The power of laughter

  • Humor, in a way, protects us from life's grim reality. We joke because if we didn't, we'd cry.
  • Humor and laughing are also a social vocalization that includes some and excludes others. Jokes establish who is inside the group and who is not. We laugh with people to belong, and at others to exclude.
  • In our current crises, humor is everywhere because fear is too. Laughter binds us together against a common enemy.

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Self Improvement

MORE IDEAS FROM THE ARTICLE

For ancient Greek philosophers, humor was something that had the potential to undermine authority and the good order.

Today, in democratic societies, those in power are mocked and their power undermined, as in Saturday Night Live in the United States, and Have I Got News for You in Britain.

Poking fun at the ills of the world is only funny if they are considered benign. No one is making memes about child abuse that may increase during periods of enforced domestic isolation.

Observations about people's behavior can be funny if they poke fun at a social norm in a relatively inoffensive way, such as hoarding toilet paper.

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RELATED IDEAS

Making inside jokes usually shows how bounded a team or a group is: their jokes can understood the best by themselves.

However, the moment an outsider integrates the group, it is better to avoid the inside jokes, as this will most probably make him or her feel out of place.

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IDEAS

Laughing At Yourself

Laughing at yourself is a hard humor skill to develop, however there are some steps to follow to be able to strategically desensitize yourself:

  • Figure out what's funny for you and surround yourself with more of it
  • Liste down the things you don't like about yourself
  • Arrange the list from least sensitive to most, then read it to someone before cracking jokes
  • Come up with a few self-referential jokes from the least sensitive until you work yourself up to the most.
Boosting wellbeing from laughing

More and more research shows us that the benefits of laughter are wide-ranging and easily accessible. Laughter is not just a spontaneous response to something funny and although it is a social activity it can be also self-induced.

In order to develop our wellbeing with laughter, we must be able to enjoy laughing at humor itself, teach ourselves a level of comedic skill, share this with others, and also be able to laugh without the use of humor.

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