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How Telling Jokes Can Make the World a Better Place

How Telling Jokes Can Make the World a Better Place

Comedian Michael Jr. has some thoughts on getting a laugh out of an audience.

But first, a little background info for those who are unfamiliar with the funnyman. Michael Jr.’s rise to comedy fame started when his performance at the “Just for Laughs” comedy festival in Montreal was broadcast live on Jay Leno’s “The Tonight Show” — he was an instant hit. Since then, the comedian has appeared on top shows like “The Late, Late Show”, “Oprah”, “Jimmy Kimmel Live” and networks like Comedy Central and CNN. He has performed in some of the best comedy clubs in the country, including The Laugh Factory, The Punchline, and The Comic Strip. He also regularly visits prisons, shelters, and churches to bring his jokes to a wider audience. Critics have praised him as one of today’s most gifted comedians.

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What does it mean to be a comedian?

The video description for Vimeo’s “I like Laughter” reads, “Michael Jr. is a comedian that sees his career as a chance to ‘give laughs.’ How can you be the punch line?”

None of the shows and comedy clubs are what defined his progress as a comedian, says Michael. When he sat down with a non-profit organization called I Like Giving to share his thoughts on what he “liked” most in this world, it’s no surprise that he chose to talk about laughter. What is most surprising are his reasons for choosing it. In the video, he describes a philosophical shift in how he saw laughter that truly changed everything for the comedian.

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“People ask me all the time: ‘Michael, what was your big break?’ [The Tonight Show with Jay Leno] wasn’t it,” he reveals. “The big break was at a club, and right before I got on stage, I had a change in mindset about comedy…”

Instead of simply getting laughs from people, Michael says that his biggest goal is “to make laughter commonplace in uncommon places.” Watch the video below to hear one man’s thoughts on telling jokes professionally and in everyday life:

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http://vimeo.com/101023966

About ‘I Like Giving’

For more on the organization behind this video and others like it, check out I Like Giving’s description and introductory video on their Web site: I Like Giving is a non-profit created to inspire a generous world. The website ilikegiving.com serves as a platform for unique storytelling and idea sharing. I Like Giving believes a generous world is a better world for all of us. What we want is your action. Go check out a story today and then go create one of your own.

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Laughter health facts

Need even more proof that laughter is a force for good in the world? Whether Michael Jr. knows it or not, the laughter he generates has a number of health benefits. Some of the benefits of laughing include:

– It increases oxygen intake. Laughing creates deeper and more frequent intake of oxygen, providing more oxygen for your brain and stimulating other organs in the process.
– Laughter stimulates blood circulation and muscle relaxation. Hearty laughter can also stimulate circulation and muscle relaxation, further increasing oxygen flow and even reducing symptoms of stress.
– Improves your immune system. Stress and negative moods have been proven to reduce the effectiveness of the body’s immune system. The positive thoughts and feelings that come with laughter do the opposite, releasing protein-like molecules that help fight off illness.
– Pain relief. The human body can produce its own natural painkillers to help manage some levels of pain. Laughter may stimulate production of these painkillers, as well as provide temporary relief from muscle spasm pain.
– Lasting improvements to your mood. Beyond the joy of the moment, the positive affects of laughter can last past the funny moment and improve your mood all day. It may even help alleviate symptoms of mild to moderate anxiety and depression.

Featured photo credit: I Like Laughter/I Like Giving via vimeo.com

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Last Updated on February 11, 2021

Easily Misunderstood by Others? 6 Barriers You Should Overcome to Make Communication Less Frustrating

Easily Misunderstood by Others? 6 Barriers You Should Overcome to Make Communication Less Frustrating

How often have you said something simple, only to have the person who you said this to misunderstand it or twist the meaning completely around? Nodding your head in affirmative? Then this means that you are being unclear in your communication.

Communication should be simple, right? It’s all about two people or more talking and explaining something to the other. The problem lies in the talking itself, somehow we end up being unclear, and our words, attitude or even the way of talking becomes a barrier in communication, most of the times unknowingly. We give you six common barriers to communication, and how to get past them; for you to actually say what you mean, and or the other person to understand it as well…

The 6 Walls You Need to Break Down to Make Communication Effective

Think about it this way, a simple phrase like “what do you mean” can be said in many different ways and each different way would end up “communicating” something else entirely. Scream it at the other person, and the perception would be anger. Whisper this is someone’s ear and others may take it as if you were plotting something. Say it in another language, and no one gets what you mean at all, if they don’t speak it… This is what we mean when we say that talking or saying something that’s clear in your head, many not mean that you have successfully communicated it across to your intended audience – thus what you say and how, where and why you said it – at times become barriers to communication.[1]

Perceptual Barrier

The moment you say something in a confrontational, sarcastic, angry or emotional tone, you have set up perceptual barriers to communication. The other person or people to whom you are trying to communicate your point get the message that you are disinterested in what you are saying and sort of turn a deaf ear. In effect, you are yelling your point across to person who might as well be deaf![2]

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The problem: When you have a tone that’s not particularly positive, a body language that denotes your own disinterest in the situation and let your own stereotypes and misgivings enter the conversation via the way you talk and gesture, the other person perceives what you saying an entirely different manner than say if you said the same while smiling and catching their gaze.

The solution: Start the conversation on a positive note, and don’t let what you think color your tone, gestures of body language. Maintain eye contact with your audience, and smile openly and wholeheartedly…

Attitudinal Barrier

Some people, if you would excuse the language, are simply badass and in general are unable to form relationships or even a common point of communication with others, due to their habit of thinking to highly or too lowly of them. They basically have an attitude problem – since they hold themselves in high esteem, they are unable to form genuine lines of communication with anyone. The same is true if they think too little of themselves as well.[3]

The problem: If anyone at work, or even in your family, tends to roam around with a superior air – anything they say is likely to be taken by you and the others with a pinch, or even a bag of salt. Simply because whenever they talk, the first thing to come out of it is their condescending attitude. And in case there’s someone with an inferiority complex, their incessant self-pity forms barriers to communication.

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The solution: Use simple words and an encouraging smile to communicate effectively – and stick to constructive criticism, and not criticism because you are a perfectionist. If you see someone doing a good job, let them know, and disregard the thought that you could have done it better. It’s their job so measure them by industry standards and not your own.

Language Barrier

This is perhaps the commonest and the most inadvertent of barriers to communication. Using big words, too much of technical jargon or even using just the wrong language at the incorrect or inopportune time can lead to a loss or misinterpretation of communication. It may have sounded right in your head and to your ears as well, but if sounded gobbledygook to the others, the purpose is lost.

The problem: Say you are trying to explain a process to the newbies and end up using every technical word and industry jargon that you knew – your communication has failed if the newbie understood zilch. You have to, without sounding patronizing, explain things to someone in the simplest language they understand instead of the most complex that you do.

The solution: Simplify things for the other person to understand you, and understand it well. Think about it this way: if you are trying to explain something scientific to a child, you tone it down to their thinking capacity, without “dumbing” anything down in the process.[4]

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Emotional Barrier

Sometimes, we hesitate in opening our mouths, for fear of putting our foot in it! Other times, our emotional state is so fragile that we keep it and our lips zipped tightly together lest we explode. This is the time that our emotions become barriers to communication.[5]

The problem: Say you had a fight at home and are on a slow boil, muttering, in your head, about the injustice of it all. At this time, you have to give someone a dressing down over their work performance. You are likely to transfer at least part of your angst to the conversation then, and talk about unfairness in general, leaving the other person stymied about what you actually meant!

The solution: Remove your emotions and feelings to a personal space, and talk to the other person as you normally would. Treat any phobias or fears that you have and nip them in the bud so that they don’t become a problem. And remember, no one is perfect.

Cultural Barrier

Sometimes, being in an ever-shrinking world means that inadvertently, rules can make cultures clash and cultural clashes can turn into barriers to communication. The idea is to make your point across without hurting anyone’s cultural or religious sentiments.

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The problem: There are so many ways culture clashes can happen during communication and with cultural clashes; it’s not always about ethnicity. A non-smoker may have problems with smokers taking breaks; an older boss may have issues with younger staff using the Internet too much.

The solution: Communicate only what is necessary to get the point across – and eave your personal sentiments or feelings out of it. Try to be accommodative of the other’s viewpoint, and in case you still need to work it out, do it one to one, to avoid making a spectacle of the other person’s beliefs.[6]

Gender Barrier

Finally, it’s about Men from Mars and Women from Venus. Sometimes, men don’t understand women and women don’t get men – and this gender gap throws barriers in communication. Women tend to take conflict to their graves, literally, while men can move on instantly. Women rely on intuition, men on logic – so inherently, gender becomes a big block in successful communication.[7]

The problem: A male boss may inadvertently rub his female subordinates the wrong way with anti-feminism innuendoes, or even have problems with women taking too many family leaves. Similarly, women sometimes let their emotions get the better of them, something a male audience can’t relate to.

The solution: Talk to people like people – don’t think or classify them into genders and then talk accordingly. Don’t make comments or innuendos that are gender biased – you don’t have to come across as an MCP or as a bra-burning feminist either. Keep gender out of it.

And remember, the key to successful communication is simply being open, making eye contact and smiling intermittently. The battle is usually half won when you say what you mean in simple, straightforward words and keep your emotions out of it.

Reference

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