The Gift of Humor
Humor is a catalyst for truth, bond, and art. It’s also a medium that feeds our intuition and serves as a reliever and an instigator during prime moments. During times of complicated political matters, it can serve as an ambiguous communicative device for social awareness. There is a strong assumption that comedians tell jokes as a way to displace the pain of their own life experiences.
Getting to know someone is no small feat, it can even feel like pulling teeth. Humor serves as a respite and a way to control impulses. Keeping this in mind, there are many factors that humor serves in a meeting between individuals that could lead to a strong connection.
Anthropologists and wildlife biologists have dated the origin of humor back to primates as a way to reduce fear and increase pleasure. Humor provides a buffer for pain, yet a kernel of truth can reside inside the joke. It’s as if humor has a way of softening the blow of the reality that we all know, but is too painful to outright pronounce. Freud described humor as the fun-loving id making itself known despite the protestations of the conformist superego.
Humor can even be identified as one of the methods of conformity. How contagious we are when spellbound by such laughter. Not even air stands a chance, as we gasp to negotiate if it’s worth a breath in between belly laughs or to remain pleasured by humorous charm. Neuroscientist Sophie Scott theorized a correlation between breathing and laughter, as well as emotions and the voice. Studying the mechanisms of laughter, she discovered it’s a social, universal expression, not just in humans, but even chimpanzees and rats (Kiume, 2012). Humor is naturally a way to bond with others. Being sensible to catch a good joke is a whole other thing!
Kiume, S. (2012, May 01). What Happens When We Laugh. Retrieved from https://blogs.psychcentral.com/channeln/2012/04/what-happens-when-we-laugh/