Learning to be funny can help you to be confident and there are plenty of advantages: you make other people feel good around you, become popular, and attractive. Women consistently say that they love a guy with a sense of humor, so it's worth taking some time developing yours and learning to be funny.
I've always been a pretty funny guy; my sense of humor developed for coping with boring schoolroom classes where I'd constantly be making funny comments to keep myself and the other kids amused. Needless to say, I got sent out a lot. Even years later when working as an Engineer, I couldn't help but put funny footnotes in technical documents. My inner comedian was bursting to get out and now I'm even studying stand-up comedy.
But even if you've never seen yourself as funny, it's definitely a skill that you can learn to develop. You'll love the satisfaction you get when you make people laugh; any comedian will tell you that this is the best drug out there. So here are my tips on how to be funny:
Notice What Amuses You
All good humor is based in truth. Start by noticing what amuses you, and work with that. Don't try and be someone you're not, or try to second-guess what other people will find funny. Ideas that are genuinely funny to you will often be funny to other people too.
Start noticing what amuses you about people, places, events and concepts. Pay more attention to what's going on around you. Learn to laugh at the absurdities of life, and start pointing them out to other people. If you find it funny, share it with others.
This may seem paradoxical, but if you want to be really funny you have to avoid trying too hard. Humor arises spontaneously from an inquiring state of mind, not from trying to be really clever or funny. The more you relax about being funny, the funnier you will be.
If you want to be funny to attract women, make sure you portray yourself with high status in your humor and learn to do it effortlessly. You want to be funny, not goofy.
People connect best with humor that's authentic. The best comedians put a lot of their personal pain into their acts; it's like therapy for them. Billy Connolly is a classic example: he often talks on-stage about his abandonment issues. Most people are too afraid to share their personal issues with other people but when you start making light of yours everyone around you will find your humor liberating. They'll be drawn to you like moths to a flame.
Tell it like it is. Humor gives you the opportunity to speak the truth in a way that slips past people's defense mechanisms. A statement of truth that would otherwise be blasphemous or offensive can often be delivered safely with humor. Learn to laugh at how absurdly uptight we all are sometimes and share your personal insecurities with other people while avoiding put yourself down. A little self-deprecation is fine, but you want people laughing with you, not at you. Portray yourself as the winner rather than the loser when you're being funny.
Reveal Your Inner Thoughts
Chances are that you already have amusing inner thoughts that you just aren't sharing with other people. We all do. Funny people have simply learned that these thoughts are valuable and are worth sharing. Often you'll get a great response, which encourages you to share more next time.
Sometimes an amusing comment will bomb completely and you may have a terrible feeling of failure or of being foolish or stupid. This is the time to remind yourself that you're simply out there amusing yourself, and if other people don't get it that's their loss. Keep sharing what's going on in your head even if your humor occasionally fails to land with people who take life too seriously, are in a bad mood, have no sense of humor, or simply have one that doesn't gel with yours.
Notice Connections Between Things
Linking people, places, events and ideas that aren't normally associated with each other is often funny. You'll find that your mind is already making these connections, but you're probably just not sharing them with other people at the moment because they seem ridiculous. That's because they are ridiculous. And that's why they're funny.
Our brains are wired to find connections between things as a survival strategy so we're constantly coming up with silly associations. Many people believe these associations are real, which is why beliefs such as the supernatural are so common, or they reject them out of hand because they're obviously absurd. Once you recognize these absurd associations you can use them to be funny.
One of the funniest ways to link disconnected ideas is to refer back to an idea which came up earlier in the same conversation. Comedians and writers call this a call-back. Using call-backs in conversation is powerful because it shows your partner that you're really paying attention to what they are saying and that you're listening on a deep level.
Everyone loves a good call-back and once you're aware of them you'll notice people from comedians to suave pick-up artists peppering conversations with them all the time. Unlike a joke, the more you repeat a good call-back the funnier it gets.
Learn To Tell Funny Stories
Telling funny stories always makes people laugh. You're either telling a funny story, or you're making some amusing observation on what's happening right now. Don't tell jokes unless you're extraordinarily proficient at coming up with original ones; jokes almost always make you look lame even if you get a laugh. Never tell a joke you heard somewhere else.
Telling funny stories is a great way to show off your cool personality. Don't try to add humor to your stories; just work on uncovering the humor that's already there. To be really proficient at story-telling, check out the Edge Of Their Seats Storytelling Home Study Course by Craig Valentine.
Carry A Humor Diary
Professional comedians and public speakers collect humorous material from their daily lives for use later on. They often carry around a humor diary or notebook where they can write down any amusing observations that come to them. I do this, and so can you. Jot down anything that amuses you as you go about your daily life, and review it from time to time to remind yourself of the funny stories or incidents you've been a part of. Personal humor works best and this is a great way to cultivate it. As you pay more attention to the humor in your daily life, you'll naturally become more funny.
There are plenty of books out there that can teach you how to delve into the depths of your troubled psyche to mine it for humorous gold. You can also learn how to deliver your material for maximum impact, whether it be on stage or simply in conversation. I recommend Stand Up Comedy: The Book by Judy Carter. When you read the book make sure you actually do the exercises and you'll find yourself becoming funnier all over the place.
Take A Course
Doing a course is the most practical way to expose your humor gene and learn to be funny in front of other people. Theatrical Improvisation courses are a great way to start if you're particularly nervous, or dive straight into a Stand-Up Comedy course in your town. Comedians normally work at night and have to do something during the day; they often enjoy teaching their craft to others.
Practice, Practice, Practice
As with anything else, practice makes perfect. Being funny is as much about delivery as it is about material, and the only way to fine tune your delivery is to practice and see how it goes. Material that is funny to you may not be funny to other people, or may only be funny to men. The more your practice the better you'll get at both picking your material and delivering it.
When you first try using more humor you may be nervous and talk too fast. Slow down. Try a concept on a few different people before declaring it not-funny. Sometimes other people are just in a bad mood. Be willing to fail more, so you can have more success. Always go back to what you find amusing and keep developing your personal funny bone. You'll start attracting other people who share your sense of humor and you can all have a lot of fun being funny together.