We stereotype good humor as an ability some people have to stay happy and cheerful under any circumstance. The cliché, “All fat people are jolly,” is such a stereotype.

Some people use humor to entertain others when these others are sad, angry or belligerent. They are trying to improve others’ moods and get them out of their funk. In such use of humor the person may even ridicule himself to make the other person feel better, calm down or not make a scene.

Other people use good humor and wit to maintain an appearance of unconcern when faced with serious problems. Often, such people will express their anxiety over an unexpected problem by laughing. This unconcern will strike others as inappropriate.

Yet other people will see humor in unfortunate situations in which another person has a misfortune or is being victimized. Some people’s humor is direct and aggressive. When others complain about their aggressive antagonism with their humor, they accuse their victim of being “overly sensitive” or “not being able to take a joke or teasing”

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