11 personality traits of people who can find humor in any situation

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When there’s a crisis, people tend to show their true colors. 

Apply pressure and some people turn to diamonds while others crumble into dust. 

Some folks get practical, others get sad, some panic. Some people start analyzing, others start joking. 

Laughter not only relieves stress, it promotes group bonding and gives hope for the future. 

The type of person who can find something funny even when times are dark is a special breed!

Here are the top traits of this kind of individual who can find humor even when everything is going sideways.

1) They find the funny side of stress

People who can find laughter anywhere are able to see the funny side of stress

Evenwhen they’re feeling pressure and frustration, instead of becoming angry or sad, they start joking. 

It’s a great survival mechanism and rallies morale around them, too. 

As Janet Gibson writes:

“Humor can be used to make others feel good, to gain intimacy, or to help buffer stress. 

“Along with gratitude, hope, and spirituality, a sense of humor belongs to the set of strengths positive psychologists call transcendence.”

2) They don’t take themselves too seriously

People who find humor in any situation don’t take themselves too seriously

They aren’t the type to bristle if you gently make fun of them a bit or if the situation makes them look a bit dumb.

So be it!

They’re comfortable with themselves and not ruled by their ego.

They’ve outgrown that stage of life where they feel the need to always be right or be seen as respected and serious. 

Life can be crazy, and they’re fine with being along for the ride sometimes, even if it means they play a bit of the role of the clown.

3) They are amazing story tellers

One-liner jokes and punchlines can get a laugh, but the funniest people are even better at storytelling

They know how to take a situation and turn it into story hour (or story minute) and have an impeccable ability to sense when people are receptive or not. 

For example, if there’s a long line up at the bank and the funny guy strikes up a conversation with a person in front of him, he may relate an anecdote about another time he stood in a line and peed himself. 

“Don’t worry though, now I wear adult diapers, so I’m all good.” 

Awkward… But kind of funny if delivered right, right? 

Or he may tell a story about how in India nobody stands in line and it’s just a matter of who can get a random arm snaked into the teller window the fastest.

“Cthulhu has nothing on those guys, I swear!”

The funny person will adjust his story to his or her perception of the person or people they’re telling the joke to.

4) They aren’t seeking outer approval or validation

There’s nothing less funny than a person who jokes and then waits for a reaction or laughter. 

The funniest people find humor in situations regardless of whether others do. 

They lighten things up for their own sake as much as anybody else. 

The funniest people I’ve known weren’t afraid to tell jokes that were a bit offensive and crossed some lines, because they weren’t concerned if I approved or found them funny. 

In many cases, they were just getting through a long workday with humor, sometimes very gallows humor! 

5) They encourage solidarity in the face of injustice 

When things are rough, funny people are great at rallying everyone together. 

I’ve met some true comedians in my days, often at the worst jobs I’ve had:

  • Working minimum wage in parts factories…
  • Slaving away moving sofas at a sketchy auction house…
  • Hefting steaming lattes for spoiled university students with half my paycheck taken by the union…

I worked with hilarious people. 

In the parts factory one of my colleagues was an ex-con who would start every shift by bellowing “another f*ckin’ day in the burning pits of hell! Who else is stoked?”

Even the shift supervisor laughed. 

At the auction house, my Romanian-Canadian coworker spouted many off-color jokes that would make even Howard Stern blanche, but in my case I had to try not to laugh so hard I’d drop the sofa…

At the university library cafe I worked with a bizarre ex-SAS (Special Air Service) Scottish ginger ladies man in his mid-40s who told me in detail about his ass injury that got him sent home from the first Gulf War. 

“So, like, it hit you in the back somewhere?” I asked.

“Mate, I told you, right square in me buttocks. Got me right good it did. Still stings sometimes. Sent me right home, one-way ticket. 

“Lucky it didn’t get me in the noggin’. My ma’ said my head’s up my own ass anyhow, so reckon’ it’s about the same.”

I had to try not to spill my foaming latte. I’m pretty sure my ginger supervisor friend was on a bit more than caffeine, but his high-speed jokes and rants were incredibly funny and bizarre. 

Attractive college girls used to stand at the counter to get their coffees, cleavage spilling over just to listen to this strange gangly leprechaun tell his odd war stories and relate his opinions on everything under the sun.

All of these stories are 100% true, I swear to God. These funny people won’t ever headline a comedy show (at least not in this politically correct culture). 

But they made bad jobs infinitely more tolerable.

6) They respond to anxiety with laughter 

Laughter is a superb anxiolytic. 

It makes anxiety and nerves wash away like a miracle drug. 

The funniest people know how to take a stressful or weird situation and soften the edges with humor. 

This relates to the role of humor in psychological health.

“Many of us may relate to high-anxiety situations where a joke feels like a much-needed outlet,” notes Heather Lonczak, Ph. D

“Humor also may function as an adaptive ego defense by enabling people to perceive the comical absurdity in highly challenging situations.” 

7) They’re able to see the absurdity of things we take for granted

So many things we assume are normal are actually pretty strange. 

Funny people aren’t afraid to call out seemingly normal things and note how bizarre they’d be if looked at from a different perspective. 

Take a look at this Far Side cartoon as an example. 

Humans imagine we’re the pinnacle of creation, but…

Imagine how we look to cows!

8) They’re highly perceptive about details others don’t usually notice 

Funny people are highly perceptive and notice details that others miss. 

This could be funny clothing that people are wearing or a hilarious accent that’s hard to place. 

Other people are barely noticing, but the comedic man or woman is picking up on incongruities and details. 

Then they joke about something, bringing it to the attention of others who also realize how funny it is. 

The result? Laughter in droves. 

9) They can quickly cut through the official-sounding bs in any situation

Bureaucracy is one of those things that can drive even the most patient soul to madness. 

Having to fill out forms, stay on hold for hours on the phone with a government service, completing taxes, having all the right paperwork to start a business.

You name it, you’re going to find bureaucracy in almost every country on earth. 

Funny people are able to pick out the absurdity of some of these bureaucratic excesses and joke about them. 

They’re able to help the rest of us express our frustration and vent a bit, too, since frustration with too many rules and regulations is something the majority of us struggle with a bit at times. 

This brings up the next point…

10) They’re a bit rebellious about authority and official explanations 

Comedians like Charlie Chaplin all the way to George Carlin have something in common:

They aren’t afraid to mock authority. 

Despite differences in comedic style, these two greats were linked by fearlessness about calling out privilege and excesses. 

They were speaking to the everyday person and not afraid to make fun of some of the absurdities of the ultra-wealthy. 

To be fair, there are plenty of subjects to make fun of and joke about among regular folks, too. 

But making fun of world leaders, ultra-wealthy elites and other esteemed individuals takes cojones. 

11) They’re optimistic about life even when others aren’t

People who can find the humor in everything tend to be optimistic

They are able to mock what needs mocking and find the absurd side of life without giving up on it. 

They have an optimistic streak that can’t be easily extinguished. 

Often the hope lies in the humor itself:

The laughter is the proof that the human spirit will survive weird and hard times and that no matter how crazy things get, the capacity to have a chuckle won’t be taken from us.

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