How To Be Funny (Part 1)
How To Be Funny (Part 1)
It’s Good To Be Funny
In this episode, we discuss some ways and means of developing a good sense of humor. The ability to make people laugh is a beautiful skill. It smooths social interactions, opens doors, sends blood rushing into genitals, and instigates warm (and often wet) human connections. Saying and doing things that tickle people will tend to make you more popular and successful in the world. Humor does not come naturally to everybody. But luckily, it is a skill that can be learned and developed. So, ladies and gentlemen, without further ado, this is how to be funny.
Utilize Your Reticular Activation System
Your RAS decides what you consciously notice. The world around you is an infinitely complex soup of stimuli, and your brain can only take notice of a minuscule amount of it. If you set a conscious intention. For example, “I want to notice and say more funny things”. You will be priming your RAS to notice opportunities in the world for you to do just that.
A good practical way to do this is to keep a ‘funny file’. This is a practice that many professional comedians swear by. It’s easily done. You simply keep a journal in which you make note of any funny stuff you see, hear or think throughout the day. This way you are always building an arsenal of funny material that you can embellish and deliver when the time is right.
Also, keep your ‘funny filter’ on. Be ready to engage in humor whenever the chance presents itself. Make humor a high priority in your daily interactions. Keep your eyes peeled and your ears open for opportunities to pepper your interactions with humor. Life can be hard. We can all be a bit too serious a lot of the time. It’s a bad (and lazy) habit. Be light, have levity. Don’t be so serious all the time! Engage people in witty banter whenever you get the opportunity.
Use Positive, Uplifting Humour
As we said previously, life can be hard. So there’s no need to make it more hard by constantly spouting negative and sarcastic humor. Relentlessly dark, cynical humor can work well on stage. But as your go-to form of funny in day to day life, it can get old pretty fast. Instead, be predominantly light and happy. Cheerfulness is a skill that not many people manage to do well. Lean towards being at least somewhat uplifting.
Learn to Give and Take Banter
The ability to dish out and receive a good mocking and some healthy banter is crucial. It makes us stronger and more robust. Taking yourself too seriously is highly unattractive. Being very sensitive marks you out as being unconfident, brittle, and overly self-concerned. Not being able to take a ribbing means you are a vibe-killing, craic-sucking vampire. This is not good. Learn to enjoy being teased, and to see it as the sign of affection that it usually is. Also, take opportunities to tease (in a good-natured and loving way) your friends and acquaintances.
Don’t Have a Shtick
Don’t be too predictable. That gets boring, fast. If your comedy style can be predicted with mind-numbing accuracy, you are doing it wrong! If you are ‘the sarcastic guy’ and everyone knows it, you lose the element of surprise. Often a shtick is a defense mechanism that serves to protect a person from the potential for missing the mark that comes with spontaneous self-expression. And so it comes across dull and dead.
So, be flexible. Have a diverse repertoire of comedy you can call on. Think outside the box. Be varied and unpredictable. And cultivate spontaneity through practice.
Intentionally Misidentify and Misinterpret
Intentionally misidentifying and misinterpreting the things people say is an excellent comedic tool. And it is a very effective form of flirting. Being able to do this is playful and fun. And it shows that you’re free and present enough to operate on multiple levels simultaneously. And that you are confident and non-needy enough to risk being risque.
And it’s actually easily done. Misconstrue a word, take the wrong meaning from a phrase. Play dumb. If you are flirting, then misconstrue things in a sexual way. (Add a cheeky grin and you are already halfway to the bedroom!)
Take a risk and say the thing! Commit to developing this skill. Go for it – it’s win or learn! When you hold back and don’t say it, you are learning to not say it, you are building the habit of being inhibited.
Verbalize your faux misinterpretations with full commitment. Embrace and own them. Say the (potentially) funny thing with ZERO expectation (or need) of a certain result. Don’t need a response. Take control. You control what you say, but not how it’s received. Be a stoic comedian!
Practice makes perfect. So work at overcoming your fear and saying the funny shit that pops into your head. Once you make it a habit you become freer and more joyful. You become better able to express the fun that is bubbling in your heart. How glorious!
Comedy doesn’t necessarily come naturally to every person. But it can be learned and developed. If you never practice joking around, teasing, or bantering you will not get good at it. And even if you are a natural comedian, if you never practice you will get rusty. So, how to be funny? Practice, work on it, take risks, be willing to fail. Go for it!