Emotion #9 – Amusement
There is debate in the academic circles as to whether amusement is an emotion or not. Whether it is or it’s not, comic amusement (in layman’s language, humour) plays a very important role in day to day interaction, how we create bonds and how we form relationships.
Humour and laughter is probably not the first thing that comes to mind when you think of your ex and the fact that you are not together as a couple, but study after study on conflict resolution has shown that laughter and humour can be very effective in re-establishing bonds and defusing the conflict itself.
You don’t have to be a comedian to trigger laughter in your ex, just don’t be too serious all the time, too intense and wired up like a badly tuned guitar or too “emotional” for your own good.
Try this to loosen up your ex and have him/her thinking how much fun it is to talk to you, and have you around.
1. Poke fun at yourself.
Sentences that begin with “You can’t believe what stupid thing I did today….” or “You’ll probably think I am crazy/nuts/out of my mind…” are not only self-effacing, they also tell the person they are about to be entertained with something funny.
Just make sure that whatever you are poking fun at is not something your ex already thinks of you. For example if your ex thinks you’re emotionally out of control or stalking him/her, saying “You’ll probably think I am crazy/nuts/out of my mind…” has a very different effect.
2. Tease and mess with each other
Like most couples, you have some inside jokes but are probably not sure if they’re appropriate or if the timing is right.
If he/she is responding to your texts, letting you in on things going on in his/her life and asking you questions about what’s going on in your life, it’s okay to start introducing some inside jokes into your conversations.
Start with those that are about certain events, places or people you both know. This is neutral territory and should be fine. Introduce more personal inside jokes as things pick up.
3. Use playful communication to try out a sensitive subject.
Most of you probably already use playful communication. Used to broach a sensitive subject, playful communication is very powerful. For example, you asked your ex out on a date and they said no. You build some more emotional momentum and then ask again and he/she still says no. But instead of getting frustrated, you say something along the lines “You can’t fault a man for trying” or “A woman has to try something” (with a wink or smiley face), or if things are really warm between the two of you or if playful communication is something you do often, you push it a little and say, “That’s the second no. They say third time is the charm”.
The goal is of course to get a date, but playful communication also 1) helps release stress and tension and move things back to where they were before you broached the sensitive subject, 2) shows you can take rejection gracefully, and 3) encourage your ex to be playful with you and to play along.
In this space of playful communication, guards come down and when they do, anything is possible.
If you are not a naturally easy-going and fun person, start with sharing humour/jokes and then try some playful communication. The more teasing, joking around, and messing with each other you have in your daily interactions, the stronger the bond, and sense of closeness.
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