Developing a sense of humor and wit – is not an easy thing to do. Learning how to make sparkling jokes is possible, but it takes patience and an understanding of “the moment.” But we’ve gathered a few tricks and tips to help develop your sense of humor and for someone else to find it.
How often have you noticed that some people deftly seize the moment and throw in sparkling jokes, eliciting laughter from those around them? And have you ever caught moments when other people, biding their time, made a joke and heard awkward silence or, worse, fake laughs in response? And to know how to tell a good joke from a bad one, you need to develop your sense of humor.
Having a sense of humor is not so bad if you consider the considerable number of its advantages. For example, jokes help treat problems more efficiently, dilute a tense situation, and find common ground with new people more easily. Many have met individuals who turn a harsh word into a joke, while others take offense or start to dig in themselves. A sense of humor is a skill without which it is harder to live.
What is a good sense of humor? It is the ability to sense what is funny and what is not. A good sense of humor is a positive attitude to yourself and to life, the ability to notice some absurdity in a situation and joke about it in time. A sense of humor also implies the ability to laugh at yourself.
Mechanisms of making jokes:
A sense of humor can be influenced by our social circle, our way of life, and even the time in which we live. You can be guided by good jokers, trusting your taste or society’s taste. And in general, many people can joke pretty well without preparation or training. But a good humorist uses various forms and techniques with which he can make jokes.
There are quite a few mechanisms for constructing jokes. But let us consider the most famous ones.
We use words with a negative meaning, which is the opposite of the essential purpose. And positive phrases take on a negative connotation.
The essence of this mechanism is to attribute missing features to a situation or person.
The irony is different: just irony, which we are used to seeing, self-irony when a person laughs at himself, and anti-irony when we use negative words positively.
Self-irony is suitable for believing in oneself, for building confidence. Joke about what you do not like about yourself – that’s a way to get rid of complexes and accept yourself for who you are. The main thing – do not overdo it!
Example: Say to the man in the tracksuit, “Where are you dressed like that? To the wedding?”
There are many words in the English language that have multiple meanings. The technique of ambiguity is just using the same word first in one sense and then in another.
You can use this technique differently: use a word in one sense and then discuss a different meaning further down the line. The most important thing in this technique is understanding that the chosen term must have two different meanings. Only under this condition will the joke be funny.
Double-meaningful jokes can be both good and bad. It depends not only on the person and how he presents the jokes but also on their appropriateness in a given situation.
- Expectation Substitution
Most jokes are based on this technique. First, it is necessary to create a feeling of expectation of further continuation in the interlocutor. The person already guesses what we want to say, but we substitute the answer at this point.
Example: Do you want a nice dinner for yourself? Then say no to dinner!
- Comparing the incomparable
We often compare people, situations, and objects. And it’s no news that we usually compare something similar—for example, people to people, housewares to other housewares, animals to animals.
“Comparing the incomparable” is built on comparing different objects with nothing in common. This is where the effect of surprise comes into play, which is often what makes you laugh.
Example: Life is like a piano: the key is white, the key is black… the lid.
We use this mechanism when we say several similar things about a person or object and then throw in a characteristic that has nothing to do with what we said before.
Example: You need to know several foreign languages and be intelligent, diligent, and rich to get into this institute.
In practice, however, it is better not to emphasize one mechanism. It makes sense to use several techniques at once:
Different people will be closer to other methods. And the effectiveness, accordingly, of different ways will be different. Therefore, it is better to learn variety rather than just one thing.
Every day exercises to develop a sense of humor
There are special exercises that develop a sense of humor. And many of them are aimed not only at improving our jokes but also at developing our vocabulary and thinking.
Just as essay and academic writing help you expand your literary skills and develop your ability to formulate your thoughts on paper – these simple exercises are designed to broaden your perspective on ordinary things by developing your ability to see the humor in situations.
Creating a sense of humor is akin to exercising your muscles: the more you “rock” your mind, the better you get at humor. But remember: while doing these exercises, don’t be strict and critical about yourself – it’s not essay writing. Try to relax and don’t push yourself for the lack of ideas.
“One Letter Words”
This exercise requires us to choose any letter and make one long or several small sentences. The best part is that the sentence must make sense, and all the words must begin with the letter you choose.
“Associations and Anti-Associations”
This exercise helps you learn to quickly match similar or opposite words to any word you choose. The more words you can think of, the better. It’s an excellent exercise to practice until you get it down to automaticity.
Here you choose any object instead of a word, such as a wall calendar. Try to think of at least 10 ways you can use this object.
Take a word with several meanings, and compose a sentence so that the beginning implies one purpose and the end changes. At the same time, you’ll practice a few mechanisms for constructing jokes: ambiguity and substituting expectations.
Flipping through the tape and seeing pictures and photos? It’s a good moment to practice. Try to develop a funny headline for the image that doesn’t reveal what’s actually “in” the picture.
Quite a lot of textual humor is based on “hyperbole.” Start the joke with the word “Most.” And then substitute any words you want and try to twist it into a joke. For example, “The world’s worst cab driver…” or “The world’s tallest fireman…”. And so on.”
A couple more tips
But exercise alone won’t get you very far. It is worth you to motivate a positive attitude toward life. For example, you should wake up in a good mood, wish yourself a good morning, and say it will be a wonderful day. By starting your morning with a positive attitude, you will have more fun with everything that happens.
Self-confidence will also help you joke about yourself and treat jokes to your address kindly. But there is a different kind of humor, both good and bad. The first should be treated with a positive attitude, but how to react to the second option is up to everyone.
Do not pass by contests or training sessions because it’s all to help reveal creative potential, believe in yourself, and learn not to be afraid of people’s reactions to your jokes.
Write down jokes and anecdotes that you liked, and try to develop your own. Think back to instances when you might have made a joke, and come up with a couple more witticisms for the situation.
Talk to people whose sense of humor you like. Read humorous literature, and watch funny programs.
How do you learn to joke in time?
It seems clear that anyone can make a joke. But it will not always be appropriate. When developing a sense of humor, it is essential to learn not only to make jokes funny and to do it in time but also to learn that sometimes it is better to remain silent. But how do you learn to make jokes on time?
Improvisation is a tricky business. Sometimes, you can accidentally make a joke on the fly. But if we want to get a specific result with our joke, it takes a lot of time to practice. You also can practice developing improvisation skills by playing board games.
First, you have to learn how to make a joke on paper. Try to think up your joke and write it down. At first, it will be difficult, and it will take days, weeks, or months. But you have to do it all the time. And then you reach a level where you can come up with a joke in a few seconds.
Learning to make jokes, let alone create impromptu tricks, is quite challenging. And it requires not only desire but also time, patience, diligence, and constant practice. But the important thing here is that a sense of humor can be innate and can also be developed.
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