How Humor can be an Emotional Avoidance Tactic

At Omaha Love, one of the many beneficial aspects of our service is the gathering and sharing of date feedback. This is an area used to help our clients become aware of any pitfalls or bad behaviors preventing them from being successful; and we hear a LOT of reasons for negative feedback.

Many are the obvious ones: talking too much and not reciprocating questions. Men not offering to pick up the drink tab for the woman they have an interest in, and conversely, women seeming entitled by not offering to split said tab. Talking politics, sex, exes, religion or financial struggles. Treating wait staff poorly. Bad table manners. However, there are the innocuous traits someone exhibits that many may not realize about themselves that could be keeping them from forming an emotional connection; and that is the Clown Personality. 

According to an online 2012 article:, this type of personality never runs out of jokes, humorous observations or pranks. We like the clown because they make us laugh and feel better about life. They surprise us by what they do or say, and their unpredictability and spontaneity attract us to them, especially their ability to help us laugh at ourselves. Clowns use humor to connect with others, which is an effective tool for social survival because we like people who can make us laugh. Below are the strengths and weaknesses of this personality type, and how not reeling your humor in accordingly, can be preventing true intimacy from forming.

i. Due to their humorous take on life, including its sad moments, people love to be around the Clown as they help us cope with challenging situations. 
ii. They are great at lightening stressful situations at work, including making fun of tyrannical bosses.
iii. Since they can laugh at their own flaws, they inspire others to laugh at theirs.
iv. Where there is tension, the Clown can lighten the mood instantly with witty and insightful sayings and tales.
v. Their humor is contagious; they can put almost anyone in a good mood.
vi. Their mere presence sometimes brings relief during a crisis.

i. Not all humor is positive or healthy. Indeed, the Clown can also use their wit and banter to mask feelings of insecurity and aggression.
ii. Misplaced humor can sometimes cause more stress or disrupt already fragile relationships.
iii. While the Clown can use humor to make people feel included in a social circle, they can also use it to alienate and exclude others. Not everyone likes sarcastic wit, teasing or ridicule.
iv. The Clown has a tendency to use inappropriate humor to place a negative light on someone perceived as a threat, while also trying to gain more status for themselves (i.e. at work).

Being that there are an array of unique personality types, and we work with most of them, it is important to be conscientious about who you are, your unique personality type, and how to better understand yourself. There are many online tests you can take to determine what yours might be. Knowing the pros and cons of your personality, and owning up to how it may be getting in the way of an emotional connection with someone will allow you to create more authentic relationships, open yourself up to vulnerability, and ultimately lead you to the love of your life. 


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