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Communicating Hope and Resilience Across the Lifespan

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Edited By Gary A. Beck and Thomas Socha

From serious illness to natural disasters, humans turn to communication as a major source of strength to help us bounce back and to keep growing and thriving.
Communicating Hope and Resilience Across the Lifespan addresses the various ways in which communication plays an important role in fostering hope and resilience. Adopting a lifespan approach and offering a new framework to expand our understanding of the concepts of «hope» and «resilience» from a communication perspective, contributors highlight the variety of «stressors» that people may encounter in their lives. They examine connections between the cognitive dimensions of hope such as self-worth, self-efficacy, and creative problem solving. They look at the variety of messages that can facilitate or inhibit experiencing hope in relationships, groups, and organizations. Other contributors look at how communication that can build strengths, enhance preparation, and model successful adaptation to change has the potential to lessen the negative impact of stress, demonstrating resilience.
As an important counterpoint to recent work focusing on what goes wrong in interpersonal relationships, communication that has the potential to uplift and facilitate responses to stressful circumstances is emphasized throughout this volume. By offering a detailed examination of how to communicate hope and resilience, this book presents practical lessons for individuals, marriages, families, relationship experts, as well as a variety of other practitioners.
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Chapter Three. “We Could Sure Use a Laugh”: Building Hope and Resilience Through Humorous Communication

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• CHAPTER THREE •

“We Could Sure Use a Laugh”: Building Hope and Resilience Through Humorous Communication

Rachel L. DiCioccio University of Rhode Island

Humor is a ubiquitous experience that permeates all aspects of our lives. We communicate humor in our romantic, family, friendship, and work relationships through a variety of forms, for a multitude of relationship purposes. Often taken for granted, the complexity of humor communication is undeniable; it can simultaneously entertain, shock, encourage, and offend us. As an integral aspect of our relationships, the vast nuances of humor far exceed the mundane “knock-knock” joke and bring to light a potent communication tool. Humor, when used appropriately, can create or shift the emotional charge of an interaction. Whether through subtle means or overt contrast, humor has a direct impact on the emotional state of relational partners.

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