In this article, you’ll discover how to be funny so that you win friends and loosen up enemies.
I love my tumble dryer! I love it that much that I’m telling about it to everyone that wants to listen…or not. I’m telling you about it right now because you ought to know what a splendid piece of machinery a tumble drier is. I love it that much that when it broke, I cried.
I had no feelings about my washing machine… until it broke; suddenly I hate it.
Do you feel more relaxed after hearing about my tumble dryer story? I don’t believe I made you laugh, but at least a smile I got from you. Have I? If you haven’t smiled, then let me tell more about the virtues of my tumble dryer…until you do! (smile)
Being funny doesn’t necessarily mean to make people laugh. The point of improving your sense of humor and being funny, it’s to make people feel more relaxed around you, to enjoy your company, to make yourself liked and desired.
Humor is an essential part of being sociable, and because of that, we can safely say that knowing how to be funny is an interpersonal skill.
There are three types of people when it comes to humor:
- Those that take the stage and have an expanded arsenal of jokes and make people laugh.
- Those who couldn’t tell a joke even if their life depends on it, but enjoy pretty much all your jokes, laughing loudly.
To these people, you can tell the same joke over and over again, and they laugh each time as if is the first time they hear it.
This type of people is very much appreciated. They are as liked as a funny person is. Therefore, when you don’t have the stage, be one of these people.
- Some people don’t laugh at any jokes. They are tied up and grumpy. Almost no one likes them and no wonder, they don’t like one another or themselves either.
Few benefits of knowing how to be funny:
- Diffusing stressful situations,
- It is a tool to learn faster,
- People are drawn to you,
- Overcoming rejection,
- It makes you memorable,
- Others like you more,
- Improves your mental strength,
- Makes you more flexible and tolerant.
Someone said that those things that we don’t allow ourselves to laugh at, to joke about, make us look stupid. Therefore, if you want to be funnier, you need, first to loosen up. That doesn’t mean to allow people to step on you with inappropriate jokes; it means to have your self-esteem at a level that you don’t cover your self-image with what other people are saying about you.
How to be funny:
1. Loosen up.
If something seems funny, it’s funny no matter the subject.
For example, the following is considered to be the (most) hilarious joke in the world even though the subject is not funny at all.
Two men go hunting. Suddenly, one of them falls to the ground.
The other one calls 911 and shouts, frantically: “Please help, my friend is dead.”
The 911 Operator: “Calm down, I will help. First, let’s make sure your friend is dead.”
There is a moment of silence followed by a loud bang from a shotgun, and then the man says to the 911 Operator: “Ok, now he’s dead. What’s next?”
Taking things too seriously can prevent you to love and accept yourself as you are.
Many years ago I had a friend that care little about the way he looked; after he received many unsolicited comments about it, when a woman told him: “You have no style. You make no effort to dress yourself well.”
He replied with a smile: “Just wait to see how well I know how to undress myself.”
Learning how to loosen up and how to be funny makes you mentally stronger because it’s easier for you to design your priorities list and don’t bound by the norms.
How to be funny? Loosen up!
2. Consume daily something funny (I’m not talking about food.)
Watching stand up comedy is an excellent start to improving your sense of humor. Pay less attention to the joke in itself (as a whole) and more attention to the composition and then, delivery; and last, to the subject.
Doing that process is rewiring your brain to come up faster with funny jokes. Don’t believe me, test for yourself. After reading this article watch one hour of stand-up comedy and see the results for yourself.
If you allow me, I recommend to you my favorite top two comedians: Dara O’Briain and Lee Evans.
This exercise, not only helps you rewire your brain to be funnier, but also improves your jokes repertoire.
Take a moment and relax. Watch something funny every day because that helps you the most build up your funny side.
(My funny side is my right side; I often go to the gym to improve it by observing others lifting things…I’m not there yet!)
3. Develop your content.
When you see people on the stage, it might seem as if they are coming up with the jokes on the spot, but that’s not the case.
There are few naturally funny people among us, but the rest of us need preparation. Plus, a joke to be funny, must be tested on as many people as possible and improved with each test.
Most people fear failure. They feel embarrassed by it. Yet, did you notice how funny embarrassment is after the fact?
Think of your most embarrassing moment and try not to laugh.
To be more entertaining, use in your content:
- Exaggerations – I have one million things to do. Therefore, I found 2 million ways to procrastinate.
- Misdirecting – A pigeon is crossing a highway. Right in the middle, he sees a Mercedes speeding up towards hem and then…bang, and the bird is down, lying unconsciously. The driver takes the bird from the ground and rushes to the vet. Three days the pigeon is in a coma; when he wakes up sees the cage bars: “Oh, no! I killed the guy with the Mercedes.”
- Storytelling – a moment in your life when you felt embarrassed could be a good funny story. Using stories is a powerful way to inspire others; if the story is funny, even better.
Two men (Bill and Jo) go rock climbing. They are one step from the summit. Rushing up, Bill slips and falls into a deep, deep ravine.
Jo, starts shouting: “Bill, are you okay? Can I help?”
Bill: “I don’t think so.”
Jo: “Can you move?”
Jo: “Then, get out of there, I’ll help.”
Bill: “I can’t.”
Jo: “You said you could move. Why can’t you get out?”
Bill: “I haven’t hit bottom yet. I’m still falling.”
(That’s a funny story you can use to make a loved one accept your help before hitting rock bottom or the point of no return.)
- Sarcasm – use it as rare as possible, most people don’t like or get it.
When you stay in line and someone is getting in front of you can be very annoying. “Look at that! After a lot of work, I finally managed to become invisible. You can’t see me, right?”
- Break the pattern – “No one can fool me, I’m from Transylvania, and I can, quickly, spot a bloodsucker.”
- Playing with words meaning – “Unfortunately, you missed the bus; and fortunately the bus missed you too.”
4. How to be funny and deliver a good joke.
- Make fun of the situation and not people.
Most people that don’t enjoy stand-up comedy had that experience when the comedian singled out someone in the audience and trashed them in front of everybody. The only people having fun were the comedian and some individuals (from the audience) with low self-esteem.
- Use your voice qualities (e.g.tone, volume, pitch.)
Saying to yourself “I can’t” on a serious voice can prevent you from even trying. Yet, if you change your voice and say it with the voice of a funny character (Donald duck, for example), takes away the power of “I can’t” and transforms it into “It’s ridiculous not to try.”
- Smile, don’t laugh.
It’s annoying when someone is telling a joke, and you don’t understand anything because they are laughing. Plus, when you laugh at your (own) jokes could sound derogatory to your audience; it feels as if you’re laughing at them and you end up being the only one laughing.
- Use more types of humor (as presented above at #3).
Learn a few jokes – as you already know, most of us can’t pop up with funny stories on the spot, especially if you are a bit shy or feel intimidated by your audience. Therefore, overcome all your obstacles by having a good repertoire of jokes tested and improved.
- Remember that when you’re telling a joke, you are like an actor; you are repeating something that you know very well.
- Adjust your content to your audience and time.
For example two jokes you shouldn’t say at a funeral.
(1) A man goes on a holiday (to Australia) and expects his wife to follow him the next day if the accommodation is as promised.
Excited that everything is in order, prepares an email for his wife. By mistake, he sends the email to some else.
On the other side of the galaxy, a man died unexpectedly. His wife checks her email to thank those who send condolences. To her shock one of the emails says:
Just arrived and checked in. All is good. I’ve organized everything for your arrival tomorrow.
P.S. It’s rather hot, here, down under.”
(2) An elderly couple dies in a car crash. They arrive in Haven and everything in marvelous: beautiful gardens, friends, and family around, no worries, everything is just perfect.
The man looks at his wife: “Dear Mary, if it wasn’t for your obsession with eating greens and fibers, we could have arrived here 15 years ago.”
- Use your hands to tell the story; or, deliberately, mismatch your body language from what you’re saying.
Now, how to be funny?
- Loosen up;
- Consume daily something funny;
- Develop your content and delivery.
From a self-improvement standpoint, use jokes to inspire yourself, gain a new perspective on things and make your problems easier to overcome. Be funnier not just for others, but for yourself as well.
For example, a joke that helped me overcome being impatient with others and myself.
Mary wants to divorce John. The judge:
“Don’t you love John anymore?”
“Oh, but I do. I love him very much.”
“Then, why do you want a divorce? He’s not treating you well?”
“He treats me good. But, we are married for two years now, and we haven’t had sex yet. Either he doesn’t want, either he doesn’t know how, either he can’t.”
“John, what do you have to say?” the judge says
“Oh, judge! I want, I know how, and I can. But I don’t understand, what’s the hurry?!”