Why Joker Laughs? Insights into the Psychology of Laughter

In a new DC film called Joker (2019), we look at the origin story of one of the most known super-villains of all time and an arch-nemesis of Batman, Joker.

By the number of memes currently circulating on the net, I’d say that this movie was a huge box office success. 

 But despite the fantastic feedback that this movie received, I’d say that Joker’s psychology and his laughter were not well explained. so check out these posts to get to know about “Why Joker Laughs”.

Why Joker Laughs 

 In one of the first scenes, Joker (real name still unknown) gives a card to a woman on a bus, which says that he has a condition that makes him laugh uncontrollably and spontaneously in a way that he truly cannot control.

And while this is an interesting explanation of why Joker laughs, I like the better description given in Batman: The Killing Joke (2016). Joker enjoys laughing over others’ pain. It’s a dark and sick type of humor but said he finds different funny things than most people. 

Why Joker Laughs weirdly

Many people don’t understand Joker. They think that he is a madman, but in reality, his actions follow a clear logic, whereas all the pain he causes was on the positive emotions he gets out of it.

So what if people suffer over it? Gotham is a city where Joker is born and raised. It is a city full of violence, misery, and social inequality.

Trying to be happy and normal in that environment is very hard. People are more concerned about survival and short-term gains rather than happiness.

On the other hand, Joker sees what this city indeed for what it is; he embraces the madness and rejects any fairy tale lie that so many people live by. He embraces the rage and makes it part of himself.

His mere existence is a symptom of everything that is wrong with that society. Perhaps this is why Bruce Wane (aka Batman) tries to stop him and ultimately save him.

Jokers Laughter In The Real World

 For over 4 years now, I was actively reading, writing, and coaching people on the topic of happiness. I genuinely believe that being mostly happy is possible because I managed to get to this point, and I knew from experience that other people could do it.

Often, I’d challenge myself by trying to help people who had a terrible life experience, and I show them that happiness is still possible, despite whatever happened to them.

 Yet, I never knew how I would react if something terrible would happen to me despite my coaching. I mean, Utopian happiness is often just a theory. It is idealistic, optimistic, and usually, when is faced with a real-world situation, it falls apart. So while I have such an optimistic view over the “how things can be,” I always wondered if it will hold in the real work.

And so, one beautiful day while traveling throughout Asia, I jumped over a log and landed on my foot in such a way that I ripped a ligament on my left leg. What happened next surprised me. 

 I was in shock and a lot of pain; I did not have time to reason. So I reacted to this adverse event by starting to laugh. As you saw in the movie, it was as much of a Joker’s laughter, maybe not that intense. Still, I laughed despite the pain I was in.

I had tears, too, but laughter and crying related in our brains. Therefore it is known that people can laugh and cry at the same time. This is what happened to me. 

Psychopath Laughing Over The Status Quo

 So why did I laugh? Nearly, as I see it, I managed to brainwash myself towards positive reactions no matter what happens. I see the positive in negative events. I know how to control my emotions, so they don’t control me.

I also know how to flip a negative feeling into a positive one as soon as it arises.

I say this not to be cocky or to admit to some underlying craziness (although everyone is crazy in their unique way). I say it because we often don’t understand emotions enough as much as we often don’t understand Jokers enough.

He laughs because he sees the positive in the negative. He rejects the status quo, especially when it does not make sense, at least to him.

He might be a psychopath, but psychopaths are simply people who reject the social status quo. The status quo might be at fault, and psychopaths might be the same people. This is not to say that all psychopaths are correct or that their methods are proper.

But why cry over something that does not make sense? It might just be so crazy and out of touch with reality that it is better to laugh about it. 

Roman Russo

Roman Russo

Roman Russo is the visionary founder, senior happiness coach, and Chief Happiness Officer of Optimal Happiness. He has written the revolutionary Optimal Happiness: The Fastest and Surest Way to Reach Your Happiest Potential, a must-read book about achieving our happiest potential. After researching this field for over eight years, Roman is confident that anyone can become happy and invites us to undertake this transformation. Are you ready to start living the life you always meant to live?

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