We’ve all heard the old adage laughter is good for the soul, right? I assume that it is a popular enough phrase that somewhere, sometime, you have read it or said it or had it said to you.
I am consciously trying to laugh more. I know that sounds weird, but I have always been a very serious person. I take life seriously. It’s not that I don’t have a sense of humor. I do. I can be funny. And, I can find things funny. But, recently I had the opportunity to watch someone in a position of leadership laugh a lot. After I noticed this I paid more attention, and there it was on phone calls, in meetings, and during casual conversations: the sound of laughter. While I think the laugh was genuine, I also believe it was disarming, although probably not purposefully. Laughing was a technique used to relax the listener and eventually, hopefully, have the listener agree with what was said or needed to be done. It was a method of instilling loyalty and likability. And, it worked, as far as I could tell!
Once I realized this use of humor, I could not tune it out. I even asked someone – did you ever notice that “so and so” laughs a lot? I cannot recall their answer but I do not think the person I asked had ever thought about it.
I like our dog, Molly, because she makes me laugh. She does odd, unexpected things (for a person who has never had a dog). After we got Molly, at the end of summer, I noticed I was laughing more. I was enjoying having a dog and what she added to our home. I know when I need a laugh, I can spend time with Molly and she will eventually do something that brings a smile to my face, such as stealing a shoe for the thousandth time, laying in an odd position, or dragging her blanket across the house.
Pets have an intuitive sense of what we need as humans. Our cats would sense when we were sad, lonely, or in need of a friend. I think our dog senses that I need to laugh, thus providing the antics for me to do so.
I don’t think I’ll ever get rid of the seriousness of my personality. It is part of who I am and does allow me some nice accomplishments. But, we all need to laugh. I do believe it is good for the soul. And, apparently, so is a dog.