I'm funny? Funny how? I mean, funny like a clown? I amuse you? I make you laugh, I'm here to fuckin' amuse you?
Humor styles are important. Like Galen, Rod Martin identified four humors:
- Affiliative: Wit, storytelling, amusement, clowning around.
- Self-Enhancing: Coping, perspective-taking, jokey outlook even when alone.
- Aggressive: Sarcasm, teasing, manipulative, insulting jabs.
- Self-Defeating: Ingratiating, defensive, set ups where you're the punchline.
Affiliative and Self-Enhancing humor correlate positively with well-being, self-esteem, intimacy, optimism, social support; negatively with depression, anxiety, and generally, neuroticism.
Aggressive and Self-Defeating humor correlate positively with neuroticism, bad mood, hostility, anxiety, depression, psychiatric symptoms; negatively with agreeableness, conscientiousness, self-esteem, well-being, and even physical health.
But a guy like Howard Stern would tell you that's all bullshit. He's made millions with aggressive, self-deprecating humor. In fact, he's the go-to Shock Jock. According to one study, 73.2% of his content is sexually explicit. And whether it's a random prostitute or Sir Paul McCartney, he's digging out your darkest secrets in a blunt enough way to make you answer him.
And while classics like the 'Aunt Jemima masturbation' story and his 'hot Columbine High girls' bit are hilarious to some, the FCC has fined him millions. Not to mention, he suffers from severe OCD.
Case in point, analyze your humor styles and redouble the healthy ones. Otherwise, your smile might fade like Tommy D's did mid-movie.