For professional comedians, their primary goal is to make people laugh. For everyone else humor can be the envelope in which another message is sent and therefore will be received with pleasure. This book is designed precisely to help you make your own efforts at humor more effective in achieving the primary goals of your interaction: to solidify friendships, preserve a marriage, obtain employment, close sales, conduct therapy, defuse conflict, or simply enjoy life more. Humor is a quality nearly all of us claim in ourselves and one which we seek and highly value in others. We love a sense of humor in our dates and mates, our children, and everyone with whom we have social contacts. When humor making is successful, we are drawn closer to other people and share a bonding emotional experience. We enjoy life more and our troubles seem to lessen instantly. There are many proven ways to enhance our senses of humor in ourselves and even our children. Humor making can be taught and developed to a very high level, thus increasing our chances for social and even economic success. Just Kidding: Using Humor Effectively is for adults who enjoy humor and who would like to be funnier.
It includes definitions of funniness and examples of both helpful and harmful humor. It describes the relevant comedic and psychological rules for making humor effective. The book points out the danger signs for offensive humor and how to make the decision to "say it or stuff it." Examples of successful and unsuccessful humor from comedians to politicians are used throughout to illustrate the many varieties of humor and how context and audience make a difference. Finally, a variety of fun exercises are offered to build the skills for effective humor making.
Louis R. Franzini, Ph.D., is emeritus professor of psychology at San Diego State University and a licensed psychologist in California and Florida. He has published over seventy-five articles, chapters, and books in the scientific and professional literature of psychology. He is the senior co-author of two books: Eccentric and Bizarre Behaviors and Convention Survival Techniques: Practical Strategies for Getting the Most Out of Your Professional Association's Meetings. His third book Kids Who Laugh: How to Develop Your Child's Sense of Humor won a Bronze Medal in Foreword magazine's competition for parenting books. He has also published in outlets such as American Way, American Health, Today's Manager, and the San Diego Union-Tribune. Dr. Franzini is a member of the interdisciplinary International Society for Humor Studies and is an active speaker and member of the Association for Applied and Therapeutic Humor. His publications include articles in the journal Humor: International Journal of Humor Research, and he serves as an ad hoc reviewer for that and other journals and book publishers. Dr. Franzini is an award-winning speaker and is past president of Laughmasters, at the time the only Toastmasters International club in the world specializing in humor. He is a frequent interviewee for print media and national radio and TV programs on humor. He has performed stand-up comedy at conventions in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Reno, San Diego and at other comedy showcase venues.
Acknowledgments Introduction 1: The Power of Humor and Laughter 2: The Nuts and Bolts of Humor 3: Political Correctness and Humor 4: Not All Humor Is All Good 5: Public Bombings 6: Effective Humor Pitfalls 7: Spontaneous Humor versus Spontaneous Sex 8: How You Can Be Even Funnier 9: Strategies to Avoid Humor that Fails 10: Getting the Last Laugh Humor Development Exercises to Raise Your HQ Suggested Readings Index