The immediate involuntary action of laughter forms the most direct communication link possible between people, limbic brain to limbic brain. People who relish each other’s company laugh easily and often; those who distrust/dislike each other laugh little, if at all. (Goleman, Daniel, PhD, with Richard Boyatzis, and Annie Mckee. Primal Leadership. p 12. Boston: Harvard Business School Press, 2002.)

Humor allows people to express fear, concern, or anger in a jesting manner, allowing them to “save face” if the other person does not respond kindly (e.g., I was only joking). (Schwartz, Enid A., RN, MA, MC. Infusing Humor into Healthcare. p 78. CE Express.)

Hang out with people who laugh. Their company is better than prescription antidepressants! (Beck, Martha, PhD. The Joy Diet. p 166-168. NY: Crown Publishers, 2003.

Couples stay together longer (and may even be more interested in getting married) when they share a similar sense of humor. (Bricklin, Mark, et al. Positive Living and Health. p 337. PA: Rodale Press, 1990.)

It is important to surround yourself with positive people, those who are joyful and laugh. (Padus, Emrika, et al. Editori. The Complete Guide to Your Emotions & Your Health. p 546-547. PA: Rodale Press, 1992.)

Laughter occurs much more often when people are engaged in social interactions with others than when they are alone. (Martin, Rod A. White Papers. Do Children Laugh Much More Often than Adults Do?)

Healthful humor stimulates wit, mirth, or laughter and creates closeness and intimacy (e.g., pokes fun at oneself and situations). Hurtful humor creates pain and distance and pokes fun at others (e.g., sarcasm, put down, ethnic jokes). (Sultanoff, Steven, M., PhD. What is Humor?)

Studies have shown the importance of the company people keep. People who are surrounded by many happy people are more likely to be happy in the future than those who are surrounded by unhappy people. (Dotinga, Randy. Being Happy Affects Even Those You Don’t Know. US News & World Report. 2008.)

Sharing amusement creates a bond. It helps establish an equal relationship and decreases the sense of perceived hierarchy, even momentarily. There is a difference between laugh WITH someone and laughing AT someone. Humor used to laugh with someone establishes a connection between the individuals involved. (Schwartz, Enid A., RN, MA, MC. Infusing Humor into Healthcare. p 78. CE Express.)

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