If you have read my previous article ‘Advantages Of Dyspraxia; Just What Are They’ then you may recall how one positive to being Dyspraxic is that we tend to have a good sense of humour. Like with other positive traits of Dyspraxia like Strategic Thinking, a sense of humour is common for those of us with Dyspraxia. Dyspraxia and sense of humour seem to go together like cheese and crackers!
Now you may well say that you know of an individual with Dyspraxia who doesn’t seem to have any sense of humour at all (maybe you are confessing that you are such an individual?) Well as we uncovered in the article on the Advantages Of Dyspraxia article, not every Dyspraxic individual will have all the positive traits of Dyspraxia. Though overall these traits will be more common in those with Dyspraxia compared to the rest of the community.
As Dyspraxia and sense of humour seem to go hand in hand, this raises further questions like;
- Why do the majority of Dyspraxics have a sense of humour?
- Do we have the same type of humour?
- If you can confess to not having a sense of humour, than what can you do to develop one?
These are questions which we shall be answering within the following article. So to begin;
Why Does Dyspraxia And A Sense Of Humour Go Hand In Hand?
So why is a sense of humour so common amongst those of us with Dyspraxia? Though I cannot scientifically say why this is the case, I do have an opinion (or an educated guess). This being that as a group, we will generally struggle with more stresses and frustrations in life than the typical Non-Dyspraxic. As such our minds will be more prone to a build up of psychological pressure from these stresses and frustrations.
As such, our minds will therefore use humour and laughter as a method to release some of this pent up stress. The reason for this is because laughter makes us feel good due to the fact that when we laugh, it releases Endorphins. If you aren't aware, Endorphins is our body's natural painkiller. Yet not only does it reduce pain but also has a feel good factor as well.
So by laughing more as well as causing others to laugh, we will subsequently feel good. And this will provide us with a valve to release some of the psychological pressure.
While my theory may seem a bit far fetched, this is something which regularly happens amongst loved ones who are gathered around the deathbed of a loved one. This is known as gallows humour, and is a way to mentally release the pent up pressure.
I remember when my grandmother was passing away, we as a family were all around her death bed in her hospice, generally holding a vigil during the last hours of her life. You would expect there to be sadness (and there was generally) but there were lots of moments of humour and laughter as well.
Anyhow this is my theory as to why many of us Dyspraxics have a sense of humour, I cannot say for certain.
The Different Types Of Humour
There are so many different types of humour that it is impossible to list them all out. Yet there are two broad categories. These two categories can be defined as:
- Finding things funny and so laughing more
- Telling jokes and making other people laugh
With regards to the second category of humour, there are a number of different types of humour which people use to make others laugh. Yet some of the main types include:
Physical - Also referred to as slapstick humour. This type of humour can sometimes be comical violence.
Self-Deprecating - Making oneself the butt of the joke. This humour works well with other types, yet not too well if relied upon alone.
Surreal - Comedy that comes from putting whacky, weird situations together which is funny due to how bizarre it is.
Improvisational - The hardest type of comedy in my opinion: coming up with jokes and humorous situations on the spot.
Wit Wordplay - This humour is based on word play and general witticisms, often referred to as intellectual humour.
Topical - This is the one used by comedians nowadays: making jokes about common situations like news events, politics, etc.
Observational - Similar to Topical humour except one is making humour out of everyday events.
Bodily - Not one for the ladies. Bodily humour incorporates toilet humour and uses human functions for humour.
Dark - This type of humour is taking depressing, dark or underlying topics, but putting comical aspects on it.
Most people who are funny (and even some who think they are) will usually have a combination of one or more of these humour types making up their unique comedy style. For like fingerprints, everyone's comedy style is just as unique as the next person's.
Fortunately if you feel that you are one of those people who don't have much of a sense of humour, is it possible to develop one?
How To Have A Sense Of Humour
If you are one of the few people who can honestly admit that you don’t have a sense of humour, is there anything that you can do to get one? Well the answer is mainly yes in that anyone who can cognitively think and observe the world around them can develop a sense of humour. Yet there is one exception which comes to mind; this being if you happen to be in a deeply depressed state. If so then you will need to work on overcoming (or at the very least reducing) your depressed state before you can start to develop a sense of humour. Though how to overcome such a depressed state is beyond the scope of this article.
So assuming you are not currently experiencing depression, what can you do to develop your sense of humour? Well the first thing I would recommend is to take time to start laughing to yourself. Even if you don’t feel like laughing at anything in particular, just do one minutes fake laughter. If you can, do this a couple of times a day for a few weeks.
As we already learnt earlier on, even if you do a fake laugh for a while, it will cause you to feel better and start to activate a sense of humour for you. Don’t try and force yourself to see the humour in something for it just won’t happen. Simply take the time to laugh and this will start to awaken your sense of humour within you. Soon your daily fake laughter sessions will give way to genuine laughing moments during the day!
Doing this alone will at the very least awaken your humour in seeing more of the funny side of life. However, what if you want to have the sense of humour where you make other people, be it by funny stories or jokes (or one of the other formats as mentioned in the previous section)?
Well you can awaken this type of humour in yourself as well. And the best way to do this is to start watching funny TV programs and attending stand-up comedy events. If you can, do discreetly jot down some of the jokes said; don’t do this obviously otherwise you may end up catching the attention of the stand-up comedian! Either way, memorising these jokes and practising them on others (as well as working on your delivery) will overtime make you funnier to others.
One last thing I would like to say on this; that being to do work in your own style and not try and impersonate other comedians. We are all unique and as such, so is our sense of humour. Hence if you try to mimic someone else’s style the best you can ever hope to be is a second rate version of that person. Tell jokes via your own style and let your natural humour flow.
Anyhow if you like to know more about Dyspraxia, including the strengths of having Dyspraxia, I recommend you read my book ‘Dyspraxia: How To Thrive As An Adult’ by Alex Gadd. You can find that by clicking here.
Else if you would like to be in a group of fellow Dyspraxics and find more information on this disability, then why not join the Dyspraxia Support Group on Facebook.