Relationship tip: Laugh your way out of an argument.

By on September 30, 2013

“A sense of humor is one of our most powerful stress-coping behaviors. Laughter is very freeing. If we can laugh at a thing, we can survive it. Laughter helps us to gain power in powerless situations and gives us a sense of control when things around us seem out of control.” —Catherine Ripplinger Fenwick from Healing with Humour

Laughter as a coping tool sounds interesting, doesn’t it? How often do we find ourselves in a conflict without a clear-cut path to resolution? Perhaps the arguments with your significant other become a standoff and neither of you walk away feeling good. For many people, it is hours or days after a fight before any reconciliation takes place. In some cases, the issue goes unresolved—only to crop up at a later date with more charge and venom. Life is too short for so much time to be spent in conflict, don’t you think?

Many couples come to counseling with “conflict resolution” as a goal. We go over the normal ways to communicate respectfully, listen attentively, and understand the other’s person’s emotions. But here’s what else we try, that really works:  finding the humor in life’s predicaments. Seeing things from a funny standpoint helps us to view the situation from a new perspective. Being able to laugh at ourselves is a way of coping with life’s absurdities. It defuses the argument. Does this sound familiar? ”They who laugh, last!”

fall scents for your home

For example, in the middle of a heated argument, Pali’s wife raised her voice several decibels too high, so he turned to leave. “I see you’re running away,” she accused him. He replied with a disarming smile, “Yes, it’s my gypsy ancestry. It’s what we’re good at!” She just had to laugh.

Now I do not mean you can laugh everything away. There are many situations that are simply too serious. And you should never use sarcasm, or laugh at a person who has violent anger-management problems. But what I am suggesting is that when humor can be tried, it should be. I often ask my clients to sit down in front of my computer and watch a comedic Bob Newhart You Tube segment. It always ends the session with a positive feeling, and I see smiles.

Research tells us that laughter has many benefits, a main one being stress reduction which in turn acts as a benefit to the healing process.  So why not start each day with a smile, then add a chuckle or two and before you know it you will be laughing your stress away.


Originally posted on Barbara J. Peters.

About Barbara J. Peters

Barbara Peters, RN, LPC, is a gifted communicator with a laser beam ability to cut through the tangle of personal drama to get results and relationships that last a lifetime. A Long Island native, Barbara has made Georgia her home for the last twenty-four years; her private counseling practice is in Cumming, GA. She is devoted to her family of two grown daughters, four grandchildren, and a Shih Tzu named Gingerlily who often accompanies her to work. Her books are available at all major online booksellers and on her website, in soft cover and ebook editions. If you want more information on Barbara J. Peters visit her website

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Relationship tip: Laugh your way out of an argument.