Everyone likes to laugh. Playful communication is one of the most effective tools for keeping relationships exciting, fresh, and vital. Laughter and play enrich your interactions and give your relationships that extra zing that keeps them interesting, light, and enjoyable.
This shared pleasure creates a sense of intimacy and connection – qualities that define solid, lasting relationships. If you happen to meet a man that does not make you laugh, or at least smile, then maybe you should reconsider that relationship.
People are attracted to happy, funny individuals. Laughter draws others to you and keeps them by your side. When you laugh with one another, a positive bond is created. This bond acts as a strong buffer against stress, disagreements, and disappointment. And laughter really is contagious – just hearing laughter primes your brain to smile and join in on the fun.
Just like a friend of mine, Susan, she is the kind of girl that when she walks into a room, her personality just makes you want to laugh. Her fiancé, Deji, is one hilarious fellow. Anyone seeing them together would wish to have one of them as a partner. It has taught many of their friends to understand the importance of laughter in a relationship. As Susan would say “a laughter a day, keeps the heartbreak at bay.”
Playful communication helps you:
Connect to others. Your health and happiness depend, to a large degree, on the quality of your relationships – and laughter binds people together.
Smooth over differences. Using gentle humour often helps you broach sensitive subjects, resolve disagreements, and reframe problems.
Feel relaxed and energised at the same time. Laughter relieves fatigue and relaxes your body, while also recharging your batteries and helping you accomplish more.
Overcome problems and setbacks. A sense of humour is the key to resilience. It helps you take hardships in stride, weather disappointment, and bounce back from adversity and loss.
Put things into perspective. Most situations are not as bleak as they appear to be when looked at from a playful and humorous point of view.
Be more creative. Humour and playfulness loosen you up, energising thinking and inspiring creative problem solving.
The health benefits of laughter
Laughter and playfulness also come with numerous physical and mental health benefits. Laughter triggers a host of healthy changes in your brain and body.
Laughter helps you stay healthy by:
Boosting your mood
Decreasing stress hormones
Improving oxygen flow to the brain
Reducing physical pain
Lowering blood pressure
Strengthening the immune system
Protecting the heart
Relaxing your body
Releasing endorphins. When you laugh, your brain releases endorphins, powerful chemicals that boost mood and override sadness and negative thoughts.
Putting things into perspective. Most situations are not as bleak as they appear to be when looked at from a playful and humorous point of view.
Connecting us to others. Our mental health depends, to a large degree, on the quality of our relationships—and laughter binds people together.
Tip 1: Make sure both partners are in on the joke
Humour and playfulness can strengthen relationships – but only when both people are in on the joke. It’s important to be sensitive to the other person.
If your partner, friend, or colleague isn’t likely to appreciate the joke, don’t say or do it, even if it’s “all in good fun.” When playfulness is one-sided rather than mutual, it undermines trust and goodwill and damages the relationship.
Tip 2: Use humour to defuse conflict
When conflict and disagreement throw a wrench in your relationships, humour and playfulness can help lighten things up and restore a sense of connection.
Used skillfully and respectfully, playful humour can turn conflict into an opportunity for shared fun and intimacy. It allows you to get your point across without getting the other person’s defences up or hurting their feelings.
Tip 3: Don’t use humour to cover up other emotions
Humour and shared playfulness help you stay resilient in the face of life’s challenges. But there are times when humour is not healthy – when it is used as a cover for avoiding, rather than coping with, painful emotions. Laughter can be a disguise for feelings of hurt, fear, anger, and disappointment that you don’t want to feel or don’t know how to express.
You can be funny about the truth – but covering up the truth isn’t funny. When you use humour and playfulness as a cover for other emotions, you create confusion and mistrust in your relationships.