Having a great sense of humor is a great quality, but there is a fine line between being funny and being a clown, and it’s quite easy to step over it.
In this article, I want to talk about a few differences to be aware of when you are trying to be funny without being a clown. To be clear, I’m not talking about the clown job, which is a respectable job, but this is the easiest way to describe a person that is always joking, but no one takes them seriously.
Anything done to extremes is bad, so the best thing is to be balanced. Being serious when needed and having a fun time when in a more casual situation is the way to go. But we all have a different understanding of what a serious situation means, and that is why it is hard to realize when and how you should act.
3 Differences between being funny and being a clown
Here are a few differences between being funny and appreciated by people around you for your sense of humor and being a clown.
1. People laugh with you, not at you.
When you are funny and make people around you have a good time without being annoying, people will laugh with you compared to when you are a clown, and people laugh at you because all you do is be funny but nothing else.
So, do they laugh because you made them laugh on purpose, or do they laugh because you are not a serious person and they see you as their entertainer, but that is where your personality ends in their view?
Even self-deprecating humor can be done on purpose without ending up as a clown, but how often you are doing it can make a difference in this case.
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2. You understand the circumstances
Usually, joking in inadequate circumstances is a clear sign that someone is more of a clown than a funny person. That happens because this is the only way a clown person can get attention, and they don’t understand when it is not the best moment to do it, and they don’t know how to get attention without being funny.
So knowing when you have to be serious and when you can be funny is crucial not to end up looking like a clown.
3. You let others have their moment
A funny person tells a joke because they want other people to feel good, while a clown wants to grab attention at any cost. So that is why a funny person can sit back and let other people have their moments as well, while a clown will do their best to keep the attention on them once they get it.
So, in a word, empathy is a big difference between someone that is funny and has a great sense of humor and someone that is a clown. You can also be encouraged by people around you to tell stories and jokes because you are funny, and that is fine if they are having a good time as well, but if you monopolize the discussion with your funny jokes without their approval, then it is not so fine.
Having a great sense of humor but knowing that you can have a serious discussion as well, so you don’t have to joke all the time, shows confidence, and that is the difference between a funny person and a clown.
As I said before, a clown will not understand that there are moments when being funny is adequate and is not the best way to grab others’ attention, let alone the fact that you don’t have to get attention all the time.
How to go from being a clown to being funny but confident?
You can take a few steps to turn into a funny but confident person from a clown that is considered just the entertainer of a group but nothing more.
The first thing is to start paying more attention to people around you and try to asses if that is a good moment to be funny or not. Also, try to let other people have their moment and be in the middle of attention. You don’t have to be there all the time to be a likable person.
Try to have serious conversations with your friends in the beginning and see if they can appreciate you for how you are when you are not funny, most likely, they will, but you haven’t given them a chance before. It might take a while until they realize that you can be a serious and interesting person without joking if they are used to you being a clown, but it will happen eventually.
You need to start believing that you have more to offer other people than jokes. Many people use humor as a defense mechanism because they think this is the way to avoid being vulnerable, but it leads to becoming a clown and not being taken seriously by people around you.
Being vulnerable is fine, many people appreciate a person that can open up, be serious and be vulnerable when necessary.
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So there are a few clear differences between being a clown and being funny, and the most important one is confidence. In some circumstances, the differences between them are not as obvious, but if you pay more attention to the people around you, you will have a greater chance.