How To Develop A Sense Of Humor [5 Tips] Ichaku [Perfect Gifts Selection]

How To Develop A Sense Of Humor [5 Tips]

To find the comic in life, even when there are no jokes.

Some people are sure that they are not allowed to make jokes.

And others believe that there is no use in humor. But according to modern science, it is humor that saves in difficult situations and strengthens relationships. In addition, to develop it under the power of everyone. We tell you how to do it.

Why you need a sense of humor

Scientifically, a sense of humor includes six elements:

1.      The cognitive ability to come up with jokes.

2.     The ability to understand and enjoy other people's jokes.

3.     The habit of making jokes and laughing.

4.     A cheerful disposition.

5.     An ability to be amazed at what is going on around you.

6.     The habit of using humor in difficult situations.

Dog Mom Paws Custom Personalized Name Necklace
 Dog Mom Paws Custom Personalized Name Necklace

Simply put, a sense of humor is the ability to make jokes and enjoy the funny. Psychologists and anthropologists consider it an important social tool: a sense of humor helps build relationships, strengthen bonds, reduce tension during conflicts - and sometimes even resolve them.

The ability to joke well even helps to lead. A study conducted back in the late 1980s found that subordinates who thought their boss had a good sense of humor were 15% more satisfied with their jobs and 27% more motivated than those led by nerds.

View All Tote Canvas Bags >

More recent scientific work has shown that humor can also be an effective tool for overcoming "January moping"-the sharp decline in employee productivity and mood after the New Year and Christmas holidays.

A sense of humor also plays an important role in romantic relationships. In 1996, psychologist Robert Provine analyzed 3,745 ads looking for a partner and found that women prefer men who can make them laugh, and men - women who laugh at their jokes. Other studies have shown that relationships between romantic partners who frequently joke and laugh with each other tend to be more stable.

In addition, there is ample evidence that a sense of humor, or rather its two derivatives - laughter and a tendency to take life lightly - is important for maintaining emotional well-being.

In 2010, American scientists recruited two groups of elderly volunteers. The first group was prescribed humor therapy: the seniors who fell into it were told jokes and funny stories every day for two months. During this time, the grandmothers and grandfathers of the second group continued to live their normal lives.

By the end of the experiment, the participants who laughed regularly, according to their own estimates, felt 42% happier than at the beginning. And compared to participants in the control group, they were 32% happier. They also had less chronic pain and feelings of loneliness were less intense.

But humor is useful at any age. Other studies show that it helps to reduce stress and anxiety, and to restore confidence and a sense of control. There is also evidence that regular laughter can alleviate symptoms of depression and possibly improve the immune and cardiovascular systems - but scientists have yet to thoroughly test this.


Why laughter has such an effect on us

Evolutionary psychologists believe that for ancient people laughter was a signal that they were safe: they could relax, eat and sleep in peace.

Personalized Custom Name Necklace

Personalized Custom Name Necklace

Although we now live in a completely different environment, the brain remembers the meaning of this signal. Therefore, with few exceptions, when we laugh-especially in the company of others-we feel joy and our anxieties go away.

Humans are not the only living creature that can laugh. Primates and rats are known to make sounds that reflect positive emotions. However, the latter do so at frequencies inaccessible to the human ear.

Scientists believe that chimpanzees and rats have an innate ability to laugh. Just like in humans: infants begin to make sounds similar to laughter at the age of three to four months. And a sense of humor is formed in parallel with the development of basic cognitive functions: language, imagination, and the ability to look at things and events from different angles.

This process goes on throughout adulthood, so at different ages we are amused by different things. And it doesn't stop, even when one begins to grow old. This means that you can develop a sense of humor at any age.

View All Laptop Sleeves >

TIP #1

Learn useful forms of humor

In 2003, American psychologists Rod Martin and Patricia Doris published the result of their many years of work - a questionnaire which can be used to determine what type of humor a person prefers, depending on his personality traits and psychological needs. In total, Martin and Doris identified four types of humor.

Minimalism vs. Minimal Art [What’s the Difference?] >>

Affirmative. Constructed on universally funny jokes: those that are understandable to many people in your circle and are therefore almost guaranteed to cause laughter. When you send a colleague a meme or recall with friends a funny incident that happened to one of you - you affiliate jokes.

Self-sustaining. It is built on the ability to laugh at yourself and the absurdity going on around you. An example of this kind of joke is an excerpt from a monologue by comedian Michel Wolff in which he tells how he jogs:

"I run every day. I have no idea what I train for, because physically I don't acquire any skills. Jogging might come in handy if someone tries to rob me by chasing me for three to five kilometers at a moderately slow pace."

Aggressive. Builds on sarcasm, vicious criticism, mockery of others, and veiled insults.

The Connection Between Minimal Art and Zen Philosophy >>

Self-Deprecating. Constructed on self-abasement. Psychologists believe that people usually use this type of humor as a means of self-defense: to gain the approval of others or to protect themselves from even harsher ridicule.

Everyone tends to combine all kinds of humor, but usually gravitates toward one type. To figure out which one, you can take a test.

This can be important, as not all types of humor are equally useful for establishing a social life and improving mental health. For example, a tendency toward aggressive humor can easily ruin friendships or romantic relationships. And self-deprecating humor increases stress levels.

View All Tote Bags >

Affirmative and self-supportive humor, on the other hand, have many benefits. They help to strengthen social bonds, cope with grief, and simply deal with life's difficulties.


Understand the mechanics of a good joke

Authors of the theory of benign disorders and experts in marketing psychology Peter McGraw and Caleb Warren believe that what makes people laugh most often is what violates their ideas of normality. But at the same time-an important prerequisite-it poses no real danger to anyone and fits within the boundaries of the criminal code.

Dog Mom Paws Custom Personalized Name Necklace
 Dog Mom Paws Custom Personalized Name Necklace

The easiest way to construct a joke that meets these conditions is to combine the unconnected. In Humor is Serious, psychology professors Jennifer Aaker and Naomi Bagdonas give an example of this technique. An office employee, Daria, once sent a report to her boss, which she accompanied with this message:

"Sahagar, enclosed is an updated report. Thinking back to our conversation this morning, I think it would be a great way to start conversations with management. Let me know if the report needs tweaking or if it now matches my hair, which is perfect."

Another effective comic technique is hyperbole, exaggeration. Here's an example from a monologue by comedian John Malaney:

"I recently visited a massage at a spa. I walked into the office, and the masseuse asked me to undress to a reasonably comfortable level. So I put on a sweater and corduroy pants and felt completely safe."

View All Mugs >

Aaker and Bagdonas highlight several other conditions for a good joke. For example, it must be based on what is real, true, and sincere: exactly what is happening or has been happening, or on how you are really feeling in the moment.

As an example, Aaker and Bagdonas cite a joke Merit America CEO Connor Dimand-Youman used during the company's annual meeting with employees in 2020. That time, because of the covid pandemic, it was held at the Zuma. Before it began, Diemand-Yauman was nervous: He had to say something encouraging and optimistic to employees, but he didn't know how to do it in a sincere and non-trivial way.

So at the beginning of his talk, Diemand-Yauman turned on the screen display feature for everyone - and began typing "what do CEOs who know how to inspire in tough times say to their employees" into Google. The listeners laughed.

Diman-Yauman built the joke on his own genuine confusion: he really wanted to say something encouraging, but couldn't find the words. And he said it in a ridiculous way that violated the idea of how a CEO should behave.


Allow yourself to be funny

Many people have a great sense of humor, but they don't use it for fear that their jokes will seem silly or unfunny. It's a fear worth confronting.

Remember that coming up with a joke is a complex, intellectually demanding activity. It involves many parts and systems of the brain. And the fact that you were able to come up with something even slightly funny, already says a lot about your mental abilities.

Studies show that even an un-funny, but relevant and uninsulting joke will make you look good: you will seem like a confident person - and they will automatically sympathize with you. So it's better to take a risk than not to make a joke at all. Even if people around you don't burst out laughing, it doesn't mean the joke was a failure.

This strategy, according to Aaker and Bagdonas, works especially well in boring meetings, meetings, and formal dinners. That is, when people are so bored that they are willing to laugh at any nonsense.


Find a partner for jokes

Being able to make jokes is a skill. And to develop it in yourself, you have to practice it regularly. One of the most effective ways to do this is to promise someone that you will joke regularly.

Make an agreement with the person you feel most comfortable with that once a day you will tell them a joke. And, no matter what happens, do it.

This approach will make you more responsible and disciplined. Knowing that every day a new joke is required of you, you will be forced from the morning to develop what is called a comic view - the ability to find the funny in the surrounding reality.

It will be easier for you if you begin to keep a humorous diary: write down in a notebook or file funny situations you have been in or observed, thoughts that amuse you, new jokes.

Studies show that this practice will not only train your brain to spot funny things and focus on them. It will also literally make you more relaxed and satisfied with life in a matter of weeks.

There is an important stipulation: try to tell your partner your daily joke in person. Or at least over the phone. Intonation and facial expressions can add to the comicality, and the joke will go better.


Improve your sense of humor

Start spending more time with people who really make you laugh and are easy to be with. Talking to them will automatically lift your spirits while lowering your anxiety levels. In this atmosphere, it will be easier for you to come up with jokes and tell them.

If you don't have such a person in your life, focus on humorous content. Sign up for laugh-inducing ticktockers, start watching as many comedy shows and movies as you can, and read funny books.

That way you'll not only make every day more fun, but you'll also begin to develop your humorous taste and better understand which topics and humorous techniques really make you laugh and which ones leave you indifferent. You can use all this to make your own jokes.

Back to blog