dry sense of humor

Dry Sense of Humor: Everything You Need to Know

Who doesn’t love a good laugh? It puts you — and the others around you — in a jolly mood and can even set the tone of your day! However, few people are aware of the different types of humor — dry humor being probably the most interesting one. If you want to find out what that kind of wit it is and if it’s possible to develop a dry sense of humor, read on.

What Is a Dry Sense of Humor

Do you have friends or acquaintances who are naturally funny? No matter the situation or what you’re discussing, they have the superpower to maintain a stoneface and still make you laugh your head off? If yes, then they probably possess a dry sense of humor.

Many classify dry humor (sometimes referred to as deadpan) as implied or indirect because it’s strictly situation- and context-dependent. That calls for extreme attention to everything from your audience’s reactions to your tone, manner of speaking, and intonation. Simply put, you need to be quite flexible if you want to effectively use this kind of humor.

Another typical characteristic of dry humor is its subtlety. The individuals who are able to use it make it extremely organic. They don’t have to scream, make faces, roll on the ground, or do anything else to make their statement amusing. It’s the moment and context in which they choose to speak, combined with them exhibiting zero change in emotion that makes the whole situation hilarious.

However, the fact that it’s never in people’s faces makes it hard to fathom by everyone.

Even if you didn’t know what dry humor was up until now, you have most probably seen people use it, as it is extremely sought-after in showbusiness, for example. It adds to the personality of the actor/comedian/TV host, etc. who employs it and makes them more charismatic and relatable.

However, you don’t have to be Eve Arden to possess and effectively use a dry sense of humor. In fact, you may even have it in you, but need a little push to cultivate it. That is why I’ve prepared a list of tips that should help you.

9 Tips on How to Develop a Dry Sense of Humor

Remember that in order to provoke laughter and amuse others using dry humor, you’ll need a deep personality and an ability to take advantage of the situations you find yourself in. Therefore, most of the tips I’ve provided are applicable to many aspects of life and essential if you want to elevate your humor.

1. Read More

The masters of dry humor are extremely intelligent and knowledgeable people. And one of the best ways to boost your knowledge is by reading…a lot! But don’t just grab a Vogue magazine and call it a day; read some classics like The Great Gatsby, Pride And Prejudice, Jane Eyre, etc. You get the point — the more you read, the better!

Becoming acquainted with the best works of literature will not only broaden your horizons but also provide you with food for thought. You will become more curious and interested in a variety of topics, which is beneficial when trying to cultivate a good sense of humor.

Moreover, immersing yourself in the worlds that some of the greatest minds have put all their passion into creating will make you start looking at things from a different perspective. That will help you become more observant and detail-driven, which matches my second tip:

2. Observe the World That Surrounds You

If you want to develop a great dry sense of humor, you’ll have to base it on something, and the best thing you can make fun of is the absurd world we live in!

See, most people are so busy with their lives that they see no further than their noses. And that’s the opposite of what proficient humorists do. They bring up seemingly obvious details, put a sarcastic twist on them, and voilà — amaze everyone else with their perceptivity.

Therefore, if refining your dry sense of humor is your goal, try observing the people around you (without looking like a stalker, of course). Make a note of their peculiarities and interesting traits you could refer to when needed. That will help you come up with unique comments, which won’t stay unnoticed.

And speaking of noticing …

3. Look at the Bigger Picture

Stop taking everything so seriously. That’s what humor is all about, right? When you take a step (or two) back, you’ll see that most of your problems are trivial beyond belief. That discovery will help you clear your mind of your everyday worries and develop a different attitude towards the world.

Make an effort to focus on the brighter side of things, and you’ll be surprised at how much your humor will improve. After all, you need to be in a good mood if you want to evoke laughter.

4. Master the Art of Wordplay

Most individuals that use dry humor are admired for their witty wordplay. Again, since this kind of humor is context-dependent, coming up with clever ways to incorporate wordplay in it could prove challenging.

Therefore, stick to easily understandable words that can fit in various contexts. Once you gain more experience, you will start noticing the nuances of speech, which will help you elevate your skills.

5. Let Go of Toxic People

We all have that one friend who perfectly matches the character of Grumpy from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. If you let such people drain your positive energy, the last thing you’ll be thinking about is cracking jokes!

Therefore, should you spot that any of your friends or acquaintances isn’t bringing any positive value to your life, let them go spread their negativity elsewhere. Thus, you’ll be able to concentrate on developing your unique dry sense of humor without anyone ruining your mood.

6. Meet New People

In essence, humor is an art form; and art needs inspiration to function. If you find it difficult to get inspired, maybe changing your social contacts will help. Create new stories with new people. You never know who will change your life for good.

Moreover, the experience with every single person is different. The occasions when someone has hurt you can be turned into sarcastic, laughter-evoking stories, and the instances when a person has affected you positively can become a central theme of your humor.

7. Grow a Thick Skin

Yes, that rule may seem strange when it comes to cracking jokes, right? Who’d criticize my humor? — you may be thinking. Well — the same old people who simply don’t understand it, and find it “offensive,” “inappropriate,” and any other adjective your grandma would use to describe your attitude…

“You are not funny!”

“I run a convenience store and think jokes are for childish people who have not succeeded in life, which means I am the perfect person to tell you exactly how bad your humor is!”

Okay, Aunt Judy, put the knife down…

You will inevitably run into such individuals on your way to advancing your humor skills. And unless you’re a cyborg and don’t have emotions, it probably hurts your feelings when people are mean to you. That is completely normal and is why growing some extra-thick skin will certainly be beneficial.

But, rest assured, those “haters” are the ones you’d be ironizing first when you succeed. So don’t let their condescending opinions affect you.

8. Be Confident

Do you know what the number-one similarity between comedians is (apart from being funny)? They are all confident in themselves!

If you want others to believe in your humorous skills, you’d have to believe first. That being said, don’t overdo it. You want to portray enough confidence that people listen to what you have to say, not come off as boastful.

9. Be Yourself

Dry humor is such a thrilling topic, mainly because everyone interprets it differently. Some people choose the sarcastic route, others prefer witty wordplay; but no matter your preferences, never change just to fit in a standard.

Look at your favorite comedian or actor. Chances are, the thing you love most in them is their uniqueness. That is why preserving your identity while on your quest to develop an amazing dry sense of humor is vital.

That sums up my list of nine tips on how to develop a dry sense of humor. Don’t forget that all of them are connected and are meant to work together. Only when you’re the best version of yourself will you be able to make an impact and evoke emotions!


Humor is the thing that helps most people deal with the monotony of everyday life. It can uplift you, make you view things from a less-serious perspective (which we all need), and most importantly — let you influence others positively.

There are enough gloomy individuals on this planet, so be different! Developing a dry sense of humor is the goal, but as you can probably tell, the steps towards it will affect your life in an incredulously positive way. At the end of the day, we all have only one life to live, so let it be a good one!

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