Humor, Seriously Summary

1-Sentence-Summary: Humor, Seriously explores how bringing fun and entertainment into the workplace can enhance team productivity, spark creativity, increase trust between members and improve people’s overall sentiment in relation to work and job-related activities.

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Humor Seriously Summary

There is a popular conception that Monday is the most dreadful day of the week. People spend their professional lives waiting for the weekend, and when it finally comes, they become busy hating the week ahead. Unfortunately, there is a large number of people who feel trapped in their workplace and find no pleasure in their daily jobs. 

This adversity falls on the shoulders of managers and executives, whose jobs are to foster constructive, learning working environments, but fail to do so. Therefore, the entire chain of command becomes poisoned with authoritative leaders, biased behaviors, and closed-minded people, until it reaches the operational workers. In the end, everyone feels bad at their jobs.

This destructive approach to work must change, starting from people’s behavior in relation to their job. Jennifer Aaker‘s  Humor, Seriously focuses on how companies ought to train democratic, open-minded people, instead of poker-faced, authoritarian leaders, who in turn will build more fun and creative working environments. How? By smiling, joking, and using joy as a productivity enhancer

Here are my three favorite lessons from the book:

  1. Humor can be categorized into four types, and you should identify which one suits you best.
  2. People find relatable jokes funnier, as they are based on universal truths.
  3. Using analogies, exaggeration and the rule of three can help you improve your humor.

Think you already know these lessons? Think again, because there’s more to them than meets the eye. Let’s see what they really mean!

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Lesson 1: Become the most fun-to-be-around version of yourself by choosing which type of humor describes you the best.

People are funny in their own unique ways. Some like to use dark humor, some like fine sarcasm, and some just love some good old-fashioned jokes. The thing is, all of these people are funny but different. Sticking to the type of humor that suits you best will make you feel comfortable and seem more authentic.

Essentially, there are four types of humor: the stand-ups, the magnets, the sweethearts, and the snipers. The first type of people are usually into dark humor and they like expressive forms of entertainment, such as roasts, for example. Then, there are magnets. These people are into positive and happy jokes.

Magnets are naturally funny and they’re fun to be around. Usually, they’re the ones to make the crowds laugh and spread positivity. The sweethearts, on the other side, are more on the innocent side. They like to joke around only when the situation permits. They want people to feel good and they would never make an offensive joke.

Lastly, there’s the sniper. This person is sarcastic and aggressive with their jokes. They like to serve punchlines and one-liners. Note that you can always combine these types, but it’s important to identify yourself with one and build on your type of humor.

Lesson 2: People relate most to the truth, so stick to it when making jokes.

According to the authors, the best type of humor is based on truth. Figuring out how to juggle with it and make fun of the things that happen around you is a sure way to entertain people. Oftentimes, the small, day-to-day things that happen to us can turn out to be a great subject to joke about. 

Tap into the real things that happen to you and bring a little bit of humor into it. People will appreciate that and relate to the situation. Doing this will create beautiful, shared moments between you and them, as they will identify themselves more with you and drop formal behavior, allowing a closer bond to form.

Make sure not to force anything when it comes to joking around. Frustration can easily build up when you’re mocking real-life situations, and you wouldn’t want anyone to feel personally attacked by you, right? Shared distress can be an entertainment topic, but only if you know when to bring it up.

Lastly, try to highlight the humor in something that happened in your life or is related to you in any way. This will show that you have a unique, personal side, just like everyone else. Bringing forth the human component in a conversation will make it feel more natural and intimate to your interlocutor.

Lesson 3: Your humor toolkit should include exaggeration, analogies, and the rule of three.

Humor is not that simple, after all. You can’t just tell a joke and expect people to laugh and form a bond with you. The best thing you can do to make sure you get it right is to use a few simple tips and tricks from the authors. The first one is exaggeration. When you tell a story, try to escalate it and surprise the other person.

Exaggeration works only if you take your interlocutor by surprise and turn your story around unexpectedly. Then, be as specific as you can. When you introduce elements such as colors, details about a place, a smell, a sound, or anything else that can give life to your tale, you make it easier for your readers to understand you, as you’re building up a mental image for them. 

Thirdly, use analogies to your advantage. Compare something from your story to an outrageous example. Have your story stand out by making relatable, easy-to-get analogies. This will give your interlocutors a sense of deeper understanding of your tale and it will also entertain them better. Lastly, make use of the rule of three – list two expected things and a third unexpected element. 

But how does this rule really work? Well, since our brain is used to patterns, it will automatically pay closer attention to something that doesn’t follow one and stands out. For example, if you take the elements from your story, such as A, B, and C, it will make sense for your interlocutors. But if instead of C, you add a D, they will get caught by surprise and your story will have a greater impact.

Humor, Seriously Review

Ever thought about how to become funnier, or how to make people listen to your stories with a greater interest? If the answer is yes, then Humor, Seriously is the book for you. Not only it teaches its readers practical tips-and-tricks on how to widen the attention span of people and become more authentic and funny, but it also talks about how humor really works from the roots. Anyone reading this book will understand how to use humor in their favor and create more meaningful relationships by becoming a funny, relatable teller.

Who would I recommend the Humor, Seriously summary to?

The 20-year-old introvert who wants to form meaningful friendships and become the entertainer of their group, the 30-year-old team leader who wants to create a more informal working environment for their colleagues, or the 25-year-old who wants to become a comedian and is looking for information in this field.

Last Updated on May 19, 2023

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Maria Deac

While working with my friend Ovi's company SocialBee, I had the good fortune of Maria writing over 200 summaries for us over the course of 18 months. Maria is a professional SEO copywriter, content writer, and social media marketing specialist. When she's not writing or learning more about marketing, she loves to dance and travel all over the world.