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What Makes You Laugh?

What Makes You Laugh?

INFP Reflections Blog

By Paul Dunning

I realized something a long time ago. I don’t laugh at some things that many others find funny.

At a summer street carnival several years ago, I watched an entertainer call a young boy from the audience, asking him for assistance with his act. The boy obliged, and then, to me, it looked like he was humiliated in front of the crowd. Many people laughed but I had to walk away.

My experience with personality type makes me believe that the difference between the T and the F preferences greatly influences a person’s sense of humor.

My INFP preferences affect my enjoyment of humor that makes fun of someone else. I prefer silly over sarcastic, tongue-in-cheek over teasing. Is that typical of INFPs?

What do you think is funny?

Further reading for INFPs and others:

For more thoughts on understanding yourself and communicating well, read Introduction to Type and Communication.

If you live in the USA, Introduction to Type and Communication is now available on Kindle.

This entry was posted on Thursday, July 24th, 2014 at 8:44 am and is filed under Blog. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

8 Responses to “What Makes You Laugh?”

  1. Hi Paul,

    When you or Donna’s posts appear in my Live Mail unread feeds column, the author is just listed as admin. When I saw this one I immediately said to myself, I’ll bet Paul wrote it! 😎 I guess for some reason humor struck me as a blog topic that would appeal to someone with INFP preferences more than someone with your wife’s preferences of ENFP. I agree. I do not enjoy humor that makes me or others uncomfortable, or that is off – color or in poor taste. I’m not sure I enjoy slapstick. I do enjoy word plays and puns among others, and the antics of animals.

    Gayle W., INFJ

  2. louann brown says:

    I totally agree. I never thought of it that way but it makes a lot of sense. I am in a relationship with one of most sarcasm. It doesn’t work well. Thanks for opening my eyes.

  3. admin says:

    Hi Gayle,

    I enjoy word plays and puns as well. Must be an NF thing because Donna and I can get into some pun-filled conversations sometimes.


  4. admin says:

    Hi Louann,

    Thanks for your comment. I agree that it can be hard to accept sarcasm as humor, even though it may be intended that way.


  5. Craig says:

    I do believe it is an infp thing. We’re people that like to see everyone win and humiliation is not a win for the victim. Sarcasm is seldom victimless as well. Whereas word-plays and puns at worst cause groans.

  6. Q says:

    I totally agree. I instantly make note of people’s sarcasm and just use that knowledge that they are going there as I try to relate with them. Myself, I can be extremely sarcastic, especially when I’m upset and start shifting towards J, but for me it’s a weapon I use as a last resort when it’s clear the other party (usually a T) isn’t going to give any ground and isn’t going to stop being relentlessly insulting. T’s don’t understand intuition, and it’s not hard to confuse the hell out of them especially when you start throwing a ton of ideas at them at once.

  7. Q says:

    Ah, that was incorrect, I was talking about the T’s that aren’t NT I guess. Sorry, still learning about this stuff.

  8. Donna Dunning says:

    Thanks for your comment. I believe, from reading another comment, that you also have INFP preferences. If that is the case, you likely won’t go into a critical mode unless you are under stress, and as you say, defending yourself. If you are interested in how this happens, see my post about Enhancers and Stress

    You seem to look at the Thinking process negatively. Personality type models consider both T and F as positive, helpful ways of viewing the world. It might help to know that people who prefer Thinking don’t usually intend to hurt, dismiss, or insult others. They simply enjoy arguing for their beliefs, questioning to understand, and trying to convince others of their perspectives. They often assume that others are comfortable with this kind of interaction and are surprised when others are hurt or see them as intimidating. Thinking is your least preferred process, so this way of approaching situations will likely seem unfamiliar and uncomfortable. It can be difficult to hear comments from Ts without taking them personally. I find it helps to remind myself that they are arguing about ideas or decisions and not attacking the person.

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