“From there to here, from here to there, funny things are everywhere.” — Dr. Seuss
Laughter is good for the soul and the highlight of many of our best days. But it can also help us out of several tough situations. Here are three ways to use humor to your benefit.
1. Breaking the Ice
If you need a way to start a conversation, try humor. Even if you don’t think you are the funniest person in the world, most people aren’t expecting someone to walk up and make them laugh. So no matter what silly joke you tell, you have the element of surprise working in your favor. You can even enter the conversation prepared for your joke not to go over well and jokingly follow it up with a line like, “I guess I shouldn’t quit my day job to be a comedian!” Remember, the goal was to break the ice and you did just that.
Coming up with new ideas can be tough. Loosen the parameters by injecting a bit of humor! Sometimes the creative process is stifled because we tend to take ourselves too seriously. Try dedicating a few minutes to brainstorm the craziest ideas you can come up. If you are with other people, create a short challenge to make each other laugh from outlandish ideas. Even if you don’t end up using any of your wild list items, the simple act of taking a break to laugh can reduce your stress levels enough to allow your creative juices to flow.
Tense situations are bound to occur. If you find yourself in the middle of one, you may be able to defuse the disharmony with humor. If the offense isn’t too serious, try apologizing by taking a few lighthearted digs at yourself. Tread lightly, read the room carefully, and make sure to smile. This form of de-escalation is typically used to draw attention away from an argument that is growing in intensity. If humor isn’t working for your scenario, move on to a more fitting conflict resolution method.
Humor is a very useful tool. Whether stuck in a creative rut, trying to resolve conflict, or hoping to introduce yourself to a stranger, there’s no problem laughter can’t solve. Keep these three tips in mind next time you find yourself stuck in a jam.