Humor in all its manifestations is infectious. One of its most subtle varieties is dry humor. In this SocialMettle article, I share some tips on how to develop a dry sense of humor, that can help lighten the mood at times and make life worthwhile.
“It’s a match made in heaven…by a retarded angel.” – Woody Allen
There it is. Straight from one of the masters of dry comedy. That’s how it is done. Analyzing humor is tough, as it is something very spontaneous. It’s like champagne flowing out from the uncorking of a bottled wit. Humor is a subtle way of presenting reality in such a way, that it makes us laugh. Like every other thinking process, contemplating life through the lens of dry humor is a habit. To some, it comes naturally, some cultivate the ‘clown’ within them as a defense mechanism against the harsh realities of life and some are plain old loony!
They just can’t help it. A capacity for sense of humor is inherent in all of us. It’s up to us if we want the serious philosopher or the clown within to take hold of us. Well, you need them both and if you really think about it, they are two facets of the same personality. The clown is just the philosopher turned inside out. Dry humor is more about the philosopher within you, looking at the world through the clown’s eyes. It’s not-so-obvious, subtle and intellectual kind of humor. Being a particularly big fan of dry humor, in here, I share some tips on how you can develop the clown within, who can give you more reasons to laugh and relieve stress for yourself and those around you.
How to Cultivate a Dry Sense of Humor?
To tell you the truth, a dry sense of humor is something that comes naturally. You have it or you don’t have it. However, if you have the potential for it, you may develop it, with time. Here are some things, which might help you out.
Observe and Absorb
Dry humor is nothing but an observation, which happens to be funny. Keeping your mind open and observing the ways of the world, provides you with plenty of ammunition for good humor. Observe people, their idiosyncrasies and the comedy of errors that arises in our lives. Analyzing it all, provides you with insights, which make you come up with observations, laced with dry humor, illuminating the lighter side of things.
“Some cause happiness wherever they go; others whenever they go.” – Oscar Wilde
You can develop a great sense of humor when you learn to laugh at yourself. Our own life, the vagaries of existence and our experiences provide us with tons of potent situations for humor to erupt spontaneously. Look within and draw from the wealth of personal experience, to come up with facts of life, which make up for great dry humor. Laughing at your own goof-ups and embarrassing situations is a must, to develop the capacity for humor.
“My education was dismal. I went to a series of schools for mentally disturbed teachers.” – Woody Allen
Mastering the Play of Words
Puns are replete in dry humor. Playing with words is addictive and a lot of fun. Opportunities for some great puns present themselves all the time. If you are up for it, you can spot them and certainly impress people with your wit.
“Politics: ‘Poli’ a Latin word meaning “many”; and ‘tics’ meaning ‘bloodsucking creatures.‘ ” – Robin Williams
Developing an appreciation for irony and sarcasm is a must, to develop sense of humor, of the dry kind. Sarcasm and satire, make for some great dry humor. However, make sure that the recipients of your sarcasm or satire enjoy the joke just as much. If somebody’s hurt, it’s not humor, but pure malice. Avoid crossing the line.
“Love is the triumph of imagination over intelligence.” – H. L. Mencken
Read Good Humor
Always helps, when you learn from the masters. Read the works of some of the master humorists like, S. J. Perelman and Robert Benchley, classic English authors like P.G.Wodehouse, Mark Twain and contemporary writers like Douglas Adams. Reading good humor may inspire you to come up with your own. Witty company does help in developing a good sense of humor.
“Age is an issue of mind over matter. If you don’t mind, it doesn’t matter.” – Mark Twain
Look at the Bigger Picture
Taking life too seriously makes us immune to humor! Now that’s the kind of immunity you don’t want. It is okay to be infected with humor. Look at the bigger picture and our little worries seem inconsequential; funny even. Great humorists have always looked at the larger picture and taught us to laugh at ourselves.
“I know not with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones.” – Albert Einstein
As most stand-up comedians, actors and directors will confess, being funny is serious business. Humor, insight and creativity are intimately connected. Therefore, developing your sense of humor is also about developing creativity and insight into your understanding of the world and its various idiosyncrasies and comedies. Analyzing and dissecting humor literally kills it. It will emerge naturally, when you have the right attitude. It has to be spontaneous and effervescent. Let your mind open to possibilities. The key to it is enjoying life and always focusing on the lighter side of things.