Phone Chat Tip #12 – How to Use Humor

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Humor, when used effectively, can endear, elevate, and accelerate a relationship. In the toolbox of relationships, there is nothing quite so powerful as a perfectly placed punchline. Why? It's simple really: humor makes us feel good. It diffuses tension, smooths our interactions and makes them more fun! The trick is to use humor properly.

Here are three positive ways to use humor in conversation:

Poke Fun at Yourself

Being able to laugh at yourself is a sign of confidence and will endear you to your audience. When you make yourself the butt of a joke, you're showing that you don't take yourself too seriously! You're able to laugh about yourself, so the other person can too, and it is a unifying experience all around. Self-deprecating humor is a great way to bond, as there is no better way to lower the walls between you and your conversational partner.

Reduce Tension

Have you ever been in a situation that was supremely uncomfortable until someone cracked a joke, and then everybody laughed and like magic the tension bled right out of the moment? Next time things get tense, try injecting a little humor into the situation and see for yourself the effect laughter can have on stress levels. This works especially well in conjunction with the first technique. If someone accidently insults you, don't take it personally. Laugh! They will laugh too, and the conversation will be able to resume tension-free.

Kid About Something Common

Once you've found some common ground, find a way to joke around about it! When your humor is built around a shared experience, you feel that much closer to the person you're laughing with. A funny story is even funnier if the other person can relate! For example, if you both worked in the restaurant industry at some point, sharing a story about a ridiculous encounter with a customer would resonate with your chatting partner, and most likely lead them to a share a similar story in return.

Humor is such a natural way to form a connection with someone. Next time you have a conversation, give one of these techniques a try, and remember: if you crash and burn, laugh about it!

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