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The Humor Paradox

Consider the “Humor Paradox”: Most of us were trained to put a lid on our humor, but we still tend to respect people who use it. We enjoy seeing charismatic people with a good sense of humor. Successful politicians make effective use of humor because it helps get them elected and helps keep them in office. People with a sense of humor are people you want to work with, listen to, and whose products you want to buy. Polls of company chief executives have found that they prefer to hire staff with a sense of humor. In our changing, challenging times, humor helps put the joy back in work. It helps keep a spring in your step.

Seriousness Training

“Office congregating and merriment will not be tolerated in the future…Loud talking, laughing, loitering, and excessive walking are not mannerisms of true professionals.”

Memo from a department manager of a large company

With statements like the above it is easy to understand why many have come to kill the playfulness that was so much a part of our childhood. Take a moment to look at your own “seriousness” training in the home and on the job. It is difficult to expand your humor potential unless you are aware of some of your internal self-blocks that have been programmed against its use.


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