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Making fun of stuff

Alex Borgella does not work for, consult, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organisation that would benefit from this article, and has disclosed no relevant affiliations beyond their academic appointment. As a researcher who investigates some of the potential side effects of humorI spend a fair bit of time verifying the funniness of the jokes, photos and videos we present to participants in our studies.

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The key is to practice seeing funny, especially by noticing multiple layers of meaning. As well as noticing and enjoying humour and humorous potential in the course of our daily lives, we can also actively seek out humour, especially of the shareable variety. The obvious sources are comedy TV and radio programmes, books, films, cartoons, websites, witty friends and colleagues. In fact, the risk of inadvertently causing further distress to patients is one of the main constraints on the ward experience of humour — and conversation.

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Some people are naturally funny, but being funny is also a set of skills that can be learned. Check out these 7 easy strategies on how to be funny. Learning how to be funny is an essential people skill. In fact, I want to convince you that the funniest people hone their witty craft.

Play with s

A year ago, I was having dinner with my favorite person. I wanted to impress this guy. My heart was beating. The next day, I woke up knowing I had blown it completely. I wanted to go beyond the vague instructions that still leave me wondering what to say. Using the research just mentioned, I have put together a post on how to be funnier.

If you want to know how to get funnier in your personal and business life, here are the exact lines, formulas, and practical strategies. Yes, it is that simple.

If people are expecting you to say yes, you say no; if people are expecting you to say no, you say yes. The more obvious the better. This clip was filmed just after Jennifer shot to fame with The Hunger Games. That was a first-time for Jennifer. Jennifer went on to talk about why it was difficult immediately afterward. Then, of course, laugh and give your real answer, which is what Jennifer did after pausing for raucous laughter.

The magic is that the moment you give the opposite answer, you have surprised your audience, so they laugh.

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Then you can move on to your real story. The best part?

But how?! One way to be surprising is to play with s. For those of you who dread s: fear not.

s are your best friend when it comes to being funny. Because s are specific. When something is small, s tell. When something is big, s tell. When someone is a jerk, s tell. Please forget the last sentence, but the first two are true. For example:. Amy did a phenomenal job prepping Ellen to believe that the prize money was very small. Most people would think a party with people is not small. At its most basic level, the Rule of 3 establishes a pattern, then ends with something unexpected.

For example, I say red, white, and blue.

But what if I say red, white, and barf. This breakaway from the pattern created by the first two items builds tension and creates surprise, usually resulting in laughter. When you are talking, see if you can give an unexpected answer for 3.

This is especially funny in writing. For example.

The best therapy

When we tell a story, there are usually multiple characters in that story. More often than not, those characters have very distinct personas that people will make assumptions about. But what if you switch personas around and the Big Bad Wolf suddenly is vulnerable? This unexpected character switch is funny. In the story of Jennifer Lawrence getting into a bar fight in Budapest, two characters are involved: Jennifer and the aggressor. Seth implied that Budapest was a dangerous place for Jennifer to get into a fight.

Switch the character traits for an unexpected twist. In my opinion, Sofia Vergara is one the funniest actresses in the business. She has a go-to word: whatever. Example 1: Sofia was sharing that she ate a lot of pizza in Italy. Jay Leno saw an opportunity to tease her, so he asked how much weight she gained.

It all was getting kind of awkward. Was Sofia angry? Was Sofia annoyed? Probably a little!

Superiority theory: dumb moose

When people tease you, mock you, ask you difficult questions, those moments can be your golden opportunities. If everyone expects you to lose your cool, and you actually turn things around by being funny about it, you immediately become a star. Be a star, exuding confidence, wit, and charm. The beauty of using personal experiences as fodder for humor is that your life experience is unique, and, therefore, stories based on it are guaranteed to be original.

The easiest way to be funny is highlighting actual funny things that happen in your everyday life. This is much easier than trying to come up with jokes on the spot. Exceptionally funny people track everything they find funny and then practice sharing it.

Give the opposite answer to yes/no questions

In the olden days, great comedians carried notebooks to jot down funny thoughts or observations, and scrapbooks for news clippings that struck them as funny. Today, you can do that easily with your phone. If you have a funny thought, record it as an audio note. If you read a funny article, save the link in your bookmarks. The world is a funny place, and your existence within it is probably funnier. Accepting that fact is a blessing that gives you everything you need to see humor and to craft stories on a daily basis. All you have to do is document the stories and then tell someone.

Actually, jokes are harder to tell in real life than stories.

Ward examples

A joke is a fake story that sets up for a punchline. If the punchline falls flat, you end up looking like a fool.

Rather than tell jokes, exceptionally funny people tell relevant stories that have humorous elements. If people laugh, then all the better. But the best-placed pun is actually at the end. Put the funny part at the end of the sentence. This also makes your timing look awesome.

An easy way to delay and replay the funny is to use callbacks.

Relief theory: nobody died

Callbacks bring together everything in the end. This is where you go back callback and reference items that just got a laugh, or create something from items mentioned earlier in the conversation.

This can be one of your jokes that worked or something funny or memorable from someone else. The more you practice your jokes, your stories, and your timing, the funnier you will be.

Start small, with a few written jokes, a few casual stories around the water cooler. Your funny is worth it.

With these tips you absolutely can learn how to be funny. I am still no comedian. But I can tell you that after analyzing and applying these tactics in my daily conversations, I became a much wittier person. I want to give a huge thanks to David Nihill and Siyan Li for these amazing tips.