Humor in families
Humor is a very present phenomenon in the history of mankind. It has manifested itself in different ways in all times, in races, cultures or social classes and at any time in the life cycle of people (including on the deathbed). A healthy family atmosphere needs the presence of positive mood in everyday life, in any of its forms.
A family may identify with a humorous style concrete or that each member has his own. The important thing is that the humor is the result of a protected and peaceful environment. That it serves to strengthen the cohesion between its members and help to face the daily problems without excess of dramatisms.
The terms of humor and its curious distinction
Researchers in positive psychology are especially interested in the study of this field and differentiate some terms related to humor.
A) Yes, Laughter it is conceptualized as a psycho-physiological reaction characterized by a recognizable facial expression (mouth in a closed or open smile, commissure of the wrinkled eyes), repetitive vocalizations (ha-ha, je-je), body movements (abdomen, shoulders, head) , etc.), neurophysiological reactions (changes in respiratory processes, blood circulation, muscular tension, dopaminergic system, etc.).
On the other hand, it is defined the hilarity as the internal subjective sensation of well-being or pleasure that is experienced when we laugh.
The term humor makes reference to the different sources or causes that provoke laughter.
Finally, the sense of humor understood as the capacity to generate humor, provoking laughter in oneself or in others, or the ability to grasp and experience the same before other sources.
The secrets of humor for psychology
Psychology, despite its efforts to know it, still maintains many aspects that remain unsolved. The main problems are the lack of psychological tests to 'measure' the sense of humor and the difficulty to know exactly what is and what is not humor.
In the last decade, and thanks to the push of the Positive Psychology, it has been possible to advance in its understanding. Today we know some benefits of humor in the quality of life of people:
- facilitates social cohesion
- favors creativity
- protects against stress and depression
- Induced as a protective role of health indirectly
Humor and its types or categories
There are different kinds of humor that do not yet have a classification agreed by the researchers. We are currently based on categories that emerge at the popular level. Some are satirical humor, intelligent, absurd, graphic, spontaneous, ironic, constructive, hurtful, acid, or types associated with color category (green, brown, black, white, etc.).
All of them could be included in two general types:
- Positive humor. The one that produces well-being for its author and who receives it
- The negative mood. The one whose consequences on who emits it and / or receives generates discomfort.
The latter has a growing success. An example of this can be found in most of the morning programs of the main radio stations. In them heavy jokes are made to anonymous people, with the intention of taking them to the extreme of their anger and anger and then tell them that it is a joke. They are examples of negative humor (because they are based on causing discomfort in others) and unfortunately are offered today as a model for many young people -even children- who listen to them daily, without any control on the part of adults.
Educate children in the sense of humor
In families it is important to encourage and educate children in the sense of smoker. This is where, as if it were a test laboratory, each member tests their sense of humor and captures if it is successful, annoying, inopportune, positive. Based on strategies by 'trial-error', each can discover their own style. From this arises a fundamental basis in the development of future social competences.
There is an extended myth that states thatTo have a sense of humor is to know how to tell jokes. Another myth that considers that there are people who are born with the gift of being 'funny' and others without it. Nothing further. Everyone can have a dose of humor. The important thing is that everyone discovers their own humorous style and has the confidence to express themselves. Humor can be learned, even trained. For this, adults play a fundamental role in serving as models to the little ones.
Some member of the family may be more 'successful' than others with their humor. It is important to reinforce these others, less witty, encouraging them to try and give them greater prominence and confidence. A wide variety of healthy humor styles confers a very enriching atmosphere in the home.
The humor in a family helps enormously to face the daily problems. It is also known that predisposes to relativize daily difficulties, promotes cohesion and helps not to take oneself too seriously when necessary. It serves as an instrument to interrupt difficult-to-resolve discussions and can be used to communicate important messages that could hurt susceptibilities if communicated in a serious tone.
Definitely, A family with humor is more family.
Alfonso Sánchez-Carpintero. Psychologist Specialist in Clinical Psychology