10 Ways To Improve Sense Of Humor: Complete Guide

10 Ways To Improve Sense Of Humor Complete Guide

Having a good sense of humor is an invaluable skill in life. It allows us to see the lighter side of things, make connections, improve relationships and boost morale. While some may think having a sense of humor is an innate quality you’re born with, the good news is you can nurture and develop yours.

This article will explore what having a sense of humor means, why it’s important, symptoms you may lack it, factors impacting it, as well as tips to improve your sense of humor. Discover how to become wittier, laugh more and share amusement with those around you.

What Is Sense Of Humor?

Your sense of humor is your ability to experience, create and appreciate comedy and amusement. It’s being able to recognize ironic statements, funny situations and jokes, as well as being able to make other people laugh.

Someone with a strong sense of humor is able to use wit, jokes and amusing observations to lighten situations. They don’t take themselves too seriously and can find humor even when things go wrong. A good sense of humor brings greater perspective.

Psychologists break down our sense of humor into two components:

  • Cognitive – Your ability to understand, develop and resolve humor. This includes recognizing ironic statements, understanding punchlines and seeing odd associations between things.
  • Emotional – How you respond to comedy and funny situations with laughter and amusement. This is your tendency to actually find things funny.

Both components are important for a well-developed sense of humor. You need the cognitive skills to ‘get’ jokes and see humorous angles. Plus you need the emotional capacity to derive amusement, joy and laughter from them.

Why Develop Your Sense Of Humor?

There are many benefits to improving your sense of humor. Here are some of the key reasons it’s worth nurturing your ability to find comedy, levity and laughter in life:

  • Relationships – Being able to share jokes and funny observations helps form bonds and connect with others. Laughter is a social act that builds intimacy and enjoyment.
  • Health – Finding humor in everyday life provides a mood boost. Laughter releases endorphins that relieve stress and promote wellbeing. Studies show people with a better sense of humor cope better.
  • Attractiveness – Having an energetic, fun-loving sense of humor makes you more charismatic and approachable. People are drawn to those who make them laugh and smile.
  • Perspective – Comedy helps keep things in perspective when life gets difficult or stressful. Being able to laugh at mishaps provides balance and keeps your spirits up.
  • Creativity – Finding humor requires playfulness, wit and making unusual connections. These skills nurture our overall creativity, problem solving and mental agility.
  • Confidence – Being able to laugh at your own foibles requires emotional intelligence and self-acceptance. Having a sense of humor correlates with greater self-esteem.

In short, having a lively sense of humor makes life more amusing, meaningful and joyful. It provides social, psychological and even physical health benefits for better wellbeing.

Symptoms Of Lacking A Sense Of Humor

How do you know if your sense of humor could use some improvement? Signs you may struggle to find or share amusement include:

  • Not laughing or smiling much at funny situations.
  • Not understanding jokes or satire.
  • Getting offended by comedy or joking around.
  • Disliking ‘silly’ or whimsical activities.
  • Feeling awkward, embarrassed or irritated when others laugh.
  • Having difficulty making humorous observations.
  • Relying on sarcasm more than playful humor.
  • Struggling to connect and bond through humor.
  • Tending to be overly serious and literal minded.

You don’t need to have all these symptoms to have an underdeveloped sense of humor. But if you recognize several of them in yourself, it’s worth taking steps to nurture more lighthearted fun in your life.

Factors Impacting Your Sense Of Humor

What makes some people more adept at using humor, while others struggle? There are various factors that shape our capacity for comedy and amusement.


Your basic temperament influences whether you take a humorous outlook. Those with positive, optimistic, extroverted personalities often find it easier to see and share amusement. While serious, pessimistic introverts may be less drawn to joking around.

Early Experiences

Your upbringing shapes your initial attitude toward humor and laughter. Were your parents playful and funny? Or were you raised in a strict serious household? Exposure to comedy and joking as a child helps develop this skill.

Mental Health

Mental health conditions like depression and anxiety can dampen your sense of humor. It’s harder to find comedy amid negative mood states. Working on these underlying issues can help regain a more playful perspective.

Social Confidence

Being shy or self-conscious socially makes joking around challenging. Good-natured humor requires the confidence to risk being silly and not care what others may think.

Cognitive Style

Your overall thinking patterns also impact getting and sharing jokes. Do you tend to think concretely or make unusual connections? The more flexible and context-aware your thinking, the better you’ll grasp humor.

Media Exposure

Comedic influences in your life help build your sense of humor. Are you exposed to funny TV shows, movies, podcasts, books or comedy routines? Consuming humor helps you absorb the structures underpinning it.

So your humor skills are shaped by nature (personality) and nurture (upbringing, experiences). But the good news is you can actively improve this ability with practice and effort, no matter where you’re starting from.

10 Ways To Improve Sense Of Humor

While a sense of humor comes more naturally to some, there are techniques anyone can use to develop and improve their comedic sensibilities. This article will provide a deep dive into 10 research-backed ways to improve your sense of humor.

1. Surround Yourself With Funny Friends

The old adage that “you are the company you keep” extends to humor. Surrounding yourself with friends who appreciate and make jokes can rub off on you.

A study conducted by psychologists found that people perceive their friends as funnier than strangers, even when telling the exact same joke. This “in-group bias” shows that familiarity and shared sensibilities matter when it comes to humor.

Make an effort to befriend funny people who share your comedic tastes. You’ll likely end up laughing more, trading jokes, and picking up tips on how they craft their witty remarks. Their humor and levity can lighten your mood and outlook as well.

2. Expose Yourself to More Comedy

In addition to funny friends, surrounding yourself with comedy content can stimulate your own sense of humor.

Watching comedy specials, reading humor books, listening to comedy podcasts – they all exercise your sense of humor like a muscle. A University of Colorado study found that people who consumed more comedy media were better at generating humor themselves.

Exposing yourself to a range of comedic styles broadens your sensibilities. You may even discover new kinds of humor you never knew you enjoyed! Consider creating a “humor media diet” to consume more comedy across mediums.

3. Learn Improv and Comedy Writing

For those who want to skill-build their humor abilities, classes in improv comedy and comedy writing can rapidly level up skills.

Improv teaches thinking on your feet and turning random ideas into laugh-out-loud scenarios. Comedy writing lets you work out comic wordplay and joke structure. Both strengthen humor “muscles” you can apply in everyday life.

Look for local improv theaters and comedy writing groups to get started. An improv class provides hands-on practice in front of others to test out material and improve. Comedy writing workshops offer feedback to punch up jokes and funny stories.

4. Practice Laughing More

This tip seems almost too simple, but flexing your laughing muscles more in daily life can improve your sense of humor.

Even forcing yourself to laugh at mundane things fools your brain into finding more situations funny. Laughter is contagious – chuckling more often draws others into laughing with you.

Try spending a day finding the humor in ordinary events. Laugh at awkward situations instead of getting embarrassed. Share silly cat videos or dad jokes unapologetically. You may be surprised how laughing more cultivates your innate sense of humor.

5. Don’t Take Yourself Too Seriously

Many funny people share the sensibility of not taking themselves too seriously. Being uptight or easily offended squelches humor.

Laughing at yourself and your quirks prevents ego from hindering your sense of humor. Teasing yourself can even beat others at making jokes at your expense.

Lightly poke fun at little mistakes and fumbles throughout the day. Adopting an amused attitude towards your flaws and foibles inspires others to chuckle along with you.

6. Practice Funny Storytelling

Storytelling itself is an art – but funny storytelling combines humor and narrative to captivate audiences. Hone your skills sharing funny anecdotes, experiences, and observations.

Keep stories concise, act out dialog, and sprinkle in funny details. Chart the conflict and eventual comedic climax. Time delivery for optimal effect. Learning principles of storytelling transfers to conversational humor.

Test out stories on patient friends first before wider audiences. Pay attention to reactions and refine humorous sections. Record yourself practicing to sharpen funny timing and expression.

7. Follow Current Events and Pop Culture

Staying up to date on news, politics, and pop culture provides fodder for timely jokes. This gives you material to quip about and bond over shared cultural moments.

Read articles, watch key TV shows, and listen to water cooler podcasts. Get familiar with major public figures and celebrity gossip. Tune into social media buzz and memes.

Collect these current event highlights as possible joke inspirations. Weave into conversations and stories as humorous references others will recognize and appreciate.

8. Master Using Humor When Public Speaking

Public speaking offers lots of opportunities to display humor and wit. Audiences appreciate levity mixed into talks to keep them engaged and smiling.

When giving presentations, open with a joke or humorous anecdote to establish rapport. Sprinkle in timely quips and clever turns of phrase in the meat of the talk. Close by echoing your opening humor.

Practice smoothly delivering jokes and funny slides. Time jokes so audiences can react. Good humor requires reading the room and adjusting. Observe how professional comedians infuse comedy into their routines.

9. Learn From Children’s Humor

Kids can possess some of the silliest and most carefree senses of humor. As adults lose that youthful playfulness, reigniting it can uncover new comedy.

Observe what funny faces or words make kids laugh uncontrollably. Their view of the world is naturally hilarious. Embrace absurdity and abandon self-seriousness. Give yourself permission for silly juvenile jokes.

Let kids inspire you to find humor in simple pleasures. Their contagious laughter at knock-knock jokes and funny sounds is a mindset to channel. Stay open to life’s inherent ridiculousness.

10. Don’t Force It

Like all talents, sense of humor blossoms with practice but can’t be rushed. Have patience as you build humor skills and consume more comedy.

Trust that exposing yourself to humor and laughing more will organically improve your own talents. Don’t put pressure on making jokes or push too hard.

Give yourself time and space for humor to develop. Stay playful and open to funny moments in everyday life. Keep honing your comedy instincts without judgment. Before long, your inner comedian will begin to shine through.

Benefits Of Improving Your Sense Of Humor

Pursuing the above habits and strategies will gradually strengthen your capacity for amusement and comedy. As your sense of humor grows, you’ll gain many advantages:

  • Less stress – Finding daily life more comical provides tension relief. Humor is a potent antidote to anxiety.
  • Deeper connections – Shared laughter builds rapport and intimacy with friends, coworkers and loved ones.
  • Improved health – Laughter’s feel-good endorphins reduce pain, strengthen immunity and promote longevity.
  • Increased attractiveness – Playfulness and wit make you more charismatic, approachable and magnetic.
  • Problem solving skills – Humor requires making unusual connections between things, boosting creativity.
  • Upbeat perspective – Comedic outlooks help maintain optimism and resilience during setbacks.
  • Greater confidence – Willingness to laugh at yourself shows emotional security and high self-esteem.
  • Overall happiness – Actively engaging life’s amusing angles is a direct path to gaining more daily joy.

As the sayings go – ‘Laughter is the best medicine’ and ‘A day without laughter is a day wasted’. Make improving your sense of humor a priority to amplify health, relationships and wellbeing.


While some people seem innately gifted with humor, the good news is you can nurture a stronger sense of amusement and comedy regardless of where you’re starting from.

By exposing yourself to more humor, observing comedians’ techniques, looking for funny angles, being playful and sharing smiles – you train your brain to develop wittier thinking habits over time.

Investing in your sense of humor muscle has incredible rewards. The capacity to find comedy, irony and joy in daily life is a profound stress reliever. It builds deeper connections, provides cognitive benefits and keeps your spirits high during challenges.

So be determined to sprinkle more humor into your days. Seek out funny influences. Practice laughing at mishaps. Relish absurdities. And let your inner child play. With consistent habits, you’ll notice people drawn to your more relaxed, witty and cheerful presence.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Is humor an inherent trait or something you can develop?

A: Research shows humor is influenced by both inherent personality traits and your lifetime experiences. While some predispositions help, you can actively build your sense of humor through practice.

Q: Is sarcasm considered a healthy sense of humor?

A: Occasional sarcasm can be amusing. But relying predominantly on mockery or cynical humor reflects a less mature sense of comedy. Modeling more playful, clever humor has greater mental health benefits.

Q: Do I need to become a totally wacky joker to have a better sense of humor?

A: Not at all. Subtle, ironic humor can be very amusing between sophisticates. Low-key chuckling at life’s ironies is perfectly healthy. You just need enough capacity to regularly enjoy comedy.

Q: Could my medication be suppressing my sense of humor?

A: Yes, some medications like antidepressants and anxiolytics are known to potentially inhibit humor responses. Check with your doctor if you think your prescription is dampening your ability to appreciate comedy.

Q: Are there technology tools available to help improve my sense of humor?

A: Absolutely. There are humor training apps with jokes, comedy videos and witty wordplay. Virtual comedy clubs are growing in the metaverse too. These tools can expose you to more humor and laughter.

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