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Humor Background

20 Dec 2016Other Essays

Definitely, sense of humor is influenced by social factors in the environment a person is living in. Social factors may include family, friends, and school, among others. In my case, the major factors which affected my sense of humor are my family, friends, and the mass media.

Family is a major social factor because they are the ones whom I spend a lot of time with—especially when I was a kid. They affected not only my sense of humor, but also my personality as a whole. My family has a close ties which enables us to enjoy every moment that we spend together. Meanwhile, my friends also have a big part in influencing my sense of humor.

With my friends, I can practically say jokes that all of us could relate. Perhaps, it is because we are of the same age bracket; what interests one also interests the others.

Lastly, the mass media also have a very crucial part in my sense of humor. We know that the mass media play an important role in molding the minds of its audience.

On my part, the mass media practically affected my sense of humor because of what they are catering. From the television shows to the stories that could be read in the print media, it is undeniable that the mass media is a vital factor with regards to my sense of humor.

In our family, we usually laugh at the stories that we share. We often have conversations about the things that happened during the day especially those which are humorous. Also, we usually talk about the funny gestures and humorous mistakes committed by another family member. We laugh at each other’s jokes.

When I am with my friends, we usually laugh also at each other’s jokes. We talk about what funny events that took place in the school. Things like a terror teacher who slipped on the floor and other naughty stories. Also, how mean it seems, we also laugh at the “tolerable” mistakes of our classmates. But then, we are usually cautious if it is insensitive to laugh at. Things that would gravely humiliate our classmates are not usually laughed at.

When I am with other people, I mean not with my friends or family, I have to admit that I do not laugh a lot. No matter how funny a joke may be, I am usually reserved when I am not with my friends or family.

I do not usually laugh at things that I know would unpleasantly affect the feelings of another person. I do not laugh when the person involved is not that close to me. I cannot endure to hurt the feelings of others. Because I, myself, do not want to be everyone’s laughing stock.

There are times when I am depressed, I would watch a comedy television show or movie to relieve the unpleasant state of emotion that I have. When I watch those kinds of shows and movies, I feel lighter and I seem to forget the problems that I have.

One of those television shows that I enjoy watching is “Friends.” I enjoy watching the show because of the funny situations that the characters are in. Also, I think I can relate with some of the situations that were presented in the show.

Culture, Gender, and Humor

Culture is an important consideration when talking about what is humorous or not. Culture is an aspect of the society which should be respected. The cultural being of an inpidual usually dictates what to laugh at or not. Humor also requires an in-depth understanding of one’s culture. What is humorous for one person may not be humorous for another because of differences in their cultural orientation.

Also, gender should be considered as a major factor on cracking jokes. There are jokes that are funny for men but are offensive for women.

The social factors that I discussed earlier gravely affected my sense of humor. As I grew up, I became more sensitive with the people around me. Because of the factors I mentioned, I realized that there are important considerations that I should think about first. I usually enjoy things that are not offensive, at the very least on my culture. I found it offensive when the joke is too personal. I mean when the joke will affect how others perceive me.

From a scale of 1 to 10, (10 being the highest) I think I can give my self an 8. My family and friends say that I am fun to be with. I think I cannot give a perfect score for my self because there are times that I am not actually fun to be with. And it is because I am trying to be sensitive with the culture of the person that I am with.

Humor and stress

Humor is a state of mind which enables one person to feel joy although faced with adversity. Meanwhile, stress is a condition in which we experience fatigue and sometimes come with unpleasant state of our emotions. This state usually develops into a state of hopelessness.

We usually encounter stress in our own workplace. It is because loads of work is really a reason for a person to be stressed out.

I am currently comfortable with my workplace right now. I am acquainted with almost everyone in the office. And I usually engage in conversations with my office mates. Almost all of us are friends so no tension could be observed in the workplace.

By experience, I proved that humor could actually relieve stress. One incident that happened in the workplace was when everyone in the office was bombarded with things to do; some of our office mates would crack jokes that are really funny.

It was really helpful because we were working that time at graveyard. Because of the many funny jokes that were cracked, we were not bored given the time that we were working. We forgot the stress and the feeling of being sleepy.

Another incident was when I was crying over the loads of works and the deadlines that I had to beat, when an officemate’s necktie was accidentally got into a shredding machine while he was shredding the scratch papers in the office.

He, himself, laughed at what happened and it ended up that everyone in the workplace was laughing on him. After I laughed, I felt relieved and became enthusiastic on the loads of work that I have.

Of course, humor is not always taken positively by some persons. What is offensive cannot be considered humorous.

I encountered a joke that I found offensive when I was still news in our office. I am not yet fully acquainted with the persons in the office; I think there only three of them that I am close with during that time.

I was tasked to do a visual aid for a report presentation. Having no rational reason to refuse, I accepted the work. I poured in all of my time and effort just to finish the audio visual presentation hoping that it will please my office mates. I thought my training was more than enough to come up with an audio visual presentation that would wow the ones who would see it.

I practically did everything for the presentation to be perfect; I even skipped sleeps and meals just to come up with a time-pressured yet quality output—or so I thought.

I showed the output to my office mates; one of them just smirked and laughed. He told me that I should have put some effort. I told him I did. He said that he thought that it was done by an elementary student. But later, he told me that it was just a joke. But for me, it was not a funny joke. He just insulted me and my work.

My initial reaction was just a smile. I tried to hide that I was actually hurt by what he said. But then, he eventually noticed that I was indeed offended.

Some office mates manifested their sympathy on me and told me that it was actually not a funny joke. They said that that person is actually always guilty of offending other people. I did not think of any ways to salvage the situation during that time. I wanted to cry during that time. I think I should have told him immediately that he was already offending me.

Conclusion

Humor is indeed helpful in relieving that we have in life. But then, we should be cautious on the jokes that we would crack; there are certain social factors that should be first considered before cracking one. Instead of making another person happy, you might cause his or her depression because of you cultural differences.

Humor could be an empowerment tool. It gives a person a different perspective over problems.

Humor and laughter could help a person to cope up with stress. This claim has been proven by a number of scientific studies. They can improve the function of the body, the mind, and the spirit. A person’s ability to laugh at a given situation or problem could give a person a positive attitude and a hope that the problem could still be solved. It gives us a sense of superiority instead of inferiority.

If we have the ability to just laugh at our problems, this would prevent our tendency to dwell on the depression that a person full of problems is viable with. Humor gives us a positive attitude in facing our problems in life. Laughter provides emotional stability that prevents harmful biochemicals that are produced in our body when we are depressed. We should not belittle the benefits that humor could give us.

True enough, laughter is the best medicine.

References:

  • "Using Humor." Cultural Savvy, 2007.
  • Burnout, Maslach C. The Cost of Caring. New Jersey: Prentice-Hall, 1982.
  • Lefcourt, H. "Humor and Immune System Functioning." International Journal of Humor Research 3.3 (1990): 305-21.
  • Walsh, J. Laughter and Health. New York: Appleton, 1928.
  • Wooten, Patty. "Humor: An Antidote for Stress." Holistic Nursing Practice 1996: 49-55.

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