Banter is defined as ‘exchanging remarks in a good-humoured teasing way’ and is inherently English. It seems to be part of our new age language and is often described as a sign of a good relationship. But I wish people would practise love more often. Maybe I wear my heart on my sleeve? Or I cannot ‘take a joke’? Perhaps my mental illness makes me too sensitive?
Positive comments instead of banter
I observe the relationship between my parents and the love and support they have for each other after 25 years of marriage. This is a bond I idealise. Besides the evening debates over the television, they have nothing but positive comments about one another. They practise love. Maybe banter’s a generational thing I don’t fit into? An excuse to express a negative truth without any consequences. Before anyone assumes … I am only 24 years of age. But to me ‘banter’ feels like a tool used to highlight someone’s insecurities.
It’s alien to me, because if friendship is a state of mutual love and support, why would you want to highlight a loved one’s insecurity? Moreover, if you express dislike towards a comment, then you get accused of being ‘being too delicate’ or lacking a sense of humour. I believe many people (including myself) laugh in the moment to avoid these allegations. But inside we can be hurt and disheartened. Consequently, fewer people are praising others or building up each other’s confidence. Fewer people practise love. Perhaps my problem is wanting to live a picture-perfect world. Maybe I should have more realistic expectations or harden my skin.
I hope in future I observe more compassion and altruism among people to at least balance out the scales.