Is Humor a daily part of your life?
With all of the tension and negative occurrences in 2020, it is difficult for even the most jovial person to keep their humorous juices flowing. Listening to the news and reading Social Media posts it seems that rancor and bullying have become the de rigueur for dialog and using humor has become almost sinful.
4 Tips to Using Humor to Resolve Conflict in Your Relationships at work or in social engagements.
The conflict has been brewing all day. The combatants are at a crisis point, and it feels like everyone is holding their collective breath waiting to see what happens next. At this point, they’re ready for bloodshed, or at the very least, some very strong words. The last thing they expect is for one of the key players in the conflict to open their mouth and… make a joke?
Maybe it doesn’t feel like a resolution to the conflict, but actually, laughter goes far beyond being the clichéd ‘best medicine.’ How? First of all, laughter takes the tension out of the situation, which exactly is what’s needed to regain perspective, build stronger bonds, and yes, sometimes smooth over the differences.”
How then do you effectively use humor to resolve conflicts?
- Make sure that both parties are ‘in on the joke.’ By keeping humor wholesome – not at the expense of the other person, you’re focusing on inviting them to laugh with you, rather than laughing at them. How can you tell if you’re doing it right? Humor is tricky, and so your best indicator of getting it right is to gauge the other person’s reactions. If they’re not laughing, chances are they don’t find it funny. Stop!
- Check to make sure that you’re using humor as a defensive weapon rather than as a positive tool. If you’re using humor to mask emotions that you’d rather not deal with right now, then it’s time to put a flag on the play. Stop immediately and ask yourself what it is that you’re not dealing with and why.
- Work on that sense of humor. Every good comedian knows how to read their audience. The same goes for using humor with another person, especially in a situation that’s already a conflict. Watch the nonverbal cues. What language are you using? Keep the tone positive and light, and mean it. That means don’t use jokes as a means of cruelty. Lastly, consider what you might use as an inside joke. Inside jokes not only keep the situation light but create a deeper intimacy with whom you conflict.
- Most importantly, be Playful! A little bit of silly fun is a good thing. Not sure how to tap into that kind of fun and crazy side? Explore humor in other ways so that you always have a repertoire to fall back on. Watch things you find funny on TV or in movies. Listen to jokes. Read the funnies. Find that side of you that likes to play and encourage it with creativity and fun.
And no matter what, cut yourself some slack. It takes practice to be funny. Keep at it, and you’ll find your natural sense of humor, and be able to tap into it when you need to. Conflicts won’t know what hit them!
I have had the privilege of working with a couple of Authors, recently published, who have been attracting loyal audiences through their use of humor while sharing adversities.
Amy Bovaird shares her journey of being a fully sighted Teacher to dealing with the onset and development of Retinitis Pigmentosa.
She has written several books that follow her journey and how she adapted to her new lifestyle with a steady touch of humor in facing adversity. Amy’s ability to apply humor to daily trials makes her “memoirs a joy to read and also gives the reader a sense of hope in managing tribulation.
Check out her books and also get to know this amazing young lady
Amy Boavaird’s Books
Another brilliant and humorous author from Sweeny, Texas, who has been a regular caller on our weekly Call-In Talk Show, is Nancy Lou Henderson
Nancy’s four-book memoir focusing on her loving relationship with her husband, Frank, told via a series of letters from Frank during the Vietnam War and their resettling into civilian life is full of honest humor as a method of helping overcome some difficult journeys. Also found on her author Website is the Widow’s Blog
A series of stories about how a widow handles the daily chores usually tended by the husband. Here again, humor seems to make the flow more easily.
Get to know about Nancy and her Humor