Humour Hide & Seek Part 2: Getting Your Funny Back

In my last article, I shared that I had lost my funny. It wasn’t just one reason, but a number of reasons and although the gloomy weather isn’t helping, I am confident that I will get my funny back. There are a few things that I am trying, and I recommend you try them too if you’ve lost your funny. You’ll likely need more than one as some ideas may work better for you than others. I also recommend that you experiment especially with variations of these suggestions (such as length of time you try it for, who you’re trying it with, etc.). I think that experimenting itself could generate a laugh for you. As you probably know, you can’t make anybody laugh and sometimes the harder you try, the less likely it is to happen. So definitely don’t look at yourself in the mirror and shout “LAUGH! Come on LAUGH right now! This is funny!!” Try it if you like, but I’m guessing it won’t work. While you’re there though, feel free to tell yourself how good looking you are and how your bed-head is really working for you this morning.

And with that preamble, here are some suggestions and associated commentary on getting your funny back.

Listening to Comedy

Let’s start of easy – listen to someone else trying be funny (I say trying, because one person’s funny could be another person’s “Well, that’s just weird/ gross”). Do you have a streaming service that hosts a lot of comedy specials? Try one of those. You may not get that deep belly laugh right away, but even a slight smile or a smirk could go a long way to lightening your mood, which is an important step in getting your funny back. For me, seeing a comedian having fun with the audience and having fun delivering their set and really enjoying themselves (while staying on-point) does help lighten my mood. They may even inspire me to try being funny myself. Do you have a favourite comedian who more often than not does make you laugh? Definitely watch their stuff; even if you’ve seen or heard it before. It can remind you of a time when you had your funny.

Because we use our brains a lot (yes, it’s true) when we’re listening to someone trying to be funny or when we’re just trying to understand what it is they’re saying, it is possible to over-do it.  And then you get tired of that comedy instead of it restoring your funny – like eating too much candy. Candy is good and I believe it has a beneficial effect on my diet and my life as a whole, but too much is not good and my stomach lets me know that quite clearly.

Experimenting with Jokes

Here’s where things could get weird, or really funny. Since you probably don’t even care at this point about the appropriateness of the words coming out of your mouth (or finger tips if you’re typing the words as I am), say all the weird stuff you want. You’ve got an excuse: “That was weird. What’s with you?” “Me? Oh, I’ve lost my funny and I’m trying to get it back”. I think it would be funny (because I’m in that weird phase right now) to put on a t-shirt that says “Warning: Humour stores low”, “Lost: Funny” or “Missing: Sense of Humour”. Some folks could wear that last one any time. I avoid those people whether I’ve lost my funny or still have it.

This is your time to be creative. Try putting together words that don’t normally go together. This may happen entirely by accident, especially if your thoughts are slightly scrambled to begin with (a by- product of losing your funny). Say weird things. Turn your filter off and go wild. Try your new jokes on people you’ve never met before and see how they react. If they think you’re weird, who cares? You already know you’re weird, and so do your family and friends. Maybe it’s time to show those family and friends a new level of weird and thus a new level of funny. If they’re going through some of the same stuff you are, then you get a double-whammy effect. You lighten their heart and yours.

This entire section was an experiment. I hope it works.

Be Around Funny People

Being around upbeat and funny people lifts you up as well. Laughing reduces stress and humour shows us that life doesn’t have to be so serious. It’s possible to over-do it here too. There is a line that can be crossed from laugh out loud funny to annoying. Be aware of this line. If your funny friend has crossed that line, it’s time to get out of there and get back to base.

Take Time to Relax

Whatever it is that has taken your funny, in the process of taking your funny it makes the rest of you tired; at least in my experience it has. Lost Funny => Tired and vice-versa. This means it’s time for a break where you don’t have to think so much or do so much. This time of not doing a whole lot could allow the fullness of the loss of your funny hit you, but I see that as a good thing because this is a place you can bounce back from.

One way to look at it is to be like a cat: play for a bit (watch comedy, write comedy, say comedy), exercise, take a bath, walk around the house meowing (maybe not) then take a nap. Make sure that nap is in there (or some other opportunity for sleep) because we’ve already learned that doing stuff makes us tired and getting tired makes us lose our funny. If you’re trying to get your funny back, it’s important to do things that don’t make us lose more of it. My cat is pretty funny, so I’m going to be like him.

Release your Inner Child

Maybe the deep intellectual humour is not within your reach for a period of time, so you’ve got to get back to basics and experience some fart jokes. “Potty humour” as the serious people call it. Or borrow somebody’s whoopee cushion in case you don’t still have yours. Even the pros, the people who know a lot about the technical aspects of comedy laugh at whoopee cushions and the noises they make. Kids love them, and so do kids at heart. Moms are harder to convince, but Grandmas get it. They’re blaming it on the dog, but we know who it really was. Our hearing is still working.

Dealing with Frustrations

Dealing with frustrations in a different way than you have been encourages you to think in a different way too. That’s one of the places “funny” hangs out: where things are different or a little off-centre, or even where things don’t quite match up (and when our brain makes the leap – boom! Laughter!). So, what you can do instead of screaming obscenities at other drivers, make a joke about it. Instead of saying: “This*^&$#* is riding my bumper. What a #*&^$” I might say “This person likes my bumper so much; they want to be a bumper-sticker”. Or not. Maybe just let that anger out however you want – just don’t injure anybody.

Get Help with the Digging

When you’re trying to dig yourself out of the crap that life has recently heaped on top of you, I suggest getting help with the digging. There are those funny and uplifting people we know, as well as some tools we can use on ourselves which are deceptively simple. Using funny words is one of the ways to do that. Is life giving you too much crap? Crap is a funny word, so get it working for you. Guess what: if you say “crap” enough times in a row and experiment with the way you say it, or even sing it (crappity-crap, crap-tastic crap, crap crap…so much crap), you’ll eventually laugh and Voila!…you’re on your way to getting your funny back. We humans make new words and slang phrases this way all the time. Claim yours in the name of humour.

In my next article, I’ll let you know how it’s going with me getting my funny back and the results of my experimentation as well as how to test if the funny is back. What do you to get your funny back?

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E-mail kathryn@kathrynreichheld.ca Hours Contact me anytime and I'll get back to you as soon as possible.
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