Want to be a funnier person? Want to use humor to charm others and make them love you? The good news is you can learn how to be funny. Improving your ability to be funny can make you more charming and improve your life better.
The importance of humor
Have you ever wondered why some people can make strangers laugh easily while some of us struggle with our jokes? Why are some people so funny? According to a 2015 study, “What is humorous is highly subjective and varies considerably from person to person and culture to culture. Cultures differ in what they consider humorous in large part because of they have different standards for what is wrong and what is okay.”
In our daily lives, people who are naturally funny can make people laugh in any given situation. They can easily turn a gloomy and tense situation light by throwing a perfectly-timed joke. Perhaps, this is why so many people want to learn how to be funny as humor is a highly desired trait.
A recent survey by Robert Half International discovered that 79% of CFOs believe that “an employee’s sense of humor plays an important role in how well he or she fits in with the company’s corporate culture.” Josh Warborg, Robert Half district president, said “Smart leaders, and smart people in general, want to enjoy their work, in addition to producing a good product. Happy people also typically produce better work.”
Another recent survey by Discover and Match Media Group revealed that when it comes to online dating, 67% of respondents claimed having a sense of humor is extremely important, whereas only 51% of online daters consider attractiveness important.
How humor can help us
The truth is humor can help us develop a more positive mindset and make us appear more confident. In fact, a 2014 study found that humor and laughter can help to improve the quality of life for people with cognitive impairment. The research paper stated “People with cognitive impairments were able to engage in humor during social interactions. Humor and laughter allowed the group to provide a safe social environment to talk about the activity and their illness.”
However, some of us might not be born funny. This is why it is even more crucial for us to improve our sense of humor, not only to be more social and entertaining, but also to enjoy life more on a personal level.
How to be funny: 9 Tips
“You’ll be more successful if you can make people laugh. Learning how to be funny can make everything easier,” explains national best selling author Vanessa Van Edwards. Trying to be funnier and developing your sense of humor can transform your personality and make you more charming.
Here are a few ways you can start your journey to being a funnier person in life:
1. Put yourself out there
If you want to be funny, you have to take risks. You have to be willing to get laughed at, even unintentionally at times, and realize that not all your jokes will work. You have to understand that some of your attempts at being funny might fail despite how hard you try. This is one of the first things you need to know about being funny. But the good thing is this will help you learn what works and what doesn’t.
In a Psychology Today article, author Scott Weems Ph.D. in cognitive neuroscience from UCLA explains that “A survey of famous comedians by the psychologists Seymour and Rhoda Fisher found that one personality trait stood out: a desire to be heard. Funny people aren’t shy. They take risks, and when they don’t succeed, they move on.”
2. Use your struggles as material
Turn your personal tragedies into entertaining stories and parables. Forgot to zip your fly while giving a presentation? Farted during an interview? See the humor already? Once you start looking at the funny side of your embarrassing personal experiences and struggles, you can make people laugh with you, rather than at you. Laughter at your own expense is the greatest form of comedy, they say. Moreover, real-life stories are funnier than jokes.
Vanessa says “The beauty of using personal experiences as fodder for humor is that your life experience is unique, and, therefore, stories based on it are guaranteed to be original.”
3. Watch comedy shows & films
There is nothing like learning from the best when it comes to learning something new. And this goes for being funny and humorous as well. Watch as many comedy shows and films as you can. But instead of simply laughing at the funny moments, observe the pros at their game and observe what and how they deliver those jokes. Understand their timing and what exactly makes them funny. It is also a great idea to watch a live comedy show as it is raw and real. Take notes and try to imbibe their style and mannerisms until you develop your own comic style. This is one of the best ways to learn how to be funny.
Scott Weems Ph.D writes “Studies show that simply watching a comedy, or an extended stand-up routine, increases heart health, improves immune system response, boosts creativity, and even makes you smarter… Watch funny bits from movies and ask yourself why you like them. It can’t hurt.”
4. Observe the situation
No matter how tense or difficult a situation may be, there is always a silver lining. And funny people know how to put the focus on that silver lining to make people feel better and give them hope. So every time you find yourself in a tricky situation, try to look for the funny angle in it. Look at things from a different perspective and laugh at yourself. Looking for the absurd in a frustrating situation without being offensive is the mark of a true funny person.