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Most of the Times People Aren’t Boring, They Just Lack a Sense of Humor

Most of the Times People Aren’t Boring, They Just Lack a Sense of Humor

Do you ever find yourself in a room full of people laughing at something someone said, only to realize you’re the only one apparently not in on the joke? It’s an interesting problem to have, and one not many people are aware of.

I’ve always been a smart-alec, it’s just in my blood. But I’ve definitely felt weird before when I say something clever and everyone laughs except one person. Did I offend them? Did they just not get the joke? Sometimes it could be that person doesn’t have a sense of humor.

Maybe you don’t find people to be all that funny. That’s okay. But studies have shown that having a sense of humor and laughing often can extend your lifespan. In fact, having a good sense of humor increases your chances of reaching retirement age. But after 70, those benefits can decrease. So until then, get to chuckling![1]

Laughter really is the best medicine!

It turns out that old cliche is an accurate one! In fact, learning to laugh more and loosen up can actually alleviate stress. Letting go of anger through laughter can help you release all that pent up anxiety and help you to be more balanced. This doesn’t just mean laughing at other people’s lame jokes or forcing yourself to smile when someone says something they deem witty; it also means laughing at yourself.

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In today’s world it can be so challenging to just let things roll off our backs and keep our heads up. But learning to laugh at our own mistakes can go a long way in helping us in our happiness.[2] When I feel stressed, I like to find a good pun, like this one:

    When you laugh at yourself, you radiate positivity.

    In 2011, a study was conducted to determine if laughing at ones self impacted character perception. Sixty-seven undergrads decided to rate their ability to laugh at themselves and had a couple witnesses come up with their own ratings. The undergrads essentially tricked the witnesses, as they took pictures of them as they filled out a questionnaire. The participants were shown numerous pictures later, including their own which had been wildly distorted and stretched. The photos were so distorted, in fact, that the participants didn’t recognize their own faces. While they rated the photos in terms of humor, they were filmed so the researchers could analyze their reactions to determine genuine happiness and smiles.[3]

    Although 80 percent of participants flashed a genuine smile at least once on seeing their own distorted image, it was those who claimed to be able to laugh at themselves, and whose peers agreed with this verdict, who showed more frequent and intense smiling and laughter in response to the distorted self-images, and fewer signs of fake smiles or negative emotion.

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    While no real correlation was determined between the ability to laugh at ones self and the amount of laughter triggered by the funny images of other peoples’ faces, there does seem to be evidence that proclivity for laughing at ones self really is a distinctive trait. So basically, don’t be so hard on yourself! You’ll like yourself more and be more enjoyable to others!

      There are actually many types of humor.

      Laugh-at-life humor. So far, we’ve really focused on the ability to laugh at yourself and at life. This is a specific type of humor that is usually related to not taking life too seriously. If you have this kind of humor, you probably know when to take a deep breath and let stress and anxiety melt away. There’s also a good chance you’re the friend people turn to for some positivity and motivation [4].

      Sarcastic humor: This is me. 100%. And if you’re also sarcastic, you have a dark, biting sense of humor and you’ve probably been told before that someone found you offensive. Sarcasm is usually associated with being quick-witted, and that can make it dangerous to speak without thinking. When people understand your brand of comedy, you’re golden. But when it comes to getting to know people, or wording an important work email, think before you speak/type.

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      Self-deprecating humor: This is a lot like laugh-at-life humor, but you’re basically always the root of the joke. You like to be the class clown, but too much of it can make people a little uncomfortable. There’s a line between dark and funny and dark and depressing.

      The giggles: A case of the giggles is typically suffered by kids and teens, but adults can certainly find themselves wheezing with laughter. Usually this is caused when something is so funny in a trifling way that you laugh and just can’t stop! This tends to happen to me pretty regularly, and I’m often the only person who thinks it’s as funny as it is![5]

      Highbrow/witty humor: I love having conversations with people who have this brand of wit. Basically, your jokes show intelligence. You catch on to the subtle allusions in movies and books and you’re careful to be witty but not a know-it-all.

      Bathroom humor: If you’re anything like me, you have a friend who sends you the poop emoji way too often. That friend has bathroom humor! If it’s gross, gory or mildly taboo, they think it’s the funniest thing they’ve ever heard. While these kinds of jokes can be hysterical, there’s a time and a place for crude jokes. Take it easy.

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      Jokes at others’ expense: You like to pick, prod and tease other people. This kind of humor walks a very fine line. After all, saying something bordeline cruel isn’t okay just because you say, “I’m kidding!” afterward. It’s okay to be sarcastic and give a friend a hard time, but make sure it’s not going to hurt them emotionally.

      Healing humor: This one’s important. This is the kind of laughter that is shared with someone, not aimed at them. When we laugh with others, we release frustration and stress. This can be a transformative experience and so very healing.

      Dry humor: This is one of my favorite types of humor, and I am so envious of those that have perfected it. Dry humor means having the ability to say something outrageous and funny but in an expressionless, matter-of-fact kind of way.[6]

      Everyone has their own brand of humor, you just have to find it.

      Unfortunately, you can’t just develop a sense of humor overnight, but luckily there’s a good chance you already have one. You may just not know how to allow yourself to laugh. Once you’ve determined what your brand of humor is, or at the very least believe you think you know what you want it to be, the tips below can help you grow your funny bone and get you giggling.

      • Laugh at others, but not in a hurtful way. When you laugh at something, it can sometimes be a domino effect. Allow yourself to laugh at any and everything you want, just avoid cruelty [7]!
      • Actively look for jokes every day! I know, I know, it sounds like a lot of work, but it doesn’t have to be. So much humor is all around you if you’re only willing to look for it. If you can force yourself to be actively aware of all the silliness you encounter 24/7, soon you will be able to laugh passively [8].

        • Recognize the difference between being funny and having a sense of humor: If you’re funny, you can express humor. But if you have a sense of humor, you can laugh with others, too!
        • Take cues from those around you: What makes your family laugh? Your best friend? Try watching moves with all kinds of different humor to determine what makes you smile and laugh. And remember, the idea is to learn from people, not copy them.
        • Practice self-love. If you love yourself, you’ll be able to joke at yourself. Good-humored individuals embrace all their faults, and even openly laugh about them. If you can accept yourself for all the good and the bad, you’re that much closer to having a great sense of humor.[9]
        • Stay Healthy: Humor is beneficial both physically and emotionally. If you develop a better understanding of humor, you’ll be better at coping at everything from dealing with pain to easing your own stress. Giggling can actually stimulate organs and improve your immune system. Again, it really is the best medicine!

        Images courtesy of Kicking Cones

        Reference

        [1]Science Daily: A sense of humor helps keep you healthy until retirement age
        [2]Don Connelly: Learn to Laugh at Yourself when It Is Called for
        [3]Research Digest: The first ever experimental investigation of laughing at oneself
        [4]Lauren Ware: The 10 Different Types of Humor
        [5]Psy Central: 7 Kinds of Humor and What They Mean
        [6]Daily Writing Tips: 20 Types and Forms of Humor
        [7]http://www.rd.com/funny-stuff/sense-of-humor/
        [8]http://www.wikihow.com/Have-a-Sense-of-Humor
        [9]HuffPost: 6 Signs You Have A Good Sense Of Humor

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        Heather Poole

        Technical writer

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        Last Updated on August 16, 2018

        Narcissistic Personality: What Is It and How to Deal with a Narcissist?

        Narcissistic Personality: What Is It and How to Deal with a Narcissist?

        He asks you for your opinion, but only follows his own advice regardless of what you say.She loves to talk about herself, everything about her is just better than you.  When you try to share anything happy about yourself, she seriously doubts it.

        If you know someone who acts like these examples, there’s a chance they might be a narcissist.

        What is a narcissistic personality?

        Narcissism is a spectrum personality disorder which most of us have.

        In popular culture, narcissism is interpreted as a person who’s in love with themselves, more accurately, their idealized selves. Narcissists believe that they are too unique to be understood and that they are so good that they demand for admiration from others.

        Psychologist Stephen Johnson writes that,[1]

        the narcissist is someone who has buried his true self-expression in response to early injuries and replaced it with a highly developed, compensatory false self.

        The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) describes narcissistic personality as a personality disorder. It is a spectrum disorder, which means it exists on a continuum ranging from some narcissistic traits to the full-blown personality disorder.[2]

        Narcissistic Personality Disorder is not very common, but the truth is, we all have some of the narcissistic traits.

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        Traits of a narcissist:

        • They have a deep need for admiration and validation. They think they’re special and too unique to be understood.
        • They feel they are superior to other. They achieve more and know a lot more than you.
        • They do not show their vulnerabilities. They fear what others think of them and they want to remain superior in all situations.
        • They are unwilling to recognize or identify with the feelings and needs of others. They want to be the centre of attention and believe that showing emotions is a sign of weakness.
        • They are skilled manipulators and are emotionally abusive. They know how to make use of their charm to take advantage of others to get what they want.

        How are narcissists different from others?

        Narcissism expert and the author of Narcissism in a Nutshell, Zari Ballard, tried to answer some common questions asked by non-narcissists about what a narcissist thinks and feels from a narcissist’s perspective.[3]

        Do narcissists know they are narcissists and are they happy?

        We could really care less about how others feel. We enjoy our so called cold existence. True narcissists don’t want to change. We feel in total control of our lives using this method.

        Do narcissists know or understand right from wrong?

        Narcissists know the difference between right and wrong because they understand cause and effect. There is no “guilty conscience” giving them a clue and they are displaying the symptom of being “indifferent to social norms” while most likely presenting as ‘cold-hearted.’

        Narcissists have a very different thinking mechanism. They see things from a different perspective. Unlike non-narcissists and empaths, they don’t have much sympathy and are reluctant to show emotions to others.

        Why do people become narcissists?

        1. Narcissism is vulnerability taken to an extreme.

        The root of a narcissistic personality is a strong resistance to feeling vulnerable with anyone.[4]

        Narcissists refuse to put themselves in a position where they feel vulnerable. They fear that others will take advantage of their weaknesses, so they learn to camouflage their weaknesses by acting strong and powerful. The think showing emotions to others is a sign of weakness, so they learn to hide their emotions and act cold-hearted most of the times.

        Narcissists live in a state of anxiety because they are highly aware of their emotions and how others think of them.

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        Vulnerability aversion, is the root of a narcissistic personality.

        2. A narcissistic personality could be a result of a wounded past.

        Narcissists are desperate to seek validation constantly because they either didn’t feel worthwhile and valued in the past, or were being paid too much attention as the most precious and unique one in the world.

        Faulty or inadequate parenting, for example a lack of limit setting, is believed to be a major cause, and both permissive and authoritarian styles of parenting have been found to promote narcissistic symptoms.[5]

        Both parents who fail to see the worth in a child, and parents who spoil and give excessive praise to the child promote narcissism as the child grows. While the former ones make the child feel inferior of others and want to get more attention, the latter ones encourage an idealized-self in the child.

        How to deal with a narcissist?

        1. If someone close to you is a narcissist, embrace the differences.

        There’re different personality types and not everyone will think and act the same as you do. Instead of trying to change others, learn to accept the differences and strike a balance when you really have to communicate with them.

        2. Don’t try to change them, focus on your own needs.

        Try to understand that narcissists are resistant to change, it’s more important for you to see who they really are, instead of who you want them to be. Focus on how you feel, and what you want yourself to be.

        Embrace the fact that there’re different types of personality and the only thing you can control is your attitude and your own actions.

        3. Recognize what they do only comes from their insecurity.

        Narcissists are quite vulnerable deep inside, they question others because that’s how they can make themselves feel better.

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        When you learn that what a narcissist does to you is nothing personal, but something that comes from their insecurity, you know that sometimes they just need a certain amount of reassurance.

        This is especially important if the narcissist is someone you have to closely work with, or if they’re your family member. The right amount of reassurance can calm them down and get the tasks on hand completed.

        4. Ask them what would others think instead of what’d others feel.[6]

        Narcissists don’t feel guilty, but they care about how others think of them deep in their heart.

        Clinical psychologist Al Bernstein explains:

        There are just things, like other people’s feelings, that narcissists rarely consider. If you have their ear, don’t tell them how people might react; instead, ask probing questions. Narcissists are much more likely to act on ideas that they think they thought up themselves.

        If you have to work with a narcissist closely, focus on the facts and ideas, not the emotions.

        5. Let go of the need of getting a narcissist’s approval.

        You’re not who a narcissist says you are. Don’t let their blame game undermine your self-esteem, and don’t argue with them just to defend what you believe is right.

        There is no point arguing with a narcissist just to prove them wrong because they will not give in proving themselves right. It’s more likely that you’ll get more upset when they disagree with you in an unpleasant way.

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        Know your own worth and detach from a narcissist’s opinion on you.

        6. If a narcissist is hurting you, stay away from them.

        Remember, a healthy relationship is two-sided. It’s about mutual respect and it’s based on give and take. But any kind of relationship with a narcissist is likely to be the contrary, it’s about making the narcissist happy and constantly supporting them. A relationship like this will only weigh you down and is unhealthy for your growth.

        7. Set a boundary and always keep it.

        If you’re setting a boundary, you have to be willing to keep it. When a narcissist sees that you’re trying to take back control of your life, they will try to test your limits, it’s just their instinct to do it.

        Be prepared that your boundary will be challenged. Make your boundary clear, have all the actions needed to be taken in your mind.

        For example, if you have decided to stop communicating with them, they will likely to show up in front of you just to talk to you. Be brave enough to keep your boundary, don’t back down and get close to them again; or else they will not take your boundary seriously any more.

        8. Learn when to walk away.

        When a narcissist starts to make you feel uncomfortable and doubt about yourself, it’s time to pick yourself up and give yourself enough respect to just walk away from them.

        If you’re in love with a narcissist, you should seriously think about ending the relationship and move on for a better life. If the narcissist is your family member, you don’t have to be cruel to them, but it’s better to keep distance from them.

        Reference

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