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Humor power dynamics: does humor empower or disempower you?

Quote from Gawad on June 6, 2022, 8:23 am

I wanted to ask about humor.

I am a funny guy and I have always been.
I am just gifted with humor.

But the more I get into the world of power dynamics the more I realize that humor isn't very powerful. I have also always had a serious, powerful, wise side to me which kind of gives me a split personality.

I realize that the more I use humor and make jokes, even though it feels good in the moment that people are dying of laughter because of me and people are enjoying their time around me and love me, the less powerful I feel when that dominant side of me comes out.

Sometimes I feel like I can't take my self serious or that my humor frames me as the clumsy bad boy teenager that is entertaining and everything but not a dominant man.

So I ask myself sometimes wether I should stop making jokes and be a serious person (which is powerful but not fun) but I feel like I would be throwing away a gift most people wish for. I love your content and I think you are a fair person who always gives amazing responses.

Hello Gawad.

That's a great question.

A few notes that we may expand on later depending on where this conversation goes:

  • Yes, humor can disempower you if you become the jester, such as the guy who's there to make others laugh. The jester derives all his value by acting goofy, the people like him not for who he is, but (only) for what he does for them -even at the cost of acting like an idiot-
    • Especially so if you don't back it up with high-power
  • No, I wouldn't recommend you "stop", that'd be a tragedy if one were to become overly serious just to be high-power.
    • But rather "adjust". You can be fun and crack jokes and be high-power and respect-worthy
    • Some quick tips: don't overdo it, don't try too hard, don't social climb, ditch the humor that is self-disempowering, mix the humor with power, mix times of high-humor with more intense and serious ones (especially when something needs to get done)
  • Yes, a great sense of humor is a plus: which is one more reason why adjusting is far better than ditching

And then more about life-phases:

  • One could argue whether at 18 YO one could just enjoy the "jester phase": you may enjoy being a jester in certain environments, places, and groups. Not everywhere and every time you need to be high-power. And then you can adjust to high power when it matters most.
    Showing that you can alternate between the two in the same group also sends a powerful message that you're not just a jester, but also a high-status, high-power guy who sometimes enjoys being a jester

Some relevant articles I highly recommend on this topic:

  • The high-energy myth: high-energy and humor aren't exactly the same, but they overlap
  • Charisma University review: Charlie more than once promoted a side of charisma that's all about "having all eyes on you" via goofiness, humor, and entertainment. Specifically watch the example of Will Smith, which to me was typical low-power humor as it was too much and try hard (plus only childish-type funny, which is a common jester pitfall)
    That's the main reason why TPM didn't give a glowing review to COC program
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Ali Scarlettleaderoffun
Have you read the forum guidelines for effective communication already?
Quote from Lucio Buffalmano on June 6, 2022, 9:40 am
  • No, I wouldn't recommend you "stop", that'd be a tragedy if one were to become overly serious just to be high-power.
    • But rather "adjust". You can be fun and crack jokes and be high-power and respect-worthy
    • Some quick tips: don't overdo it, don't try too hard, don't social climb, ditch the humor that is self-disempowering, mix the humor with power, mix times of high-humor with more intense and serious ones (especially when something needs to get done)

I'm currently making this mistake. I'm aware that I'm becoming very serious as it made me higher power. However, now I consciously go into social situations with the idea of having fun. I'm aware that I may be going too much in the other direction so it's time to self-correct before someone tells me that I'm too serious. 😛

I used to be the jester so now I have to find the middle ground, just like you Gawad. 🙂

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TransitionedAJ

Hello Lucio,

I hope you are doing well. I apologize for the late reply I actually did not know that you have replied to my question. your answer was very helpful and I just read the high energy myth article and I think its safe to say that I am literally your former classmate E. I feel like this is the exact same energy I give. I have power and attention and I am funny but not in a clown way. My jokes are usually dark in a frame shocking way or jokes about other people and sometimes even myself. my friends know when they are around me not to be sensitive. But I don't think the reason I feel disempowered sometimes is due to my humor. thanks to you, I think I understand where my issue is. I don't build enough rapport. I have the most power in my group. All eyes on are on me. Everyone comes to me for guidance because they know I completely separate emotions and think with my mind. But there is still something missing. That other day, my girl best friend told me "I come to you because you always know what's the right thing to do and you are always right, but I go to (she mentioned the name of my other friend) for comfort, he just makes me feel safe and like everything is fine". And it just made me think what am I doing wrong. If I'm the most powerful and I'm the funniest and no one dares to disrespect me and I'm the wisest and the person everyone turns to when they're in trouble and need guidance, why don't I make her feel safe? If I fix her solutions for her how does she still not feel safe? My conclusion is, I have reached high power successfully and now I need to mix it with high warmth, I need to be more gentle, sweet, complimentary and say loving words because I rarely do. Like they know I'm a good guy and my intentions are pure but they still have to hear it. Please correct me if you think my conclusion is wrong or if there is any comment you have about humor and how to make sure not to be disempowering with it or if you want to add anything in general.

Lucio Buffalmano has reacted to this post.
Lucio Buffalmano

Thank you for the feedback/note AJ.

And yes, I think you correctly pointed out your own next area of self-development (and it's an important one, great catch and props to you).

Interesting also that the girl was both so self-aware and self-assured that she correctly analyzed the dynamics and even openly told you so.

AJ has reacted to this post.
AJ
Have you read the forum guidelines for effective communication already?

Thank you Lucio.

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