Mutual and reciprocated joking between individuals is a clear sign of trust, friendship, and honesty.
In Comunita' Cenacolo, we are very big on "imitations." Mother Elvira had a great sense of humor and would often try to get a rise from us by joking or imitating our actions. One of the things I miss the most about living in Italy is the imitations and the laughing about one another's goofy characteristics.
In the United States, it is better known as "roasting."
ROAST: a banquet honoring a person who is subjected to humorous tongue-in-cheek ridicule by friends.
- Webster's Dictionary
WORDS- so innocent and powerless as they are, as standing in a dictionary, how potent for good and evil they become in the hands of one who knows how to combine them." - Nathaniel Hawthorne
Oddly enough, I have had A LOT of roasting experience,
both as "roaster" and "roastee" even for being in the community. I am observant, and I love acting. I guess I'm talented in imitating because I was ALWAYS asked to stand up and make everyone laugh with my imitations, like literally almost every night.
It was a huge learning experience for me. Serious lessons about transparency, humility, and love for myself all came from roasting and being roasted.
These rules that I outline are not approved by the Psychology Board or whatever expert, but it is what I have learned through my mistakes, and I have made a lot of 'em so I hope that counts for something!
Rules For a Proper and Friendly Roast
A roast requires that there is a bond of friendship within the group. Comments made to someone you just met are most likely judgements. As well, we cannot expect someone to accept a roast without taking offense unless they already know you and trust you. BOTH PARTIES NEED TO BE SECURE IN THE FRIENDSHIP.
This way, the roastee doesn't feel the need to defend himself for fear of rejection, and the roaster is sharing the jokes because deep down he wants to show the roastee that regardless of who they are, they are loved and appreciated.
It is easy to "add in" your roast if someone else already got the ball rolling. You feel more confident because of others' approval. Its cowardly and unfair to the targeted person. THINK BEFORE YOU SPEAK.
2. Check your motives. Why are you bringing up this topic?
3. Do NOT bring up a topic unless you have already spoken to the person about it. Any topic, unless it has been confronted with the person outside the joking context beforehand, is OFF LIMITS.
Example: You find your sister's indecisiveness as annoying, you hear her say, "Ummmm" and you are already mad. Making fun of her in public while there's already jokes being passed around is a serious form of cowardice because you didn't have the courage to talk to your sister first and help her. Just something simple to get it off your chest, no need to spill out your soul!
"Hey, you really have a hard time making decisions. What's up? I always admired you for your opinions but now you can't even decide... yatta yatta yatta. Are you ok?"
After the fact would you be able to consider roasting her about her indecisiveness.
4. Ask yourself how you are doing and be honest.
The last thing you want to do is bring your personal problems unrelated to this person into the mix of your roast. It's a bad idea.
5. Live PRUDENCE.
Prudence is the ability to know when is the moment. Time and acceptance level are two really good indicators of when it is the moment to joke.
Recent failures or mishaps, especially when they care... OFF-LIMITS.
Recent injuries and they are still in pain... OFF-LIMITS.
Topics that they don't accept or are not ready to face... OFF-LIMITS.
2. Not every detail is worth fighting about.
3. Learn to laugh at yourself and embrace who you are.
I don't think we make fun of one another often enough.
Frankly, I miss it when people would make fun of me, because they NOTICED.
I understand why there are rules against harassment and ethical codes for the workplace, these are good and justified.
But it seems like people have moved to the other extreme and are tip-toeing around one another, preventing relationships from developing.
We have to do our part:
1. Before everything comes LOVE for that person, work on your friendship first.
2. There is no need to be defensive when you are with your friends.
Hey there! My name is Marisa Elias. When I was 17 I left my home in Georgia and moved to Italy. Not the Italy that you're imagining, though.
This wasn't your typical vacation site. I was up in the French Alps, surrounded by corn fields, living "off the grid" in a community of young adults from all over the world! I didn't have a plan, but I ended up staying for 6 years! Today I am 27 and enjoying the journey of life. Life has been an adventure since then, and I am not stopping now!