Sunday, January 3, 2021
When many of our great leaders were faced with crisis and challenges, they used their sense of humor to ease the tension and open the road to peace. Churchill and Kennedy were two of our leaders who were able to diffuse and disarm their adversaries by leading with laughter. One of Kennedy's quotes to soften the blow of his difficult remarks; “When I am abroad I always make it a rule never to criticize or attack the Government of my country. I make up for lost time when I am at home.” I think these leaders believed one of my favorite quotes; “First you get them to laugh and then you get them to think!”
Infusing positive humor into tense situations provides a release of negative emotions. It is difficult to feel anger while one is laughing. Humor relieves tension and reduces stress. The benefits of humor are enormous but one of the greatest benefits is the ability to facilitate communication. From my book, Using Humor to Maximize Learning, Exploring the Links between Positive Emotions and Education is this quote; “Using humor to build and maintain relationships is an invaluable skill. Emotional intelligence (EI), the ability to perceive assess and influence one’s own and other people’s emotions is essential for knowing when and how to use humor effectively. (Goldman 1998)
The ability to use humor as a part of interpersonal dialogue requires confidence in one’s own humor strengths, a fun-loving playful spirit and the willingness to risk the extraordinary.” Humor generates trust and can facilitate a reduction in tension, fear and anger. It takes effort to assist others in seeing the “humor” in difficult situations, however laughter can nurture communication and ease tense situations. Exaggeration, puns, and self-deprecating humor are tools of the trade. When we are able to use reframing (example: the ridiculous or exaggeration) as a devise to facilitate a shift in context it encourages both individuals and groups to think creatively.
Laughter can quickly dispel tension and increase the capacity for dialogue. Most of us experience unexpected change, suffering and loss in our lives. As we are able to find the humor in a situation, we can begin to heal and move ahead. Difficult experiences, if met with hope and optimism can generate remarkable growth opportunities. In fact, humor frequently emerges from the down side of our lives. Inner peace comes when we are able to find humor in our painful experiences. We trust the people that we laugh with. Fun and trust go hand in hand. Peaceful solutions will be found when we experience laughter and joy as an integral part of our lives.
Saturday, December 8, 2018
Dealing with Humordoomers Over the Holidays
Bah ...: Dealing with Humordoomers Over the Holidays Bah Humbug! Chances are you will encounter a few scrooges over the holidays. After years ...
Dealing with Humordoomers Over the Holidays
Bah Humbug! Chances are you will encounter a few scrooges over the holidays. After years of trying to understand the negative responses that some people have to positive and joyful events and to positive people, I came up with the name “humordoomers”. This is a person who consistently uses negative humor to control and manipulate others. Humorphobia (a fear of positivity and humor) breeds humordoomers, skilled crafters who use subtle techniques to suppress humor in others.
Humordoomers are difficult to deal with. Here are a few quick suggestions:
Wednesday, December 10, 2014
Humordoomers are difficult to deal with. It is important to realize that many people find the holidays stressful. One tactic that you can use to deal with their behavior is to squash the negativity with kindness and understanding. Sometimes these folks need someone to listen to them and empathize with them. You will need to accept the fact that these folks may be dealing with challenging mental health issues. A note here---if you need to preserve your own energy, another survival technique is to avoid these scrooges altogether.
Friday, April 25, 2014
Saturday, April 12, 2014
Friday, March 7, 2014
international AATH Humor Academy graduate study and certificate program and is the founder and director of Humor Quest- her own company dedicated to bringing humor to classrooms and lives around the world.
Ms. Morrison first graduated from NIU in 1968 with a degree in Early Childhood Studies, now FCS, from the Department of Home Economics, now FCNS. She went
on to earn an Elementary Education Certification and
her M.A. in Adult Education, also from NIU. Afterward,
her career began as a kindergarten teacher but has since broadened and developed in a way she hadn’t expected. Her background in education is extensive and diverse. It includes educating adults at Kishwaukee College, facilitating gender equality programs through the Illinois State Board
of Education, and improving schools by implementing “No Child Left Behind” through the Regional Office of Education in Rockford, and much more. These experiences gave her first hand knowledge of what works best for facilitating learning. In particular, her time as an educator has taught her about the power of play and laughter.
Her interest in neuroscience and its connection to learning began with a curiosity about education for kids with special needs. She began by attending workshops on how the brain works and became educated in the new field of neuroscience. Her background in adult education, founded in counseling and psychology, and her experience working as an educator culminated with her new knowledge of the brain to set her on a path to bring humor into the lives of educators and laughter to their students.
She has been incredibly active as an educator on the neuroscience of humor. Her two books, “Using Humor
to Maximize Learning; Exploring Links between Positive Emotions and Education” and “Using Humor to Maximize Living” are being used as texts for the study of humor at several universities and are both available at NIU’s Founders Memorial Library. She also uses both as texts for the international AATH Humor Academy graduate study and
on the board as well as a former navy officer who teaches humor to wounded veterans and several doctors.” Ms. Morrison has volunteered as AATH conference chair from ’09-’11, is currently on the Board of Directors and is 2015 President-Elect.
Humor Quest, Ms. Morrison’s own professional outlet for educational services, offers unique workshops and handouts for “Using Humor to Maximize Living” and other uses for the study of humor. Ms. Morrison’s work has been published in Psychology Today and other journals and she has appeared on several television broadcasts. Her unique work in
this field is gaining attention as the field becomes more established. There have been recent discoveries about the benefits of laughter, including its ability to fight depression and it’s role in recovery processes. “Humor can be used in all aspects of life,” she says, “even in the grieving process- you know you are learning to heal when you can laugh about something.” Her studies have taught her that laughter releases pain, evokes strong emotion and puts information in long-term memory. She’s also a strong advocate for the evidence-based power of play, especially in early childhood education but essentially throughout the lifespan. “I believe play should be integrated and humor should be used in the assessment process as it can be linked to every aspect of the learning process,” she stated. Her strong belief in the power of play affects her own personal practices as well.
“I think you’re never too old to play,” she declared, as she then described how she incorporates play into her lifestyle by swinging at playgrounds, pogo-sticking and jumping on trampolines. The optimism and energy that comes from play and humor are what she advocates for and works to help people develop. She sees herself as a pioneer, fighting to keep smiles on people’s faces, especially at school because “education becomes more and more content driven but the process of getting through content needs to be through play and laughter.” Her successful career has aided people all over the world in improving their own humor practice.
By globally spreading the happy truth about the power of laughter, humor and play, Ms. Morrison has brought smiles to the faces of thousands and has put a proud smile on the face of NIU, her alma mater.