How Humor Can Enhance Your Personal Life: This is No Joke!

Whether or not you wish to pursue a career in comedy or just sharpen your wit, having humor in your skillset can be a valuable asset in any aspect of life.
It’s safe to say we’ve all had the uncomfortable experience of making a joke in front of a group of people and having it met with awkward silence. Whether you’re trying to amuse co-workers, a classroom, or even just a few close friends, nothing’s worse than that utter silence (ok, maybe it’s not utter silence, there may be a few crickets chirping in the background) that comes after attempting to get a good laugh. So what went wrong?

Was that not funny? Did I say something wrong? People laughed when Adam Sandler said it! I’m never making another joke again!

Humor is both an art and a science. It requires a lot more than just constantly repeating a century-old joke to get a reaction. There are many factors that can determine whether or not something is found to be funny, so understanding what’s funny and how to turn it into a joke is critical in getting the reaction you desire.

Here are a few simple tips on how to be funny:

  • Observe the world
    • What’s going on around you? Is there anything unusual or ironic? Something that those around you may find amusing?
  • Say what’s on your mind
    • No matter how random it may be, unexpected jokes are always some of the best ones, so say what’s on your mind (just please make sure it’s appropriate).
  • Exaggerate and be crazy
    • Blowing things out of proportion from a comedic perspective is a great way to get some laughs.
  • Don’t cross the line!
    • Look at those around you, if you’re about to say something that might be offensive or taken the wrong way, it’s best not to say it.
  • Be familiar with pop culture
    • Making funny references to music, movies and television shows can go a long way

Ok, so now that you have a better understanding of how to be funny (or maybe you were already a comedic genius to begin with), it’s important to know that getting a laugh is just one of many benefits that come from having a good sense of humor.

Benefits of having a good sense of humor include:

  • Better Physical Health
    • Studies have shown that humor and laughter can lead to better physical health.
    • This can include lower blood pressure, higher brain function, pain relief, and a good workout!
  • Better Mental Health
    • Not only is having a good sense of humor good for your physical health, it is also beneficial to your mental health. This includes decreased stress, a better perspective on life, and the release of endorphins.
  • It helps you achieve career goals
    • Humor is a desired trait in leaders.
  • It enhances personal and professional relationships
    • Who doesn’t like to laugh? Humor can help build stronger relationships with those around you.
  • It improves your writing
    • People enjoy reading things that are entertaining and make them laugh.
  • It can help increase popularity
    • Who doesn’t like someone that makes them laugh?
  • YOU can be the funny friend!

If you’re interested and want to learn more, an online course called Get Funny! is offered through the Division of Continuing Education at the University of Central Florida. Taught by working actress and comedy writer Joanna Sandsmark, this six-week course focuses on how to create humor and goes into greater detail on subjects such as observational humor, unexpected jokes, exaggeration, comedy writing and more. Students use interactive discussion posts to communicate with the professor and fellow classmates and upon completion of the course, students will be able to effectively and appropriately use humor to enhance their personal and professional lives.

Get started today at

Published on 11/14/2018

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