People who keep a sense of humour as they get older usually display these 6 behaviours

Did you hear the joke that you know you’re getting old when your birthday cake is a fire hazard?

There are many more one-liners to help you laugh at ageing.

And it’s important.

Maintaining a sense of humor as you age can help you lead a happier and more fulfilling life. 

Of course, Cracking jokes isn’t all there is to it. 

Here are six behaviors (and the odd joke) that people who keep a sense of humor as they get older usually display.

1) They laugh at their changing body

Here’s the kind of quote you might see on a fridge magnet or birthday card in the homes of older people:

I don’t mind getting older, but my body is taking it badly. 

Why is this joke important? 

Well, our bodies change with age, that’s just the way nature works.

Rather than feeling disheartened by this, it’s better to see what’s funny about it.

People who keep their sense of humor often describe themselves as self-deprecating.

They laugh at themselves and their physical quirks, understanding that it’s all a part of the natural ageing process. 

From the occasional forgetfulness to having to hold your phone at the optimum distance so your eyes can focus on the text that seems ever smaller, you can lighten the mood and accept the inevitable changes by finding humor in these situations.

I mean, it’s not just you going through these changes, so why take it personally?

2) They stay open to new experiences

Living your best life doesn’t stop when you reach a certain age. 

In fact, Abraham Lincoln summarised this perfectly when he said,  “It’s not the years in your life that count, it’s the life in your years.” 

Lincoln’s quote emphasizes the importance of living a fulfilling life, rather than simply focusing on the number of years one lives. 

People who share this philosophy and maintain their humor actively make the most of their time and experiences.

People who retain their sense of humor are more likely to actively seek out new experiences.

They recognize that aging doesn’t mean the end of adventure or trying new things. 

People who age with humor actively engage with the world by traveling, starting relationships, or picking up new hobbies, demonstrating their curiosity.

Now, regardless of your age, get out there and enjoy it!

3) They nurture relationships

They nurture relationships People who keep a sense of humour as they get older usually display these 6 behaviours

“I’m at the age where I want two girls. In case I fall asleep they will have someone to talk to,” joked American stand-up comedian Rodney Dangerfield.

Of course, meaningful relationships are important at any stage of life, but they become even more crucial as we age. 

Whether it’s a romantic partnership, family or friendship, those who maintain their sense of humor invest time and energy into nurturing their relationships. 

It makes them fun to be around, which in turn contributes to good and happy times. 

Sharing funny stories not only makes people smile but it deepens the connections between two people.

When times are hard, it helps provide emotional support — and of course, as you get older you have more wisdom to offer too. 

Those who actively nurture their relationships understand that laughter often strengthens friendships and family bonds.

So as you get older, have fun and nurture the relationships in your life

4) They are open to meeting people 

But it’s not just about the people we already know.

What about meeting new people? 

Those who age with humor recognize life is full of opportunities to connect with individuals of all ages. 

Whether they strike up a conversation with a stranger in the supermarket or volunteer to share their skills and knowledge with a group, they understand new friendships can bring fresh perspectives and laughter into their lives.

People tend to easily fall into habits of preferring to see familiar faces.

That’s why John Lennon’s quote might be useful: Count your age by friends, not years. Count your life by smiles, not tears.

So remember to smile at people as you age—you might make a new friend. 

5) They let go of grudges

Of course, you will struggle to meet new people if you’re no fun to be around. 

Just as harbouring grudges can make you bitter, those who age with humor tend to let go of past grievances. 

As businessman Elon Musk once said, “Life is too short for long-term grudges.”

People who age with humor actively choose to let go of resentment and embrace forgiveness and understanding, knowing life is too short to hold onto anger.

This behavior not only lightens their emotional load but also promotes a more positive outlook on life.

Letting go of grudges allows them to lighten their emotional load, cultivate a more positive outlook on life, and create space for humor and joy to flourish.

6) They are emotionally resilience

Letting go of grievances doessn’t mean that bad things won’t happen to you.

As you age, you’ve probably had your fair share of knockbacks. 

After all, “Old age is not a disease”, said activist Maggie Kuhn. “It is strength and survivorship, triumph over all kinds of vicissitudes and disappointments, trials and illnesses.”

Life comes with its fair share of ups and downs.

But those who maintain their humor actively demonstrate emotional resilience

Through finding humor even in difficult situations, they have learned to actively bounce back from life’s setbacks and challenges.

This ability to see the silver lining and find joy amidst adversity is a powerful tool for navigating the journey of ageing.

You’re not ageing, you’re increasing in value

Humour is a precious companion on the journey of aging. 

By embracing self-deprecation, actively seeking out new people and experiences, nurturing relationships, letting go of grudges, and cultivating emotional resilience, you can maintain your sense of humor as you age.

After all, your best years may lie ahead—if you’re open to that idea—and a good laugh is a great way to greet them.

And remember, being old is not so bad when you consider the alternative.

Picture of Lucas Graham

Lucas Graham

Lucas Graham, based in Auckland, writes about the psychology behind everyday decisions and life choices. His perspective is grounded in the belief that understanding oneself is the key to better decision-making. Lucas’s articles are a mix of personal anecdotes and observations, offering readers relatable and down-to-earth advice.

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