10 Things Your Sense Of Humour Says About You
I laugh, therefore I am. We all like to think our own sense of humour is the right one. Anything outside this personal radar of myth is not worth our interest. When we find someone who shares our sense of humour we often bond with that person; becoming friends, their view of the world matches ours. We all own our sense of humour.
Humour & Your Personality
But a joke is never just a joke. The famous psychologist Sigmund Freud in his book Jokes and Their Relation to the Unconscious stated; “A cigar may just be a cigar, but a joke is never just a joke”. What we laugh at and whom we laugh with or indeed at, says an awful lot about ourselves. This will also include the underlining attitude the humour is delivered with.
A cigar may just be a cigar, but a joke is never just a joke
The same comedy formula will apply to our favourite choice of comedians, guest speakers, comedy shows and sit-coms. We buy into the artiste’s comic values and attitudes to the world. For what we laugh at tells everyone else how we perceive the world around us. It shows our colleagues an insight into how we think, our values, beliefs and fears; are all contained within our own sense of humour.
What your sense of humour says about you
Humour can provide a window to your personality. Below are ten forms of humour you may have seen in the workplace. Each attitude tells you something about the person:
1. People who play and indulge in practical jokes
…are often mischievous in nature. They also tend to be more extrovert. They are more likely to appreciate TV shows such as ‘Candid Camera’; Jeremy Beadle shows and on a more sophisticated level Dom Jolly.
2. Those people who continually send up others
…are often frightened to the extent that they use humour as a power trip. This is just another version of bullying, using laughs to put down someone; often trying to bring in others to support. This will cause division in any office environment and take a negative effect a team morale.
3. Those that laugh at jokes that humiliates or ridicule others
…indicates that seeing others abused makes them feel better about themselves. A sense of superiority over the person being ridiculed. This can be seen as a passive bullying, not necessarily carrying it out themselves; but supporting it through their own laughter.
4. A dry sense of humour
5. Those who answer every question with a one-liner
…may be using humour as a shield to protect themselves. If this continues it moves into the realm of office clowning. Humans who laugh and joke all the time, sometimes in the most inappropriate circumstances, for example at a funeral; are classed by many psychotherapists as ‘clowns’. These people are in deep pain and use laughter as a cover. By giving pleasure to others, they hope to get back enough approval to heal their inner trauma. Some professional comics fall into this category.
6. Those that consistently use double entendres
7. Subject a person jokes about or laughs at
…particularly if it’s the same over and over again should rise our antennae. Sydney psychologist Susan Nicholson gives the example of an ‘older person laughing at jokes about dementia and deafness’. The constant target of their humour says an awful lot about themselves. It was reported a lecturer at a University continually did jokes on Hitler and the far right. After a while several co-workers became rather uncomfortable with this static sense of humour; which on face value was first funny then released there was more going on, such as reprised anger and bigotry. This will ultimately cause negativity and anger effecting team morale.
8. Those who attack management or ridicule the company position
…are satirical in nature. It shows a rebellion against authority through humour. This can be amusing as good satire has a strong element of truth behind it. They may enjoy comedians such as Rory Bremner, Marcus Brigstocke and after dinner speakers such as Ian Hislop.
9. A self-deprecating sense of humour
…may indicate low self-esteem, the person sends themselves up first before someone else does it. This can make the person look weak. However when mixed with a more balanced sense of humour it can show the person is confident; and in tune with themselves, as they can joke about their own vulnerabilities. This in turn can endure others to them.
10. Ability to reel off lots of jokes
…indicates a great memory but can also show a frustrated entertainer trying to get attention; or natural comic with a potential show-business career in front of them. Collect their material from comedians such as Tim Vine, Milton Jones.
Matthew Willetts MA is the Director of Comicus who has over 35 years experience in television, film, theatre, and comedy club/cabaret entertainment, working as a performer, screenwriter, producer and agent. He lectured at Southampton Solent University in Comedy, Screenwriting, Television, Theatre & Radio. Matthew can sometimes be seen and heard on TV & Radio and often quoted in the national press and media publications. As well as speaking regularly at festivals and industry conferences, he has been a judge at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and the Montreux Television Festival.