Sarcasm: “the use of words that mean the opposite of what you really want to say especially in order to insult someone, to show irritation, or to be funny; a mode of satirical wit depending for its effect on bitter, caustic, and often ironic language that is usually directed against an individual.” (Webster’s Dictionary)
Dealing with sarcastic people has been my biggest battle over the past few weeks. I hate sarcasm. In the past I used this style of communication quite often and it lead to my hurting the feelings of too many people. Thankfully over the years I’ve learned that hurtful sarcasm is unnecessary when dealing with personal frustrations. There are much healthier and effective ways to express one’s self.
Please know you don’t have to put up with people’s spiteful sarcasm. If people feel the need to be sarcastic there are ways to do so without insulting anyone; however, that takes a lot more skill and wit, hence the reason why people don’t use this style of sarcasm.
From Webster’s Dictionary:
‘If you’ve ever been hurt by a remark full of cutting sarcasm, you have some insight into the origins of the word. “Sarcasm” can be traced back to the Greek verb sarkazein, which initially meant “to tear flesh like a dog.” “Sarkazein” eventually developed extended senses of “to bite one’s lips in rage,” “to gnash one’s teeth,” and eventually “to sneer.” “Sarkazein” led to the Greek noun sarkasmos, (“a sneering or hurtful remark”), iterations of which passed through French and Late Latin before arriving in English as “sarcasm” in the mid-16th century. Even today sarcasm is often described as sharp, cutting, or wounding, reminiscent of the original meaning of the Greek verb.’
Don’t let people tear your apart with their sarcasm. If you are the one being sarcastic, ask yourself why you have chosen this form of “humour” or communication as a means of expression. What did you hope to achieve with your sarcasm?
This article linked below has excellent information about sarcasm: why people use it, what to do to stop using it, and how to deal with people who use it against you. I highly recommend taking the time to read it.
If you are a sarcastic person remember that we have an amazing God who is always there to listen to us; we can always come before him with our fears, vulnerabilities, and anger. Take everything to Him first instead of taking things out on others with hurtful words. His Spirit will give us the wisdom on what actions to take.
Surround yourself with uplifting people and this will decrease your tendency to use sarcastic expressions. Safe people allow you to engage in healthy problem solving discussions. You might not always get your way, but at least decisions are arrived at in a healthy manner.
If you are on the receiving end of sarcastic remarks; remember that God is a healer. Take those wounds and let Him heal them. You were not created to be the butt of someone’s mean joke or as an outlet for another person’s frustration. Be strong, it may not be easy, but try not to give into their passive-aggressive ways; if you are not careful you will deal with their behaviour by responding in the same unhelpful manner.
QUESTION: How often do I use hurtful sarcasm? In what situations do I use sarcasm the most? What do you think of sarcasm? How do you think God views sarcasm?
ACTION: Learn more about sarcasm. The following articles are helpful.
(Secular/Non-religious /Non-Spiritual) What Does Sarcasm Say About You? From Kim Giles at KSL.com
(Christian Based) Pillar Six: Relational Skills – Sarcasm Isn’t Funny From Betty Swan Ministries
(Self-Help) The Damaging Effects of Sarcasm From Todd Smith of Little Things Matter