Sense of Humor is a Paramount Skill to Hone
Sense of humor can go a long way in adding those shiny and glittery stars to your overall personality as a badge of honor and appreciation. After all, who doesn’t love a good laugh? And, who doesn’t love people who make them laugh, right? Whether it’s your boss you wanna placate, or your girlfriend you wanna impress, or your friends you wanna have fun with, or your family you wanna make happy; humor will surely make things easier for you.
Having a good sense of humor instantly breaks the ice, assists you in sweeping her off her feet, eases the environment, makes the other party comfortable, builds amazing rapport, increases your chances of being more likable, makes you easy to converse with, and improves the overall quality of your communication to follow. All the more reasons why one should work upon improving their sense of humor.
It’s kind of hard to stay pissed at someone whose very basic nature is to make you laugh. We become more forgiving and accepting around people with a good sense of humor. Even the biggest of mistakes and embarrassments can be easily buttered up using your ability to bring a smile to someone’s face.
This truly is an art in today’s world to be able to bring a smile to someone’s face, a skill that can pay you off both emotionally and materially. And like other skills, this too is learnable and comes from practice, practice, and practice. Just to clear the notion, this is not some pre-birth skill that you were ‘born with’, it isn’t something that can’t be developed. It sure can be.
So, without further ado, let’s get to the nuts and bolts of how one can improve his sense of humor.
Body Language is A Crucial Element
It goes without saying that you gotta relax if you wanna hone the quality of having an amazing sense of humor. Body language is a silent talker which speaks volumes without even uttering a single vowel. So, it’s kinda crucial to not screw here, otherwise, you are gonna be disqualified from the game before it even begins.
Your body language shouldn’t be too stiff or tight, try not to keep your arms folded or legs crossed, too much eye contact becomes unsettling, stop slouching, and keeping your head down isn’t really impressive.
Instead of being all rigid and inflexible and taut, be comfortable, be natural, and just go with the flow. Don’t overdo or overthink about each and every element of yourself because if you get so attentive on these aspects, then who’s gonna make the people laugh, huh? Be comfortable in your skin so that you don’t freak the other person out. Because if you do, it will sorta defeat the whole purpose of what we are trying to achieve here. Stop being overly serious, or scaring the shit out of others.
Your body language can relax the other party unconsciously without any external effort. So, better exploit this feature to its fullest and you will have already won half the battle. Being overly aggressive or patronizing won’t be the smartest solution when it comes to making others smile.
Your body language does have a major impact on what you say and how you say it. One can’t really crack one up with a serious look on his face unless he’s imitating someone or being sarcastic. Your expressions matter a lot as well. Having a bright cute little smile on your face will definitely be a cherry on the top.
OBSERVE to Enhance your Sense of Humor
Once you fulfill the prerequisite of correcting your body language, then comes the art of observation. If you look at any great comedian or a standup artist or your high school friend with an amazing sense of humor, then you will notice that they don’t talk about stuff we are not familiar with or have not experienced in our day to day lives ourselves.
They will take the most mundane and the most trivial of things that we all do in our everyday lives, and make a fun banter out of it. Their extraordinary ability to be observant of their surroundings and taking it all in is what makes them so efficient and progressive.
Think of it this way, observation is like collecting the right ingredients or the right colors to cook a scrumptious dish or draw a beautiful portrait. Without the raw materials, you aren’t gonna be able to do either of the activities at all. And similar is the thing with a sense of humor. Paying close attention to your surroundings, your environment, your society, and absorbing those little nuggets, anecdotes, bits and pieces, the trivialities of what a normal person does; they all add up when it’s your turn to crack people up.
You don’t wanna overwhelm people with something totally out of this planet, or testing your brilliant imagination skills. While I am not against it, they do work at times, but nevertheless, the mortals are more likely to feel connected with their own experiences. Staying as grounded with reality as you can is the ideal way to go.
Reality is a lot funnier than fiction if one has the eye for it. People can relate to them better because a) it’s real and b) you don’t have to be witty or ultra clever to understand the pun. And as far as using a good sense of humor to butter up your ongoing conversation is concerned, you are more likely to hit a home run if you focus more on your observation skills instead of going into a wild crazy imaginary world.
Use your own personal anecdotes and experiences that you went through. That will sound more funny and real than those internet jokes you have been mugging up.
Pay Acute Attention to Your First Impression
Now, I know appearances are deceptive, and the first impression isn’t the last impression, but nevertheless, we are not perfect beings, we are human beings. And human beings are flawed, for good or worse. We can’t help but form an opinion about a person based on the first impressions we get. Different people have different impressions at different places. And these impressions play a crucially important role in determining how people perceive your sense of humor.
It won’t matter how good of a joke you crack if you are perceived as a hard-ass who doesn’t like to laugh and keeps a grim facade all the time. And consequently, people would laugh at the most pathetic jokes of yours, if you’re already regarded as a funny, jovial, and light-hearted man, who always has a big smile on his face.
You would have noticed this happening in your own life. At some places you don’t have to try and pretend to be funny, you already are the favorite person in the room, and on the flip hand, there must be some circles where nobody gives a rat’s ass to who you are or what you do, they simply don’t care about you no matter what you do.
Keep this in mind from now on, whether it’s your first day in your new company or your first date; you don’t wanna leave the wrong kind of impressions that’s gonna hang over your shoulders for an awfully long period of time. Your very first meeting is pretty much gonna define the most if not the rest of the relationship with the person, so don’t take it lightly.
While I don’t imply that the first impression is gonna be the last one, it sure as hell is gonna take a lot more work to change the underlying perceptions people have about you. A person recognized to be funny would be able to make the people laugh more at the very same joke as opposed to the person who’s isn’t.
And the best part is that you can choose what kind of the first impression you wanna leave behind. If until now, you aren’t happy with the kind of impressions you have been leaving behind, then hey, don’t worry, you can change them too. Just because you were considered a bore up till now, doesn’t mean you too can’t have a good sense of humor.
Coming out of your own previous image to form a new image isn’t exactly a walk in the park, which is why you should be extra vigilant in setting up the right kind of image from the next time.
Laugh at Yourself Before the World Laughs At You
This is probably the safest territory to be in when it comes to improving your sense of humor. You can conduct all kinds of experiments in this territory without expecting any serious repercussions.
Although it may be the safest place, it’s also the hardest one to reach. It’s not everyone’s cup of tea to walk all over their ego and swallow their bloated pride to reach this haven. And, while it may not be everyone’s favorite game plan, let me tell you why it’s so freaking efficient.
Sometimes the best way to make people laugh is to make fun of your own self. Most people don’t really have the balls to poke fun at their own shortcomings and mistakes. And instead of doing this, they would generally attack the other party by pulling their leg, ridiculing them, and making them remember their past mistakes.
While you may think you are generating a few laughs in the group, you are actually embarrassing them, making them feel small, and are definitely not leaving any incentives for them to actually like you back in the long run. They may pretend to laugh but from the inside, they are gradually gonna start resenting you if you keep on making jokes about their life choices. So, a little heads up.
It isn’t really the ideal way of bonding. You aren’t gonna make any real friends, in fact, in all probability you are gonna piss off more people than you thought, and you don’t want that to happen. It’s pretty obvious that no one really wants to be the laughing stock of the group and it’s far better and prudent if you keep it that way.
This is why laughing at yourself is one of the best ways to get the job done. It will help you spread a few more smiles without the cost of potentially hurting or belittling someone. Noone is saintly enough to have even a smidgen of a problem with you making fun of yourself.
Now, don’t take it the wrong way. You don’t have to undermine yourself or bash your personality full-fledged just to appease people. You are simply being comfortable enough to accept the way you are and you are not ashamed to put it out in front of a crowd, coming back to my ‘not having balls’ statement.
And, the side benefit of this is that the world won’t make fun of you either since you have already become impervious to it the minute you took that job for yourself.
“Screw it, Let’s Do It”
“Am I gonna make a fool of myself? Is it really funny? Will it make a complete idiot of me? What if instead of making her laugh, she gets disappointed and leaves me high and dry? How am I ever going to make it look like I have a good sense of humor?”
That’s what most of us keep struggling with. An endless array of questions makes a living mess of our minds. How can one possibly think clearly and even attempt to leave a positive impression if he’s so brutally burdened with the weight of all those outstanding thoughts?
If you think way too much before uttering every single vowel then how on earth would you muster the confidence to speak your heart and mind? Till you run your ‘thought’ through all the mental hoops to finally deem it worthy to be funny, you are gonna miss the whole conversation itself. And your precious little joke that you thought of would be of no consequence. Being too conscious and overly thoughtful can be a big turnoff for many people.
You gotta be spontaneous and flow naturally like a river, making it look effortless if you want there to be a chance to be able to impress the other party. If you simply say what’s coming to your mind, and even if it’s not that funny then it would become funny. And how’s that?
Remember when you were kids, what made you laugh the most? Unexpectedness. Anything unexpected, or unanticipated, or uncommon would often leave a smile on your face. When something totally opposite of what you were expecting happens, doesn’t matter how stupid it may look, that would make you laugh the most.
You can apply the same tactic here as well. If everyone is expecting you to say something funny, you can do something totally unexpected. It could be anything, whether it’s simply staying mum or making weird faces. Whatever it is, it has to come naturally and shouldn’t have all those layers because then it wouldn’t look real and authentic.
It doesn’t matter so much how funny your joke is, what matters more is whether you can pleasantly surprise them or not and up to what extent can you achieve that.
Make Fun of Other’s Strength
This tactic has its own charm and is a more refined and effective version of making fun of others. Except, here, you are not to make fun of someone’s weaknesses, vulnerabilities, or mistakes. You are to make fun of their strengths, positivities, and power.
If someone is fit and healthy, with six-pack abs to flaunt and a muscular physique to charm you with, then even if you pull his leg on his health aspect, he’s not gonna mind because he knows you are joking. Similarly, if you make fun of someone’s jaw-dropping beauty then instead of feeling bad, they are gonna take it as a compliment.
This way you are hitting two targets with a single blow. Compliment and comedy. If a friend of yours is fat but is extremely intelligent, then instead of hammering down on his insecurities and shortcomings, you can make fun of his strong point. It shouldn’t be fake or superficial though.
I know, this indeed is a weird and unorthodox way to brush up your Sense of humor, but it sure works. Although, be careful with what you are hitting the person with. You should be sure that what you consider someone’s strength is also considered as a strength by the other person as well, otherwise it can backfire.
Watch, Read, and Listen to Funny Stuff
You surely are what you eat, right? So, if you wanna enhance and polish your current sense of humor, start consuming content in any format which is helping you move the juices to your humor compartment.
Whether it’s befriending people who are funny and jovial, listening to stand up comedies, watching funny and light movies, reading books and going through articles (like you are doing right now), hearing podcasts, and paying attention to the interviews of your favorite comedians—they are all gonna add up in shaping and molding the funny in you.
It will surely help you fill-up the cracks, boost your HQ(Humour Quotient, (if that’s even a thing)), give you more data points to act upon, and will simply make you more experienced with the whole premise. All in all, it will lubricate all the friction and make the whole process a lot smoother and more welcoming.
Keep your intentions straight and positive
Your sense of humor might be off the roof and touching the moon, but if your intentions are not positive and loving, if your own mood is not happy and cheerful, and if your own vibe is not jovial and blissful, it’s all gonna be for nothing.
People are gonna see right through you if you are trying to simply manipulate them by cracking them up with a few witty remarks or actually care about them. Don’t bullshit your way in by looking all fancy and glittery on the outside, and shallow and mean from the inside. It isn’t gonna hold up for long.
You should be genuinely interested in making the other person laugh if you want to be actually appreciated. And besides, it’s a noble cause. I mean, we need people like you who are trying to make the world a better place by bringing a smile to the face of your colleagues, families, and friends. Moreover, it will make you blissful.
Once the people around you see to it that you are genuinely trying to do some good, they would automatically feel connected to you. And the moment you connect, then there’s nothing more you need to do. And likewise, if they catch you on your bullshit, then no matter how hard you try, you won’t make a dent.
That’s the essence of having good communication skills. They are simply a way to get things done faster. Your intentions and your motives give the direction. If you can’t get your direction right, then no matter how hard you grind or how fast you run, you will never reach your desired destination.
A Good Sense of Humour will transform even a trivial thing into an extraordinary moment.