Humor has long been considered one of the most effective tools to judge the quality of any relationship. If there is laughter present you can be sure the relationship is a healthy one. When the laughter ceases the relationship is on the down slide. If you want to have more fulfilling relationships you might want to consider sharpening your sense of humor as a great place to start.
Here are five ways to improve your sense of humor and improve your relationships in the process.
1. Begin to cultivate an atmosphere of humor and laughter in your relationships by focusing on the funny things in life and enjoying the laughter they evoke. Soon you will be seeing humor all over and enjoying it fully.
2. If you don't laugh as much as you used to and want to correct the situation, start associating with humorous, fun loving people and avoid the downers.
3. Learn to laugh at yourself. If you don't, you leave the job to others. So many people are unable to laugh at themselves because of their own insecurities and fears. We are afraid to look foolish in the eyes of others and appear to be incompetent. It is important to realize that we all make mistakes and when we do a good laugh makes the mistake seem trivial and human.
4. Collect cartoons and jokes and put them on display on the fridge or the bulletin board for all to see and enjoy. Make sure to avoid racist, sexist or filthy humor. There is plenty of good clean humor to go around without resorting to these. Remember that there is a difference between dirty and earthy humor. I personally like earthy humor. I don’t appreciate dirty material.
5. Use humor to neutralize conflict in your relationships. When things get tense use self deprecating humor to lighten things up. I remember one evening having an argument with my wife, Carol. In the heat of the moment she said something totally out of character. She said something hurtful. In my surprise I looked at her and said, “ Carol, when you say things like that you stoop to my level.” She started to laugh and so did I. It wasn’t long before things were back to normal.
Remember that a sense of humor is learned, not inherited. You can sharpen your sense of humor if you really want to. When you do, you will find that your relationships become richer and more rewarding and that people find you more attractive and fun to be with. This alone makes improving your sense of humor worth the effort.
Mike Moore is an international speaker on "Humor and Stress Management" and "Humor in the Workplace." He travels throughout North America giving speeches and seminars to business groups and organizations. His writing and cartoons have appeared in newspapers and magazines throughout Canada and the U.S.A. He works out of Brantford ON Canada. View a 5 minute video clip of Mike speaking on "Humor and Stress. Download a free copy of Mike's cartoon e-book "Let the Laughter Begin" (17 cartoons to help improve morale and employment enjoyment).© 2006 Mike Moore
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