What Your Laugh Says About You

Posted by Leticia, 16 May

Ever wondered what your sense of humor reveals about your personality? Recent research uncovers four distinct humor styles and the fascinating insights they offer into who we are and how we relate to others.

In a study by Martin et al. (2003), researchers identified four humor styles: affiliative, self-defeating, self-enhancing, and aggressive.

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Affiliative Humor: The Life of the Party

Think of affiliative humor as the classic crowd-pleaser – it's all about fostering connections without stepping on anyone's toes. From witty banter to harmless jokes, this style aims to bring people together and lighten the mood.

Self-Defeating Humor: The Class Clown

Ever had a friend who could laugh at themselves? That's self-defeating humor in action. These jokesters turn themselves into the punchline, using self-deprecation to win over others' approval.

Self-Enhancing Humor: Finding the Silver Lining

Self-enhancing humorists have a knack for seeing the bright side, even in life's darkest moments. They use humor as a coping mechanism, turning adversity into an opportunity for laughter and resilience.

Aggressive Humor: When Laughter Turns Sour

On the flip side, aggressive humor isn't all fun and games. From teasing to sarcasm, this style can be hurtful and divisive, often used to assert dominance or mask insecurities.

In reality, most of us dabble in a bit of everything. A sprinkle of self-defeating humor here, a dash of aggressive banter there – it's all part of the comedic medley that makes us human. Our experience revealed some intriguing patterns in humor usage and personality traits.

Extraversion: The Life of the Party

Unsurprisingly, those with a penchant for humor tend to be more outgoing. After all, what's the point of cracking jokes if no one's around to laugh?

Intelligence: The Wit Factor

Funny folks aren't just quick on their feet – they're also sharp as a tack. Intelligence was positively correlated with affiliative, self-enhancing, and aggressive humor styles.

Relationships: Laughing Matters

Humor plays a significant role in our relationships, with affiliative humorists enjoying more secure bonds and deeper connections.

Happiness: Finding Joy in Laughter

Those who use humor to cope with life's challenges tend to lead happier, more fulfilling lives. Self-enhancing humorists were found to be particularly content and self-assured.

The Dark Side of Humor

But it's not all sunshine and laughter. Self-defeating humorists, while charming in their own right, often struggle with anxiety and self-doubt.

**Aggressive humorists, on the other hand, may wield their wit as a weapon, masking deeper insecurities behind a veil of sarcasm and mockery.


Humor is more than just a punchline – it's a powerful tool for building connections, weathering storms, and understanding ourselves and others. So, next time you're swapping jokes with a date, pay attention to the laughter – it might just reveal more than you think.

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