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Humour As A Nursing Intervention by Aschwin Van Loon - 1w ago

Paronomasia is the formal name given to the kind of word play commonly known as a “pun.” While many might groan at “dad jokes” that are often puns too bad ”not” to laugh at, a pun well done can impress the palate of even the most discerning connoisseur. An apt pun at the right moment can have a strong effect on those who hear it. To make puns yourself will require a knowledge of the kinds that exist, as well as an understanding of context, timing, and lateral thinking.

Cultivating Your Punning Ability Understand the anatomy of a pun.

Puns take a variety of shapes and forms. Some revolve around same sounding words, while others are more oriented toward meaning. Several puns can be used in tandem to make a compound pun, or com”punned”. Some puns involve words that sound similar, such as the imperfect rhyme formed by “orange” and “door hinge.”

  • Homonyms, or words that sound the same, are especially useful for the purposes of making puns.
  • Homographs, words that are spelled similarly, can be like a present to gifted punners.
  • Figurative language puns, where the figurative expression creates humourous double meanings.
  • ‘Some examples of puns include’:
    “I wondered why the baseball was getting bigger. Then it hit me.”
    “I knew a guy who had his left side cut off, He’s all right now.”
    “I used to be a banker, but I lost interest.”
    “Two silk worms got into a race and ended in a tie.“
Increase your vocabulary.

This doesn’t have to be a rigorous study of academic texts and dusty tomes. Simply take note of the words and phrases you hear or read daily and thoughtfully consider what makes them interesting or humorous. Even reading novels for fun, daily newspapers, or magazines can provide you with a treasure trove of words and phrases upon which you can build.

  • Carry a note pad and pen with you wherever you go. You never know when you’ll hear a great set-up for a pun, or when an idea for a good pun will occur.
  • Learn sayings and proverbs like “All that glitters is not gold” or “There’s more than one way to skin a cat.” These figurative expressions can be intentionally misinterpreted to create a winning pun.
  • Consider subscribing to a daily vocabulary building service, like one that sends you new or interesting words by email.
Use a rhyming dictionary for near-rhymes.

Especially if you have a target phrase or concept that you are trying to mold into a killer pun, a rhyming dictionary can be helpful for generating ideas. Take the word or phrase you are punning on and search it in an online rhyming dictionary. Write down your word(s), all the terms that rhyme, and then think of how to combine or juxtapose those words in interesting or humourous ways.

Practice free association.

Free association is where you link terms together that have a similar sense, but aren’t necessarily logically connected. Words have emotional, historic, and intellectual components that can be humorous in the right situation. Comedian Brian Regan artfully does this when relating a conversation he had with a teacher:

  • Teacher: What are you speaking? German, Brian?
  • Brian: German? Jermaine! Jermaine? Jackson! Jackson five — Tito!
  • Teacher: Brian, what the hell are you talking about!?
  • Brian: I don’t know. I don’t know, really…
Notice pun-tential with prepositions.

Though we string words together one after another, the concepts represented by words form a mental structure that is sometimes unclear. These ambiguous sentences are often marked with prepositions (at, with, on, near, opposite, etc.), and pointing out that ambiguity can get a chuckle from the people you speak with. An example of this might look like:

  • Friend: So, at the party, I saw this crazy person dressed in a tiger suit with the binoculars.
  • You: Your precious bird watching binoculars? What was the tiger-man doing with those? You don’t even let me use them!
Pun through writing.

While you’re getting the feel for punning, you might feel self-conscious or like you’re not very good. Rest assured, even naturally talented comics have to work hard to become great punsters. To help your punning skills grow, you might want to practice punning through writing by:

  • Listing common clichés and creating puns from these.
  • Inventing a character that frequently uses puns and putting her into interesting situations/conversations.
  • Writing down favorite phrases and giving these a twist with a near-rhymes or like-sounding words.
Watch expert punsters.

Every year, the O. Henry Museum in Austin, Texas, holds a contest to see who is the punniest of all. By watching online videos of the O. Henry Pun-Off, you can develop your comedic timing, train your punning sensibilities, and maybe even be inspired with new material.

Making a Pun Listen intently to the conversation.

Careful listeners can best recognize the opportunity to make a pun when it arrives. But a true pun expert can, with enough creativity, make a pun in almost any situation. While listening, allow your mind to freely associate and consider potential homophones that you might use to get a laugh.

  • To help you get into the swing of punning, you might try rhyming in your head as you listen to conversation. This can be distracting at first, but with practice, can allow you to quickly think of a near-rhyme pun.
Identify the right moment.

Conversation between even talkative people is littered with pauses. People tend to pause for a slightly longer interval at the end of a phrase or while grasping for the next thing to say, and these moments are ideal places for you to make your pun.

  • You might also wait until something humorous occurs or your conversation partner tells an amusing story. Then you can use of the light atmosphere to your advantage and make your pun.
Recognize good candidates.

As quickly as you can, think up as many synonyms, homonyms, or near-rhyme words. Most of these will likely be poor options for the pun you are trying to construct, but you’ll have to dig through the duds to find your pun diamond. Some examples of suitable situational puns are:

  • When a friend is struggling with foil wrapper, you can interject with, “I haven’t seen a wrapper that obnoxious since Kanye.“
  • When eating a meal with pork, you might ask your dining companion, “Do you want some cheese to go with your… swine?“
Cue your audience where necessary.

An important element to a well-delivered pun is its sense of surprise. Most puns twist well known words or phrases in a way that is unexpected and intriguing, which is what gets laughs from listeners. This is one of the dangers of puns; sometimes your audience will miss your joke, in which case, you may want to cue your audience. You might do this by:

  • Ending the pun with a large, over-exaggerated smile and a wink.
  • Take an exaggerated pause after the pun to give listeners time to comprehend the joke.
  • Repeating the punned elements. To use the previous pun on Kanye West as an example, you might say, “Get it? Wrapper/rapper? Obnoxious? Kanye West, the famous rapper???“
Know good puns from bad puns.

Bad puns are usually those that are too obvious or have been repeated excessively. However, there is a phenomenon in punning where, if the pun is bad enough, it becomes funny again. Some examples might look like:

  • ”Bad puns”:
    • “Denial is not just a river in Egypt.”
    • “Put that down, it’s nacho cheese.”
    • “Make like a tree and leave!”
  • ”Funny bad puns”:
    • “A ham sandwich walked into the bar and ordered a beer. The bartender replied, ‘Sorry, we don’t serve food here.’ “
    • “Why did the Clydesdale give the pony a glass of water? Because he was a little horse.”
    • “What time did the man go to the dentist? Tooth-hurty.”
Making Unexpected Puns Connect unrelated concepts.

Punning is all about plays on words, or, to phrase it another way, about making jokes that connect things not obviously connected. Thinking in this way and seeing those connections, however, is rarely natural, and must be trained through effort. To train your mind to connect unrelated topics and be more aware of opportunities for ”pun”, you might:

  1. Make one list of things you’ve experienced throughout the day and another list of things you’ve heard about from the news, other media, or conversation.
  2. Between the two lists, try to draw a connection between the first item on each. Then draw a connection between the second items.
  3. Continue relating items until one, or both, lists are exhausted.
Use your real life experiences.

Making a list can help with this practice, though you can do it in your head any time you like. Take an event that has happened to you recently and consider it in terms of another, unrelated event. For example:

  • “I went out to eat seafood last night. It was rough. I’ve never had to work so hard at a restaurant in my life! When I reached into a dish of clams, I think I pulled a mussel.”
  • “Every day, I walk my dog. And every day, when we walk by this hot dog joint, he just goes crazy! I guess that’s what they mean when they say dogs are territorial.”
Utilize your background knowledge.

While you may have just met the person you are speaking with, it’s likely that within a few minutes you’ll have some information about him, his family, and his background. In other cases you might know the person you are talking to quite well, which can turn into ammunition for your puns. Keep these things in mind, and when trying to make a pun, see if you can work this information into your joke.

  • Knowing a little about guitars, you might make a pun on guitar names with your more musical friends. For example: “Did you hear about the woman on trial for beating her husband with his guitar collection? The judge asked her, ‘First offender?’ She said, ‘No, first a Gibson! Then a Fender!’ “.
Execute your puns without being excessive.

It’s true, you can love a thing too much, and if this is the case with your romance with puns, you might want to choose your punning moments carefully. Unless you are a pun genius, the people around you may become annoyed or frustrated at constant punning. You may want to postpone making a pun until you have an exceptionally good one, like comedian Colin Mochrie, who said:

  • “Today, well-known mob hitman Johnny Two-Shoes admitted that he was once hired to kill a cow in a rice field using only two small porcelain figurines. Police reports indicate that this is the only known incident of a Knick-Knack Paddy Whack.”
  • Don’t let the opportunity pass. Comedic timing is everything. If you let the context of the pun go cold by waiting too long, it won’t matter how good the pun is. It will fall flat. Be sure to pounce at exactly the right moment.
  • The humor of your pun may come from its poor quality, but this is very common when punning. Sometimes a pun is just too bad ”not” to laugh at.
  • If you’re a writer, experiment with using puns in your writing. With its frequent use of metaphor, poetry frequently invites this kind of wordplay.
  • Though some regard the pun as “low humor,” such notable figures as John Donne, James Joyce, Lewis Carroll, Robert Frost, Shakespeare, and Vladimir Nabokov have used puns in literature.
  • Robert Frost’s poem “Mending Wall,” the narrator asks “to whom I was like to give offense.” ”Give offense” can also sound like ”give a fence”, which is the subject of the poem.
  • Oscar Wilde’s play, ”The Importance of Being Earnest”, is a pun on the name of a character in it who is named Ernest.
  • Try not to laugh at your pun.
  • Know your audience. Some puns are too subtle, others may use language that is too obscure. Keep in mind that not everyone will share your knowledge and vocabulary. For example, computer puns will likely be missed by casual PC users.
  • Deliver your puns deadpan by not laughing at your own jokes. Sometimes a good-natured chuckle at your own humor can prompt laughter in your audience, but deadpan deliveries can be especially useful if no one else laughs.
  • Make sure the pun is age appropriate. Humor can sometimes strike a nerve with those who hear it. Be respectful of the boundaries of those you pun-around with.
  • Make sure that the setting is appropriate. Solemn occasions and professional work environments may not be suitable for puns.

If you want to know more about jokes, have a look here:

How do you make puns?

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On the 28th of Februari and the 1st of March 2019 I was invited to give a presentation about Humour as a Nursing Intervention at the 28th International Conference on Neurology and Therapeutics 2019. On this congress I found myself the odd duckling because there where all doctors (except for 2 others, a physiotherapist and a researcher).

But that hasn’t stop me from giving my presentation. I saw a few faces that got very bright and the hadn’t expected this presentation to be so much fun. It was completely different from all the others because my presentation had no scientific data or any tables with data in it. No it had just slides of information about what to do and don’t do.

After these two days I spent the weekend also in Berlin. More than a decade has past since I have been to Berlin. That weekend I spent being the ‘Japanes’ tourist. I made lot’s of pictures and if you want to see them, you can find them on my personal website here. But keep in mind these is in my native language Dutch.

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Humour As A Nursing Intervention by Aschwin Van Loon - 1M ago

Everyone loves a good joke but when the joke’s on you, it’s hard to know how to react, respond, and continue having a good time. Remain calm and consider the Joker’s intent. If the intent wasn’t malicious, you needn’t be upset by it. Laughter is often automatic, but being offended is a choice. You can choose not to let a joke get to you.

Considering the Joker’s Intent Assume the best of others.

Try to remember that ”most” jokes are good-natured attempts at being funny. Sometimes, we take the cheapest route to funny, and that sometimes takes the form of taking a shot at someone. If the shot’s aimed at you, try to remember that person is just trying to be funny – it’s probably about ”him or her” more than about ”you.”

  • The joke may have been good natured, but worded poorly. Or perhaps the joker misjudged how sensitive you are about a particular topic.
  • Sometimes people joke about sensitive topics, intending to show support for those who need it most or lighten the mood.
Consider the setting. Pick up on the atmosphere.

If the joke was meant to be lighthearted (without intent to hurt you or anyone else), then you can be lighthearted right back. You may tease the joker back to keep the dialogue going, or smile and brush it off.

  • Keep your teasing lighthearted when creating banter with the joker. Keep in mind he or she is trying to have fun and be silly with you.
  • If there’s a cruel or threatening undercurrent, then you may want to address appropriate joking with the joker.
Consider the source.

Some people are simply goofy, or are well-meaning but not good at wording things. In these cases it may be better to let it slide. A friend may have a particularly acerbic wit. Recognize that is just part of his humor and he means no harm.

  • We all have less than desirable traits. An overly sarcastic friend isn’t likely to make major personality changes, so there is no benefit to getting upset and potentially harming relationships.
Choosing your Battles Forgive minor slights against you.

Recognize we all go a little too far sometimes, and let miner offenses go. If a friend gets caught up in the moment and makes a disparaging comment, forgive him. Decide it was a mistake, assume he’s sorry for having said it, and expect him to meet all other duties as a friend with compassion and empathy.

  • If inappropriate comments or mean spirited jokes continue to be a problem, then you might consider addressing the issue with your friend.
Smile and play along with harmless pranks.

There are a few scenarios where this response might be appropriate, such as at school when those making the jokes don’t know you well, or don’t realize they’re annoying you. At times, if you can show yourself to be a gracious good sport, you can win respect from those making the comments, and make new friends out of the deal.

  • For example, if someone spills water on you and someone asks “Going for a swim?” you can say, “Darn, and I left my beach towel at home!”
Ignore jokes made in poor taste.

What constitutes humor varies wildly. Our physical maturation, emotional states, and personal circumstances all contribute to what we consider our sense of humor. Accept yours may be radically different than others.

  • Ignoring jokes you don’t find funny is an easy way to express your disapproval, without creating unnecessary tension.
Laughing at Yourself Don’t take yourself so seriously.

Recognize you are human, and you make mistakes just like everyone else, sometimes pretty hilariously. A little lighthearted ribbing might be good to help you lighten your perspective.

  • If you are having a hard time finding the humor in a joke about you, try taking the perspective of an outsider. Retell the joke in your head but about somebody else, perhaps somebody you don’t even know. This may help you reduce your defensiveness.
Beat the joker to the punch.

If a person is sharing something about you that you might have liked to keep under wraps, take control of your story. Interrupt the joker by correcting or elaborating on some aspect of the story and then finish telling it. Others would probably prefer to hear it from you, so they will likely direct their attention to you rather than the joker.

  • Embarrassing moments are less embarrassing when you make a joke of it, so take this as an opportunity to rid yourself of some negative feelings.
One up the joker.

Show the joker you aren’t bothered by the joke by making an even better one about yourself. Self-depricating humor is excellent for diffusing tense situation, as it makes you more relatable. Others will feel more comfortable with themselves and the situation, when they see you can laugh at yourself.

  • This will shift other’s attention to you and help you to take control of the situation.
  • An easy way to set up your one up joke is “That was nothing, you should have seen the time I…”
Establishing Boundaries Calmly express hurt feelings.

Just as the joker has the freedom to tell jokes, you have the freedom to protest and discuss consequences. Take a deep breath, excuse yourself to the restroom if need be, and compose yourself. Then state the problem as clearly and politely as possible.

  • For jokes about inappropriate subjects, you can tell the Joker, “please don’t joke about that; it’s kind of a sensitive topic for me.”
Don’t participate in mean spirited teasing of others.

Understand that your intentions may be misunderstood as well, so be careful of engaging in potentially hurtful teasing. Model the type of behavior you’d like others to adopt.

  • If you aren’t sure how to engage in humor without possibly offending others, try making fun of yourself. Self-depricating humor actually helps to put others at ease and reduces tension.
Call a parley to discuss what topic are appropriate for joking.

If the tone of banter has gotten too negative or abusive, pause the dialogue. Explain you feel the interaction is headed in a problematic direction and propose rules to right course. You can suggest topics to be off limit and even establish consequences for violating the terms of the parley.

  • Making a game of setting rules will change the direction of the conversation without dragging down the intended tone.
  • A smile and a mock expression of affront are a great defense.
  • Read up on common jokes. Being familiar with jokes will help you feel more prepared.
  • When jokes are intended to make you feel bad about yourself, humiliate you, or cause you to lose social standing, you may be being bullied. Talk to someone you trust about the situation.
  • Be aware that sometimes it’s best to just walk away from certain situations. Standing up for yourself, unfortunately, may make you an even bigger target if there’s a serious bully involved.

As a colleague walked out of a blind patients room, the colleague said “Nurse the patient would like to see you”.

What are your thoughts about How to Take a Joke. Please leave a comment below about it!!

If you want to know more about jokes, have a look here:

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Humour As A Nursing Intervention by Aschwin Van Loon - 1M ago

From one-liners to classic three-liners to the one-minute gag you tell your friends, a good joke pleases everyone. Joke-telling is one of the best ways to ease tension, make a new friend, or light up a room. That is, of course, if you can get a laugh. Telling good jokes is an art that comes naturally to some people, but for others it takes practice and hard work.

Getting the Material Right Know your audience.

All aspects of the joke you tell, from the content to the length, need to be suited to your audience. What’s funny to a group of 20-year-old college students may be very different from what makes your 70-year old-uncle laugh (then again, maybe not)

  • Everyone’s an individual, so there are no hard and fast rules. But, unless you personally know the members of your audience, here are some good rules of thumb to follow: elderly people won’t like crude jokes; stay away from misogynist jokes if you’ve got an audience full of women; people of a specific ethnic or racial group won’t enjoy jokes making fun of their group; and jokes requiring specialized knowledge (of, for example, science or old movies) will only be appreciated by people who possess that knowledge.
  • The more you know about your audience the better you’ll be able to tailor your jokes to them.

Choose great material.

You can find fodder lots of places—from your life, joke files online, by repurposing jokes you’ve heard in the past, and so on.

  • You may want to start your own joke file. You can write your jokes down on index cards to keep them handy or use a document file on your computer. The latter option may allow for easier revision.
Decide on a target.

Every joke has a “target,” which is what the joke is about. It’s important that the joke’s target (the most basic element of your material) be suited to your audience. Make sure it’s a target your audience will be interested in and something they’re likely willing to laugh at.

  • For example, husbands are likely to laugh at jokes about wives and vice versa; students will typically find jokes about school and teachers humourous.
Have a realistic but exaggerated setup.

The opening of the joke—or setup—should have a basis in the real world so your audience can relate to it, but it should also include exaggeration because this is what gives a joke its humourous edge.

  • Think of the setup as the foundation of a story. It’s a fundamental part of the joke; if you don’t lay a good foundation here, then the punchline won’t make sense to the audience or they won’t find it humourous.
  • Your setup needs to be both realistic and exaggerated in order to be funny—it’s placing these two incongruous elements side by side that makes the joke funny.
  • The exaggeration can be slight or considerable—it just depends on the individual joke.
Surprise with the punchline.

The ending of the joke is obviously crucial. This is where the payoff comes in, what makes the joke succeed or fail. If you want to make the audience laugh, your punchline needs to be surprising.

  • Some jokes also have what is called a tag or topper, which is an additional punchline. The tag builds on the original punchline or twists back on it in a surprising way.
Make the joke your own.

Lots of jokes rehash the same ground and sometimes they retell a story countless other jokes have told. For your joke to be funny, it has to surprise the audience in some way, which means it has to seem original or new.

  • One way to personalize a joke is to change the ending.
  • Another option is to dress the joke up as a story about your own life. This will make a familiar joke unrecognizable. It may also make it particularly interesting if your audience is your friend(s).
Know your material.

Practicing your joke is crucial. You don’t need to have it completely memorized—in fact, you ‘‘shouldn’t’’ memorize it—but you need to be really comfortable with it, so comfortable that you can continue on with telling it even if you get nervous or sidetracked, which is very possible once you’re in front of an audience.

  • Memorized jokes sound wooden, like they are being read off a script instead of relayed by a friend or entertainer.
  • Good jokes have a lot of details and personality, so don’t be afraid to embellish. Try different things out and see what feels right, what sounds best. Don’t use a joke until you’re completely comfortable with it.
  • Try recording your joke on a tape player and playing it back to yourself. If you hear a lot of awkward pauses or “ah”s or “um”s, your joke isn’t ready and you need to practice more. You can also try practicing in front of a sympathetic friend or family member once you’re ready for a “real” audience.

Getting the Delivery Right Practice rhythm.

A joke’s rhythm is a function of its wording and timing. A good joke should be short but not too short. In other words, you want to get the audience’s attention and get them invested, but you don’t want to carry on so long that you lose them.

  • Unless you’re telling a one-liner or a three-liner, consider aiming for about a minute per joke, though you may be able to go a little longer depending on the audience and your delivery skills. If you’re carrying on for ten minutes with a single joke, you’ve definitely lost your audience.
Relax and act confident.

If you’re uptight and uncertain, the audience will feel that way about you. Instead, be calm, happy, and confident that you’re going to be a riot act—this makes your listeners much more likely to find you funny.

Vary your voice.

It’s boring to listen to a monotone—use different inflections that suit the specific joke you’re telling.

  • If it works for the joke, use different voices for different characters and/or sound effects (a car horn, a siren, a door creaking, etc.). These will liven up the joke, making it more like a story. That said, don’t use an accent unless you’ve mastered it, or you’ll do more harm than good for your joke.
Pause before the punchline.

Waiting an extra second or two before revealing the “ah-ha” moment of the joke creates suspense in the audience. This should get you a bigger laugh when you do reveal the punchline.

  • Some people suggest following the Rule of Threes, which states that a joke’s punchline should come in the third line of the joke. This is limiting, however, as it only applies if you’re telling a three-line joke, as opposed to a one-liner or a longer joke.
Tell your joke with a smile, not a laugh.

Smiling says you’re confident and sure of your joke, but laughing may says you’re trying too hard.

  • While the biggest comedians out there (think: Chris Rock and Jerry Seinfeld) can get away with laughing at their own jokes, it’s generally not a good idea to laugh at yours unless you know how your audience will react. Doing so may make you seem like you’re over-compensating for material that’s not actually very funny or like you’re cocky.
  • If you want to get better at telling jokes, especially in terms of delivery, watch and listen to your favorite joke tellers, whether these are famous comedians or your friends. You can learn a lot from their mannerisms, intonation, and the types of jokes they tell.
  • Don’t give up on a joke just because an audience doesn’t like it the first time out. If, however, it fails 3 or 4 times and you’ve tweaked your delivery after each attempt, it’s probably best to retire the joke.
  • Sing a silly song for practice.
  • Good jokes sometimes fail because the teller has told them at the wrong time—for example, at a funeral or when a friend needs emotional support rather than to hear a joke. If your joke has gotten a bad reception, you may want to consider whether it actually wasn’t funny or if you told it at an inappropriate time.

If you have anything funny to add or you just want to comment on this. Please humour me by leaving a comment below.

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Humour As A Nursing Intervention by Aschwin Van Loon - 2M ago

Comedians make it look easy, but coming up with a funny joke actually takes a lot of forethought. You’ve got to pick a target and find a way to make fun of it that delights, rather than offends, your audience. It can be a fine line to walk, but the results are worth it! Read this article to find out how to make a joke that’ll have your friends rolling with laughter.

Coming Up With a Target Joke about yourself.

Using yourself as the butt of your own joke is a sure way to get people cracking up. There’s something about self-deprecating humour that triggers schadenfreude, the act of taking pleasure in someone else’s pain, and this forms the foundation of many famous comedians’ jokes. Figure out what’s sadly hilarious about you and offer it up for laughs.

  • ”I’m really good in bed. I can sleep for like 10 straight hours without waking up once.” — Jen Kirkman
  • ”The depressing thing about tennis is that no matter how much I play, I’ll never be as good as a wall. I played a wall once. They’re relentless.” — Mitch Hedburg
Crack one about your spouse, boyfriend or girlfriend.

We’ve all seen comedians use their SOs as funny joke fodder. So many people can relate that you’re bound to get a few hearty laughs. If you don’t have a boyfriend or girlfriend, you can make fun of boyfriends and girlfriends in general.

  • ”Straight guys will never know how expensive it is to be a woman. And that’s why you pay for dinner.” — Livia Scott
Target a group of people.

Hipsters, rednecks, politicians, lawyers, rich people, kids, elderly people, men, women . . . the list goes on and on. Jokes about groups of people get some of the hardest laughs of all, but be careful not to go to far – you might offend people.

  • ”Everyone knows hipsters are like human bedbugs. You see one, there are probably 40 more under your bed, judging your music.” — Dan Soder
Joke about a place or situation.

At a bus stop, high school, sports dugout, airplane, office, coffee shop, bathroom, and so on are all excellent fodder for jokes. Figure out what’s quirky, annoying or surprising about somewhere you’ve been or something you’ve seen.

  • ”I grew up near Newark, New Jersey. If New York City’s the city that never sleeps, Newark, New Jersey is the city that watches you sleep.” — Dan St. Germain
  • ”I will never understand why they cook on TV. I can’t smell it, can’t eat it, can’t taste it. The end of the show they hold it up to the camera, ‘Well, here it is. You can’t have any. Thanks for watching. Goodbye.’” — Jerry Seinfeld
Home in on a specific person or current event.

Talk about someone or something famous, like the president, a Hollywood celebrity, a sports figure, or someone else who’s often in the news. Jokes about famous people are great, since most people will know what you’re talking about and enjoy laughing at the expense of the rich and famous.

  • ”I wonder if Jeremy Irons ever quietly laughs to himself while he’s ironing.” — Jon Friedman
  • ”I’ve been wearing so many scarves lately that I wonder if my ancestors were part Steven Tyler mike stand.” — Selena Coppock
Creating Humor Add an element of the absurd.

Create a bizarre contrast between your target and something else. This brand of humour is especially appealing to kids, teenagers, and fans of slapstick.

  • ”If toast always lands butter-side down and cats always land on their feet, what happens if you strap toast to the back of a cat and drop it?” — Steven Wright
Say something shocking or unexpected.

What hasn’t already been said? What unique angle do you have? You can also get people to laugh by saying something that wouldn’t normally be said about a group or person that’s perceived as innocent, like kids, your grandma, nuns, kittens . . . you get the picture.

  • ”A friend will help you move. A best friend will help you move a body.” — Dave Attell
  • ”If God had written the Bible, the first line should have been ‘It’s round.”’ — Eddie Izzard
Fall back on an old standard.

Certain types of jokes seem to consistently elicit laughs even though we’ve all heard them before. Think “your mama” jokes, jokes about nagging girlfriends, and jokes about messy boyfriends.

  • ”Men want the same thing from their underwear that they want from women: a little bit of support, and a little bit of freedom.” — Jerry Seinfeld
  • ”A grasshopper walks into a bar and the bartender says, ‘Hey, we have a drink named after you!’ The grasshopper looks surprised and says, ‘You have a drink named Steve?”’
Make it relatable.

You’re not going to get people to laugh unless they can see a bit of themselves in the joke. If they don’t identify with either you as the joker or with the target, you’re going to have some blank looks on your hands. When people relate to a joke, it gives them a cathartic release – and that’s why people like jokes in the first place, isn’t it?

  • ”Roses are red, violets are blue, I’m a schizophrenic, and so am I.” — Billy Connolly
  • ”Ladies gotta say no to their husbands at the movies. They gotta say: ‘No, we are watching back-to-back cancer movies. And then this movie about a cat.”’ — Tina Fey
Tell a joke so stupid it’s funny.

Puns fall into this category, as do blond jokes, baby jokes, and knock knock jokes.

  • ”I will not talk to someone who has less than 10 toes. I am LACK TOES INTOLERANT.” — Gilbert Gottfried

Nailing the Delivery Know your audience.

The target of your joke has to be funny to your audience, or you’ll be facing a stone-faced crowd. Don’t plan to target high school girls if you’re trying to make a room full of them laugh. Tread carefully if you’re targeting a political or celebrity figure in his or her hometown. A joke that would be hilarious to one group of people might cause another group to start throwing rotten vegetables.

Keep it simple and short.

Telling a long story that takes more than a minute or two will likely bore your audience. Practice telling shorter jokes so you can get a sense for how to best deliver them before you move on to telling full-blown stories. Remember that the best jokes aren’t always the smartest, most detailed jokes; you’ve got to hit people in the funny bone.

  • Watch the people you’re talking to. If you see their eyes start to wander, wrap up the joke.
  • You can tell more than one joke in a row if the first one gets some laughs. Build on the energy you created.
Master the deadpan expression.

If you’ve got a big grin on your face when you’re telling a joke, people will get distracted. Plus, smiling at your own joke sort of gives away the ending before you have a chance to get there. Instead, keep a straight face, make eye contact, and deliver the joke as if you were saying something as mundane as “I’m going to the store for a gallon of milk.” Your delivery is as important to the humour of your joke as the content.

Get the timing down.

After you deliver the setup of your joke, pause for a moment before giving the punch line. This gives people the chance to ponder and guess for a moment before you surprise them with your hilarious insight. Don’t wait too long, though, or the energy of the joke will die.

  • ”A man walked into the doctor’s. He said, ‘I’ve hurt my arm in several places.’ The doctor said, ‘Well don’t go there any more.’” — Tommy Cooper
  • ”I don’t care if you think I’m racist. I just want you to think I’m thin.” — Sarah Silverman

Take a look at he next video of Ismo, a finish comedian who lives in America. He tells a joke about the word ‘ass’. In this monologue everything that I have written about above in this article comes together.

Ismo: Ass Is The Most Complicated Word In The English Language - CONAN on TBS - YouTube

  • Most jokes aren’t made in ten minutes. It may take you a while to get one of your own that makes sense.
  • You’ll get better with practice.
  • Always use tact with jokes concerning race, religion, nationality, etc. Whenever in doubt, simply ask: “Would anyone object to my telling a potentially offensive joke?”
  • A good and successful joke requires a good sense of ‘intertextuality’. a media term: Using the public’s knowledge in a pun, or other subject.
  • Jokes are only funny once. Don’t repeat jokes, even if you think someone wasn’t listening, as this can lessen their effect. Most likely, someone else will tell them what the joke was.
  • Be prepared for failure.

How do you make a joke? Or do you have any other tips & Tricks?.
Please leave a comment then !!

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Although most people value humour, philosophers have said little about it, and what they have said is largely critical. Three traditional theories of laughter and humour are examined, along with the theory that humour evolved from mock-aggressive play in apes. Understanding humour as play helps counter the traditional objections to it and reveals some of its benefits, including those it shares with philosophy itself.

1. Humour’s Bad Reputation

When people are asked what’s important in their lives, they often mention humour. Couples listing the traits they prize in their spouses usually put “sense of humour” at or near the top. Philosophers are concerned with what is important in life, so two things are surprising about what they have said about humour.

The first is how little they have said. From ancient times to the 20th century, the most that any notable philosopher wrote about laughter or humour was an essay, and only a few lesser-known thinkers such as Frances Hutcheson and James Beattie wrote that much.
The word humour was not used in its current sense of funniness until the 18th century, we should note, and so traditional discussions were about laughter or comedy. The most that major philosophers like Plato, Hobbes, and Kant wrote about laughter or humour was a few paragraphs within a discussion of another topic. Henri Bergson’s 1900 Laughter was the first book by a notable philosopher on humour. Martian anthropologists comparing the amount of philosophical writing on humour with what has been written on, say, justice, or even on Rawls’ Veil of Ignorance, might well conclude that humour could be left out of human life without much loss.

The second surprising thing is how negative most philosophers have been in their assessments of humour. From ancient Greece until the 20th century, the vast majority of philosophical comments on laughter and humour focused on scornful or mocking laughter, or on laughter that overpowers people, rather than on comedy, wit, or joking. Plato, the most influential critic of laughter, treated it as an emotion that overrides rational self-control. In the Republic (388e), he says that the Guardians of the state should avoid laughter, “for ordinarily when one abandons himself to violent laughter, his condition provokes a violent reaction.” Especially disturbing to Plato were the passages in the Iliad and the Odyssey where Mount Olympus was said to ring with the
laughter of the gods. He protested that “if anyone represents men of worth as overpowered by laughter we must not accept it, much less if gods.”

Another of Plato’s objections to laughter is that it is malicious. In Philebus (48–50), he analyzes the enjoyment of comedy as a form of scorn. “Taken generally,” he says, “the ridiculous is a certain kind of evil, specifically a vice.” That vice is self-ignorance: the people we laugh at imagine themselves to be wealthier, better looking, or more virtuous
than they really are. In laughing at them, we take delight in something evil—their self-ignorance—and that malice is morally objectionable.

Because of these objections to laughter and humour, Plato says that in the ideal state, comedy should be tightly controlled. “We shall enjoin that such representations be left to slaves or hired aliens, and that they receive no serious consideration whatsoever. No free person, whether woman or man, shall be found taking lessons in them.” “No composer of comedy, iambic or lyric verse shall be permitted to hold any citizen up to laughter, by word or gesture, with passion or otherwise” (Laws, 7: 816e; 11: 935e).

Greek thinkers after Plato had similarly negative comments about laughter and humour. Though Aristotle considered wit a valuable part of conversation (Nicomachean Ethics 4, 8), he agreed with Plato that laughter expresses scorn. Wit, he says in the Rhetoric (2, 12), is educated insolence. In the Nicomachean Ethics (4, 8) he warns that “Most people enjoy amusement and jesting more than they should … a jest is a kind of mockery, and lawgivers forbid some kinds of mockery—perhaps they ought to have forbidden some kinds of jesting.” The Stoics, with their emphasis on self-control, agreed with Plato that laughter diminishes self-control. Epictetus’s Enchiridion (33) advises “Let not your laughter be loud, frequent, or unrestrained.” His followers said that he never laughed at all.

These objections to laughter and humour influenced early Christian thinkers, and through them later European culture. They were reinforced by negative representations of laughter and humour in the Bible, the vast majority of which are linked to hostility. The only way God is described as laughing in the Bible is with hostility:

“The kings of the earth stand ready, and the rulers conspire together against the Lord and his anointed king… . The Lord who sits enthroned in heaven laughs them to scorn; then he rebukes them in anger, he threatens them in his wrath (Psalm 2:2–5).”
God’s spokesmen in the Bible are the Prophets, and for them, too, laughter expresses hostility. In the contest between God’s prophet Elijah and the 450 prophets of Baal, for example, Elijah ridicules them for their god’s powerlessness, and then has them slain (1 Kings 18:21–27). In the Bible, mockery is so offensive that it may deserve death, as when a group of children laugh at the prophet Elisha for his baldness:
“He went up from there to Bethel and, as he was on his way, some small boys came out of the city and jeered at him, saying, “Get along with you, bald head, get along.” He turned round and looked at them and he cursed then in the name of the Lord; and two she-bears came out of a wood and mauled forty-two of them (2 Kings 2:23).”

Bringing together negative assessments of laughter from the Bible with criticisms from Greek philosophy, early Christian leaders such as Ambrose, Jerome, Basil, Ephraim, and John Chrysostom warned against either excessive laughter or laughter generally. Sometimes what they criticized was laughter in which the person loses self-control. In his Long Rules, for instance, Basil the Great wrote that “raucous laughter and uncontrollable shaking of the body are not indications of a well-regulated soul, or of personal dignity, or self-mastery” (in Wagner 1962, 271). Other times they linked laughter with idleness, irresponsibility, lust, or anger. John Chrysostom, for example, warned that

“Laughter often gives birth to foul discourse, and foul discourse to actions still more foul. Often from words and laughter proceed railing and insult; and from railing and insult, blows and wounds; and from blows and wounds, slaughter and murder. If, then, you would take good counsel for yourself, avoid not merely foul words and foul deeds, or blows and wounds and murders, but unseasonable laughter itself (in Schaff 1889, 442).”
Not surprisingly, the Christian institution that most emphasized self-control—the monastery—was harsh in condemning laughter. One of the earliest monastic orders, of Pachom of Egypt, forbade joking (Adkin 1985, 151–152). The Rule of St. Benedict, the most influential monastic code, advised monks to “prefer moderation in speech and speak no foolish chatter, nothing just to provoke laughter; do not love immoderate or boisterous laughter.” In Benedict’s Ladder of Humility, Step Ten is a restraint against laughter, and Step Eleven a warning against joking (Gilhus 1997, 65). The monastery of St. Columbanus Hibernus had these punishments: “He who smiles in the service … six strokes; if he breaks out in the noise of laughter, a special fast unless it has happened pardonably” (Resnick 1987, 95).

The Christian European rejection of laughter and humour continued through the Middle Ages, and whatever the Reformers reformed, it did not include the traditional assessment of humour. Among the strongest condemnations came from the Puritans, who wrote tracts against laughter and comedy. One by William Prynne (1633) encouraged Christians to live sober, serious lives. Christians should not be “immoderately tickled with mere lascivious vanities,” Prynne wrote, or “lash out in excessive cachinnations in the public view of dissolute graceless persons.” When the Puritans came to rule England in the mid-17th century, they outlawed comedies.

At this time, too, the philosophical case against laughter was strengthened by Thomas Hobbes and René Descartes. Hobbes’ Leviathan (1651 [1982]) describes human beings as naturally individualistic and competitive. That makes us alert to signs that we are winning or losing. The former make us feel good and the latter bad. If our perception of some sign that we are superior comes over us quickly, our good feelings are likely to issue in laughter. In Part I, ch. 6, he writes that “Sudden glory, is the passion which makes those grimaces called laughter; and is caused either by some sudden act of their own, that
pleases them; or by the apprehension of some deformed thing in another, by comparison whereof they suddenly applaud themselves. And it is incident most to them, that are conscious of the fewest abilities in themselves; who are forced to keep themselves in their own favor by observing the imperfections of other men. And therefore much laughter at the defects of others, is a sign of pusillanimity. For of great minds, one of the proper works is, to help and free others from scorn; and to compare themselves only with the most able.”
A similar explanation of laughter from the same time is found in Descartes’ Passions of the Soul. He says that laughter accompanies three of the six basic emotions—wonder, love, (mild) hatred, desire, joy, and sadness. Although admitting that there are other causes of laughter than hatred, in Part 3 of this book, “Of Particular Passions,” he considers laughter only as an expression of scorn and ridicule. “Derision or scorn is a sort of joy mingled with hatred, which proceeds from our perceiving some small evil in a person whom we consider to be deserving of it; we have hatred for this evil, we have joy in seeing it in him who is deserving of it; and when that comes upon us unexpectedly, the surprise of wonder is the cause of our bursting into laughter… And we notice that people with very obvious defects such as those who are lame, blind of an eye, hunched-backed, or who have received some public insult, are specially given to mockery; for, desiring to see all others held in as low estimation as themselves, they are truly rejoiced at the evils that befall them, and they hold them deserving of these (art. 178–179).”

2. The Superiority Theory

With these comments of Hobbes and Descartes, we have a sketchy psychological theory articulating the view of laughter that started in Plato and the Bible and dominated Western thinking about laughter for two millennia. In the 20th century, this idea was called the Superiority Theory.

Simply put, our laughter expresses feelings of superiority over other people or over a former state of ourselves. A contemporary proponent of this theory is Roger Scruton, who analyses amusement as an “attentive demolition” of a person or something connected with a person. “If people dislike being laughed at,” Scruton says, “it is surely because laughter devalues its object in the subject’s eyes” (in Morreall 1987, 168).

In the 18th century, the dominance of the Superiority Theory began to weaken when Francis Hutcheson (1750) wrote a critique of Hobbes’ account of laughter. Feelings of superiority, Hutcheson argued, are neither necessary nor sufficient for laughter. In laughing, we may not be comparing ourselves with anyone, as when we laugh at odd figures of speech like those in this poem about a sunrise:

The sun, long since, had in the lap
Of Thetis taken out his nap;
And like a lobster boil’d, the morn
From black to red began to turn.

If self-comparison and sudden glory are not necessary for laughter, neither are they sufficient for laughter. Hutcheson says that we can feel superior to lower animals without laughing, and that “some
ingenuity in dogs and monkeys, which comes near to some of our own arts, very often makes us merry; whereas their duller actions in which they are much below us, are no matter of jest at all.” He also cites cases of pity. A gentleman riding in a coach who sees ragged beggars in the street, for example, will feel that he is better off than they, but such feelings are unlikely to amuse him. In such situations, “we are in greater danger of weeping than laughing.”

To these counterexamples to the Superiority Theory we could add more. Sometimes we laugh when a comic character shows surprising skills that we lack. In the silent movies of Charlie Chaplin, Harold Lloyd, and Buster Keaton, the hero is often trapped in a situation where he looks doomed. But then he escapes with a clever acrobatic stunt that we would not have thought of, much less been able to perform. Laughing at such scenes does not seem to require that we compare ourselves with the hero; and if we do make such a comparison, we do not find ourselves superior.

At least some people, too, laugh at themselves—not a former state of themselves, but what is happening now. If I search high and low for my eyeglasses only to find them on my head, the Superiority Theory seems unable to explain my laughter at myself.

While these examples involve persons with whom we might compare ourselves, there are other cases of laughter where no personal comparisons seem involved. In experiments by Lambert Deckers (1993), subjects were asked to lift a series of apparently identical weights. The first several weights turned out to be identical, and that strengthened the expectation that the remaining weights would be the same. But then subjects picked up a weight that was much heavier or lighter than the others. Most laughed, but apparently not out of Hobbesian “sudden glory,” and apparently without comparing themselves with anyone.

3. The Relief Theory

Further weakening the dominance of the Superiority Theory in the 18th century were two new accounts of laughter which are now called the Relief Theory and the Incongruity Theory. Neither even mentions feelings of superiority.

The Relief Theory is an hydraulic explanation in which laughter does in the nervous system what a pressure-relief valve does in a steam boiler. The theory was sketched in Lord Shaftesbury’s 1709 essay “An Essay on the Freedom of Wit and Humour,” the first publication in which humour is used in its modern sense of funniness. Scientists at the time knew that nerves connect the brain with the sense organs and muscles, but they thought that nerves carried “animal spirits”—gases and liquids such as air and blood. John Locke (1690, Book 3, ch. 9, para.16), for instance, describes animal spirits as “fluid and subtile Matter, passing through the Conduits of the Nerves.”

Shaftesbury’s explanation of laughter is that it releases animal spirits that have built up pressure inside the nerves.

The natural free spirits of ingenious men, if imprisoned or controlled, will find out other ways of motion to relieve themselves in their constraint; and whether it be in burlesque, mimicry, or buffoonery, they will be glad at any rate to vent themselves, and be revenged upon their constrainers.

Over the next two centuries, as the nervous system came to be better understood, thinkers such as Herbert Spencer and Sigmund Freud revised the biology behind the Relief Theory but kept the idea that laughter relieves pent-up nervous energy.

Spencer’s explanation in his essay “On the Physiology of Laughter” (1911) is based on the idea that emotions take the physical form of nervous energy. Nervous energy, he says, “always tends to beget muscular motion, and when it rises to a certain intensity, always does beget it” (299). “Feeling passing a certain pitch habitually vents itself in bodily action” (302). When we are angry, for example, nervous energy produces small aggressive movements such as clenching our fists; and if the energy reaches a certain level, we attack the offending person. In fear, the energy produces small-scale movements in preparation for fleeing; and if the fear gets strong enough, we flee. The movements associated with emotions, then, discharge or release the built-up nervous energy.

Laughter releases nervous energy, too, Spencer says, but with this important difference: the muscular movements in laughter are not the early stages of larger practical actions such as attacking or fleeing. Unlike emotions, laughter does not involve the motivation to do anything. The movements of laughter, Spencer says, “have no object” (303): they are merely a release of nervous energy.

The nervous energy relieved through laughter, according to Spencer, is the energy of emotions that have been found to be inappropriate. Consider this poem entitled “Waste” by Harry Graham (2009):

I had written to Aunt Maud
Who was on a trip abroad
When I heard she’d died of cramp,
Just too late to save the stamp.

Reading the first three lines, we might feel pity for the bereaved nephew writing the poem. But the last line makes us reinterpret those lines. Far from being a loving nephew in mourning, he turns out to be an insensitive cheapskate. So the nervous energy of our pity, now superfluous, is released in laughter. That discharge occurs, Spencer says, first through the muscles “which feeling most habitually stimulates,” the muscles of the vocal tract. If still more energy needs to be relieved, it spills over to the muscles connected with breathing, and if the movements of those muscles do not release all the energy, the remainder moves the arms, legs, and other musclegroups (304).

In the 20th century, John Dewey (1894: 558–559) had a similar version of the Relief Theory. Laughter, he said, “marks the ending … of a period of suspense, or expectation.” It is a “sudden relaxation of strain, so far as occurring through the medium of the breathing and vocal apparatus… The laugh is thus a phenomenon of the same general kind as the sigh of relief.”

Better known than the versions of the Relief Theory of Shaftesbury, Spencer, and Dewey is that of Sigmund Freud. In his Jokes and Their Relation to the Unconscious (1905 [1974]), Freud analyzes three laughter situations: der Witz (often translated “jokes” or “joking”), “the comic,” and “humour.” In all three, laughter releases nervous energy that was summoned for a psychological task, but then became superfluous as that task was abandoned. In der Witz, that superfluous energy is energy used to repress feelings; in the comic it is energy used to think, and in humour it is the energy of feeling emotions. (In this article, we are not using humour in Freud’s narrow sense, but in the general sense that includes joking, wit, the comic, etc.)

Der Witz includes telling prepared fictional jokes, making spontaneous witty comments, and repartee. In der Witz, Freud says, the psychic energy released is the energy that would have repressed the emotions that are being expressed as the person laughs. (Most summaries of Freud’s theory mistakenly describe laughter as a release of repressed emotions themselves.) According to Freud, the emotions which are most repressed are sexual desire and hostility, and so most jokes and witty remarks are about sex, hostility, or both. In telling a sexual joke or listening to one, we bypass our internal censor and give vent to our libido. In telling or listening to a joke that puts down an individual or group we dislike, similarly, we let out the hostility we usually repress. In both cases, the psychic energy normally used to do the repressing becomes superfluous, and is released in laughter.

Freud’s second laughter situation, “the comic,” involves a similar release of energy that is summoned but is then found unnecessary. Here it is the energy normally devoted to thinking. An example is laughter at the clumsy actions of a clown. As we watch the clown stumble through actions that we would perform smoothly and efficiently, there is a saving of the energy that we would normally expend to understand the clown’s movements. Here Freud appeals to a theory of “mimetic representation” in which we expend a large packet of energy to understand something large and a small packet of energy to understand something small. Our mental representation of the clown’s clumsy movements, Freud says, calls for more energy than the energy we would expend to mentally represent our own smooth, efficient movements in performing the same task. Our laughter at the clown is our venting of that surplus energy.

These two possibilities in my imagination amount to a comparison between the observed movement and my own. If the other person’s movement is exaggerated and inexpedient, my increased expenditure in order to understand it is inhibited in statu nascendi, as it were in the act of being mobilized; it is declared superfluous and is free for use elsewhere or perhaps for discharge by laughter (Freud 1905 [1974], 254).

Freud analyzes the third laughter situation, which he calls “humour,” much as Spencer analyzed laughter in general. Humour occurs “if there is a situation in which, according to our usual habits, we should be tempted to release a distressing affect and if motives then operate upon us which suppress that affect in statu nascendi [in the process of being born]… . The pleasure of humour … comes about … at the cost of a release of affect that does not..

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You don’t have to know how to tell jokes to crack people up. You can make people laugh simply by finding the funny side in day-to-day life. Spend some time searching for the right material, find a way to use humor naturally, and immerse yourself in humor.

Finding the Right Material Learn about appropriate material.

People tend to see the material you use for comedy as a reflection of your personality. Learning the right material for the right audience can help you come off as funny without alienating or offending others.

  • Context is key. Where is it you’re trying to be funny? Do you want to be the funny guy at work or school? Or are you looking to be the breakout sensation in your local improv troupe? Lighthearted, non-controversial material is best for a professional audience while laughing off slightly edgier subjects might win you favor in the world of professional comedy.
  • Remember, what you joke about is a reflection of you. If you tend to mock recent tragedies or controversies, people may feel uncomfortable around you. Being edgy can be a positive for a comedic career, of course, but if you’re new to comedy it might be best to stick with lighter subjects until you get the hang of making people laugh.
  • Appropriate material can be found anywhere. People tend to appreciate those who find humor in a host of subjects. Try and see the funny side in aspects of day-to-day life. Anything from riding a bus to pouring your morning coffee can be used as fodder for humour.
Immerse yourself in funny things.

A great way to build your sense of humour is by exposing yourself to things that are funny. It’s hard to force being funny but you tend to unconsciously take on traits of media you view. Just like writers become better writers through reading, immersing yourself in humourous material can help hone your sense of humour.

  • Watch funny clips of people online. Many YouTubers incorporate humour without explicitly telling jokes.
  • View funny movies and television shows. Late night talk show hosts are often funny through observational humour and funny, candid responses to their guests rather than overtly telling jokes
  • Listen to funny podcasts and hang around people who enjoy laughing.
Pay attention to people’s reactions.

Observe how people react in day-to-day life. You can gauge the type of material people find funny by doing some basic people-watching. Go to a coffee shop and watch people banter with baristas. Attend an art show or concert alone and listen to people converse. Pay attention to lunch room interactions at work. See when and why people laugh.

Using Humour Naturally Do not force your humour.

The funniest people do not force their funny side. They wait for an opportune moment to make a funny observation.

  • The best moments of humour and levity do not happen by force. If you’re striving to be funny in day-to-day life, do not behave as if you’re at a comedy club. Engage with people in serious conversation and when you think of an amusing observation, feel free to throw it in. Just do not enter a conversation planning to make people laugh. Allow it to happen at its own pace.
  • Use moderation. Most comedic experts adhere to the “Three Gag Rule.” That is, in any situation you should get in no more than three funny comments in a row. You do not want to look like an attention hog.
Tell humorous anecdotes.

A great way to be funny without joking is to tell funny stories. Did you have a funnier than average childhood? Did you have an awkward experience at prom in 11th grade? Do you have hilarious stories about you and your friends from college? Have a host of funny stories on queue to make people laugh.

  • Try to think of the moments in your life that you laughed the most. Are these moments appropriate to share? Would others be amused? Try to think of funny stories to share with others. This is a great way to make people laugh without cracking a joke.
  • Sometimes, how you tell a story is just as funny as the content of the story itself. Listen to podcasts like “This American Life” where people tell amusing anecdotes. Read David Sedaris essays and watch clips of his readings. Pay attention to how speakers tell the stories, where they pause, smile, and laugh themselves. Try to learn how to tell a story in an amusing.
Embrace your silly side.

If you want to be funny without telling jokes, try simply being silly. Being a silly or goofy person can make people laugh.

  • Play harmless pranks on friends and co-workers. Talk in a funny voice. Sing a silly song.
  • Do not try to force silliness, however, as people tend to be annoyed at cultivated goofiness. Focus on things that are amusing to you. It’s easier to make people laugh if you’re using material that comes to you organically.
Spend time around people who love to laugh.

A great way to learn to be funny is to spend time around funny people. You’ll learn how to insert humour naturally into a situation through observation. Hang around friends, family members, and co-workers who have a reputation for having a great sense of humour.

Bring humour into conversations.

You don’t have to limit funniness to yourself. People tend to be drawn to those who bring out the humour around them. When in conversations, try to encourage people to embrace their own funny sides.

  • Ask people for funny stories. Start a conversation by asking, “What’s the funniest thing that’s ever happened to you?” or “What’s a stupid thing that always makes you laugh?”
  • Laugh at other people’s amusing stories and compliment them, saying something like, “That’s so funny!” People crave being around funny people but might feel annoyed if you always hog the spotlight. Make room for others.
Immersing Yourself in Humour Make yourself a fun environment.

If you want to be funny, surround yourself with funny things. Make a conscious effort to cultivate a fun environment for yourself.

  • Keep objects in your home that remind you of fun times. Have a picture up from that hilarious road trip you took with your college friends. Tape up funny cartoons to your walls. Put up posters from funny television shows and movies.
  • Put up an amusing screensaver on your computer or phone. Have appropriate but amusing magazine clippings and photos up in your office cubical.
Spend time with kids.

Children have fewer inhibitions than adults and often feel more free to express their silly side. Spending time with kids can help you lighten up and embrace your funny side.

  • If your a parent, work on spending more time with your own kids laughing. If you have friends or relatives with young children, offer to babysit.
  • Volunteer to work with children. Hospitals, nurseries, and daycare centers are always looking for volunteers.
Incorporate downtime into your schedule.

Between the business of work and other obligations, people often neglect downtime. Make a conscious effort to take some time every day to relax and laugh.

  • Have a daily ritual where you allow yourself to laugh. Watch a funny movie or television show. Read the comics. Call up a friend who always makes you smile.
  • Many people feel they don’t have time to laugh. However, people who make time for pleasure are actually more productive overall. You can also find ways to incorporate humour into your day-to-day activities. Listen to a funny podcast while commuting to work or exercising. Have a funny movie on in the background while you’re doing dishes at night.
Watch comedy.

If you tend to watch intense dramas, you might have trouble seeing the levity in life. Try to make room for funny TV shows and movies. Ask friends for suggestions for funny shows. Read reviews online of the newest, funniest comedies.

  • Hang around with your friends who you think have a great sense of humour. By spending more time with him, you can learn a lot from him/her.
  • Don’t be afraid to poke fun at yourself. People often feel comfortable around those who have a self-depreciating sense of humour.
  • Sarcasm can sometimes be hard to read so use it with discretion.
  • You can use puns. For example, if someone says, “I love butter!”, you could say “You’d butter not!”.
  • Keep it fresh. Staying on one subject can grow tiresome quickly; learn to flip to new topics to keep your humor fresh during an occasion of repartee!
  • If you wait too long, even very funny comments will lose their impact. For example, if someone says something to you and you think of a witty comeback two hours later, you’re probably better off just keeping it to yourself. It won’t be funny anymore.
  • Hand gestures and facial expressions help and can even make things funnier.
  • What is funny has cultural overlays. Something funny in the USA may be perplexing in France, for example. Keep this in mind, and try to find universally shared funny stories.
  • If someone from across the room starts looking at you while a test is happening, then throw a funny face while the teacher is not looking. This should make them laugh depending on their personality.
  • Don’t laugh at your own jokes until everyone else is laughing. It will not only make it seem you’re trying too hard to be funny, but it can also spoil the funny moment and nobody else will feel inclined to laugh. Avoid “canned laughter” for individuals.
  • Practice being funny. Everything improves with practice but it’s important to practice in a low-risk environment first and to build up your funnier self to wider audiences as you improve. Your family and friends will be most forgiving, while a large audience will expect you to be good from the start. Practicing with people you trust and who can give you constructive feedback is a good way to start.
  • Practice callbacks. You may have noticed that many comedians will tell a joke and then bring it back in one version or another, usually getting as big a laugh (or bigger) on the second time than on the first. This is called a callback, and you can use this technique, too. If you come up with a joke or observation that gets a big laugh, subtly bring it back a little later. As a general rule, though, don’t try to call something back more than 3 times.
  • Remember to include non-verbal funny cues, such as doing a funny dance, or making a funny noise, where these are appropriate.
  • Gender matters. Men tend to tell more jokes, tease and disparage (hostile humor), and enjoy slapstick humor, whereas women tend to prefer telling a story, usually in a self-deprecating manner, that elicits a response of group solidarity from other females. Interestingly, the roles reverse when you stick men and women together – men tend to tone down the teasing while women turn it up and target it at men, losing much of their self-deprecation in the process!
  • Remember being funny is all about being yourself, so be sure that your jokes are unique to you. Don’t copy anyone else’s style – people are probably less likely to laugh If they’ve heard the joke before. So try to create your own jokes but even if you use jokes you already know of then make sure its actually funny, harmless and is not a cliché.
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A while ago I wondered if you can prevent overstimulation if you have a pretty normal life.  Or is it a matter of learning to deal with it? I find it an integrin question. Looking at it from my own autism, it is a question that has no universal answer but I will try to answer it with by how I am dealing with it.

What is overstimulation?

In short, if you are not familiar with it. It’s being hyper sensitive to all kinds of stimulations (such as sight, taste, feeling, smell, etc) which can lead to all kinds of reactions and/or long-term symptom. In the short term it can create a fight or flight reaction for example. I myself get in a state of anger where I need to cool down before I can move forward again. This anger can create difficult situation for me and it’s something I want to avoid at all cost. In the long term it can create psychic and/or physical symptom such as a burn-out or stomach- / headaches.

Should you stop doing things in life to prevent overstimulation?

I personally think you shouldn’t. It depends on the ‘tricks’ you have learned and how well you have learned to implement these ‘tricks’ to avoid overstimulation. You can find a lot of things online on how to prevent overstimulation. For me it helps to think about relaxing thoughts. You can describe them as ‘Cool Thoughts’. And if that doesn’t help I really need to take a time-out for myself. That usually helps.

Overstimulation through internal stimuli.

Something where you have less control over are the sensations that come from within yourself like emotions and thoughts. In people with autism these sensations can create a lot of chaos and ambiguity in which case overstimulation is reached very quickly. Sometimes it can help to ‘park’ these thoughts so that you are in a more relaxing state of mind and can deal with it more relaxingly.

How ‘to deal’ with overstimulation?

A different strategy is to look up the limit of your overstimulation and then go over the limit. And when you go over the limit is to ‘deal’ with it. This isn’t a strategy which you can use every time because then you get chronic overstimulation. And that is something you want to avoid. If you sometimes choose for this strategy willingly, you have to keep the following points in mind:

  • Know what your signals are of overstimulation and when you are going your over the limits. Because if you know your real limits, you know when it is time to call it a day.
  • Communicate with the people around you. This makes them aware about a potential overstimulation situation and then they can try and help you deal with the overstimulation situation. I even made a list of things people can do and can’t do when I am having a overstimulation situation.
  • Create a save environment after the overstimulation situation. This so you have a place to yourself where you can be yourself.
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From December the 3rd till December the 9th i have been in Chicago (USA). I was there because i was invited to do a presentation for my colleagues in the USA.
I was invited to talk about humour and it was also the last official act as a nurse from the MC Slotervaart. This hospital has gone bankrupt and as a result from that i was unemployed.
The congress was fun to do and there were some great talks, especially  and the talk about “Breaking the circle of addiction” by Dr. Ruth Cangialosi from Footprints To Recovery was very interesting.

Below you can see some pictures from the congress. I even stumbled on the set of the populair Chicago Fire

Hunting for a new job.

Due to the bankruptcy of my hospital i needed to go and look for a job. I have been unemployed from the last week of October. I have been thinking very hard of leaving Neurology and Neuro Surgery behind me but eventually decided against it. Neurology and Neuro Surgery is where my heart is. So i decided to send some letters to several hospitals in my area. I got some good responses and even was invited to do some interviews. Man (and woman) i didn’t know that some people in HR are so brutal. I got a lot of ‘we think you will not fit into our team’ and even one hospital said that it was better for me to not even try and get a job in that hospital. Man (and woman agian) i didn’t know that people still discriminate in current society.
But lucky for me i found a new job in the VUmc and i am very thankful that they are willing to give me the opportunity to come and work for them. So as of the 1st of January 2019 i am back in Neurology & Neuro Surgery.

From this blog i wish every one
a Merry Christmas
a Happy New Year.

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Humor can help you connect with other people and make unpleasant situations a little more bearable. This is part two of a four part blog about how to be funny. Being funny might seem like it takes a lot of work, but it’s actually not that hard once you tap into your inner sense of humor. Even if you don’t think you’re naturally funny, there are things you can do to make yourself and other people laugh.

  • Keep it fresh. Staying on one subject can grow tiresome quickly; learn to flip to new topics to keep your humor fresh during an occasion of repartee!
  • If you wait too long, even very funny comments will lose their impact. For example, if someone says something to you and you think of a witty comeback two hours later, you’re probably better off just keeping it to yourself. It won’t be funny anymore.
  • Hand gestures and facial expressions help and can even make things funnier.
  • What is funny has cultural overlays. Something funny in the USA may be perplexing in France, for example. Keep this in mind, and try to find universally shared funny stories.
  • If someone from across the room starts looking at you while a test is happening, then throw a funny face while the teacher is not looking. This should make them laugh depending on their personality.
  • Don’t laugh at your own jokes until everyone else is laughing. It will not only make it seem you’re trying too hard to be funny, but it can also spoil the funny moment and nobody else will feel inclined to laugh. Avoid “canned laughter” for individuals.
  • Practice being funny. Everything improves with practice but it’s important to practice in a low-risk environment first and to build up your funnier self to wider audiences as you improve. Your family and friends will be most forgiving, while a large audience will expect you to be good from the start. Practicing with people you trust and who can give you constructive feedback is a good way to start.
  • Practice callbacks. You may have noticed that many comedians will tell a joke and then bring it back in one version or another, usually getting as big a laugh (or bigger) on the second time than on the first. This is called a callback, and you can use this technique, too. If you come up with a joke or observation that gets a big laugh, subtly bring it back a little later. As a general rule, though, don’t try to call something back more than 3 times.
  • Remember to include non-verbal funny cues, such as doing a funny dance, or making a funny noise, where these are appropriate.
  • Gender matters. Men tend to tell more jokes, tease and disparage (hostile humor), and enjoy slapstick humor, whereas women tend to prefer telling a story, usually in a self-deprecating manner, that elicits a response of group solidarity from other females. Interestingly, the roles reverse when you stick men and women together – men tend to tone down the teasing while women turn it up and target it at men, losing much of their self-deprecation in the process!
  • Remember being funny is all about being yourself, so be sure that your jokes are unique to you. Don’t copy anyone else’s style – people are probably less likely to laugh If they’ve heard the joke before. So try to create your own jokes but even if you use jokes you already know of then make sure its actually funny, harmless and is not a cliché.
  • Be sure to consider if the environment where you tell the joke is appropriate before you begin. Don’t pick on someone too much. Spread it around.
  • Be very careful with being funny about sacred cows, from religion to politics. Everything can be funny but sometimes if you go “too far” in someone else’s eyes, they’ll call you on it.

If you have something to add, please leave a comment below !!!

Previous parts are:

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