What Is Your Shadow Side, Your Clown?

A couple of years ago I met a therapist at a party.

We talked (as you do!) about the parts of a person that the person prefers not to show – might avoid showing at any cost.

Performers describe this as your inner clown – the part that it would be humiliating to let others see and laugh at.

A Jungian therapist might call it your shadow side – comprising characteristics that, in other people, you disapprove of; and entirely fail to recognise in yourself.

We stayed in touch, working on a project together. (She’s not my therapist.)

Yesterday we had a meeting on zoom. At the end she mentioned that she’d had an idea about the nature of my clown:

GIF made by me, not bad eh?

If you haven’t contemplated these things before, it’s generally considered A Good Thing to get more comfortable with your shadow / your clown.

But that doesn’t make it easy. It can be hard to imagine letting anyone see it.

Here’s a snippet from the very end of our Zoom:

JPF What was your clown again? I’ve forgotten.

THERAPIST You made me be shallow, basically.

JPF Oh, yeah, the shallow, small-talking partygoer…

THERAPIST I cannot do it! I’d be more comfortable asking somebody about their death instinct within the first three minutes. Yeah, that was the clown you gave me.

What’s YOUR clown?

(Ha! You think I expect anyone to answer!)