Alright, let’s get these pseudo-intellectual clichés out of the way. As everybody know laughter is the best medicine/is the shortest distance between two people/is a sunbeam of the soul etc. The crux of the matter is that relationships would be pretty dull if you weren’t with someone that made you laugh.
However, as with every human reaction, there has to be some sort of underlying psychology or science to why making someone laugh is the quickest way to make them like you and, subsequently, love you…
The School of Life recently released a great video about the importance of having humour in a relationship.
Taste a bit of this slice of knowledge: “We don’t just want a laugh. We want to find a way to be annoyed with, and criticise one another’s most maddening sides without eliciting a drama, with lightness and a special kind of diplomatic immunity.
Fair warning this video goes deep so put on your philosopher’s hat, we’ll see you on the other side.
Think of laughter like a coping mechanism. Regardless of how amazing or kind you think your partner is, you need an emotional device to make sense of all the little annoyances and idiosyncracies without making your partner feel insecure and attacked.
The example used was Margaret Thatchers cold exterior and relationships with her colleagues. The media’s reaction to her stern demeanour was serious and critical and caused the prime minister to dig in deeper. One of those terrible sketch shoes from the 60s that everybody’s Granddads still watch on Sunday afternoons featured a cartoony impression of Thatcher and gave her the opportunity to laugh at herself!
This is something we need to employ in our relationships. Using comic exaggerations mean we can point out (and try to correct) the failings of our partners without causing them to clam up and get defensive!
Tone is everything, however. If you’re not relaxed and are, in fact, defensive yourself you’ll come across as condescending in your comedic tirade as you exaggerate a problem to ridiculous proportions. Criticism through humour is the reason laughing is so crucial in relationships.