I am amazed at how many times recently I heard “(S)He is smart and funny.” Now putting aside what amazes a simple mind, I decided to explain in detail what it means to be smart and funny.
In context, this statement is often used to describe why the speaker is attracted to someone, especially if we want to avoid any sexual connotations. Often the discussion is a serious justification for the feelings and emotions involved. It may even be the explanation why the individual has been selected as the significant other (this having to be politically correct is killing me).
Smart alone is not really enough as it may present itself as arrogance and distant. Funny alone is not enough as it may present itself as a charlatan and foolish. It is the perfect balance of smart and funny that makes for an attractive and desirable individual.
Smart and funny go together to form an attractively balanced package. Throw in “generous” and you have perfection. Generous adds that giving component that makes a person want to be kind and giving. After all, we all want to be on the receiving end of that.
So what does it mean to be smart? It does not mean intelligent or all knowing or book learning. It is a kind of street smart, which is defined by practical knowledge of situational awareness. It is knowing what is needed in the moment by the audience. As a professional instructor, I have always said that one must know the audience prior to stepping in front of them. Smart is having experience in quickly assessing a situation to ascertain what is appropriate and relevant now.
What about funny? It is simply the ability to perceive humor in almost everything and presenting the humor with appropriate timing in a non-threatening and chuckle-eliciting fashion. The key here is to time the humor to get just a chuckle or a smile. Raucous laughter is not a requirement. Thus, conversation is not permanently interrupted and no one gets their feelings hurt.
So, does that mean that people will not be attracted to people who are just smart or just funny? No, of course not. If that were true most of us would go through life in full knowledge of why we are alone or in the tears of a clown. Luckily, there is a difference between long-term and short-term attraction.
In the short term, we are attracted to a huge variety of things such as beauty, wealth, profession, lifestyle, etc. If you are not carful, you may wind up like the girl in the song “Lyin’ Eyes” by the Eagles.
Smart and funny provide long-term attraction. I asked my lovely wife, Ruth, why that is so. She said, “Going through life is difficult enough without having some entertainment factor.” This explains why, when I say something funny and others give her a quizzical look, she says, “What can I say? He’s entertaining.”
So, we are all looking for someone with whom we can have an intelligent conversation sprinkled with just the right amount of humor. This provides the opportunity to bond. We are all bonded by nature, nurture, chance or choice. This falls into the choice bonding which makes the relationship more satisfying. Smart and funny are not just for the selection of the significant other. They play an important part in the friendships and other relationships we establish.
So, what can you do if you suspect that you are only smart or funny or neither?
Ask someone you trust to provide the answer for you. Be prepared to be disappointed in the answer. I always say, “Don’t ask a question if you don’t want to hear the answer.”
Not everyone can be as smart, funny, generous, tall, dark, handsome, shy, modest and humble as I am.
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