For some ironic reason, I pride myself on my ability to spew out witty comebacks with ease. Soften the mood, replace a potential unfavorable response with a funny one, right? Wrong!
Earlier this year, I took a back seat from a professional relationship turned friendship, that was full of sarcasm. Some hilarious but mostly mean remarks replaced our once civilized form of communication. I did not like the way this person’s way with words made me feel: disrespected, belittled, offended- so I addressed it. Needless to say, we haven’t spoken since and I’ve been A-OK with that.
Until this morning…
Someone very close to me, whom I adore, addressed my sarcastic ways towards them. They used the words “…mean, hurtful…all of the time…”. The instant the words left their mouth I felt guilt, and a dagger straight to my heart. Along with the lightbulb in my head shining oh so brightly. I knew exactly what they’ve been feeling. And so the circuits in my brain went to work. I want this person in my life, so it’s time I work on my ish, before I destroy us.
Research, to better understand and begin the journey of saving myself from myself.
10 reasons to put the sarcasm aside.
1. Sarcasm is ambiguous.
Sarcasm depends heavily on tone of voice, body language and other nonverbal cues to be properly understood. The true meaning of a sarcastic message is easily lost over the phone–and you can forget about sarcastic comments being properly understood in written communication. Sarcasm often goes unnoticed without the change in inflection or raised eyebrow to signal its presence. And if you miss those cues, sarcastic remarks don’t make any sense.
2. Sarcasm translates poorly.
3. Sarcasm is a defense mechanism.
It’s not a very good one, because of the inherent negative nature of sarcasm. If you need a positive defense mechanism, make it laughter. (Just make sure it’s friendly laughter.)
4. Sarcasm is cynical.
Do you want to be known as a person who is “scornfully and habitually negative”? That’s the dictionary definition of a cynic. Sarcasm is both a product and reinforcer of negative thinking. Find some happier thoughts. Don’t wallow in negativity.
5. Sarcasm is mean.
The element of humor takes the edge off a bit, but sarcasm is often used to veil truly hurtful criticism. Don’t be a bully; drop the sarcasm.
6. Sarcasm is for cowards.
The touch of humor in sarcastic comments can hide criticisms far too aggressive to be spoken plainly. If you can’t bring yourself to directly say what you really mean, you shouldn’t say it at all.
7. Sarcasm is the lowest form of wit.
…according to Oscar Wilde. Take Emily Post’s advice instead: “As a possession for either man or woman, a ready smile is more valuable in life than a ready wit.”
8. Sarcasm is a means of judging others.
Do you really need to belittle others to make yourself look better? Don’t be the jerk with the superiority complex. Use kind words instead.
9. Sarcasm wastes words that could be put to better use.
Kind words are the best thing we can give another person. Sarcasm trades kindness for cruelty. It serves no higher purpose; it builds no one up.
Talk about wearing the shoe if it’s fits. As opposed to a silly, fun version of an actual joke. I’ve literally been insulting and down right insensitive. Now that I have a better understanding of the mess I’ve been, it’s time to course correct by:
1. Wanting to change, and committing to doing so .
2. Apologizing to my victim for being the female version of a douchebag.
3. Letting my victim know I’m working on saying what I really mean, and not the sugar coated, mean version of it. This way I’m held accountable. And working towards being a better version of myself ;-).
Until next time…