Needless to say, having a good sense of humor is a desirable trait. It can also serve as a window into one’s true personality, for better or worse.
According to psychologist Alberto Dionigi, a person’s sense of humor is a multidimensional construct that combines several aspects of a personality – such as behavioral habits, abilities, competencies, coping strategies, and personality strengths. This includes darker forms of humor that can be used to manipulate, ridicule, or defend the ego.
Several new studies offer a peek at the bottom of humor and how it can affect us and those we love. Have you wondered if you or anyone around you has a particularly unhealthy sense of humor? Here are three pointers suggested by recent studies that may help you find out.
#1. Low self-esteem as a result of underestimating oneself
Nobody living in modern-day “meme culture” is curious about how funny, timely, self-deprecating joke can be. But the pattern of self-defeating jokes, self-deprecation, teasing one’s own weaknesses, and self-deprecation to gain social acceptance suggests much more than just being a “good sport”.
Psychologist Chloe Lau of the University of Western Canada explains that a self-defeating style of humor can be maladaptive.
“Unmaladaptive styles of humor are positively associated with negative psychological outcomes, including grudge, loneliness, subclinical psychopathy, Machiavellianism, and parental rejection,” she explains.
According to her, in the context of confrontation, self-defeating humor may provide denial and escape from the underlying negative emotions. In the end, it will simply make you feel bad about yourself.
#2. Dark humor may indicate a dark personality
newly study I examined the humor preferences of dark characters. The research focused on eight types of humor, which can be divided into two categories:
- lighter Humor styles, for example, playfulness, humor, indifference, and wit
- darker Styles of humor, for example, irony, satire, sarcasm, and sarcasm
The study found that people with a high degree of Machiavellianism and psychopathy gravitate towards darker forms of humor such as sarcasm and sarcasm while people with a high degree of narcissism use lighter techniques but in a self-serving manner (for example, to amplify their importance).
While the study is correlated, psychologist Alberto Dionigi speculates that people with dark personality traits may use their sense of humor in the following ways:
- Machiavellians, being unscrupulous and intimidating, may use humor as a way to manipulate others
- Psychopaths may use emotionally inconsiderate humor to downgrade others because they are characterized by deficits in emotional functioning and antisocial behavior.
- Narcissists tend to use positive humor as a way to improve their reputation when interacting with others
#3. Finding Funny Violence Shows Moral Disengagement
Violent shows and games are all over the popular media and are enjoyed by many. But what if someone finds the use of bloodshed and gratuitous bloodshed particularly funny?
newly study It indicates that they may have a high level of moral disengagement and desensitization (as well as many other dark traits). This may mean that they can turn off their moral standards to avoid the consequences of their unethical behavior, such as guilt or shame.
Interestingly, switching from shows and games with extreme violence to superhero themes may not solve this problem. This is because these putative social themes in which the hero destroys evil enemies, are actually harmful – at least to the extent that they know that physical violence is the appropriate response to interpersonal conflict.
To avoid developing such a desensitizing approach to violence, University of Iowa psychologist Craig Anderson offers the following suggestions:
- Parents of 5-21-year-olds should be concerned if their children find the violence they see in all kinds of media, including news reports of real-world violence, funny and painless.
- If this is the case, it is a sign that the family’s media habits need to change and that the family needs to do a better job of teaching children social family values. Interestingly, superhero violence is also detrimental to the development of social values, behavior and feelings of well-being in children.
conclusion: The ability to find humor in difficult situations makes many life experiences easier. However, problems arise when we greet people (and ourselves) for self-defeating or harmful interpersonal humor styles.