We all play roles in our family structure. Each role is very distinct and imperative to how well the family functions. One of these roles is the ‘Goofball’ or ‘The Comedian’. Often times they can be overlooked or dismissed. It can be healthy if multiple people take on this role alongside another role. The trading of the role can help everyone feel valued and more equal in the family hierarchy. Let’s take a second to recognize the important role of the ‘Goofball’ in our families.
They know all the problems in the family and are very good at knowing all the pieces to the puzzle. Usually all the family members will confide in them and they are very good at keeping secrets. Although they know the stresses of others, they are much less likely to tell others their secrets unless they feel safe with them.
Attention Seeker, not Goal Setter
Humor may be the only way they are getting attention, so they tend to become wittier and gain better timing the longer they are in this role. However, this may mold them into having problems taking anything seriously, even their own personal goals. Because of this, they get distracted easily from their own personal goals if the family needs them in that role over and over. This can leave them feeling like all their goals are within the family and that they have no personal direction.
Clever Chore Ditchers
They are clever- so they can figure out how to get out of obligations like chores or meetings. This can either make other family members resentful or could be completely overlooked depending on the rapport that this person has with each family member. The anger/frustration usually will arise from the family member who takes on the Goofball role the least.
Entertainer and Distracter
They tend to be natural entertainers and enjoy positive attention. The main objective is to distract the family from the stress or emotional intensity of the moment. This makes them very good at reading others and gauging what comedic style fits the situation. As they get older, this starts to bleed into the outside world, which can make them very successful at networking and social contacts.
My Challenge to you: Figure out who plays the role of the Goofball in your family, or if a few members trade off the role. Take time this week to acknowledge the important piece they play in the healthiness and happiness of your family.
Happy Joking friends!
– Jessie the Therapist