21 Aug The 1 key to using laughter to strengthen your relationships
via Fulfilment Daily by Jill Suttie
The Challenge: While laughter is fun, it doesn’t always strengthen our connection with others
The Science: Shared laughter is shown to increase the closeness and quality of relationships
The Solution: Sharing jokes, even via everyday gestures, can produce positive social outcomes
Victor Borge once wrote, “Laughter is the closest distance between two people.” Many of us would probably agree that laughter brings us closer to others, whether we’re joking with our spouse or laughing with an audience at a comedy club.
Yet laughter isn’t always positive for relationships. Think of your friend laughing at your embarrassing fashion faux pas, or a boyfriend laughing at a comedian you find offensive. This kind of unshared laughter can have the opposite effect.
Now, a new study explores when laughter works as a social glue—and when it doesn’t. While all genuine laughter may help us to feel good, shared laughter may communicate to others that we have a similar worldview, which strengthens our relationships.
Researchers at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, devised a way to produce shared laughter in the lab, to measure experimentally how it might impact a relationship with a stranger.
Participants watched a funny, not-so-funny, or not-funny-at-all video while supposedly video-chatting with another same-sex participant. Unbeknownst to them, the video chat displayed a pre-recorded clip of someone laughing the same amount for each of the two funny videos, but only smiling occasionally during the unfunny video. This produced more shared laughter in the first scenario, minimal shared laughter in the second, and no shared laughter in the third (but still a positive interaction).
Afterwards, the participants then filled out questionnaires about their positive and negative emotions, their sense of similarity to their video partner, and how much they liked or wanted to get to know their video partner.
Results showed that, across the different videos, the amount of shared laughter had consistent effects on the participants’ sense of similarity to the video partner—and that this, in turn, increased how much participants liked their partner and wanted to affiliate with him or her…
…keep reading the full & original article HERE