Life is short, smile while you still have teeth.

How to be Humorous in Everyday Life.

Life is short, smile while you still have teeth.

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Humor is one of the most important things in everyday life, chiefly because it is through humor that we can really see and appreciate some of the best and most beautiful things in life.

And it is an important tool in the key to finding happiness.

That is why Aristotle, the famous Greek Philosopher, writer and Scientist of ancient times defined humor as a virtue which needs to be nurtured.

In a short, often overlooked section of book IV of the Nicomachean Ethics, Aristotle recognizes wit [eutrapelia] as a moral virtue, but chiefly because “one part of life is relaxation, and one aspect of this is an entertaining conversation”.

As per Aristotle, humor requires mental adroitness in imagining and understanding a variety of perspectives. In addition, humor brings us that particular pleasure known as mirth which is one of the most important prerequisites to lead a good life.

And he calls a humorous person as “a eutrapelos, a pleasant person with a happy cast of mind who gives his words and deeds a cheerful turn.” The person who is never playful or humorous, Aristotle says, is acting “against reason” and so is guilty of a vice.

And here are some ways to be humorous in everyday life

Perspective is Needed

Getting perspective is one of the first steps to finding humor in everyday life. Often we can’t see the funny side of things because we lose our perspective.

For example, you are going to an important meeting and at that very moment, a bird shits on you.

What will be your reaction?

You can either curse the bird, curse your fate and get consumed in a frenzy of anger and frustration.

Or you can just say.

Thanks, Birdy. It is said that bird shit brings money and luck. Hope the day turns out well.”

Putting things in proper perspective is needed to see the humor in everyday occurrences. Rather than assuming things are worse than they are, it’s good to minimize them and the impact they have on the day.

Find your Funny Bone

One of the first things you have to recognize is that humor is a humongous topic.

Humor and the things we find funny are so wildly varied that it’s almost impossible to catalog and categorize all of the types of humor. There’s the humor of surprise and of exaggeration and repetition. There’s the physical comedy of slapstick.

There’s the revolting humor inherent in second-hand embarrassment and schadenfreude. Humor can be found in unusual behavior, in energy, in satire, parody, and mockery, in observation and reflection and in basic absurdity.

But all said and done, Humor is also deeply personal in nature. What works for others might not work for you. This is why it’s important to focus on humor that you like. Humor only works if the one being humorous enjoys and appreciates it.

And more importantly: it’s humor that reflects who you are, rather than an attempt to be someone else. Humor should speak to your authentic self, not some artificial identity.

Do Your Homework

It’s quite easy to find funny elements in daily topics of discussion. So, it’s never a waste to acquaint yourself with 14th Century Medieval Comedies or Kim Kardashian’s internet romps.

However, the key thing is to find humor in mundane things. So, exploring the funny in facts and seeing what other people don’t can be a witty thing to do. Broadening your horizons and keeping yourself alert with what is happening around and what is not is rather important too.

Treat Humor like learning a language — you want to build up your vocabulary and to learn the grammar and structure of humor, and the best way to do this is to study people who’re funny –especially people who are funny in the way you want to be funny.

Don’t be a Buffoon

Let us return to Aristotle’s general account of the virtues.

Famously, he defines virtue as aiming to hit the mean between excess and deficiency. Moral virtue, he claims, “is concerned with feelings and actions” such as “fear, confidence, desire, anger, pity, and pleasure and pain generally”.

Any of these, he continues, can be felt too much or too little. “But to have these feelings at the right times on the right grounds towards the right people for the right motive and in the right way is to feel them to an intermediate, that is to the best, degree; and this is the mark of virtue”.

Aristotle’s discussion of Eutrapelia fits this general characterization.

Excess and deficiency are here represented by the buffoon and the boor respectively.

Buffoons are those “who go too far in being funny”: they are “vulgar persons who exert themselves to be funny at all costs, and who are more set upon raising a laugh than upon decency of expression and consideration for their victim’s feelings”.

On the other hand, “Those who both refuse to say anything funny themselves and take exception to the jokes of other people are regarded as boorish and sour”.

Aristotle considered wittiness the virtue at the mean between buffoonery and boorishness.

Thus as much as it is important to be humorous, you need to know when not to lose control of your laughter, comments and what not to joke about.

Making fun of weddings, funerals, deaths or even children is not quite acceptable. However, if you still want to go about having fun, then it’s always safe to make sure you don’t have anyone around who could feel offended with the remarks made.

Healthy humor and good taste are the signs of a decent individual. Don’t go overboard and appear crass.

Practice Makes Everyone Perfect

Theory is all well and good, but if you’re trying to be funnier, then you have to go out and actually perform.

All the theory in the world doesn’t do you any good if you can’t actually deliver in person. And like any skill, it takes practice. Humor is like music — it has a beat and a rhythm that you can only learn through deliberate performance. You’re only going to learn about timing and pacing and delivery by going out and making a point of trying to be funny.

You will fail multiple times. You may also appear like a fool at times. That is ok. That is all part of your personality building. Take it up with a pinch of salt and keep plodding.

Just make sure that you’re not mindlessly imitating your humor idols — if you’re going to mimic them, study their best material and figure out how to make it work with your personality.

Create your own version of the humor sauce and keep improving at it.

Last Thoughts.

Your sense of humor is a good barometer of how you see yourself and others.

Humor can be perfect in almost any type of situation. If you are angry with someone (or vice versa), often a little bit of humor can help to lighten the mood and help resolve the differences. If there is something sad, a little bit of humor can help you get out of that.

Humor is one of the foremost things that help us to overcome the difficulties of life. Humor allows us to take a step back and see the things that are important in life. Life is a lot easier and generally a lot happier when we see the humor in it.

As aptly observed by Reba McEntire.

“To succeed in life, you need three things: a wishbone, a backbone, and a funny bone.”

Technology manager, poet, archaeology enthusiast, history maniac and also an avid blogger. I look at each day as a new flower waiting to unleash its magic. Visit Ravi on Medium.
Technology manager, poet, archaeology enthusiast, history maniac and also an avid blogger. I look at each day as a new flower waiting to unleash its magic. Visit Ravi on Medium.
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