Friday night I put out in passing on Twitter: “Joke with your kids if you want them to develop their instincts.”

The thought crossed my mind as I had finally found a parking space in a cozy little alley, deep in old italian South Philly.

This neighborhood is “gentrifying,” but still has a lot of the old school feel. Simple yet clean row homes, with little children outside on the street, laughing and playing.

Anyway, after parking I checked the direction of the restaurant I had to go to, and sat there about a minute getting my bearings.

When I got out the kids were staring at me. I looked at them quizzically, and one of them playfully mentioned: “we thought you were going to kidnap us!”

Now, at that moment what I WANTED to say was “maybe I am!” And then watch them scurry away in play-terror.

But in today’s society perhaps it’s best I didn’t.

At any rate, and made me realize how important humor is in kids.

And how a lack of it creates very serious problems for them later on… not only in general, but when it comes to the screening opposite sex.

You see, my modus operandi with people is to mess with them

.Especially women and children.

I mess with my mom, my sisters, my nieces and nephews… and of course, my wife.

Most people think of humor as a good thing because it shows you don’t take yourself OR them too seriously, so it allows you to have the frame, but in a playful, easy way.

This is true. But the importance of humor-exposure early in life is far deeper.

It teaches you to understand subcommunication viscerally.

Allow me to elaborate…

You see, “joking” is at heart dissonance.

You are saying one thing but giving off energy about something else.

When I tell my niece, for instance, that I’m going to eat all of her dessert it makes her have to think for a minute what’s actually going on.

Am I actually going to take her dessert? Or am I just messing with her?How seriously should she take me?

This game is fun for her, and gets her invested, but it also gives her an opportunity to discern good people from bad.

Notice you can fool little kids better than older ones — and while part of this is perhaps a deliberate suspension of disbelief — the main reason is older kids learn to read dissonance better.

Which inadvertently gives them the tools to parse through dissonance in general.

An obviously useful advantage. Because while jokers are generally good at heart, and “bad” on the surface… truly deranged people are good on the surface and bad at heart.

Knowing this stuff, of course, works wonders when it comes to selecting women.

Which is why I don’t think it’s a coincidence that sense of humor correlates strongly with discernment.

(Much humor is little more than picking up discrepancies and commenting cleverly on them).

Anyway, more insights from yours truly on the human condition.

If you want to leverage them for your own romantic life, apply to work with me here:

– Pat