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The Hidden Power of Humor

By Nichole Force, M.A.

The Hidden Power of HumorPhilosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein said, “A serious and good philosophical work could be written consisting entirely of jokes.” Despite the buffoonish imagery that comes to mind when one considers the joker, the clown or the pie-in-the-face comedian, humor is more than mere silliness. It is an advanced intellectual means of developing new perspectives and coping with extreme circumstances.

A maltreated animal has two potential responses to an abusive master: attack to stop the abuse, or cower/flee to avoid it. He cannot disarm the bully with a witty remark or ironically imitate his master behind his back for his own amusement. One of the first government actions in Nazi Germany was the establishment of a law against treacherous attacks on the state and party that made anti-Nazi humor an act of treason, and there was a reason for this. Research has shown that humor is the most effective means of preventing the indoctrination of brainwashing.

11 Comments to
The Hidden Power of Humor

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  1. Humor is indeed a powerful weapon in managing both common stresses and those which come as a result of serious illness, mental health issues, major life events, etc.

    It’s interesting you should be writing about this as our site takes a very similar view when approaching the subject of adult Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and helping folks manage their lives with this diagnosis.

    Our co-founder is a well-known actor/director/comedian and even produced a documentary “ADD & Loving It?!” prior to launching our site ( Our community tells us the light-hearted approach really helps make it easier to go through the videos and materials we provide (thereby increasing the chances for the information to ‘get through’ and help their lives improve).

    We’ve used a similar approach for the live workshops we do. This weekend we had a sold-out event that drew a standing ovation and cheers at the end — in large part due to the humor aspects of the program.

    I hope more content providers, health care practitioners, and allied health programs begin to incorporate and encourage humor as a therapeutic tool….it definitely works!

  2. Humor is an amazing tool in order to turn things around. “Always look at the bright side of life.”
    But, I don’t think it’s a hidden power. It does not hide. It’s always available you just have to recognize her in every moment of your life.

  3. I’ve been dealing with depression for several years and the only thing that seems to keep me going is to make fun of it with the help of my close friends. My councilor has said many times that it was a good thing that I still had it.

  4. After a major heart attack where my heart stopped 4 times and I was revived 4 times a doctor stood beside my bed and intoned “you are a very sick lady”I looked at him and smiled and replied am I? He was not impressed. I had a triple bypass and developed a major drug resistant infection in all my wounds . I coped with it all with humour. The nurses picked up on the fact that I love to laugh.I left hospital 3 months later with an open chest wound and it had to be repaired a few weeks later.I am now 9 years down the road living on bonus time as I call it.Everyday I wake up it is a good day no matter what happens.Laughter truly is the best medicine as far as I am concerned.

  5. Sense of humor can move mountains. Have you heard about Patch Adams?
    He was traveling around the world and healing kids by playing with them, making them smile. There was a movie about it with Robin Williams. It’s a great power and is always available, we just tend to forget about how great it is to have some fun.

  6. Without my faith and wicked wit and sense of humor I would be drooling in a corner!

    So, enough about ME, what do YOU think about ME?!

  7. Darya Martelle published a Kindle book on this subject. I think it’s called The Secret of CCT, definitely recommended.

  8. Without humor we should all go to the cemetery and lie down peacefully. Sense of humor can move mountains and can make a huge difference in everybody´s life. Smile and laughing have a psychological, positive affect on our mood and energy level as well.
    Read some jokes and you already feel better, aren´t you?

  9. As long as we can laugh we can live. If sense of humor disappeared we would not exist at all. Just smile and problems will solve themselves. He-he

  10. I would reverse the first quote from Wittgenstein; If you can not make a joke of something, it can not be serious enough.
    We can not live without a good laugh. If we can, there is something wrong with us.

  11. hello,i liked the article very much . Iam from India ,I do volunteer work for a non profit organisation in the field of rehabilitation of the disabled. I want permission to print this article in our newsletter.
    awaiting a favorable reply

  12. “Had she taken the time to develop the tool that nature gave her for dealing with that stress, a sense of humor, her three colleagues might still be alive today.”I think this is stretchng it a bit too much. This sentence in and of itself comes across as lacking in great detail and understanding. Humor is indeed quite powerful and has been used as a great coping skill. However, we must be careful not to paint everything with a broad brush and assume the previous professor would not have attempted to murder “had she been humorous.” This may not have anything at all to do with her dangerous behavior. There are many people who are humorous, yet extremely mentally unstable. I’m sure we can go back in history (and even recent history) and cite various incidents involving “care free” people who one day decided to murder a group of people or an individual. Many people often say things such as “I couldn’t see it coming, he was so kind and carefree.”Humor can be helpful, but lets make sure that we do not misinform society to make a point that lacks a sound foundation.

  13. A little laughter all need. There is an association which aims to help disabled children are included in the.

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