Funny can mean different things to different people. A close friend might describe you as ‘funny’ when you tell them a story about something you did; or a boss might tell you about a funny moment he had with a colleague at work that made you laugh, when they really meant to make you upset. If you are having trouble relating to the people around you, consider how you perceive the world around you. Is the world you see through your eyes as you watch a funny television, more funny than is real?
Some people take humourous situations as the sign of the world being funny. However, other people see real-life examples of funny behaviour as the sign of a person being funny. The people around you might laugh at a funny skit or joke because they understood what was going on, or they may have seen similar behaviour in their own lives, before coming to understand it as funny. For the people around you, real-life examples of funny behaviour may help you identify how others see you. This can be an important step on the road to improving your self-esteem.
Another way to see whether you are getting yourself into the right frame of mind for enjoying humour is to listen to yourself and other people’s enjoyment of a funny event. When you are at a party, for example, do other people seem to enjoy what you are doing? Do you find that some of your jokes seem to get a big reaction? By paying attention to how other people respond to your jokes, you will know if the jokes are funny or not just by the reaction itself.
Sometimes it takes a second or two to register what you hear as being funny, especially if you are used to hearing jokes your whole life. Others, however, will be able to tell you instantly when you are funny or not. For instance, if you mention Bill Clinton in the context of political jokes, you are likely to get a dirty look from others. If you then say something like “And I found out that President Clinton loves buying cars because he can drive around all day and not get bored” you will probably be well understood. You may find yourself starting to smile a lot as well.
One of the best ways to determine whether you are getting into the right frame of mind to enjoy good jokes is to listen to people laugh after you tell them. This is an easy thing to do. All you have to do is find someone who is watching the show or film with you and then start making fun of them. Unless, of course, you are doing it just to annoy them! Many people find that telling a joke will almost always start a hearty exchange of words, even if no one is actually laughing at the joke.
The fact is that jokes are part of the human sense of humor and are something that we have enjoyed for centuries. It’s likely that you have had experiences that make you laugh hard and will cause you to think back to times when laughter was more common. For example, you may remember the sight of jack a laden horse being led through the desert by two men in bright clothes. Some people remember the first lady of England reciting the lines, “Keep a little woman in your life, she’ll make you go green with envy.”