A good sense of humour is considered to brighten up one's personality. People all across the world engage in humour and their sense of humour can vastly vary. Sharing a similar sense of humour is important in forming relationships.

The humour Styles Questionnaire that was developed in 2003, was used to measure individual differences in humour style. They divided an individual's style of humour into 4 categories such as affiliative humour, self-enhancing humour, aggressive humour and self-defeating humour.

The four styles of humour are -

Affiliative humour

This style of humour is used to bring people together and improve relationships in a positive manner. This style involves jokes about things everyone finds funny. It is used to ease conversation or to charm others. Those who use affiliative humour are likely to initiate friendships. These individuals are extroverted, open to new experiences and enjoy sharing these with others. They are also group oriented since this kind of humour is known to enhance creativity in the workplace.

Use of this humour is also shown to increase one's emotional and psychological well-being, self-esteem and social relationships. This style of humour also helps to cope with stress, thus, reducing the risk of depression and anxiety.

Self-enhancing humour

This kind of humour is the ability to laugh at yourself while joking about something bad happened to you. This self-enhancing humour is non- detrimental and is related to having a positive outlook on life. This style of humour is used by individuals to enhance themselves in a positive manner. Thus, humour is used as a healthy way of coping because such individuals tend to focus on the brighter side of life.

Individual who use self-enhancing humour are less likely to suffer from symptoms of depression. Just like affiliative humour, self-image enhancing humour is known to promote workplace creativity. These individuals are usually optimistic, extroverts and they are open to new experiences.

Aggressive Humour

This style of humour is used to mock others by teasing, insulting, criticizing or putting others down. Those who use aggressive humour don't care about the impact their comments have on others. Racist or sexist comments are considered as aggressive humour. Those who aggressive humour tend to be hostile and less agreeable.

This humour is used at the expense of others, with an intention to belittle them. Since this humour style relies on distancing yourself from people and things, it is an unhealthy way to cope with stress.

Self-defeating Humour

This kind of humour is used to gain the approval of others by mocking oneself. This kind of humour is unhealthy since individuals often make themselves the butt of the joke. This style of humour is a way to protect oneself from rude comments by joking about themselves before others put them down. Self-defeating humour is also used as a way to hide negative feelings about oneself.

Those who used this style of humour tend to exhibit depressive symptoms and anxiety. They have low self -esteem and psychological well-being. They are easily stressed because they depend on other validation or ignore their own issues.