The First Humor Habit—Part 2: Discovering the Nature of Your Present Sense of Humor


“If I had no sense of humor, I should long ago have committed suicide.”
(Mohandas K. Gandhi)

Psychiatrist to her receptionist: “Just say we’re very busy; don’t keep saying ‘It’s a madhouse’ here.”

You were asked in last week’s (Feb 10) article to immerse yourself in humor in every way you could think of. Check back to the Feb. 10 article at this website for reminders of those ways. The goal here was to help you get started obtaining a better understanding of your sense of humor as it stands now. If you are planning to go through the 7 Humor Habits Program (7HHP) either alone or with a friend, but have not yet done this “Home Play” (this is the term I will use from now on to describe the exercises and activities designed to build each Humor Habit) for this First Habit, you should do that now, and then come back to this article at a later time.

If you haven’t already done so, take the Sense of Humor Test posted in the Feb 3 article at this website. This test and the activities proposed in the Feb 10 article are an important part of the 7HHP. Most people just want to jump right in and start working on the “good stuff”—i.e., learning to be witty and find the funny stuff going on in everyday life. But trust me, you’ll see that getting yourself thinking more actively about your own sense of humor as it stand now will help ignite strong Humor Habits when we start with those in a couple of weeks.

Skill-Building Exercises for the First Humor Habit (Part 2: consolidating your insights related to understanding your sense of humor)

I am assuming here that you really did spend a week watching more sit coms on television, listening to your favorite comedians (on television, at comedy clubs, on CDs, etc.), seeking out cartoons in magazines and the daily newspaper, hanging around more with your funniest friends, etc. Again, if you did not do that, spend more time doing so before you move on with the 7HHP. The more time you spend following the suggestions of activities and exercises provided here, the more progress you’ll make. There is now plenty of research evidence documenting that THIS PROGRAM WORKS, but there is no evidence showing that it works when you just do a little here and a little there when it comes to the exercises. So the amount you gain from the radio humor series and the weekly humor development articles presented here is totally up to you.

1) List the various things you did during the past week in your efforts to immerse yourself in as many outside sources of humor as possible. Which things did you do most often, and which did you do only once? Continue doing these things during the coming week before we move on to the Second Humor Habit.

2) Write down any common themes you noted in the humor you do and do not find funny. This will start to give you a good sense of the nature of your sense of humor.

3) Again, just keep as engaged as possible in humor throughout the coming week. Remember, this early involvement in thinking about humor is important in laying the foundation for the actual work on humor skills coming very shortly.

The next Humor Training article will actually be March 5, 2012.  (There is no MArch 26 article.)  It will focus on the Second Humor Habit.

Copyright owned by Paul McGhee. This article may not be reproduced without written permission granted by Dr. McGhee.