Sarcasm is NOT ok

This is a problem behavior for many couples who come to see me. Sometimes they readily identify that they’re communicating with sarcasm. Sometimes I identify it and call them out on it. They’ll say “Hey, that’s just the way I am.” Or, “My whole family talks this way, its just a joking thing, nothing serious.” Well no. Actually it is serious. Sarcasm is communication with a bite. And bites hurt.

Sarcasm is not a personlity trait. It is learned behavior. Sarcasm often brings laughter to a group, at the expense of one group member…whoever was unfortunate enough to be in the sarcastic person’s line of fire.  But, group dynamics being what they are,   the sarcastic person is often the life of the party. This of course only reinforces the behavior and that’s understandable. But its still not ok. Sarcasm is communication with a bite. And bites hurt.

For anyone who thinks I’m making a big deal out of nothing, that’s probably the sarcastic person thinking it. So let me ask you this: Has anyone ever been sarcastic to you?  Either on a routine basis or in a group? Try to remember how it felt to be at the other end of the sarcasm. Probably not very good. Probably awful.  So do you think your sarcasm helps or hurts your personal relationships and the people that you love?

Sarcasm is communication with a bite. And bites hurt.


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6 Responses to “Sarcasm is NOT ok”

  1. wpm1955 Says:

    I tell my kids at school who say something unkind, and then say, “I was just laughing with him,” that “Unless BOTH people are laughing, then it’s clear you were laughing AT him!”

    Madame Monet

  2. Miki Says:

    Great Entry, Psychscribe! As much as I love humour, I have a deep aversion towards sarcasm! People who use it seem to think that they could get away with it, looking “cool” and far above weak human condition! But I find sarcasm a sadsitical form of arrogant cowardness…
    Although I am aware of all that, sometimes, I use sarcasm myself, but in fact it is very rare and only when i feel very hurt and don´t really want to show it. And to be honest, in these moments I really feel like a looser, so tiny and worthless inside!!!
    We have got our internet connection abck, and I am very happy to be back here, in your great blog! Happy new year to the whole family, and to all your readers here!

  3. psychscribe Says:

    Thanks Miki! Welcome back! And a very happy new year to you and yours as well.
    Madamae Monet – what you say reminds me of another thought I had and never included in my original post here. Sometimes the target of sarcasm laughs along with the group, out of embarrassment or to pretend that he or she thinks its funny in order not to appear to “be so sensitive, its just a joke!” So…sometimes when both people are laughing its still not ok, you know?

  4. Calvin Says:

    Your comments on sarcasm in relationships is understood, however I do not think all sacrasm falls in the category that you write about. Not a sarcasism is used against or about other people. So I disagree if you are saying that ALL sarcasm is not okay.

  5. psychscribe Says:

    Hi Calvin. Thanks for visiting. Healthy disagreement is always good for a discussion. Would you mind giving me an example of when sarcasm IS ok? Thanks.

  6. wpm1955 Says:

    this is a very good point, psychscribe, and I’m going to keep my eyes open with the kids for exactly this situation. However I think this situations occurs more with teenagers and adults; whereas 8-year-olds are still pretty honest with their feelings.

    Madame Monet

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