IF I’M ENTERTAINING ENOUGH –
they won’t feel the pain!
PREVIOUS: Lost Child Role
❧ MASCOT’s GOAL
Provide diversion from family’s problems, & make everyone feel better by being funny & zany
For Self: feel scared & powerless in the middle of the family mess, so try to interrupt physical & emotional tension & danger to protect themself
For Family: They are genuinely ‘immature’, but play that up to draw attention away from the scary adults. Use comic relief to lighten a ‘heavy’ atmosphere, creating a diversion to diffuse volatile situations. They take responsibility for the family’s emotional well-being & become its ‘social director’, covering up the depth of the family sickness by keeping the focus on themselves
• Can actually hinder Recovery while using humor to communicate awareness of the dysfunction, & to indirectly express family’s emotion such as anger, grief, hostility or fear BY satire, sarcasm, teasing…. rather than address it head on
For Self: feel scared & powerless in the middle of the family mess & try to interrupt physical & emotional tension & danger to protect themselves
BIRTH ORDER: Usually the youngest, but not always
Class clown or cut-up, admired by classmates for making school enjoyable.
Are hyper-active, have difficulty concentrating on studies, so may develop learning deficits, & conclude they’re not intelligent (which is not true)
Assumed to be happy-go-lucky but not smart or capable, are the ones everybody loves & prefers. May be seen as fragile, so over-protected & shielded from life’s problems
• Personal: Spend little time at home., with lots of friends, attract constant attention, are exaggerated & dramatic, disruptive, may get into trouble but not the malicious kind like the Scapegoat
Avoid angry confrontations, go “with the flow”; ignore responsibility
Have a short attention span & inappropriate emotional responses (laugh when things are serious or painful).
• Social: They can make obnoxious jokes about the family with inappropriate humor to express their own repressed anger.
Use fun to amuse their circle of friends but are not taken seriously, may be subjected to criticism & rejection for being silly & flaky
Exaggerate immaturity, be super-cute, act dumb, make fun of self, do anything to get attention – clowning, humor, becoming an actor, addictions
Attention seeking, distracting to others, difficulty focusing, poor decision-making ability, superficial, ‘in the dark’.
Afraid to look inside & be honestly about emotions &actions, out of touch with ‘unpleasant’ feelings & their spirituality
TO: “I have value for who I am, without being amusing”
“I can be comforted & loved even when I’m not ON”
“ I’m not responsible for others’ happiness”
Anxious, deeply insecure, embarrassed, feel inadequate & unimportant, lonely, sad, Self-hating, terrified. Express shame by depression & addictions
COST TO SELF
• Rarely feel loved for themselves, only for playing this role to keep family entertained. Not allowed to have sadness or any other painful emotions. They ignore all suffering, which may later show up as illness, & deny the right to know their True Self.
ALSO not allowed to be clever, functional, show serious accomplishments
• Their frenetic social activity is a defense against intense inner anxiety & tension. Their trouble coping with that stress can make them think they’re going crazy. If this is not addressed, they can slip into addiction, mental illness or committing suicide
PARENTS CAN HELP CHILD
TO: express humor appropriately, learn to take care of themself, modify need for attention, find ways to be competent
BY: being consistent & firm. Don’t push, only remind, & reward by using natural & logical consequences to their actions NEVER reinforce sick, sadistic or self-deprecating humor with laughter
With help: Valued for their kind heart, generosity & ability to listen.
They’re charming people, entertaining hosts, have a good sense of humor, know how to play & enjoy, quick-witted & witty, joyful & bring joy to others, flexible, independent, helpful
NEXT: Roles & Co-dependence