Researchers Nale Lehmann-Willenbrock and Joseph A. Allen published a study in Journal of Applied Psychology about effects of group humor on workers.
Results proved laughter bolsters creativity, memory, problem-solving ability, and reduces anxiety, body pain and stress, helps with relaxation, elevates mood, increases self-esteem, optimism, hope and your energy. That’s a lot of healthy stuff.
In workers it leads to positive team performance, including question-asking, proposals of innovative ideas, new people speaking up and kudos given for jobs well done or problems solved. Nice!
If that’s not enough, humor also promotes bonding, altruism, attracts connections and leads to happier partnerships.
That said, here’s a short true story to tickle your funny bone.
One afternoon while visiting my parents my Dad told my sister and I he bought a new Mercedes, but he returned it because something was wrong with it.
He boasts, “I walk into the dealership, put my briefcase on salesman’s desk and tell him give me my money back or else!” We ask, “Or else what?”
He yells, “Or else I OPEN the briefcase!!”
My sister and I chime, “What’s in the briefcase?!” He yells, “Never you mind. Guy gave me my money back RIGHT away.”
Later that afternoon my sister says to me, “Wait a second. Since when does Daddy have a briefcase?” I laugh and quip, “You’re right.”
Dad is retired, but used to work in construction and in a restaurant. Neither required a briefcase. We laugh concluding he must have made up that story.
One Week Later…
Sis calls me exasperated, “Oh my God…oh my God…OH.MY.GOD. I tell her to calm down and ask what happened.
She says, “You’ll NEVER believe this! I am at Mommy and Daddy’s helping them take groceries out of the car trunk and I find an old, beat up briefcase from the 1940’s in there!!”
WHAT?! I exclaim followed by, “OPEN IT!!!” She says she is trying, but it has an old combination lock on it and it has something heavy inside of it.
She gasps, “OH MY GOD…I think Daddy has a gun!”
So, we decide to confront him. When I get there, we place the briefcase on the dining room table and use our best “Law and Order” District Attorney stance.
Open. The. Briefcase. NOW.
At first, he says no but we are relentless.
We watch intently as he turns the combination.
He opens it. Nothing. Nada. EMPTY. We ask, “What was that noise?” He lifts a cloth layer (we’re actually frightened now) and laying there is one single hammer.
We look at each other, then at Dad and ask, “What were you going to do…hammer the Mercedes sales guy to death??!!”
Dad matter-of-factly says, “Never you mind” as he locks the briefcase we never knew he owned. We die laughing. Take the hammer. Leave the cannoli. ;-D
Maria Dorfner can be reached at email@example.com