Have you ever wondered who was the very first person to laugh. How did it happen. Did the early humans laugh.
And if they did laugh was it because they found something funny or was it a primal survival skill which had nothing to do with humour.
Was laughter used as a warning like a lion’s roar.
Perhaps it was a way to assert dominance – only the Alpha could laugh, and that laugh meant “HAHA! I am the greatest!”
(and in private the Alpha’s laughter would become hysterical, eventually turning into sobs, for there was nowhere left to go once you’d reached the top, everyone hated you for lording it over them, were plotting to overthrow you, you were alone… at last).
Lynette from In The Net! has challenged me to write a post about what makes me laugh a big hearty belly laugh that leaves me weak and teary-eyed.
When I saw her question I thought – Oh, this is easy to answer! – but then after about five minutes of listening to the static hum filling my empty mind… I thought – Oh, this is really tricky to answer… therefore it is a brilliant question!
I laugh a lot.
I have a wide variety of laughs.
I use laughter in different ways for different purposes.
Early on in my life I found that laughter could defuse a tense situation. If I could make a fool of myself (which is incredibly simple to do as inanity is an innate gift for me) and get other people to laugh at me, they’d release tension that way instead of the other way they’d intended to release it.
I used to use that mostly on my mother. My buffoonery could interrupt her tantrum cycles. She enjoyed laughing at me as it often gave her the same internal tension release results as screaming at me and then lecturing me for hours afterwards.
It also made me appear to be less of a threat to her ego, I was an idiot so she was safe in her role as smartest person in the room.
Laughing, I repeatedly found, was a good way of dealing with people who were attacking me verbally, psychologically, emotionally.
If you laugh (not AT them – that’ll only make things worse) when someone is trying to upset you, make you angry, hurt you, it confuses them.
Their routine relies on you reacting to their attack in the manner which they expect and have scripted for you so that they can get whatever it is they’re trying to get out of the whole scenario – if you don’t react as expected, if you go off script, it throws a spanner in their works and they may leave you alone, think twice before using you as their target.
I used to put that into practice with my father. He prided himself on being able to find a person’s weak spot, and he was very adept at it, and then stabbing it to watch them crumble. I found that laughing when he stabbed me, made it less fun for him to stab me, which meant he did it less frequently.
Laughter can be a bit of a lightsaber.
I also use laughter on myself to snap myself out of my own narrative spin cycles.
If I can find something to laugh about in some story I’m telling myself, then I can unravel the knots before they get too constrictive.
And frankly it’s not that hard to find something funny because many of my interior tales are based on misunderstandings.
I also have a slightly dark, sick and twisted sense of humour… it is never too soon to chuckle at my troubles, as it takes the sting out of them, and can help me to work through them more logically.
I find it hard to take myself seriously when I’m taking myself too seriously. I find myself hilarious. There’s so much absurdity within.
My experience of being human is a rather ridiculous one… particularly when looked at in reverse. When looking at how I got myself into some mess, trouble, some awkward situation.
I do like to analyse my own system to figure out how A led to Z (my MBTI is INTP), how I got myself into trouble… sometimes doing that is how I get into trouble, especially with other people if I do it out loud.
I can laugh at just about anything, everything, especially at nothing at all.
What makes me laugh a big hearty belly laugh that leaves me weak and teary-eyed?
I’m not so keen on the whole laughing AT other people type of humour.
Jokes at the expense of one person or a type of person (eg. those with Dyslexia), where people are singled out as a laughing stock, usually piss me off and make me dislike the person telling the joke.
If the joke is solely at my expense, I’m usually okay with that… depends on the joke and why I’m being turned into a joke. If it is truly funny, and makes me genuinely laugh, that’s great! However if it is mean-spirited mockery then… there’s this smile and laugh I do when people do that which is like a crocodile assessing its next meal.
I do enjoy observational humour when the joke is about human behaviour, the crazy shit we say and do, and the teller of the joke includes themselves in the joke.
Like Martin Matte, he’s a French Canadian comedian whose TV Show – Les Beaux Malaises – had me guffawing loudly.
His DIY sketches had me in stitches because… that’s me doing DIY!
It’s funnier when I can relate, when my laughing at him is me laughing at myself too.
Here’s the entire “Le Cadre” sketch, hopefully you see it from wherever you are as it makes me laugh every time (you don’t need to understand French to enjoy this, he barely says a word, you just need to understand human):
That’s it from me…
Over to you!
What makes you laugh?