The Inappropriate Giggle


I have a confession…I have a terrible affliction.

The Inappropriate Giggle.

Oh, God. It’s a bad case. My family will back me up. If there is ever a time in my life where IT WOULD BE REALLY INAPPROPRIATE TO LAUGH. I laugh.

I even hear this voice in my head (just to clarify this isn’t one of my “voices”, it is way too sensible for that) that says “Rachael. The worst possible thing you could do right now is laugh. For the love of God. Do. Not. Laugh.” And then I do. And then I want to smack myself. But I don’t because I’m already being inappropriate enough.

To give you an idea of the calibre of situations I laugh in: I laughed when my cat got his tail run over and the Vet told us it may need amputation. I laughed when my Mum’s dog died. I laughed when my Mum’s living dog decided to get into an altercation with a potentially deadly snake and almost died. I laugh when people yell at me. I laugh when I yell at people. I laugh when I get told bad news. I laugh in solemn occasions – particularly religious ceremonies. I laugh during exams. In elevators. When something really crappy happens. You name it, if it is inappropriate. I laugh. In fact, I laughed while writing this paragraph just thinking of the inappropriate times I have laughed. As you can see. IT IS AN ISSUE.

And obviously, you know, I don’t REALLY think any of this kind of stuff is funny. Bipolar I may be, but pathological sociopath I am not. But it’s like a reflex reaction that I’ve had for as long as I can remember. I promise you I am not really the cold/heartless/incredibly annoying person that this giggle makes me out to be. I’m just really bad at controlling my emotions.

Tell me I’ve won the lottery and I’ll be all “Uh. Ok. Well that’s nice. Thanks.” Tell me the world is about to, I don’t know, DIE, and I’ll probably laugh. Laughing is my default reaction when I feel anxious, afraid, awkward, or pretty much any negative emotion. The stronger the emotion, the greater urge I have to laugh. Why, yes. I do annoy myself.

But you know, I guess it’s a part of me. And something, obviously, I need to work on before I raise another generation of Inappropriate Gigglers. So I had a think, and in the interest of saving time if I ever desire a career change, I compiled a list of occupations that I simply cannot do as a result of my Inappropriate Giggle.

– Medical doctor
– Lawyer
– Spy
– Funeral Director
– Personal Trainer, particularly if it was on The Biggest Loser
– Anything involving live TV.
– Badass criminal
– Bra fitter
– Anyone who repeatedly needs to sack people
– Teacher (ironically my first serious career choice. It all went wrong from the moment I unwittingly selected the book describing how babies are made to read to my five year olds  at story time. Of course I didn’t laugh. I’m totally mature.)
– Politician
– News reader/Journalist
– Telemarketer, army officer, or pretty much anything that has a likelihood of me being yelled at.

Now that list depressed me. I mean, dude. My desire for the gangsta life is officially off limits. Back to the drawing board. So I decided to put a positive spin on things and create a list of future occupations that I COULD partake in. The fact that I have neither the qualifications or attributes to do any of these jobs is irrelevant. The important thing is that I won’t offend the masses by laughing at inopportune moments.

– Dog Trainer
– Farmer
– Chef
– IT (or perhaps not….)
– Athlete
– Librarian
– Janitor
– Eccentric artist
– Rock star who can do whatever the hell she wants
– Comedian
– Plumber/Electrician/Builder
– Graphic Designer
– Pretty much anything similar to my current role which involves sitting at a desk all day, communicating mainly by email and composing myself for the occasional meeting.

So there you have it. My little not so secret secret. The Inappropriate Giggle is not a laughing matter. Except when it is.

Are there any of you out there with this terrible affliction? Or am I laughing (in a rather awkward manner) alone?

11 thoughts on “The Inappropriate Giggle

  1. Hilarious – especially imagining you cracking up as a spy. My husband does this. It would drive my son and me crazy mad when my husband would laugh when my son was throwing a violent temper tantrum, kicking and hitting us. He cannot help it. It is an involuntary defense mechanism. How your bodies (brains? hell, what’s the difference) react to stress. When my son was a toddler and kicked or hit kids in child care, he, too, would laugh. His “teachers” thought he was a sociopath. I knew that he was not and explained that he felt uncomfortable and did not know how to react. Luckily, he (my son) no longer laughs maniacally like a James Bond villian after throwing a fit. My husband, though… is another story. Okay, my husband giggles, like you. The James Bond villainous flourish was my son’s. I suppose if he did something wrong and laughed, he must have imagined himself cartoonishly evil.


  2. Haha yes, I can totally relate to this!! So many misunderstandings have been made over my inappropriate laughter… *facepalm*. I will never understand how news readers do their jobs without smiling, if I was one then I’d probably create diplomatic tension by laughing at the peril of other countries… Great blog post!


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