The pain behind humour

Our clients are often stumped when we say that insights are negative emotions. Their resistance to this takes some wearing down (for many, the acceptance is never complete). Insights & ideas work like lock & key. Insights are problems that ideas solve. However, the negative (insight) is not as evident as the positive (idea).

Take humour as an idea/manifestation. If you look closely at humour across genres, there are underlying pain patterns that make them click:

1) Our inferiority complex: A lot of humour is about laughing at someone’s failings. This genre works by making us feel relatively better about our own shortcomings, even if briefly.

2) Frustration, helplessness: Much of the political & corporate satire draws its power from our sense of powerlessness. The more we feel frustrated with the situation, the more humour that mocks the powerful works as a solution.

3) Guilt: We learn what is politically correct or culturally appropriate, but cannot help entertain thoughts that are not. Humour that expresses those thoughts bluntly relieves us of our sense of guilt. Giving us the license to indulge such thoughts without being judged, even by ourselves.

See the pattern? What ideas & underlying pain points do you see around you?


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