“Men show their character in nothing more clearly than by what they think laughable.”
~Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
I love to laugh. I love jokes, funny stories, funny actions, and funny people. Laughter is something I resort to when I'm not completely confident in a situation. If someone is having a rough day, I make it my goal to either cheer them up, or let them talk about it (which is another topic altogether). The things most people laugh about show what their conduct is. There can be a variety of conclusions from their laughter.
I tend to laugh at people when they do or say something stupid. Part of that is because I do stupid stuff all the time and can empathize with them. The other part is because I tend to need to work on my compassion skills. Don't get me wrong. I try to be sympathetic and listen, but if it's their own fault they are in that mess, I don't feel sorry for them. Hence, my laughter.
I'm one of those people who watch the fail movies on youtube. I laugh so hard because these people should realize the end result of their actions! I mean, if you're going to skateboard down a rail, chances are you are not going to make it to the end and you will hurt yourself- in a not so good place.
Another thing people show their character through laughter is the type of jokes they laugh about. Politically incorrect, discrimatory of any topic, and more show that you don't really care about harming these people. I realize that some of those jokes are funny, like the blonde jokes. But, when jokes are made about handicapped people or different races, it crosses a line.
Sometimes, you can't help but laugh, you might say. I agree ten thousand percent! I've laughed at jokes being said and later wondered why I laughed. It wasn't that funny as a joke, but the way the person said it was hysterical. Some people just have the gift of turning anything into a comedy.
I am a nervous laugher. I laugh when I'm in situations that are kind of awkward. The other day I was eating dinner with some friends when a man walked up to us. He was making bunny ears for one of the guys in my group. Thinking this was strange, I snickered. The man then went on to talk to us about random things for about twenty minutes. I'm not sure if the man was completely lucid or had some mental difficulties. The strange topics and the way he came up were so bizarre that I was fighting laughter. I felt bad for laughing at the man because I didn't want to hurt his feelings. But, if some complete stranger does bunny ears to your friend, I don't know how else you can react.
I have used joking and laughter in some serious situations. A couple friends will try to talk about something serious and I'll make a joke. They'll laugh, which makes me want to continue. After a bit, I focus on what they are saying and try to maintain the level of gravity they have in the situation.
These different ways of laughing and situations you do it in, show what type of person you are. Are you compassionate? Do you care for those different then you? Are you seeking attention away from the topic at hand? Laughter is an important part of life. I use it daily. Hopefully, my laughter shows what is important to me, and helps others know my character.