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  1. #1
    Senior Member dnivera's Avatar
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    Default How do I develop a sense of humor?

    I'll be the first to admit that I'm not entirely happy with the type I was born with. I'm overly serious, I take everything personally, and I don't joke around with others. I admire people who can keep up witty repartee.
    So, my question is, how do I develop a sense of humor? My parents were very serious, formal, no-nonsense kind of people so I never got it from them. I hate being a robot.

    I know everyone will recommend spending time with funny people (I've been trying to find them among my circle of sarcastic scientists) and maybe watching sitcoms. Is that really going to help? What else can I do?

    Part of it is that I just don't find a lot of things funny. Bodily humor, I don't enjoy. I don't really like sarcasm and I try not to use it myself, since I find it pessimistic. I mostly enjoy clean, smart jokes, and interesting word usage in unexpected situations (like Mad Libs). Maybe SJ humor was more prevalent pre-1960s; I find earlier TV and writing more funny than whatever's on TV these days.

    I do enjoy some of the witty banter here on some of the lighter threads and wish that I could do that myself! If only I knew the right thing to say. I can never come up with a response fast enough, and I seem to think of responses too slowly. Maybe S humor and N humor are different?
    Si>Ti>Te>Ne>Fe>Ni>Fi>Se

    Introverted (I) 60% Extroverted (E) 40%
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  2. #2
    Senior Member Simplexity's Avatar
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    I think there is a big difference between N and S humor and personally prefer N humor because it fits with my personal preference of being open ended and making connections. I think probably the best method for learning anything is experiencing what you intend to learn in a casual, less serious manner where the focus is on communicating not listing(playing a sport with profesionals as opposed to reading strategies) and in this regard humor is no different. If N humor is what you prefer I would suggest just watching comedians like Conan O'Brien, Jon Stewart and Monty Python.

    I would also suggest seeking out people with good vocabularies because having a deep and complex understanding of vocabulary with the ability to apply it effortlessly in a number of different situations often times involves an intuitive understanding and it also lends it self to puns which are also very intuitive. Philosphers are also good in this regard and they are most often in my opinion very humorous in a naturally intelligent effortless manner.


    The biggest thing though is experiencing someone who is funny on a moderately consistent basis so that you inturn grasp how to one understand the humor and also to apply it yourself in an unforced way which is IMO the only for something to truly be really funny.

  3. #3
    perdu fleur par bologne Martoon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dnivera View Post
    I'll be the first to admit that I'm not entirely happy with the type I was born with.
    Nothin' wrong with ISTJ. And based on the percentages in your sig, you're pretty balanced - you could almost say XXXJ.
    I'm overly serious
    Well, it sounds like you don't want to be, so you must not be too serious about being serious.
    I take everything personally
    Well, that's gotta stop. I think if you really work on that, most of the rest will fall into place. Stop taking yourself so seriously, and so will everyone else.
    My parents were very serious, formal, no-nonsense kind of people so I never got it from them.
    It's never too late to learn. And if you tend to project the same kind of image they did, play to that. It can be amazingly funny when someone like that comes out with something unexpected, especially when delivered in a deadpan way. And people probably won't know if you were trying to be funny or not. Have fun with that. Keep them wondering. People's psyches are playthings to be toyed with. Bat those suckers around like a kitten with a, um, little tiny toy psyche. Or something.

    Part of it is that I just don't find a lot of things funny. Bodily humor, I don't enjoy. I don't really like sarcasm and I try not to use it myself, since I find it pessimistic. I mostly enjoy clean, smart jokes, and interesting word usage in unexpected situations (like Mad Libs). Maybe SJ humor was more prevalent pre-1960s; I find earlier TV and writing more funny than whatever's on TV these days.
    Don't try to force yourself into humor that isn't your style. Go with what you find funny. That's your best shot at getting someone else to.
    I'm not a procrastinator. I'm a long-term planner.

  4. #4
    Earth Exalted Thursday's Avatar
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    get on my aim
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  5. #5
    Minister of Propagandhi ajblaise's Avatar
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    I'd recommend cutting a little loose in your life in general (which would probably be a good thing on it's own) and your sense of humor will develop. I see someone's worldview and their sense of humor to be very related.

  6. #6
    Glowy Goopy Goodness The_Liquid_Laser's Avatar
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    I think the first step is to learn to laugh at yourself. If you take yourself too seriously it will reflect on how you view everything else. Try to examine your own life and see if you do things that are weird compared to the norm, especially if you can't really explain why. Appreciate the humor in that and then you'll start seeing it elsewhere too.
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  7. #7
    & Badger, Ratty and Toad Mole's Avatar
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    Humour is actually very interesting.

    In spite of what I first thought, humour is a cognitive function rather than a creative function of the mind.

    So for instance. as you turn off the cognitive functions of your mind as you enter a trance, you also turn off humour. In fact one of the signs you are in a trance, is that, temporarily, your sense of humour is asleep.

    But from a practical point of view, humour is, most of all, enjoyable.

    So it is a mistake to directly try and develop a sense of humour, the better approach is to find things you enjoy and keep on enjoying them. The truly important thing to do in your life is to cultivate enjoyment.

    If you follow your enjoyment, your humour will follow - humour follows enjoyment - humour loves enjoyment and enjoyment loves humour.

  8. #8
    Seriously Delirious Udog's Avatar
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    Go to comedy shows. Laughter is contagious, and being in a group of people that are laughing may help you to loosen up. Also, downing a few beverages beforehand may not hurt! Both should help make the comic appear funnier than he would be under normal circumstances, and may help you open yourself up to other types of humor.

    You can also try reading the book "Comedy Writing Secrets", which is a pretty good introduction to some of the concept of humor.

  9. #9
    mrs disregard's Avatar
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    I think a sense of humor relies upon a joie de vivre (which does necessarily ensure it), which is impossible to attain when you take everything personally and are overly serious!

    Work on that. Work on your fear.

  10. #10
    Senior Member edcoaching's Avatar
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    I do think there's an S-N difference in humor. Usually Mel Brooks plays to both sides. Monty Python tends to be N. Humor that plays off of real life (watch or listen to Bill Cosby's old routines for example, not the TV shows, as he talks about growing up with his brother, watching horror films, etc.) seems to work for both as well.

    N's tend to want to engage the mind with the humor, so patterns and running jokes and fast wordplay and humor where you have to know something to get it are favorites (A philospher sat at a bar. The bartender asked, "Want another drink?" He answered, "I think not..." and disappeared...)

    My husband prefers Sensing and thinks Mouse Hunt and some other slapstic stuff is way funnier than I find it. Young Frankenstein and Princess Bride and A Christmas Story are mutually funny.
    edcoaching

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