The Psychology Behind Humor

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The saying goes, “Laughter is the best medicine.” Furthermore, humor is a fantastic way to laugh. Everyone enjoys humor and finding the lighter side of things. Humor is a kind of communication in which the stimulus results in amusement. Humor is the ability to perceive or communicate what is funny. A sense of humor makes it easier for people to find and interact with like-minded others. Humor in a man seems attractive to most women.

Primarily, there are 4 styles of humor
1) Affiliative Humor

This kind of storytelling involves non-harmful jokes, interesting facts, or anecdotes. Since it is not hostile in any way, the only goals of affiliative humor are to amuse, make people laugh by connecting humor to everyday situations, and strengthen interpersonal bonds in a welcoming and positive atmosphere. For instance, making a joke in class about how well-known inventions came about as a result of accidents.

2) Self-enhancing Humor

This style demonstrates people’s ability to laugh at themselves. In this framework, people can laugh at unfortunate events in life, like little mishaps or getting into trouble for unrelated reasons. Viewing life with a positive and humorous perspective can help people cope with stress and other negative experiences in a healthy way and lift their spirits. For instance, instead of getting irritated when stuck in traffic, try to find amusing things about what the people around in traffic are possibly doing.

3) Aggressive Humor

Things that fall under this category of humor include sarcasm, irony, and making fun of other people. This kind of humor is made by making fun of other people or making personal demeaning remarks. Individuals who use this type of humor do not care for other people; used in bullies, and may be intended to threaten or psychologically harm others. Some audience members might find it funny, but others may feel a sense of discomfort. E.g., a person joking about the looks of his new colleague makes the colleague uncomfortable and makes him feel insecure about

4) Self-defeating Humor

Self-defeating humor is when someone makes fun of themselves in order to make others laugh. At the expense and detriment of oneself, it is employed to establish and maintain relationships. Psychologically speaking, this can be a harmful kind of humor that is used to avoid confronting a particular issue or to hide one’s own negative emotions. For instance, making fun of one’s own
incapacity to speak a certain language with peers in an attempt to make them laugh.

Positive and Negative Humor Climate

The humor styles create different impressions and have different impacts on others. A positive humor climate engaged in affiliative and self-enhancing styles reinforces friendly relationships. Whereas in a negative humor climate, using humor in an aggressive manner to enforce social laws or in order to ridicule others affects the relationships or the targeted individuals.

The affiliative humor style is positively correlated to self-esteem. The Positive self-evaluation also results in higher levels of development of social self-esteem and increased use of affiliative humor. On the other hand, self-defeating humor is associated negatively with self-esteem.

Individuals who frequently use self-defeating humor tend to have a negative opinion of themselves and are more likely to have low self-esteem as a result. Is humor a sign of mental health issues as well? There may be a connection between humor and depression. For example, depressed individuals are more likely to use self-deprecating humor and less likely to use it.

Positive styles of humor
The Benefits of Humor in Several Spheres of Life
  • Humor provides a better learning environment by reducing anxiety in classroom settings. It stimulates interest, makes learning a fun experience, and retains the attention of the students, thus reducing boredom. Additionally, it improves student performance by
    encouraging creativity and divergent thinking.
  • A joyful and healthy workforce is created when humor is introduced to the workplace in a playful way. Laughter eases uncomfortable situations and fortifies social ties.
  • One of the best character traits that can improve one’s overall physical and mental well-being is humor.
  • A useful coping mechanism for handling stressful life circumstances is humor. Healthcare professionals, including mental health nurses, frequently use humor as a coping strategy to reduce stress.
  • Psychotherapy interventions that incorporate humor can aid in the treatment of psychological issues like depression, anxiety, obsessive-compulsive disorders, phobias, and stress-related disorders. (Shaikh & Vyas, 2022)
  • Using humor as a problem-solving technique can aid in the resolution of disputes or conflicts.

Humor is a sign of intelligence too, with the skill of toying with people’s expectations. Practicing joke-telling, taking comedy risks, and definitely watching and listening to, and reading the work of other comedians can help you become a funnier person. One should always try to include positive humor styles, addressing own well-being as well as others.

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