You have probably met those types of people, the ones that always have a witty remark that fits every occasion and that always brings the room to laughter. How do they do it? And how can you be like them?
The good news is that you can. Any skill can be learned and humor is one of them. The first step is to begin thinking funny.
You need to start finding the funny in everything. Funny people are just those that see the world in a different way. Stop being so serious and start seeing the absurdities of the world. The world isn’t serious. You can find the humorous part in every daily action imaginable.
What you need to do in order to do that is to reframe your mind. Put a different spin on daily events. See the humor in everything.
Start by observing what is around you, see the funny relationships and connections. Train yourself to see the humor.
Use what Jerry Seinfeld calls your “third eye”. It’s something that every comedian has in order to be able to view life with an ironic dettachment. This eye is the one that looks at what is happening from the funny angle, distances itself from the situation and sees its ridiculousness.
Life is full of humorous things, but you need to be able to see under the surface of what appears a serious world.
Here are some examples to point out the absurdities of the modern world:
How do you find the picture above? The clothing is a little ridiculous right? You would probably chuckle at anyone wearing that today. However in the 18th century that was perfectly normal clothing and nobody would even bat an eye, if they saw it.
And now something from the modern world, just a different continent:
For Papuans this is pretty normal clothing. Nothing to laugh about for them…
How about for you? 🙂
So now look at something that is much more familiar to you:
For most people in the future this will be a funny scene. Why can’t it be funny now? You see what I am getting at?
If you look at the most popular comedic sitcoms, the reason you find them funny is because either consciously or subconsciously you can identify parallels to your own life in them.
For example “The Office”:
Now think of your own place of work. You could probably identify much more absurd situations that happen there on a daily basis. Next time you see an argument taking place or someone starts yelling about the importance of meeting daily targets, just think about the absurdity of the entire situation.
A lot of people got rich by doing that:
So how do you develop your sense of humor? Start seeing the funny side of things. Immerse yourself in humor, watch stand-up comic shows, comedies, read jokes and anything funny that you come across.
Live life as if it were one big playground and amuse yourself.
Developing an observational type of humor is key. Comedians are observant people who put a spin on what they see. Even when anything frustrating happens, they turn it around and use it for humor.
Is there something that you find frustrating or stupid? Why not joke about it?
As Carol Burnett says: “Comedy is tragedy plus time.”
Even one of America’s greatest writers, Mark Twain, defined humor in a similar way: “The secret source of humor itself is not joy, but sorrow. There is no humor in heaven.”
Let’s wrap this up with a quote from Nobel Prize winning physicist Nils Bohr: “Some things are so serious, they can only be joked about.”
The World is funny. You just have to see it!
Now do these exercises to put yourself in the right mindset and to start seeing the funny side of life:
1) Think of an everyday situation when you thought something was funny? For example try remembering a scene when you were talking with your friends about your lives and ended up laughing? What made you laugh? What was funny?
2) Think of a serious situation that you have encountered or encounter daily? Now try to reframe it in a way as to make it funny. What is absurd about that serious situation?
3) In order to get yourself into the comic mindset, start listening to some comedy podcasts. A good one is this one done by Stuart Goldsmith. He interviews different comedians and tries to find out what makes them tick. When listening to the individual interviews, don’t just listen to WHAT they say, but also pay attention to HOW they say it.