Can a sense of humor be learned

By M.Farouk Radwan, MSc.

Why do we receive jokes differently

Can a sense of humor be developed?
Are some people born funny?
Can you learn to make people laugh?

The short answer is yes. It's 100% doable. In this post i will tell you why a sense of humor can be learned and how you can do it exactly.

Have you ever been to a very funny standup comedy show?
Did you notice that not all people laugh at all jokes? I am pretty sure you did. Some people find some jokes much funnier than other ones. In my previous article Why are some jokes funnier than others i explained how a person's beliefs strongly affect the way he receives a joke.

If a friend of yours is in love with Andriod phones then you made a joke that made fun of their performance he won't laugh the way he would have laughed if the joke was about Apple products. In fact he might find the joke a bit offensive.
The question is, why?

We use jokes to vent

If you hate paying taxes and dislike the tax department in your country (like most people) then most probably a joke about the way the government collects taxes will make you burst in laughter.

There are two reasons you laughed in here. The first is that the joke was funny and the second is that the joke allowed you to vent by attacking an entity that brought you misfortune. Now tell that same joke to a young teen who never payed taxes and he might not even find it funny. (see also Assessing a person's beliefs using jokes)

In fact one of the known psychological methods of stress relief is making fun of the bad situation you are in. The one thing you need to know is that you don't have to tell the joke to feel good but you can just listen to a joke that confirms your beliefs and still feel great. (see also 5 reasons people like to listen to sad music when they are down

It's all about choosing the right joke

Did it become clear to you yet?

People who have a sense of humor aren't the ones who are born funny but they are the ones who know which jokes to pick. The same joke can be told in two different places yet have a very different effect. If you made a joke about a minority group in the presence of one of them he will certainly get offended.

If you were standing in a very long queue you can almost be certain that everybody feels annoyed. Now a joke about that situation will make those people laugh simply because it will allow them to vent and feel less stressed. (see How laughter improves the mood)

Here is a golden rule of choosing the right joke: If the joke allows people to vent, supports their beliefs & makes them feel better about themselves then they will explode in laughter. (See also How to develop a sense of humor)

Probing for beliefs & Risk taking

Am pretty sure you have seen some funny people who crack jokes as soon as they meet new people. Now how come those people manage to make others laugh even though they know nothing about their beliefs?

It's all about trial and error. Those people are natural risk takers who took many risks before by telling random jokes and noticing their effects on people. As those people evolved they learned how to get it right most of the time even with a complete stranger and this is why they seem too funny.

In a previous article i said that funny people are more likely to succeed in life simply because they are risk takers, they don't fear failure and they are highly creative.

How to develop a sense of humor?

You need to have a lot of confidence in order to be able to crack jokes that nobody laughs at until you learn how to target people's beliefs with your jokes. Fortunately the 2knowmyself Solid Self confidence program can help you get that level of confidence in a short period of time.

Secondly you need to analyze the jokes that didn't work and understand why they didn't have the desired effect until you become able to say ones that make people laugh. You won't get it right all the time but when 70% or 80% of your jokes make people laugh you will certainly be considered a funny person.

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Want to know more?

The psychology of jokes

Why do people make fun of others

How to have the last laugh

What makes a joke funny

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