15 personality traits of people with a great sense of humor

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People with a good sense of humor are a rare breed, and so people are naturally drawn to them.

You might have wondered why they are the way they are, and whether it’s a skill you can learn.

And the answer is…of course!

So to help you along, I will list down 15 traits of people with a good sense of humor.

1. They love to laugh

People with a good sense of humor enjoy laughter and find that their day is empty without at least one belly-aching laugh in it.

So they like to share memes, watch comedies, and are drawn to people who like cracking jokes.

This means that they definitely will have built up a repertoire of jokes that they can (and often do) freely share with others.

2. They’re smart

Funny people tend to be quite smart, and the other way is true as well—throughout human history humor has been considered a sign of intelligence.

Studies have in fact proven that there might be truth in that assumption, and a study done on kids proves as much.

So if they’re smart and knowledgeable, expect them to know how to make you laugh off your chair when they want to.

3. They notice details others don’t see

People with a good sense of humor are quite observant. They notice little details in the things and people around them.

And the way this makes them especially funny is that they simply notice more things that they can poke fun at.

This sense of observation has an effect on their words as well, because they’re better aware of which words or tones can make people laugh.

4. They know when it’s inappropriate to laugh

Having a good sense of humor is different from just being humorous.

It also means knowing when it’s appropriate to make people laugh, and when even trying is insensitive, offensive, or simply awkward.

No-one sensible would poke fun at the poor, or make fun of someone who just died a tragic death for example, or bust an irreverent joke in the middle of a life-and-death situation.

So in times like these, they just shut their mouth and do not try. They know there will be better opportunities to crack jokes afterward.

5. They’re often seen stifling a laugh

Knowing that it’s not appropriate to laugh doesn’t mean that they can just shut off that funny part of their brain when it’s appropriate.

They might be attending a somber occasion like a funeral or a church sermon and suddenly cover their mouth to hold back their laughter.

Perhaps there was someone a few seats in front of them who had a massive hole in their pants, or maybe a random pun just intruded upon their mind.

They know it’s not appropriate, so as much as they’d like to laugh, they’d hold back.

And boy, do they look miserable when they’re trying with all their might to not laugh.

6. They don’t take themselves seriously

People with a good sense of humor make fun of themselves.

They find their nose funny, they find how they talk funny, and how they wish everyone else can just lighten up too so we all can joke about how everything is just funny.

They don’t get easily offended when people try insulting them, and instead shrug it off or even play it off for laughs.

They’re well aware that they’re not perfect.

This doesn’t mean that hurtful words won’t hurt, however, so don’t take one’s easygoing attitude as an open permit to insult them to your heart’s desire.

7. They know when they’re going too far

People with a good sense of humor know that “I was just joking” has its limits and that humor is not a free pass to do whatever they want.

This is especially the case when their joke involves putting someone on the spot, where it’s easy to go a bit too far.

But someone who has a good sense of humor will know when to stop and release the tension they’ve built up.

This is something you can learn, but there are people who are naturally empathetic and can more easily figure out when to stop and pull back.

8. They stand by quality over quantity

Anyone can memorize a list of puns that they can recite at any given time, or remember the jokes that they read on Reader’s Digest 10 years ago.

But while bad jokes have their charm, they don’t rely on flooding people with tons of cheap jokes in hopes of a laugh.

Instead, they would try to read the room and drop the appropriate joke at just the right time.

This doesn’t mean they won’t appreciate “bad” jokes or tell them, it’s just that they won’t rely solely on them.

9. They’re charming

People who have a good sense of humor are charming and have an almost magnetic appeal to them. This is one of those items on this list that is more an effect of having a good sense of humor, as opposed to a cause.

This does not make them extroverts, mind you. A lot of them—and in fact, most comedians such as Woody Allen—are actually introverts.

So pay attention to whoever seems to draw people in with their very presence, and they’re likely someone with a good sense of humor.

10. They’re naturally playful

There are those who like using sarcasm to put a little bite into their words, and there are those who prefer puns and dad jokes.

So playfulness doesn’t look the same way with everyone. But one thing is for certain, and that is that people who are playful value fun.

They joke around and share ideas because it amuses them, and not because it would make them more popular or get them a promotion at work.

11. They’re open-minded

The only people that a closed-minded person can get to laugh… are people who are as closed-minded as they are. And their jokes tend to be recycled over and over again until they’re overused.

That’s hardly what I’d call a “good sense of humor.”

Being able to learn new ideas and perspectives—that is, being open-minded—is necessary for one to have a good sense of humor.

This is not only how one gets new ideas for jokes, it also means that they’re more aware of what other people would consider “funny” and “not funny.”

A closed-minded person would think “They’re not laughing. They don’t appreciate greatness,” while an open-minded person would think “They’re not laughing. Where did I mess up?”

12. They’re sensitive to the feelings of others

People with a good sense of humor are quite aware of the people around them.

That is to say, when they see someone being obviously uncomfortable, they’d know to tone down. If they see someone being sad, they’d try to cheer them up.

It isn’t too hard to see how being sensitive to (and caring about) how others feel contributes to a good sense of humor.

When you’re trying to make someone laugh, after all, it’s important to see whether they’re smiling because they’re angry or they’re sad… and if your jokes lighten their mood, or put a damper on it.

13. They’re a good sport

A person who’s genuinely funny isn’t going to be interested in always coming out on top.

Let’s say that they made a joke, and then you made a better one. Instead of trying to pretend that their joke was better or trying to one-up you, they would instead acknowledge that you had made the better joke and congratulate you for it.

If they’re a sour loser, on the other hand, they’re most likely trying too hard to be funny.

14. They’re creative

Being creative doesn’t necessarily mean someone has a good sense of humor, but it does contribute to it.

Creativity is a lot of things, but perhaps most important to this whole humor thing is the fact that someone who’s creative… well, uses their brain more.

They’re used to coming up with new things all the time, connecting the dots between many different ideas, and coming up with things on the fly.

15. They are self-assured

Confidence is something that comes hand in hand with a good sense of humor.

Knowing how to laugh at yourself and being alright with being the butt of the joke is something that needs a lot of self-confidence.

Someone who is full of insecurities will not only have a hard time not getting offended by other people’s jokes, their insecurities will also show in the jokes they try to tell.

Other people will catch on to that and their jokes will only end up darkening the mood instead.


Having a good sense of humor is more than just making people laugh or having a collection of jokes you can pull up at any time. It’s a mindset, rather than a skill that you can learn.

Most notable is that someone with a good sense of humor is someone who knows how to laugh at themselves confidently and pays close attention to the feelings of others.

So it’s possible to think of a good sense of humor as the natural outcome of being open-minded, confident, and mindful. And these traits can be easily developed if you’re serious about having a good sense of humor!

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Lachlan Brown

I’m Lachlan Brown, the founder, and editor of Hack Spirit. I love writing practical articles that help others live a mindful and better life. I have a graduate degree in Psychology and I’ve spent the last 15 years reading and studying all I can about human psychology and practical ways to hack our mindsets. Check out my latest book on the Hidden Secrets of Buddhism and How it Saved My Life. If you want to get in touch with me, hit me up on Facebook or Twitter.

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