The charm of heartfelt humor
So you forgot to make a dinner reservation for Valentine’s Day. The florist is out of roses. And your budget doesn’t allow for a night at the Sanctuary.
Try this: “I’m sorry, dear. By the way, a dog walks into a bar ...”
A soon-to-be-released report says humor can help diffuse tense conflicts in relationships — the right type of humor, that is.
The study, expected to appear in the Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin in April (online this month), involved 93 dating couples who were videotaped while trying to resolve conflicts.
Humor helped, but not self-defeating humor, which provoked negative responses from partners who were distressed.
More effective was humor that was positive. Good advice to keep in mind on Thursday, the day when some hearts swell with emotion and others break in two.
Too bad the study, “It’s in the Way that You Use it: Attachment and the Dyadic Nature of Humor during Conflict Negotiation in Romantic Couples,” doesn’t come with appropriate jokes.
The title, though, is sort of funny.