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What Does Humor Mean? – The Definition & Purpose of Humor

A sense of humor is a real asset of social life. It can facilitate interaction with others, help you find your ideal partner, and generally improve your health by boosting your body’s “good” hormones.

But, why is this social characteristic called “a sense of humor”? What does humor mean?

Why do we get the sudden urge to tell a funny joke and laugh? Psychology has tried to answer all of these questions, and we will try to do the same.

Let’s start right away!

What does humor mean?

What Does Humor Mean? – The Definition

By the traditional definition, humor represents comedic, absurd, and unusual character traits. Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines it as “a funny or amusing quality” above all things.

As some psychologists say – humor is present in all of us. Still, some might not have developed this desired personality trait. We’ve even written an entire article explaining why do some people not have a sense of humor!

It has most certainly been around since the humans could first communicate with each other, but the origins of humor are an entirely different topic.

Humor is a Desirable Personality Trait

Now, picture a group of friends. In that group of friends, you will most likely be able to spot people who are shy, kind, charismatic easily. But you also won’t have any problems noticing a person with a sense of humor.

Humor is a very recognizable and desirable trait. Nowadays, this type of personality trait is even considered essential. For example, humor can help a person establish a leadership position in a group. However, it can also simply allow people to create a friendly, relaxing, and not-awkward atmosphere.

Knowing how to entertain people around you and keep their attention is a wonderful way to develop your social abilities, gain some friends, and have a great time. On top of that, if a group of people finds your jokes funny, you will get a boost of confidence, which we all need from time to time.

Overall, humor is one of the most desired personality traits today, as it has been for ages. And people who have it are most likely to participate in socializing events rather than people who haven’t quite found their sense of humor yet.

Related: How Would You Describe Your Sense of Humor – 5 Amazing Tips

What is Humor – The Characteristics and Types

Definition of humor - characteristics and types

Having a sense of humor remains a vague notion that can vary from one individual to another. While some people might find one joke or a pun funny, others will feel uncomfortable, unhappy, or won’t express any type of emotion.

As there are different types of humor existing, the one you prefer might impact your social appearance.

You may know that there are many different types of humor out there, but the most popular ones are:

There is also the comedy of the situation, gestures, character, or the humor of repetition acts (also known as callback jokes). The list goes on and on. We’ve covered most of these different types of comedy on our blog already, so we invite you to check those articles out!

Essentially, humor is meant to be amusing to everyone involved, and it shouldn’t have any malicious intent. Still, there is mocking humor, also known as satirical humor (usually involving irony and sarcasm). It fits into the group of exaggerated types of humor. Even though people are most likely to use sarcasm in their everyday lives, many will find this humor type rude and annoying.

At What Age Do We Acquire a Sense of Humor?

At what age do we develop a sense of humor?

From an early age, children start to acquire this personality trait. For example, they begin to imitate sounds or people in order to make other people laugh.

As early as the age of four months, babies start to laugh or smile at other’s people faces. And as you grow up, you start seeing the differences between the various types of humor we discussed previously.

We tend to adapt to the type of humor which suits us most. After that, we try to think of our first jokes, which often come naturally to us as our sense of humor develops. During the teenage years and young adulthood, your sense of humor will mature and become much more complex.

Not understanding the boundaries of humor or lacking a sense of humor entirely can be problematic. In fact, people without a developed sense of humor are likely to be excluded from social events, or they usually have a hard time trying to blend in or find friends in the first place.

For someone who doesn’t possess this developed type of characteristic, trying to be funny might be a tricky thing to do. The most important thing is to try and accept that you shouldn’t try to become someone else. Fitting into other people’s perception of humor or fake-laughing to jokes is never the way to go.

By embracing your own sense of humor and understanding which crowds might enjoy the same preferences as we do, you can finally use comedy as a strength. It’s a long process but a rewarding one for sure.

You can start with our ultimate guide on how to be funny. It’ll show you everything you need to know to define your sense of humor, nurture it and become the funniest version of yourself:

What is the Purpose of Humor?

So, finally, what is the meaning and the purpose of humor?

The humor allows us to laugh at life’s difficulties and overcome them. It makes good days better, and bad ones suck a bit less. It enables our connection to something larger. On top of that, it is known for lifting up the mood when we are feeling down by boosting the production of happy hormones.

Humor is a very complex social phenomenon that can have many positive benefits. The value and meaning of humor are multidimensional, and its various benefits are physical, psychological, social, and cognitive.

One of the primary purposes of humor is acting as a therapeutic tool that allows people to escape the problems they might be going through. You have surely started to laugh during the hard times in your life.

Sometimes that happens out of a large amount of stress, but usually, humor is the way we cope with things. It is known to relieve tension and make the cruel reality more livable. Humor generally represents a creative act that dramatically impacts the quality of our everyday lives.

In addition to that, a sense of humor also represents our level of social intelligence. Humor will not only help you have a great time with your friends, but it will also help you overcome anxieties and improve your moral standards.

Knowing how to handle humor from an early age will allow you to face certain challenging situations as an optimist and banish negative thoughts from your head.

Your Turn

Now, we are dying to hear your opinion:

Do you believe that humor is one of the most desirable personality traits? Furthermore, do you also think that every person has a little bit of humor in them and anyone can be considered funny in their own way?

We would love to hear your thoughts on this matter, so drop your opinion down at the comment section!

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