The Impact of Humor on Human Relationships
Humor or funny bone is the habit of human encounters to elicit laughter and give enjoyment. Humor is an important part of human behavior and serves multiple purposes. The word derives from the Greek ‘humour’, the medical science of the ancient Greeks which taught that the presence of certain fluids in the body, called humours, regulated emotion and health.
Humorous bone is the occurrence of incongruities in relationships with others which result in a reaction of laughter. Laughter is contagious when the right and appropriate’verbal’ tools are in place. Inappropriate use of laughter, that is, too much or too little can cause distress or embarrassment.
So what is a funny bone? Well, the first two letters of the word are ‘funny’. The rest of the word, the rest of which contains the four vowels, are meant to represent different things. A funny bone may be something which gets you started on a good joke or may be a tactic used to distract or divert attention while the tell-tale laugh is in progress. It can also mean the breaking of the ice and sharing of comical observations between friends, colleagues, or it can indicate the conclusion of a comic play or movie.
The elements of a funny tweet or article will depend largely on the purpose of the joke. For instance, if the recipient is laughing at your jokes, then the contents will need to be of a nature which is likely to get you a laugh. If you are merely trying to lighten the seriousness of an event or situation, then the contents need not be funny. In this case, neither the timing nor the content matter, but simply the fact that something funny has happened.
Many of us have had friends who delivered lines without thinking, went off on tangents, used inappropriate humor or used seemingly “insane” humor. These individuals soon earned the contempt of their followers. It is true that in the short run these tactics were most effective, but the cumulative effect of these tactics eventually led to people either avoiding getting a laugh or feeling patronized by the person delivering them. There is something to be said for adopting a “humorless” approach, as this type of approach tends to be self-defeating. Thus, the more the use of humor and the wider range of funny subjects becomes, the more effective the social mechanism of laughter will become and the more acceptable it will become to the target audience.
It may seem strange to single out humor when it comes to communication. But humor, just like all other human interactions, is a social phenomenon and the intensity of such social phenomena is measured by the degree of acceptance of the subject. If you ask a group of people to take a joke, or ask someone to share a funny moment, they might well share some funny things that have happened to them. But if you ask them to warm up to a person delivering a funny line, or to look at a funny picture, they might very briefly look at the person with the funny image and then walk on. The ability of a person to connect with others depends not only on his or her personality, but also on the extent of his or her ability to entertain. So, as a social skill, humor can be learned and cultivated, and the impact on an individual and his or her relationships can be profound.