How to develop a sense of humor

By M.Farouk Radwan, MSc.

Humor & Risk taking

Do you know that humor has got a lot to do with risk taking?
Why do some people dare to tell jokes in front of large groups while others never do? It’s because some people don’t fear rejection while others do.

Research didn’t only prove that those who have a sense of humor are perceived to be more attractive but it also proved that they are perceived to be risk takers!!

Even if you consciously don’t know the link between humor & risk taking, still unconsciously you will think of the person who says a joke in front of a large group as a risk taker.

How to develop a sense of humor

This brings us to a very important point, finding jokes to say is really easy, you can just watch comedy shows and you will come up with hundreds of ideas to make people laugh.

So why don’t most people develop a good sense of humor?
Because they can’t control their fears, social phobias and shyness. Developing a sense of humor can only be possible when you learn how to become comfortable around people and then you can just repeat the jokes you heard somewhere else.

What makes people laugh?

Yesterday I went to a comedy show performed by the "Axis of evil" guys, they were all hilarious and I couldn’t stop laughing but in the same time I couldn’t stop the analytical part of my mind from trying to figure out why are some jokes more powerful than the others.

I came to few conclusions that can definitely help you tell better jokes, here they are:

1) Jokes that resonate with people’s thoughts, beliefs and current situations make them laugh more. I live in Alexandria and people here are famous for reckless driving that’s why the most funny parts in the show were the ones mentioning reckless driving.

2) Jokes that approves your anger makes you feel happier. I always feel really angry when I see how mom’s treat their small children as if they were bags and not human beings.

A part of the show described how mom’s sometimes tell their children things like “Eat, or I will kill you” and people exploded. People didn’t only laugh because of the funny way this was said but also because it allowed them to release some of their anger that they had towards these moms in a healthy way.

3) If a joke was said at the beginning of the show then recalled by another joke at the end of the show people will have a double laugh because of the combined effect of the two jokes.

For example, Maz, one of the great guys who made me laugh a lot yesterday said that one of the few Arabic words he knows was “Shawerma” which means minced meat. Right before he left the stage he looked at the body guards coming to secure the place and told them “why are you looking at me like that, did I say something wrong” and then he paused for a while then said “Shawerma” of course you can guess how our reaction was "Hahahahahahahaahahahahahahahahaahahahaha"

4) Being confident while telling the joke and laughing at one's own jokes made the jokes even more funny. I noticed that if the comedian said a joke while feeling a anxious or worried then his tone of voice and his posture both transfers this anxiety to the audience and made them less likely to laugh.

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