There are six types of humour, which one are you?
What each of us finds funny is actually deeply personal, and you can gain a lot of insight into the kind of person someone is from what they laugh at. Turns out, there are actually six different kinds of humour and they can make or break a relationship.
My husband purchased a world map and then gave me a dart and said, “Throw this and wherever it lands—that’s where I’m taking you when this pandemic ends.” Turns out, we’re spending two weeks behind the fridge.
Because how can a story about humour begin without a joke? If you think my joke (or the one I found while scrolling on the internet) isn’t actually funny that’s okay, because you’re not the only one. And no, this is not because all of my jokes, or the ones that I find amusing are terrible, it is because humour is like us, differs from person to person.
In fact, according to dating site eharmony there are actually six types of humour that we identify with. Which means that what is funny to you, may not be funny to me.
“Our data scientists worked extensively with 1,500 eharmony members to establish that there are actually six distinct types of humour from bodily humour to self-deprecating humour,” relationship expert at eharmony, Rachael Lloyd, tells Body+Soul.
“This explains why we all have different versions of funny, and what one person thinks is hilarious might leave another cold.”
Or (on a personal note) why my husband laughs hysterically at Jim Carey while I roll my eyes at his OTT facial expressions and delivers his indecipherable dialogue, wondering how on earth, anyone, let alone a man I willingly married, thinks he is so funny.
Like what you see? Sign up to our bodyandsoul.com.au newsletter for more stories like this.
So, what are these humour types?
This includes puns, emphasis on unexpected meanings and usage of certain words.
I like to think this is Georgia Love and Lee Elliot’s Bachelorette journey, and their pun-tastic Instagram posts.
A style where an individual makes fun of themselves and their shortcomings for the enjoyment of others.
While this one is very me, Celeste Barber’s recreation of fashion shoots are just some of her very self-deprecating (and hilarious) #celestechallnegeaccepted posts.
Dark humour is centred around making light of people and subjects that are generally considered serious or taboo, like death, illness, or world events.
Ricky Gervais is one of the most well-known comedians for doing this (and for often doing it right in front of those at the heart of his joke).
Surreal humour predicated on deliberate violations of causal reasoning, producing events and behaviours that are obviously illogical.
The classic British sketch show Monty Python is perhaps the master example of surreal humour.
Bodily humour, which includes toilet humour, involving bodily functions (burping, flatulence, as well as humour that is sexual in nature.
As an ex-teacher I often think of most things that teenage boys find amusing but fortunately, or unfortunately, depending on who you are, it is a humour type that can continue on through to adulthood and often be at the core of dad jokes (probably why they are often printed as novelty toilet paper…just sayin’).
Lastly, we have physical humour, which is based around physical acts, including scaring. TV franchise Jackass is a good example of this, where the cast of nine carried out stunts and pranks on each other or the public, sometimes dangerous or just silly.
How it impacts relationships
But jokes aside, what does it matter what humour type you are or are not? Well, it could matter quite a lot…Professor Jeff Mio, a psychologist who has undertaken research into the area of humour says these six types can impact your relationship with other people, including your partner, particularly if you don’t share the same humour type.
“Some people simply don’t appreciate different forms of humour, so they might react with hostility. Some people may be appreciative of different forms of humour and laugh at the humour even though they themselves would never tell that kind of humour,” he explains.
“Finally, some people may simply not get the humour, so they don’t laugh but they don’t act with hostility, either.”
It can also provide insight into the personality of another or prove telling of what they (or you) are truly like.
“Any kind of humour can be perceived as endearing or as cutting. Humour can be perceived as endearing when recipients perceive the joke teller as approachable, funny, or a good sport,” he says.
“Humour can be perceived as cutting when recipients perceive the joke teller as making fun of others, being insensitive, or not taking anything seriously.”
So funnily enough humour can be pun-believably revealing.
If you are not sure what humour is you from this list above, there are online quizzes you can do to try and pinpoint what sort of funny you are, like this one.
Shona Hendley is a freelance writer and ex-secondary school teacher. You can follow her on Instagram.