In my family culture, humor continues to play a figural role in animating affections and softening life's hard edges. I'm not talking about particularly sophisticated or inside jokes humor. Just simple situational commentaries and jests. Humor goes along way in any social and professional context, whether with familiar or new people. Humor juices and humanizes each interaction. There are no substitutes for the unique value humor has.
For several years, I did workshops for health care providers on developing their potentials for using humor with patients and peers. People were typically inspired by the significance of humor and their ability to cultivate it as a core social competency. As they discovered, it is certainly core to emotional intelligence for any context where trust matters.