Friday, September 16, 2011

Self Discovery

So I have been doing this informal study of people who laugh at their own jokes.  MY hypothesis going in was that I did not like people who laughed their own jokes.  It makes me uncomfortable.  I immediately look at the ground and wait for it to end.

I did this study so that I could have a quick litmus test as to whether I would like someone or not upon meeting them.  But the results were surprising.  

Once I started paying attention, I realized that many people I truly like laugh at their own jokes.  Kent Woynowski laughs at his own jokes.  This led me to my first conclusion:

I only dislike people who laugh at their own unfunny jokes.

Very interesting.  I had no idea.  But I dug a bit further, and discovered the following nuance.

The amount I don't like people who laugh at their own joke depends on how loudly they laugh at their own jokes and how much eye contact.

Eye contact is the worst part of this.  I am incapable dealing with someone who is laughing at their own joke and looking at me while they do it.  Unacceptable.

I also discovered:

Laughing as you tell a joke or funny story is no problem at all - it's just the post joke laughing I don't like.
Smiling while you tell a joke is fine
Laughing after a pun is fine.  As long as you don't look at me.

I'm learning so much about myself.


  1. As I believe you know Brent, I've done a little research in this area myself. This is the simple conclusion I came up with: charming, funny people that I like can laugh at their own jokes. Everyone else - please refrain. Also I've notice that I laugh at my own jokes only when I am out of my element, like when I am mingling, thus confirming that I am literally at my worst in those moments.

  2. This is funny, because I try not to laugh at my own jokes. Unfortunately, I'm usually conscious about this around people I don't know well, such as co-workers, and my brand of humor doesn't always go over well if you don't know that I am actually not inhuman. So I have to laugh to for them to know that I am actually joking. I don't have the guts to not laugh.

  3. I notice that both you and your mom laugh at your own jokes, but you are also quick to laugh at other people's jokes. You are just good natured people. Plus part of your laughing is for effect, when you are trying to be creepy. You don't lose points for that either.