Dark Humour – What Can be Laughed at?

Humour is often time sought by people as a means of mood relaxation, a way to improve one’s mood and drastically reduce one’s stress levels. Humour reaps benefits by increasing an individual’s heart rate and improving oxygen levels, all thanks to laughter.

Since laughing acts as a stress regulator, it might provide a decent explanation as to why some people seem to laugh at awkward times, for example during periods of extreme anxiety, or during grieving period, such as at a funeral or when someone has passed away. Although the average person might begin to wonder just what it is that is wrong with those who choose to slip a laugh in such circumstances, the most basic explanation in such situations is that one’s body and mind are trying to find a natural way to ease the stress and to deal with the grief that might be crippling them and taking over their ability to calm down and rationalise.

Awkward Responses to Sad Turn Out of Events

Dark humour differs in various ways to those so-called awkward responses and behaviour nags, mainly because of the way each and every person is bound to perceive it. Some see dark (or black) humour as insensitive and plain nasty, but it usually is anything but. Such humour can often time serve as a mechanism through which people, especially the more intelligent and/or highly sensitive ones, seek stress reduction for the long-term, something which simply cannot be achieved through cleaner types of humour. Black humour tackles with the negativity in life, drawing out humorous aspects out from the more tragic parts.

In dark humour, a joke might, for example, revolve around someone homeless who is guilty of committing murders, with the intention of being incarcerated. While it is a sad turn out of events, the quality of life will undoubtedly improve for the homeless man as he will be able to receive shelter and perhaps increase his longevity. Yes, it is somewhat disturbing and offensive, but funny to some audiences. People seek a sense of absolution, and dark humour fulfils this need; it seeks to introduce a sense of humour in darker situations so as to lessen the emotional intensity of such situations.

The line between humour and total fallacy is quite a thin one. One cannot just up and tell a person who’s shocked and traumatized after a life-changing event, to seek help and make a lame joke of it. A joke well-carried out will have an audience in fits of laughter, but a slip can easily end up in the audience being tragically offended.