I begin this post on humour with a quotation by Mark Twain. “Humour is the great thing, the saving thing. The minute it crops up, all our irritation and resentments slip away, and a sunny spirit takes their place.” To better appreciate the importance of humour, let me define the term for you and briefly outline the benefits of humour. I will conclude this post with some suggestions on ways to develop a sense of humour. Humour is a valuable asset and its benefits are innumerable. I have always found people who are witty, funny and who make me laugh far more interesting than other people. I am immediately drawn to them and I seek their company and look forward to being with them, as often as possible. Fortunately, the people who are close to me have a great sense of humour.

My Family and Friends

Take the spouse, (His Highness), I met him at a party many years ago. When I first set eyes on him, he was surrounded by a group of people who were listening intently to him as he told one story after another. His Highness is a great raconteur and he is very humourous. My sister has a splendid sense of humour and she is married to a very witty man. My brother-in-law has a wonderful way with words and he will have you in stitches in next to no time. Their son is a brilliant young man who uses words effectively to make you laugh. He has a way with accents and he presents different people very well. His wife is equally brilliant with her expressions. My mother who is eighty eight will guffaw and laugh—no—cackle—at comedies that she views on Television. She has funny facial expressions and says the most unusual phrases!

Picture us all together, sitting round a dining table discussing this and that, laughing and just happy! We pull each other’s legs and we have a hilarious time describing people and places! Then we might play charades and we will be chortling and roaring with laughter as we watch each other struggle to present the ideas written on the slips of paper. There is nothing like humour to bring people together and to make them happy with each other.

I have many friends who have an excellent sense of humour and when they attend a social function, inevitably are the life and soul of the party. People come round them and there is much laughter and gaiety.

What is Humour?

Humour is a form of communication highly regarded in any society. Since the days of court jesters, humour has been used to ease tensions and troubles. Humour has been defined as “any communication which is perceived by any of the interacting parties as humorous and leads to laughing, smiling, or a feeling of amusement.”

Benefits of Humour

Social Cohesion and Sense of Well-Being

Researchers have found that humour helps to build social cohesion and enhance communication. It can help to remove barriers between people and instead will bind them together. People with a sense of humour are not overcome and stressed by challenges. Humour helps them to cope with stress and to maintain a positive view of life. Humour will give you a general sense of well-being while increasing your hope.

At The Workplace

At the workplace humour helps to build healthy social relations. It can boost job satisfaction, contribute to higher productivity and increase creativity. Leaders should provide humour and offer the opportunity for their subordinates to enjoy humour. Subordinates, in turn, should not shy away from using humour.

Many leaders believe that employees with a good sense of humour perform better at their jobs. Humour generates camaraderie and promotes effective leadership. Leaders with a sense of humour are more approachable and memorable. I am reminded of the words of Dwight Eisenhower: “A sense of humour is part of the art of leadership, of getting along with people, of getting things done.”

Eases Tension, Generates Creativity

When you have a sense of humour, you are able to ease tensions in any group setting and you can help to put other people at ease. You are also able to defuse difficult situations and deflect any conflict and anger. Humour reduces anxiety. Having a sense of humour generates creativity and helps in problem-solving. Humour can energize you and leave you feeling a lot more alert. When we have humour, people will not find us frightening or difficult. With a sense of humour we can build teams and generate great camaraderie. This is useful when we are members of committees and project teams.


Parents too, can help to develop humour in their children by the way they interact with them, by the things they do together and by the lessons they teach them. Parenting will be such fun! In turn the children grow up happy. One research study found that humour abounds in the families of creative children. There is almost constant joking, trick playing and family “fooling around”.

Ways to Develop Your Sense of Humour

Look for materials that make you laugh. This will include books, films, television shows, photos, poems, people and situations.

You may also wish to copy the jokes you come across and the comic strips you see so you may look at them from time to time. Some people place these at strategic points in their homes and offices. Reading joke books too will give you an understanding of how jokes are constructed so that you can develop your own jokes.

Try to be with funny people as often as possible so you can keep happy. Get your family members into the habit of telling one funny story or recounting a funny incident that they experienced themselves or had heard about whenever you meet.

When something uncomfortable or wrong happens to you, do not get angry or upset. Instead just laugh it off. Respond in the same way too when someone upsets you or is hostile towards you. In any challenging situation, try to find something funny or humorous in the situation and choose to remember this.

Read funny quotes and funny statements. I keep some around me just to make me laugh and stay happy. One such quote is that by Madam Lily Bollinger from the Bollinger House of Champagne. She said:

“Champagne: I drink it when I am happy and when I’m sad. Sometimes I drink it when I’m alone. When I have company I consider it obligatory. I trifle with it if I’m not hungry and drink it when I am. Otherwise I never touch it-unless I’m thirsty!”

Just brilliant! The words used and the humour it projects!
Life is wonderful; embrace the joy, the fun and the happiness that it brings.

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