Laughter Is Blind

March 6, 2024

I admit it, I’m hooked. After weeks of “will they or won’t they” - or in my case two long nights - tonight we find out who is actually going to marry a person they met after a courtship in pods where neither could see each other.

If this doesn’t sound familiar to you, I’m talking about the show Love is Blind, a self-described experiment where people “date” without seeing each other so their connection is “real.” I’m fascinated by it. Even more so by what happens when they leave “podlife” and live together. Love may be blind but reality - even produced “reality” - isn’t.

Now, simultaneously this week I am preparing for an interview with the author Ros Ben-Moshe for her book, The Laughter Effect. I am loving her whole P.O.V. about non-humorous laughter! It’s this proven idea Ben-Moshe espouses that the source of what makes you laugh is actually irrelevant. That we can, and should be, intentional about scheduling laughter into our days - doesn’t matter who or what initiates it because it is the laughter itself that we need. Clearly my preoccupation with a certain show has gotten to me because this idea struck me very much as a “laughter is blind” concept. Allow me to explain.

As many of you know we do a lot of work in the Alzheimer’s space, a significant amount of it with people who have not only lost their memory, but oftentimes language as well. From session to session they can have no idea who we are - or at least seem not to. What’s relevant here is, it doesn’t matter. When we show up bursting with positive energy, smiling, and looking into their eyes most of the time there will be laughter. Given the contagious nature of laughter, if there is some at all, there is likely to be more. A fact Ben-Moshe also references more than once.

In our other work supporting corporate teams, oftentimes we are the “blind” participants. Particularly if it is a virtual or hybrid workshop and some people don’t turn their cameras on. Despite talking to black squares, if we maintain our energy and keep engaging individuals, listening to their responses and picking up on what they write in the chat, we can get people laughing. Even better if one of their colleagues throws caution to the wind and jumps into an exercise. Oftentimes it only takes one to kick off the “laughter effect,” and everyone leaves feeling better.

Given the ratio of participants to actual weddings in the Love is Blind experiment, I can say with confidence that blind laughter will always be more successful than blind love. Both take a lot of courage to pursue, but the former raises your endorphins, lifts your serotonin levels and gives you a dopamine hit. From what I’ve seen so far, participating in the blind dating experiment ultimately brings anxiety, a lot of tears, and dinners with potential in-laws you may never see again.