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Why People Like Those Who Know How To Joke About Themselves

Why People Like Those Who Know How To Joke About Themselves

Who doesn’t love a good laugh every once in awhile? Watching comedy movies and joking with our friends are great ways to unwind after a stressful day. Somehow, some of the funniest jokes around are the ones that people make about themselves.

When you hear somebody joke about themselves, it’s instantly funny. Not only that, but it draws you toward the person and makes them instantly relatable. Even though comedy is a very subjective thing, there are certain steps you can take to make people laugh and get them to like you.

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“I don’t mind making jokes, but I don’t want to look like one.” – Marilyn Monroe

Sometimes, jokes are meant to make fun of other people. I’m sure you’ve laughed at more than a few of these. The truth, however, is that these jokes might hurt somebody’s feelings. If you’re hoping to be funny, don’t tell jokes that could make somebody else feel alienated.[1] That isn’t the way to get somebody to like you.

Remember, humor shouldn’t hurt somebody’s feelings. If your goal is to get people to like you by telling jokes, don’t make fun of anyone else. When you do this, you’re pointing out someone’s insecurities. Most people fight against their insecurities on a daily basis. They don’t need you to draw attention to these issues. Making fun of others is not the way to get people to like you.

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“If you want anything done well, do it yourself. This is why most people laugh at their own jokes.” – Bob Edwards

You’re probably wondering how to make jokes without using somebody else for the punchline. Easy. Use yourself! That’s right, self-deprecating humor is considered really funny by most audiences. You also have the added benefit of not making somebody else feel bad.

When you make self-deprecating jokes, your literal words are not what makes the joke funny. Instead, the subtext of your message is what makes people laugh. In other words, self-deprecating jokes get their point across indirectly. Be critical of yourself and your actions in a humorous manner, and identify something about yourself that others might find funny.

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“We need more kindness, more compassion, more joy, more laughter. I definitely want to contribute to that.” – Ellen DeGeneres

One of the funniest TV hosts is Ellen DeGeneres. She’s the best at telling jokes that make people instantly like her. According to a video by Charisma on Command, DeGeneres tends to use 3 types of jokes.[2] She uses self-deprecating humor, innocently pokes fun at others, and tries to lift people’s egos.

In short, be like Ellen DeGeneres when you’re telling jokes. When you avoid making fun of people and their insecurities, you will make more people like you. Telling innocent jokes is much more likely to get laughs out of people. Why? Because people usually aren’t insecure about temporary situations, common issues, or things that are not part of their very identity.[3]

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Other ways to be funnier include making exaggerated body movements and including games in your interactions with other people. Try to have fun and include other people in that fun, no matter what you’re doing. If you can make other people laugh, you’ll help brighten their day and make some friends along the way.

So remember, next time your want to make a joke, think it over first. Make sure that you aren’t making somebody else the butt of your humor. And if you are, make sure it isn’t by making fun of something they can’t change or something that they might feel self-conscious about. Be silly, be self-deprecating, and laugh. Laughter draws us all closer together.

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Amber Pariona

EFL Teacher, Lifehack Writer, English/Spanish Translator, MPA

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Last Updated on May 21, 2019

How to Communicate Effectively in Any Relationship

How to Communicate Effectively in Any Relationship

For all our social media bravado, we live in a society where communication is seen less as an art, and more as a perfunctory exercise. We spend so much time with people, yet we struggle with how to meaningfully communicate.

If you believe you have mastered effective communication, scan the list below and see whether you can see yourself in any of the examples:

Example 1

You are uncomfortable with a person’s actions or comments, and rather than telling the individual immediately, you sidestep the issue and attempt to move on as though the offending behavior or comment never happened.

You move on with the relationship and develop a pattern of not addressing challenging situations. Before long, the person with whom you are in relationship will say or do something that pushes you over the top and predictably, you explode or withdraw completely from the relationship.

In this example, hard-to-speak truths become never- expressed truths that turn into resentment and anger.

Example 2

You communicate from the head and without emotion. While what you communicate makes perfect sense to you, it comes across as cold because it lacks emotion.

People do not understand what motivates you to say what you say, and without sharing your feelings and emotions, others experience you as rude, cold or aggressive.

You will know this is a problem if people shy away from you, ignore your contributions in meetings or tell you your words hurt. You can also know you struggle in this area if you find yourself constantly apologizing for things you have said.

Example 3

You have an issue with one person, but you communicate your problem to an entirely different person.

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The person in whom you confide lacks the authority to resolve the matter troubling you, and while you have vented and expressed frustration, the underlying challenge is unresolved.

Example 4

You grew up in a family with destructive communication habits and those habits play out in your current relationships.

Because you have never stopped to ask why you communicate the way you do and whether your communication style still works, you may lack understanding of how your words impact others and how to implement positive change.

If you find yourself in any of the situations described above, this article is for you.

Communication can build or decimate worlds and it is important we get it right. Regardless of your professional aspirations or personal goals, you can improve your communication skills if you:

  • Understand your own communication style
  • Tailor your style depending on the needs of the audience
  • Communicate with precision and care
  • Be mindful of your delivery, timing and messenger

1. Understand Your Communication Style

To communicate effectively, you must understand the communication legacy passed down from our parents, grandparents or caregivers. Each of us grew up with spoken and unspoken rules about communication.

In some families, direct communication is practiced and honored. In other families, family members are encouraged to shy away from difficult conversations. Some families appreciate open and frank dialogue and others do not. Other families practice silence about substantive matters, that is, they seldom or rarely broach difficult conversations at all.

Before you can appreciate the nuance required in communication, it helps to know the familial patterns you grew up with.

2. Learn Others Communication Styles

Communicating effectively requires you to take a step back, assess the intended recipient of your communication and think through how the individual prefers to be communicated with. Once you know this, you can tailor your message in a way that increases the likelihood of being heard. This also prevents you from assuming the way you communicate with one group is appropriate or right for all groups or people.

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If you are unsure how to determine the styles of the groups or persons with whom you are interacting, you can always ask them:

“How do you prefer to receive information?”

This approach requires listening, both to what the individuals say as well as what is unspoken. Virgin Group CEO Richard Branson noted that the best communicators are also great listeners.

To communicate effectively from relationship to relationship and situation to situation, you must understand the communication needs of others.

3. Exercise Precision and Care

A recent engagement underscored for me the importance of exercising care when communicating.

On a recent trip to Ohio, I decided to meet up with an old friend to go for a walk. As we strolled through the soccer park, my friend gently announced that he had something to talk about, he was upset with me. His introduction to the problem allowed me to mentally shift gears and prepare for the conversation.

Shortly after introducing the shift in conversation, my friend asked me why I didn’t invite him to the launch party for my business. He lives in Ohio and I live in the D.C. area.

I explained that the event snuck up on me, and I only started planning the invite list three weeks before the event. Due to the last-minute nature of the gathering, I opted to invite people in the DMV area versus my friends from outside the area – I didn’t want to be disrespectful by asking them to travel on such short notice.

I also noted that I didn’t want to be disappointed if he and others declined to come to the event. So I played it safe in terms of inviting people who were local.

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In the moment, I felt the conversation went very well. I also checked in with my friend a few days after our walk, affirmed my appreciation for his willingness to communicate his upset and our ability to work through it.

The way this conversation unfolded exemplified effective communication. My friend approached me with grace and vulnerability. He approached me with a level of curiosity that didn’t put me on my heels — I was able to really listen to what he was saying, apologize for how my decision impacted him and vow that going forward, I would always ask rather than making decisions for him and others.

Our relationship is intact, and I now have information that will help me become a better friend to him and others.

4. Be Mindful of Delivery, Timing and Messenger

Communicating effectively also requires thinking through the delivery of the message one intends to communicate as well as the appropriate time for the discussion.

In an Entrepreneur.com column, VIP Contributor Deep Patel, noted that persons interested in communicating well need to master the art of timing. Patel noted,[1]

“Great comedians, like all great communicators, are able to feel out their audience to determine when to move on to a new topic or when to reiterate an idea.”

Communicating effectively also requires thoughtfulness about the messenger. A person prone to dramatic, angry outbursts should never be called upon to deliver constructive feedback, especially to people whom they do not know. The immediate aftermath of a mass shooting is not the ideal time to talk about the importance of the Second Amendment rights.

Like everyone else, I must work to ensure my communication is layered with precision and care.

It requires precision because words must be carefully tailored to the person with whom you are speaking.

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It requires intentionality because before one communicates, one should think about the audience and what the audience needs in order to hear your message the way you intended it to be communicated.

It requires active listening which is about hearing verbal and nonverbal messages.

Even though we may be right in what we say, how we say it could derail the impact of the message and the other parties’ ability to hear the message.

Communicating with care is also about saying things that the people in our life need to hear and doing so with love.

The Bottom Line

When I left the meeting with my dear friend, I wondered if I was replicating or modeling this level of openness and transparency in the rest of my relationships.

I was intrigued and appreciative. He’d clearly thought about what he wanted to say to me, picked the appropriate time to share his feedback and then delivered it with care. He hit the ball out of the park and I’m hopeful we all do the same.

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Featured photo credit: Kenan Buhic via unsplash.com

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