Laugh-In: Developing Long-Term Relationships through Laughter and Love | The BridgeMaker

Laugh-In: Developing Long-Term Relationships through Laughter and Love

By on Mar 11, 2012


At the height of laughter, the universe is flung into a kaleidoscope of new possibilities. – Jean Houston

Article written by contributor Gary Polsky of Apex Lifestyle Design.

Like Lucy and Ethel, Laurel and Hardy, and Martin and Lewis, the partners in great comedy duos — like great partners in life — complement each other. Their connection creates a positive, synergetic force that uplifts both participants, filling them with joy and propelling them forward in life.

The best of these partnerships last a lifetime — moving from one project to the next, one stage of life to another.

The same is true in life off-the-stage. Our long-term partners — with whom we can plan and laugh, and who share our vision — can support us in living a blissful, meaningful life. These are Professional Intimate Relationships, or PIRs, enduring bonds that straddle our personal and professional lives and are symbiotic in that both parties benefit.

It’s the kind of connection that writer Larry David and comedian Jerry Seinfeld enjoy; they continuously collaborate and engage on and off the stage. But how do you determine which relationships to groom into special partnerships and how do you nourish them to grow into lifetime connections?

Research Material

Not every Abbott is right for every Costello.

The first step to developing a Professional Intimate Relationship is to determine if a potential partner is right for you. To accurately decide whether a relationship is right for you, it is imperative to know yourself – what your vision for life is, what motivates you – and match that with potential partners.

Potential PIRs don’t have to be exactly like you, but they do have to engage in a shared vision on how to live life. You don’t want to enter into a long-term relationship with someone who is floating downstream while you are swimming up. You want to be on a shared path.

Rehearse Together

Putting together the ideal combination of people is not something that happens overnight. It takes an investment of time and energy. Once you have found an ideal person to add to your entourage, you need to woo them.

Make note of special dates in their lives and be sure to acknowledge with a card or special gift. Ask questions to discover what that person is passionate about and to find shared interests. Fill up their dance card with meetings outside the office — lunch, coffee, participation in activities in which you both have an interest.

Celebrate both business and personal events — a promotion, landing a deal, birth of a child, graduation from an MBA program. The goal is to incorporate this person into all areas of your life, which means you need to take an interest in all areas of theirs.

Rake in the Laughs

Like all great comedy acts, laughter is a key driving element. It has healing powers and is good for the soul!

Laughter bonds people together. In the words of Quincy Jones, “a big laugh is a really loud noise from the soul saying, ‘Ain’t that the truth.’”

You want to be around someone with a positive outlook who lifts you up; someone with whom you have fun and laugh! Build relaxation time into your plan — create time to simply enjoy your new partnership. Along the lines of shared interests, schedule activities that invigorate and challenge you. These types of shared experiences will deepen your bond.

Developing these long-term relationships will buoy your life and fill it with joy and laughter until your last breath. Find the right person to play the straight man to your slapstick, the Penn to your Teller, and then relish your shared vision for life one laugh at a time.

Gary Polsky has spent the last two decades as CEO in end-of-life care. Through his experiences with patients, Gary has learned many lessons on what is truly important in life. To learn more about his work, please visit Apex Lifestyle Design.

  • Thank you all so much for your comments! I am thrilled that the concept of PIRs and incorporating fun and laughter into your relationships has resonated with you. It sounds like you are all developing loving, long-term relationships invigorated by laughter and positivity! So keep up the good work!

  • I find that I am drawn to people who see the world and themselves with a touch of humor. People who can see the lighter side of life and not take themselves so seriously give me permission to do the same. My neighbors have been married for a long time and they smile and laugh together often. When I remarked on this once, the wife said, “We like each other.”

    Great post.