Yes, I’m trying to make you laugh.



I make jokes at seemingly inappropriate times.  After my client has sat through several minutes of hearing his/her spouse go on and on angrily about some issue, I will see the urgent note-writing start.  I know that my client feels the need to defend themselves and is busily trying to write a note to me about how wrong the testimony is or how it’s all a big, fat lie and that’s the moment that I calmly write on a slip of paper, “yes, I know, he’s a douche” and pass it over to my client.  This usually gets me a smile, if I’m really lucky, I get a giggle.  Which is what I was going for.

Angry, upset clients aren’t very helpful to me in court.  Neither is an anxious, fearful client crying in our conference room during a mediation.  I often need to shift the mood, change the emotional landscape or wake someone up out of fear and anxiety, in order to get them focused on the real issue being addressed.  It’s not that you should never be upset or cry during your divorce.  It’s just that if I need your logical, rational response – well, you know as well as I do that I’m not going to get it while you are seething with rage or sobbing in the bathroom.

The same holds true for any time you need to make a good decision.  If you find yourself overwhelmed by emotion, take a break.  Walk outside, call a friend, watch a little Comedy Central.  Do something to shift your perspective for a few minutes.

And if you are working with me and I need to get that shift jump-started, I might tell you a funny story about a silly thing one of my kids did when you aren’t feeling like anything is all that funny.  I might make light of a very, very serious situation.  Know that I’m just helping you get where you need to go.  But, don’t worry, I will never (ever) tell you a fart joke.

Please share your thoughts.