Usually, I come across as someone who often makes jokes and not very serious about things in my life. However, this has resulted in my friends not taking me seriously even when I want to tell them a serious issue. How do I change this when the impression of me has already been fixed in their minds?

For example when I tell them a plan for a group project or, like maybe not to disturb me while I do my work, they will jokingly dismiss me and continue with what they are doing because they assume I am joking with them as well and when I put on a serious face, they will just find it funny and this annoys me to the core.

  • What should we think about when you say making jokes and not being serious? Is it obvious you are joking or are you pretending to be serious about thinks while making a joke of it?
    – JAD
    Sep 17, 2017 at 13:25
  • @JarkoDubbeldam Obvious
    – user35897
    Sep 17, 2017 at 14:00
  • 3
    Do you also make jokes about what they do, say and plan to do and now they pay back in kind? Sep 17, 2017 at 14:10
  • Could you add a location tag here? We need to know your culture to give you good answers. In addition, how old are you and your friends? Age plays a big role in friendships: if you're younger, then your friends might not be as mature, etc etc.
    – user288
    Sep 17, 2017 at 20:43

2 Answers 2


This is a familiar problem. You have to keep in mind that what might appear as an obvious joke to you, could appear completely serious to others. You notice that by you joking around, you have confused the barrier between seriousness and joking enough for others to be unable to tell the difference. As a reaction, they will just assume you to be joking.

Fixing this will take time. Make sure that whenever you are serious, and want to be taken seriously, you tell them.

Hey guys, I'm not joking around, I don't have time right now, I have work to do.

Seriously now, I have work to do.

At first they will just assume it to be a joke, but if you make sure that whenever you say "seriously now", you actually are serious, and whenever you are serious, you make it clear that you are, they should catch on soon enough.

This also goes for serious faces and such, make sure that you act serious if and only if you intend to be taken seriously.

I personally like to make puns and random jokes, and sometimes I think I am being obviously ironic, others are unable to tell and take me seriously. This is something to be aware of.

Lastly, know when it is appropriate to make jokes and when it isn't. Make sure to flip the switch whenever it isn't. Make sure that others see that you are not just about joking around, but that you are able to flip the switch. That should also allow them to recognise you being serious more easily.

  • I wish I could upvote this but my reputation is too low! Although I do want to clarify how long it takes for them to change as my personality seemed to have been ingrained in their minds. We have been around for around 2 years
    – user35897
    Sep 17, 2017 at 15:10
  • @user35897 How long it would take is hard to say. That depends a lot on you and your friends, and how much you are able to adjust.
    – JAD
    Sep 17, 2017 at 15:13
  • 1
    +1 this will do it. The most important thing about this is that you can't joke around while pretending to be serious anymore. Seriously... It is not your friends fault for misinterpreting you, if you constantly make yourself hard to interpret.
    – Stian
    Sep 18, 2017 at 7:57
  • @JarkoDubbeldam I would adds another lasty, when making jokes, try to avoid jokes with a serious faces anyore that a short time. If people can't read your face when you say something, they won't be able to trust what you say. I mean if you already have make a jokes while keeping the serious face all a week long, how can they trust you anymore ?
    – Walfrat
    Sep 18, 2017 at 9:04

This is very much like a problem I faced in my early 20s. I would always find something funny in everything (yep, everything), and liked to prank and joke with my friends.

Something I found make them take me seriously was being consistent whenever I want to be taken seriously. When they dismiss your statement, keep your eye contact, prevent the urge to laugh, and repeat yourself again.

Over time, they learned to differentiate between whenever I'm joking or not. I'm still my usual self, but have since earned my respect in serious occasions.

Train yourself not to laugh, even at the funniest jokes. That will help you greatly.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.