In the world of personal development there seems to be two lines of tought with regards to personality change. On one side of the spectrum, some say yes – you can and have to change. After all, you need to change in order to become the person you want to be. On the other hand, you have those who say no – be yourself, you’re awesome just the way you are.
As with (almost) everything in life, the truth lies somewhere in the middle.
Firstly, you need to be self-aware. This is a long and complex endeavour, it is a lifetime journey and it’s an ongoing process. Why? Because you change over time, it’s human nature at its best. One of the greatest states you can achieve in life is one of self-awareness. If you have this roughly laid down and are keen in pursuing this route, you will have at least an idea of who you are. You will be aware, to a certain extent, of your qualities, your flaws, and are probably working on improving these because you simply want to become a better person.
You’re self-aware and you have the choice to change. There are traits which you will consider ‘bad’ by default and try to improve. If you’re lazy, greedy, rude, violent, for example, you know from the start that these aspects of your personality should be improved. One aspect however, which I believe has a great influence on how people connect, and is highly underated, is one’s sense of humour.
Humour is often left out from the realms of self-improvement but it can have an immense weight on how we connect and relate with one another. This is where sometimes people ‘click’ or they don’t. This is where people laugh, don’t get it, or they just get plain offended. Humour has a rich cultural tradition that is embedded in our human nature. And we, as humans, use it to creatively express ourselves, trigger emotions and manipulate our mood. Deep down, we use humor to connect.
We do not all laugh at the same things or for the same reasons. Have you ever thought about your sense of humour? Have you ever thought about what kind of humour you like, and most importantly, the type of humour you use?
Lets’ take, for instance, an interaction with a woman. You crack a joke (or at least you think it is a joke). She will either:
b: not react and completely ignore you because she didn’t get it, or;
c: she just looks at you with a blank expression on her face and says “that was not funny”.
Let’s say you have a dry, sarcastic sense of humour. The occasional B is in line but you will usually get A or C. Well, quite a lot of Cs to be fair.
When looking to build a new relationship, humour can be used an effective triage tool. You don’t want to be with someone who doesn’t ‘get you’. You don’t want to spend half of your conversations saying “that was a joke” and/or laughing on your own. Why would you want to be with a B or a C? And if you do the maths, yes, these are the majority.
This is why humour is such an important part of your personality and, unless you have such a messed up, aggressive, dark sense of humour that absolutely nobody in this world would laugh at (though I’m sure you would find someone to share those jokes with) then do not try to change it. Nobody in that group of girls laughed? Did that girl you went out on a date last week got offended by your joke? Nevermind, they don’t get it and they never will, so you might as well just keep laughing and start a relationship with someone who does.