hitting on other women. Do you have an open marriage? Is she extremely hot, is that why she’s cool with you out looking for sex? Is she a rich, successful lawyer or something? She must be way prettier than I am! I am soooo insecure with men that way! Does it bother you when she goes to work and hits on the younger men? Boy I respect an open, secure couple like that because I am so possessive. Maybe if I was as good looking as your wife, I’d be more open to that kind of swinging lifestyle.”

Things of that nature usually shut him up for a bit, but then he comes back at me with a vengance. So now I am trying to not give a reply that feeds the fire.

When I am told that I have no sense of humor, I usually give as little response as possible. A shrug is enough. Maybe the word “feh,” if I’m feeling particularly chatty.

If the accusation comes in an online forum, I usually don’t respond at all. I don’t feel like wasting my time trying to justify myself to someone whose opinion of himself is so high that he thinks that anybody who doesn’t find him amusing has no sense of humor. Such an individual is not a person whose opinion should matter to me.

Laugh loudly and for an uncomfortably long time. Then stop abruptly and stare at the person for three seconds.

“You have no sense of humour.”
“No, you’re just not very funny.”

Used this - works like a charm. Be as deadpan as possible.

“You have no sense of humour.”
“I do, I just don’t share yours.”

“GOD, I was JOKING.”
“Not much of a joke if you have to explain what you were doing.”

Sounds to me like you’re on a familiar enough basis with him to say very personal stuff like that. I would never dream of commenting about a co-worker’s spouse in any manner pertaining to their appearance or general relationship. The fact that the subject of sex even comes up in office conversation makes me wonder if you’ve allowed things to become a little too personal in the past and now he feels comfortable making inappropriate comments to you.

I think the best thing you can say at this point is very little. Just dismiss his comments with a blank stair or shrug and about face. The more you react the more he’s going to try and get a rise out of you. If you ignore him, he’ll find a more rewarding target. If he doesn’t stop, report him to his supervisor and HR. Keep a logged record of inappropriate comments for proof. If the writting is on the wall for him, your complaint may be the final nail in his coffin.

“You have no sense of humor.”
“And you have no tact.”

“I was kidding! You have no sense of humor!”
“Well I sure as hell have a sense of harrassment.”

“You’re right. I have no sense of humor. So stop trying to tell jokes.”

I second Alice in Wonderland 's suggestion - deadpan earnest “No, you’re just not funny.”

Also, make it clear that you do not care what he thinks of your sense of humour or your ability to take verbal abuse. Yawn in his face when he tries to belittle you, if you like, and then walk away or (if he’s in your turf) politely but firmly shoo him away. I know he’s in authority over you, but how can you get your work done if he keeps getting in the way?

Also, the next time you get “you have no sense of humour”, here’s another option: {Shrug shoulders} “Please tell somebody who cares (what you think).”

If you want to be snarky about it, how about “Oh, I had my funny bone removed a long time ago. Only top-notch humour will get a laugh out of me. Anything less bores me.”

You have no sense of humor.

That’s it. No sex for you!
Wishful thinking. :slight_smile:

You have no sense of humor!