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How to Have a Sense of Humor

Want in on the joke? Check out some tips to help you develop a sense of humor.


  • Step 1: In a stressful situation? Don't be afraid to be a little silly when appropriate. Breaking the tension with a well-timed joke or gag is a hallmark of a good sense of humor.
  • Step 2: Make a point of looking for something amusing every day, every time you laugh, and you'll build your sense of humor.
  • FACT: In 2008, George Carlin became the first comedian to be awarded The Mark Twain Prize for American Humor posthumously.
  • Step 3: Revisit some of your life's most embarrassing moments. Then, strive to find the comedy in them -- the more you can laugh at yourself, the better your sense of humor will be.
  • TIP: Be aware of your timing; even the funniest jokes can fall flat if told at the wrong moment.
  • Step 4: Look for situations when something or someone seems out of place or moments when the unexpected happens.
  • TIP: Look for incongruity and irony in television, film, and books to make them easier to find in your life.
  • Step 5: Don’t take things too seriously. To have a sense of humor, look at situations from an outsider’s point of view; it will help you distance yourself emotionally and find the inherent comedy, even in something unpleasant.
  • Step 6: Start simply -- make a point of smiling regularly, which will make you feel comfortable and more likely to find humor in situations.

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