Knowing how to make someone laugh usually depends on how well you know that person.
For example, it’s usually easier to make a good friend laugh than a stranger. However, making someone laugh is often worth the effort, both for them as well as for you.
Laughing has a variety of positive effects on people. It doesn’t matter what country you live in, laughter is universal. Below six strategies you can use to make someone laugh. Try these out. After all, we could all use a laugh.
But, before delving into the differing ways we can get people to laugh in a positive and beneficial way, let’s explore how laughing actually effects the body.
Why Laughing Is Important
The science behind laughter is a relatively new discovery. While other emotions such as fear and anger have been looked at for centuries, laughter has been thrown to the wayside. And it shouldn’t be.
Laughter is an extremely important key in life. It can relieve stress when you come home from a rough day of work. It can alleviate a blue mood. It’s the thing that can pull you out of the gutter when you’re at your lowest. Learning how to make someone laugh is important.
Physiologically, laughter has been shown to reduce stress in the body. According to one study, both short-term memory and stress hormones decreased in the body after laughter. Specifically, two groups of older adults were asked to participate in a study. One group of adults sat in a room together and talked. The other group watched humorous videos.
The group that watched funny videos saw a decrease in cortisol (stress hormone) and had better short-term recall. There it is. The solid proof that laughter can indeed brighten your day and benefit your body. But, how do you get people to laugh?
1. Laughing Is Contagious
Everyone says this. But, is it true? Does seeing others laugh really make you want to laugh? Science tends to say “yes”. Here’s how the laughter contagion works: you pop open a video on YouTube. You see a compilation of other people losing their minds with laughter. When you see this utter joy and happiness, you can’t help but crack a smile. It actually harkens back to our evolution. And, more than likely, you’re also busting a gut right alongside them via the video.
These types of videos are quite popular. You can search for them on the Internet and you’re almost always going to find a treasure trove of them.
2. Use Physical Comedy
Ah, the good old physical comedy gag. This has been around for well over one hundred years. Some of the best early influences are actors such as Charlie Chaplin. His physical stunts are still well known to this day (not only for their comedy, but for their inherent danger as well). When people slip and fall, it touches something inside us.
Now, if it’s a serious accident, you probably don’t see it as comedy. However, an ungraceful stumble or knocking something off your desk at work is likely to result in a few chuckles from your coworkers.
3. Find Awkward Times to Laugh
Have you ever been watching a TV newscast and witnessed the anchors suddenly lose it? They have such a serious job and a serious role on television, and now they just can’t contain their laughter. These types of clips are sidesplitting to watch. Similar to watching other people laugh, there’s a reason why you may find these clips funny.
When you’re not supposed to laugh, it makes it so much more difficult not to. It’s the idea that you shouldn’t press the button. So, what do you do? You press the button. Watching these people try to contain their joy just makes our day better.
4. Use Contextual Humor
Some types of humor hit well with some people but not with others. Learning how to make someone laugh is a tough gig, but contextual humor can be a great tool to use. Contextual humor works like this: an old person slips and falls. While younger people may find this clip funny, older people may not. Why? Because the older folks see these types of falls as more realistic since they’re also at a higher risk of these types of falls.
Always remember your audience when you’re trying to get people to laugh. Remember, some people may be offended by certain types of humor while others may love it.
5. Laugh at Yourself
Have you ever recalled telling someone a story about something stupid you did, only to find yourself dying with laughter about the situation? This is quite common. And, it’s a healthy practice to engage in.
When you can laugh at yourself, life becomes a tad easier. Instead of beating yourself up over that stupid thing you said or that embarrassing moment at the park, laugh about it. Poke fun at yourself. If everyone stopped taking everything so seriously, the world would probably be a better place. If you’re thinking of how to make someone else laugh, try making fun of yourself.
6. Funny Words Are a Winner
Science has made some wild discoveries. In the department of laughter, one of these discoveries may surprise you. Have you ever heard a weird word and chuckled to yourself? A lot of kids and a lot of adults read Dr. Seuss in the early 90’s, and it’s scientifically proven that wacky and silly words make people laugh.
The rarer the combination of letters of a word, the funnier it gets. That’s why Dr. Seuss was so well-loved. Between all his books, you could write an entire dictionary of all the outrageous words he made up and used. Weird words are a humorous commodity.
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