Laughing represents a positive and fulfilling experience.
It makes us feel better because, in difficult situations, laughter provides us with the opportunity to take an emotional distance from what is happening, seizing a structure that enables us to perceive them as funny rather than tragic.
The famous quote by Oscar Wilde, who on his deathbed pronounced these words:
Situations that we find amusing are characterized by a certain degree of humour, that is, the ability to grasp, represent and communicate the curious, ridiculous, funny, and even grotesque aspects of situations; aspects that lead us to laugh at them with irony but also with understanding, indulgence, and human sympathy.
Laughter, on the other hand, is generated by humorous situations and is a direct consequence of them; it is a more or less intense and noisy expression of joy and/or euphoria that causes a change in a person’s breathing, facial expression, and often posture.
A situation of humour can be represented by an incident, image, or experience that surprises our minds because it appears to be inconsistent with what we acknowledge as ordinary.
Humour is very familiar with the use of words: it distorts them, changes their logic, and de-contextualizes them to create unexpected situations or simply helps us grasp previously ignored aspects of reality.
The author examines the characteristics of humour, its nature, and the signals through which it reveals itself.
If you want to explore the historical, literary, and sociological aspects of the subject you will find in this work an interesting bibliography.
What John Morreall implies, without talking about it explicitly, is that at the basis of humour, we find cognitive flexibility, that complex competence used by people who act successfully in problem-solving, creative processes and innovation; because the book represents a real guide to the “construction” of humour, presenting thinking techniques that allow formulating a new interpretation of reality, grasping its previously unknown structure and dealing with it in unconventional ways.
This is precisely why I recommend reading the book to anyone in a company who is involved in various degrees in innovation processes or change management because they will benefit from it in their day-to-day work.
Are you one of those who occasionally laugh inappropriately?
Yes, the one that can slip away in front of someone talking nonsense, or worse in front of your boss.
If you don’t know how to handle such situations, the book will help you through them (Chapter 5): but I’m sure you know very well how to handle them.
Before reading the table of contents look at this short video, where John Morreall introduces his book.