How To Have A Sense Of Humor
Having a good sense of humor can be one of life’s greatest gifts. In fact, it could even help save your life! I know this from personal experience. When my father was diagnosed with cancer in 1999 he had no real sense of humor left. He didn’t laugh or smile for months on end. His attitude was bleak and hopeless. But after his diagnosis, I began to see him as more than just an old man who smoked too many cigarettes. My dad was a fighter. And despite all odds, he fought through his disease and survived.
So how did I get him back into the habit of laughing? The first thing that helped was making sure he saw me having fun. Whenever I went out with friends, I made sure to tell stories about the crazy things that happened during our night together. My dad laughed at these stories and eventually joined in. Soon enough, we were both enjoying them. Then I started bringing home the funniest movies I could find. After seeing some comedies like “Groundhog Day” and “Mystery Men,” my dad couldn’t stop himself from cracking up.
In addition to watching comedy films with him, I also tried to bring the same level of happiness to my daily life. If I found myself feeling down, I’d try to think of something funny instead. For example, if I felt sad because someone said something rude to me, I would immediately say something sarcastic or witty right back. Or if I wanted to lighten the mood of a tense situation, I would try to say something amusing. My dad noticed that I wasn’t always angry anymore and was happy that I seemed happier overall. This encouraged him to start smiling again.
Nowadays, my dad has learned that there are times when laughter is appropriate, such as when I’m telling him a joke. However, he still struggles with finding moments when he laughs naturally. That’s why I’ve come up with several techniques that have worked well for me over time. They’re so simple, anyone should be able to pick them up quickly. Here they are…
Have a Sense of Humor (But Be Careful Not to Offend Others)
The most important rule for developing a healthy sense of humor is never to offend others. While it may seem counterintuitive to stay positive while trying to crack everyone else up, it’s really not that hard to do. Just remember to keep the following tips in mind:
Don’t use offensive language. There’s nothing funny about swearing.
Avoid vulgar gestures. Even though it might feel good to swear or point to someone’s chest when making a joke, avoid doing any of these things in front of children.
Keep the focus on the other person. Avoid using derogatory comments towards yourself or others. Instead, look at the person directly and ask them what they want to hear.
Stay away from topics that are controversial. People often argue passionately over politics, religion, health issues, and everything in-between. These topics will only result in negative feelings, which aren’t conducive to laughter.
Know the difference between funny and mean. Funny is usually defined as something that causes joy or pleasure. Mean is anything that makes someone unhappy. For example, saying something cruel or hurtful to another person is mean. Saying something funny isn’t mean unless it goes overboard and crosses the line.
Be witty, not silly. Witty people don’t take themselves seriously. They understand that sometimes humor is used to poke fun at others, but they don’t let their egos get in the way.
Stay positive and don’t go overboard. Never insult or demean another person. Also, try not to go overboard by insulting someone whom you don’t want to offend. Try to stick within boundaries so that you don’t annoy people unnecessarily.
Understand cultural differences. Different cultures respond differently to different types of humor. Make sure to respect customs before you decide to make jokes.
Finally, remember that humor doesn’t necessarily translate across every culture. Some cultures frown upon certain kinds of humor. Stick to the kind of humor that is acceptable in your own country.
Enjoy Yourself Without Taking Advantage of Other People
Humor can serve two purposes – to relieve stress and make people feel better. So if you’re going to use humor to put others at ease, make sure that you’re not taking advantage of them. As mentioned earlier, humor shouldn’t cause anyone distress. Here are some examples of ways that you can enjoy yourself without causing discomfort to others:
Make eye contact. Eye contact is essential when talking to someone. Making direct eye contact shows confidence and lets the other person know that you respect them. However, looking around the room when conversing is considered disrespectful. Look directly at the person you’re speaking to instead.
Use facial expressions. Use your face appropriately when expressing emotions. Smile, laugh, nod your head, etc., but watch what you do. Don’t grimace, cross your arms, roll your eyes, or move your eyebrows excessively.
Listen to others’ opinions. Sometimes listening to another person’s opinion can be humorous. However, don’t force your opinions onto them. Let them finish what they’re saying before responding.
When you develop a sense of humor, you’ll discover that it’s actually quite easy. All you have to do is follow a few guidelines. Once you start practicing these rules, you’ll soon begin to notice a huge improvement in your overall outlook. Now that you know how to become funny, it’s time to practice. Start laughing now!
What helps you laugh? What are your favorite jokes? Share your thoughts below.
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