Come on… Laugh with me


Credits: Alan Jurado and YeJin On

Everyone loves laughing, as is evidenced by the  many Youtube videos out there with animals doing cute things, or people getting hurt. Those are hilarious, even if one feels like a terrible person for laughing at others’ misfortunes. Many people watch youtube videos or read buzzfeed in search of people’s confessions of embarrassing moments because laughter both relieves and excites. It is also a great way to bond or make that awkward moment better. In fact, the best moments with friends happen when you have no idea why you are laughing, all you know is that you are having a ton of fun!

Then, of course, there is that person that tries to tell a story they find “hilarious”, but cannot really tell it due to their own laughter. I must admit that I am, and will always be, that person. The worst part is most of the times the story is not actually funny; it is usually something simple, or even dumb. When all that is heard at the end of the story is crickets chirping, “you do not understand” or “you weren’t there” is usually the next thing out of the storyteller’s mouth. Maybe people just do not get their sense of humor. Still, some people laugh in these situations. Not because they want to be kind or they genuinely find the story funny, some people laugh because laughter itself is often amusing.

According to BBC, people are 30 times more likely to laugh when they are around someone, versus when they are alone. That would explain why playing a group game that challenges you not to laugh, such as the camp favorite “Honey if you love me,” is so hard for some people. Studies show that people are even more vulnerable to laughter when around someone they know, which explains why people laugh more with friends. Moreover, people can tell the difference between deliberate and helpless laughter. Maybe that is why others do not get angry when those stories are told, they might feel that the person actually found that event entertaining. Contagious laughs usually help others understand why someone is laughing. Could that be why some people laugh? By laughing with someone, their brain might actually be trying to process why they found the story funny.

However, the most helpful piece of information is that some things are almost always going to make you laugh such as people trying to suppress their laughter in moments that are not appropriate. Or cute animals, people always laugh at cute animals.