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24 Character Strengths: Humor

We are all unique and we all have strengths which allow us to contribute to the world. In the early 2000’s, Dr. Martin Seligman and Dr. Christopher Peterson developed the VIA Character Strengths. Their research determined that there are 24 common character strengths that each of us possess to one degree or another, giving us a common language to use, but still recognizing that each of us is unique.

Each of these Character Strengths fall under one of six broad categories called Virtues. These Virtues and Character Strengths have proven to be universal across cultures and nations. Over the next few weeks, we will explore each of the 24 strengths that we all share, yet make you uniquely you!

Next we will look at the Virtue of Transcendence, which brings together those strengths that help us discover meaning and connect to the larger human experience.

The Character Strength of Humor brings out the lighter side of life. It can help us reduce stress and although it isn't a 'required' part of most interactions, it is often desirable. Humor can help us in distressing situations by allowing us to have a more balanced or even cheerful view on adversity. People with this signature strength tend to be healthier, have less anxiety and more social connections.

When Humor is absent shows up as overly serious. It's opposite can appear as relentlessly severe, stern or gloomy behaviors. In excess it can lead to being perceived as ridiculous or even not reliable or credible. Understanding these opposites, absences and excesses can help us identify Humor in ourselves and in others.

The strength of Humor can be a powerful force in your life. If you want to bring more of this into your experience, look for opportunities for playfulness and laughter. What are the barriers you may find when wanting to bring more Humor into your life? Where can you find ways to be less serious and more lighthearted? Finding even a small bit of humor in a challenging situation can make all the difference in not only how you and other experience what is happening, but also in a more positive outcome. Find ways to bring a little Humor into your world and the world around you today!

If you would like to learn more about Humor and your individual strengths, you can visit the website below and complete the free VIA Character Strengths Questionnaire.


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