How to be Funny: 10 Tips to Improve your Sense of Humor

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Practical Psychology

Learning how to be funny and improving your sense of humor can make your entire life much more enjoyable. Life can be fun and entertaining if you know how to let it become such.

To become truly happy you must have a sense of humor. For some of us this comes naturally and for others, we might have to work a little to unlock it.

It’s a great tool to turn something bad into something good and people love to be surrounded by someone who can make them laugh. Being funny is something which can help you in every aspect of your life.

From making connections with your peers to getting your crush to like you, having a good sense of humor will always add to your arsenal when socially interacting with someone. We don't all start by being the class clown or the joker, but if you want some tips to improve your sense of humor, try these out:

1. Watch More Stand Up & Comedies

This is as simple as it gets. To increase your sense of humor watch more comedies. You learn more effectively when you immerse yourself in a subject (such as a language). Similarly, you can refine your sense of humor by immersing yourself in humor. Watch standup comedians. Listen to podcasts that amuse you. Read humorous books. Study funny people like Kevin Hart:

There's a lot of funny out there! If you don’t know where to start, look for something to your taste or start with something popular. Watching stand up and following the jokes can have your rolling out of your seat in no time. The law of attraction will help you increase your sense of humor by filtering out jokes, pickup lines and other metaphors that make people laugh.

You won’t find everything funny because everyone has a different taste. Take the time to experiment.

Once you find something of your liking you will see that the comedians are just talking about ordinary things from our daily life and you can do it too, which leads to our second point.

2. Try To See The Funny Side To Almost Everything

If you really want to develop your humor, then try to take something ordinary and make a joke out of it. There is a hidden joke behind every little event and situation you come across. Looking at situations with a different perspective is a very valuable life skill and will come in handy when learning to be a jokester.

If I get to stressed out about a situation I eventually just burst out into laughter and start making fun of it. I know, I know... it seems a little weird. This causes my mood to do an instant 180 and influences others around me to do the same. 

Go ahead and try it. Try to analyze those simple objects around you. You will start to find out that almost everything you see in daily life has a funny side to it.

Having a lighter side also helps with flirting. In fact, humor is the first step of the HOTAPE flirting method

3. Learn Some Very Simple Jokes

In the beginning, you don't have to be creative. Just go out and do some research! The internet is full of great resources for jokes, humor, puns, funny pictures, stand-up, etc. Try searching for stuff that you like and add funny, joke, or comedy to the end of your search. You will find millions of things to make your laugh.

This one gets a humorous extra breath of air through the nose: 

Me: "I'm a vegetarian"

Them: "I didn't know that..."

Me: "I'm not a very good one"

You can learn these jokes and try them out in your life whenever they fit. The trick is if the people in front of whom you are using the joke... if they have not heard the joke, then you are funny to them. However, if they have heard it, then it is a reference to a funny joke, either way, it is going to make them laugh. 

Everybody likes to stay around people who makes them laugh because it feels good.

4. Hang Out & Observe Other Funny People

We have all got some friends that we find funny. Go ahead and spend some time with them and learn what they are doing to be funny and how they do it. Hanging out with other funny people will surely rub off on you.

Andrew Schultz says one of the best ways he quickly improved his sense of humor was to be around other comedians at local comedy clubs.  

What better way to grow your sense of humor then surround yourself with funny people. Pay close attention and don’t be afraid to contribute. Every little laugh counts. In fact, just a couple genuine laughs a day can help you live longer, enhance your life quality and improve your perspective.

One trick here, is you can tell if someone is truly smiling or not by watching their eyes. A Duchenne smile is a true smile and you can tell by seeing the corners of someone's eyes wrinkling up. 

5. If Someone Doesn’t Laugh, Don’t Give Up

All comics will face criticism on a regular basis. The thing about jokes and your sense of humor you have to understand is that everyone won’t always get it. In fact, there will probably be a moment where you finish a joke and hear crickets chirp.

Don't give up at these moments and just know everyone faces these moments. Sometimes you might have to sneak away from the group or party and take a breather for a couple seconds. On the flip side of humour is embarrassment, and if you're the butt of a joke, eventually it'l be difficult to laugh it off.

Even Chandler (from Friends) had moments when he would crack a joke and everyone would stare at him like 'Dude, that's not funny!!' But does he give up? No, and neither should you. Keep trying and coming up with better material to make your audience laugh whether it is on a stage or just among friends.

The famous comedian and JRE host, Joe Rogan says the most important trait of a comedian and funny person is to not give up

Be clear when someone hurts your feelings with a joke and then forgive them to completely move on. Developing a sense of humor is much easier when you can forgive people.

6. Don’t Overdo It & Be Careful Not To Offend Others

Knowing your audience is a key point to making them laugh. You can go overboard with your humor and end up offending or upsetting an audience that doesn’t want to hear it.

Try to read and judge how others are reacting to your humor. If you have people falling out of their seats it’s probably a safe bet that you can continue telling jokes.

On the other hand, if they have been quite for a long time or seems offended it is probably better to switch to a different topic, one which you think will relate better to them.

7. Be Witty, Not Silly

Silly humor can be a solid starting point for some audiences, but it can get old quickly. It also might make you look immature (which can be bad at work and in the eyes of some people).

Being witty on the other hand never gets old. If you're looking to get wittier on the fly your goal is to combine spontaneous creativity with ideas that delight. Sarcasm and stale jokes do have a certain funny appeal, but being witty goes beyond that.

Also, on the hand of attraction, studies show many women rank a witty sense of humor as the sexiest traits a man can have. 

The challenge of wit is in its spontaneity. You can hone your wit by regularly quipping with other people. If you know someone who takes being witty as seriously as you do, it might help to enlist them as a type of "witty" sparring partner.

If you're comfortable with it, you can also try your hand at wit in the real world (e.g., dinner parties, the office, the coffee shop, in the elevator, family reunions). Part of this real world exposure is in exposing yourself to the spontaneity that wit requires. If you're new to it, or nervous or reserved about it, you might have trouble speaking up quickly enough to time it properly. But once you get the hang of it, it will take your sense of humor to a whole new level.

8. Stay Positive & Laugh More

This may be the single most important tip on my list. Who laughs at a joke from someone frowning? Not many. If you are letting off unhappy vibes nobody will laugh at your jokes. You won’t even think they’re funny. To really develop a sense of humor you need to laugh more.

Watching a comedy and being around others is great, but if you don’t follow the humor how can you really know what’s funny? If you are happy and laughing you will see that humor will flow naturally through you. You can feel jokes coming up in your gut and then boom you express them. Being nervous and hesitant will kill a good sense of humor.

9. Know the difference between funny and mean

Making fun of someone for things they can't change can come off as really mean. And even though these jokes might make other people laugh, the person who is the target of the joke can grow really self-conscious and in turn their mood off. You don't want to do that.

You can make jokes without being mean. Make jokes about something they can easily change about themselves or you can also make self-deprecating jokes to a certain point and there will always be jokes which have no victims.

Being sarcastic and witty can help you a long way to making people laugh but... always know your audience and when to stop. 

10. Practice

My last little bit of advice is practice. Comedy is something where it all comes down to Delivery and Timing. If your delivery and timing are not correct even the most hilarious jokes can fall flat. So how do you improve your delivery and timing? By practice. Keep practicing. Keep telling those jokes. Practice is something you need to enhance any skill.There is a saying in Karate which goes as:

"I am not afraid of the 1000 moves you have practiced once, I am afraid of the 1 move you have practiced 1000 times.

So go ahead and practice those jokes. Find out the optimal delivery and timing which makes laugh and you would be good to go.

Most of the time you can experiment with friends one on one to see how funny you are. You can also try to make yourself laugh by doing things and stopping to analyze what you just did. The more you practice the more comfortable you will become.

Reference this article:

Practical Psychology. (2017, April). How to be Funny: 10 Tips to Improve your Sense of Humor. Retrieved from

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