Natalie's humorous ending to her blog describes the family role of the Mascot very well-- They are full of humor! The "mascot" is usually seen as immature, cute, and hyperactive. They have a great sense of humor and are the one in the family system who makes everyone laugh. In school, they can be identified as the "class clown". Humor and being a "jokester" is how they usually get attention and feel good about themselves and their family. Usually, this is humor is to "lighten up" the feelings of the family and to distract from more painful feelings or family tension/issues with their comic relief.
The mascot uses humor to cover up vulnerable feelings and emotional pain, and usually feel very fragile and insecure on the inside. The mascot usually feels afraid and anxious. They don't learn how to adequately identify and communicate their feelings because they are so busy making everyone else feel better and "distracting" the family through their humor.
Later in life, the mascot may continue to have problems addressing uncomfortable feelings and confronting things on a serious note (without using humor to cover up their pain). The inability to be "serious", without turning uncomfortable feelings into humor can cause them to struggle with intimate relationships (and can cause an angry spouse who struggles to be taken seriously or feel heard). It's important for the mascot to learn that humor is a great resiliency, however, it's also important to balance humor with being vulnerable and serious when needed.
Did you identify a family role that fit you? The Family Hero, Scapegoat, Lost Child, or Mascot? Next week, Imagine Hope therapists will discuss their most recent book recommendations... so make sure to check back on Monday! Thanks for reading!
Joleen Watson, MS, NCC, is a therapist at Imagine Hope Counseling Group. She enjoys doing marriage counseling, relationship counseling, couples counseling, and individual counseling. Imagine Hope also specializes in family, child and adolescent counseling and serves Indianapolis area including the surrounding areas of Carmel, Noblesville, Zionsville, Westfield, and Fishers.