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How contagious is laughter?

 
 
Reply Fri 19 Aug, 2011 07:34 pm
Or really any emotion.

I was talking to my mom on the phone the other day. She was telling me a story and she started laughing so hard I couldn't even tell what she was saying. I laughed and laughed and then had to ask her to tell me the story because I couldn't hear through her laughter the last time. That only made her laugh more. That made me laugh more. Even thinking about it right now I'm kind of laughing.

Then today I came across this:

.

I don't even think what he's saying is funny but I laughed until I cried.

Maybe I'm just super vulnerable to other people's emotions.

What about you?
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Type: Question • Score: 5 • Views: 2,028 • Replies: 6
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Fido
 
  1  
Reply Fri 19 Aug, 2011 07:36 pm
@boomerang,
Easier to catch than vd, and easier to shake than a cold...
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Fido
 
  0  
Reply Fri 19 Aug, 2011 07:40 pm
@boomerang,
I have elsewhere told the story of a drunk man on a flight who had to wear the toilet seat his head got stuck in during turbulance... I figure, people go on trips to see things and places they have never seen before, and to return when they have seen too much... I have already done too much of both to ever want to go anywhere again...
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Reyn
 
  2  
Reply Fri 19 Aug, 2011 08:21 pm
@boomerang,
boomerang wrote:
How contagious is laughter?

Not as contagious as yawning, I bet?

Ever try it?
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Ceili
 
  2  
Reply Fri 19 Aug, 2011 09:48 pm
When I was in highschool we had a lot of parties. Sometimes, it was boys on one side of the room and girls on the other, to break up the monotony we always played a record with people laughing. Within minutes the party would loosen up as the whole room would break into uncontrollable laughter. A wonderful way to break the ice.
I wish I had that record now, there are many times it would have come in handy.
I love to laugh and have many times been picked out of a crowd because I have a rather unique laugh. I sometimes can't help myself. But yeah, it's definitely contagious. So are smiles.
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lone77star
 
  0  
Reply Sat 20 Aug, 2011 03:11 am
@boomerang,
Any emotion can be contagious, depending on the susceptibility of the recipient (victim?). A chronically serious person who has an attitude against silliness might not laugh at anything, but it might crack a momentary smile.

Most people let environment (including circumstances) control their emotions, but really they are ultimately responsible for their emotional state.

During the summer Olympics several years ago, one of the favorites on the parallel bars slipped and fell. That rattled nearly everyone. Scores plummeted. Everyone except one young woman from the US suddenly did poorly. That one young woman had the faith to pull her above such contagion.

I experienced such "rising above contagion" on a number of occasions. Once, feeling pretty bad (depressed) over life and circumstances, I suddenly realized that I was in that state and vowed to get myself out. I forced myself to smile. That didn't do it, so I forced myself to laugh. I continued to laugh a gusty, full, belly laugh and felt my body relax. Suddenly, I was not only happy, but exhilarated.

Another time, in traffic (rush hour, bumper-to-bumper, L.A.), I felt extreme frustration mount toward rage after six reckless drivers cut in front of me dangerously close. If my reaction time had not been so good, they would've had damaged vehicles. When I realized that I was 100% responsible for my frustration and their intrusions, I was no longer a victim. What happened next was nothing short of a miracle (Edit [Moderator]: Link removed).

Falling for a fit of laughter sounds like a lot of fun. I've experienced that on a number of occasions. But consciously controlling your own emotions is about ten shades more cool.
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Izzie
 
  1  
Reply Sat 20 Aug, 2011 03:50 am
@boomerang,
Ha! oh my - yes, very contagious. When Charlie and I get together it can be hugely annoying for others - we laugh to such a point where your whole face contorts into something completely unrecognisable and the call for incontinence pads is required - can't even get a word out and tears streaming. A lot of folk have seen the youtube of Charlie and I in London from years ago - you would not have recognised us when we laughing that hard Razz

S-boy and I also get fits of the giggles - often when it's about something quite serious Embarrassed where laughter should be highly inappropriate - but... you just can't help yourself. Once one of us starts - then it sets the other one off. My boss (headteacher) and I are also like that, which, when in my office together, can be highly embarrassing too as we should be behaving like adults.

Then, on the reverse side - S and I watched Marley and Me t'other day - well, floods and floods of tears. We cry at a lot of movies - S even cries when he sees some adverts.

I reckon I'm pretty attuned to peoples emotions (which is not always a good thing), so yep, unless I have my clinical head on (which is often now) - I can laugh and weep at the same time. If I see someone laughing, I'm not even conscious half the time that I've started smiling/laughing too. If I see someone crying tho - depending on the circumstances, I can be very clinical as the circumstances require so can cut that side off in a heartbeat - that's very conscious.
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