Adding Humour to Relationship Coaching

by Lorena Antonovici (Romania)

Although relationships can be extremely beneficial to our lives, they also bring with them sensitivity, vulnerability, and, at times, a great deal of responsibility. Being trapped in an abusive relationship can bring you down, whereas having a mature relationship based on respect, love, and trust can strengthen your ability to face life situations and improve your quality of life.

A coach should acknowledge both the benefits and barriers of adding humour in relationship coaching. The value of humour in this respect depends on the coach’s ability to use it to promote individuals’ health and wellbeing. This article will give you several directions on how to use humour in an effective, positive and particular way.

Get to Know the Relationship

In order to apply humour in a relationship context, you need to know the people involved in that relationship and to have a pulse on the relationship itself. Humorous topics might pull unknown triggers in the relationship if you don’t have a proper image of it. Furthermore, it is indicated that humour is adapted to the level of understanding of individuals.

Make it Relevant

To effectively help the relationship, humour must be relevant to the conflict situation or to the personal characteristics of the couple. A joke that you relate to but that has nothing to do with the couple in front of you or has little impact on them could be detrimental not only to their relationship but also to the relationship they have with you.

Establish an Objective

Just being funny might not be beneficial to others while in a coaching session. They might even think that you are not truly considering their needs and decide to approach any other coach who shows more empathy with the topics under discussion. That’s why establishing an objective and aligning with it can save you a lot of trouble.

Make it Snap

It is also important that humour is inserted at the right moment and touches exactly that part of the relationship that needs adjustment. For example, if one of the partners in a relationship is constantly judging the other, we could say: ‘What if we would organize a trial court in the next session and you would play the role of the judge?’.

Source: iCN Issue 40  (Relationship Coaching); pages 16-17

About Lorena Antonoviciis

Lorena Antonoviciis a researcher holding a PhD and Postdoctoral studies in Psychology. Throughout her academic career, she studied the implications of humour in the domain of romantic relationships.

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