As always, comments are welcome!
Question from Matthew: “Everyone knows that humor is a big attraction tool. How does someone who’s not very funny, or is perhaps soft-spoken, develop a good ability with humor?”
You are totally correct that humor is a big attraction tool.
If you can’t even make a girl laugh, there’s very little chance you’ll be able to attract her. If you CAN make her laugh, you’ve got a good sign she’s at least comfortable with you and may accept your advances.
Lack of humor is a problem endemic to Confucianized cultures, including East Asian societies. We’re taught to think logically, to be conformists, and to be obedient to our parents and elders. Our Confucianized parents raised us to be good mathematicians, engineers, and classical pianists. We aren’t using to living in the mental world of the ridiculous or doing and saying outrageously bizarre things.
But just like any other skill, being comedic and conveying humor are things you can learn, practice, and master. I’ll give you three quick tips any Asian brothers or sisters can use to channel their inner Russell Peters.
A few caveats to start.
Don’t overdo it. If you keep them laughing for more than three minutes straight, you’ve become a “dancing monkey.” Even a minute straight of humor and teasing is pushing it.
Humor is best used intermittently, to spice things up, to provide contrast and variety, and to create an emotional roller-coaster. Too much uninterrupted laughing and giggling can easily prevent you from escalating the relationship beyond the platonic and keep you stuck in friend zone.
Also, be wary of just becoming the asexual “funny guy.” Don’t be Mr. Bean or Borat. Think more Russell Brand or Eddie Murphy. But also beware of cracking jokes too explicit or offensive, especially when meeting new people.
And avoid joking about religion, race, or politics, unless you’re sure everyone within earshot is in the same camp.
Enough about what not to do. Here are a few tips on what to do.
1. Exaggerate to Absurdity.
Get used to exercising your imagination and letting it run wild. Be ridiculous and absurd. Play around with people’s expectations. Don’t worry about being logical or things making sense. Don’t worry about people thinking you’re lying. If you exaggerate enough, it should be obvious it’s a joke. If it’s not, you haven’t exaggerated enough.
You: “Hey, you having a good time tonight?”
Her: “Yeah. You?”
You: “Yeah, I’m pretty happy… I just came back from the moon… It was beautiful up there… But the decompression was killer… I even had time to fit in lunch with J-Lo… Not on the moon, though.”
You (wearing a relatively expensive collared shirt): “Hey, what do you think of my new shirt?”
Her: “Um, yeah, it’s nice.”
You: “Thanks! I’m pretty proud of it myself. I stayed up all night sewing it by hand in candlelight. My mom would be proud.”
You (as a guy approaching the obviously beautiful women at a bar or club): “Hey look, I know you guys are soo terribly unattractive that no guys would ever hit on you… So, I thought I’d do you a favor and make you look good… You guys are my good deed for the week (sly smile).”
Check out Russell Brand’s interviews for exemplary cases of this strategy, especially his interview of Nerina Pallot.
2. Positive Misinterpretation
The misinterpretation is positive, so make sure you respond to them as if they’ve just said something you want to hear, such as them asking for your phone number, or offering to buy you a drink, or paying you a compliment. The last is a good default misinterpretation.
Overheard between my buddy and a girl he had been talking to for a few minutes at a bar:
Her: “You’re full of sh-t!”
Him (responding as if she had said, ‘You’re the sh-t!’): “Thanks, you’re not so bad yourself. Though really, we’ve just met, and you should at least ask my name before you hit on me like that!”
Her: “Huh? No, no, I said you’re FULL of it.”
Him: “Oh, haha. Yeah… and I bet you love it.”
Her (smiling now and blushing a bit): “Yeah.”
Her: “So where are you from?”
You: “No, you don’t have to get me another drink. Thanks, though.”
Her: “I love this song.”
You: “No, sorry, I don’t give out my phone number to random people.”
Her: “What’s with that gay scarf?”
You: “Oh, thanks! Yeah, my gay stylist friend picked it out for me at Burberry. Your hat looks gay too, haha. Nice!”
3. Get Your Friends Laughing First (and Be Ready to Laugh at Yourself)
Your humor should be meant first and foremost for yourself, and then for your friends, and only lastly for others. This mindset is crucial to becoming a sexy, funny guy.
Just to give you an idea, here are a few things my buddies and I like to do in social settings to amuse ourselves:
When you see someone wearing reflective sunglasses, look intently into their lenses for a second, and then begin fixing your hair.
Tell the girls you meet in the bar that you’re gay and don’t know the best way to come out of the closet to your guy friends (obviously don’t say this if you’re actually gay). Using the “exaggerate to absurdity” technique here works great. If they ask you what you do, tell them you’re a gigolo… a gay gigolo. And then point to one of your guy friends, and say he’s your regular customer, but he’s being a tough sell tonight. This also demonstrates you’re secure in your masculinity.
Use “reversal” as a humor technique. You: “There is no way I’m going home with you tonight. And I am definitely NOT going to make passionate love to you. That is NOT going to happen. I mean, I’m not just a piece of meat. I have feelings and a personality too, you know. At least you should buy me a drink first before you proposition me like that.”
As with any skill, it takes some practice, and you’ll get better with experience.
As long as you follow tip #3, you and your friends will have a fun time in the process!
As usual, if you have any questions or suggestions, feel free to write to me.
Ciao for now,
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