Is sarcasm good or just an unhealthy coping mechanism?

In Life Guiding
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I don’t know how often you use sarcastic comments but I got to that point of my life where I can give a sarcastic reply to almost any comment. Which made me think about sarcasm in its more depths. At first I thought sarcasm was just a coping mechanism that helps you deal with stressful situations in a lighter manner. However, soon I found out that some of my friends found my sarcastic comments as a bullying method. So let’s take a look what lies behind sarcasm and whether it’s good or not.

First of all, let’s begin with a simple definition of what sarcasm really is: a sharp and often satirical or ironic utterance designed to cut or give pain[i]. Which, let’s be honest, does not sound really well or tempting.

sarcarsm definition

Is sarcasm a valid communication form?

If I were to ask the question whether sarcasm is really good or just a sick method of speech, probably the answer I’d give is that it’s perfectly fine if used in balance. Think of sarcasm as that super spicy spice that you have hidden at the back of your cupboard. The one spice you use when you want to cook that special meal. But what happens if you accidentally pour too much? The same as with sarcasm. Adding an innocent line here and there might be welcome but overdoing it will lead people to believe you’re just a narcissist.

The benefits of sarcasm

Some say that sarcasm help keep your brain healthier because it exercises it more. I mean think about it. First of all, in order to give a sarcastic reply, you have to think it through and then to comprehend a sarcastic comment you have to use your brain more than it’s required with other forms of speech. Also, it’s said to be easier to reply to a sarcastic comment than to a complaint full of rage.

Use sarcasm wisely and gently

Point is that sarcasm isn’t used in the same manner by all people. Its usage depends a lot on the region you are part of and also on your type of personality. Bear in mind that there are people who don’t enjoy sarcasm at all so every sarcastic remark you make will come off as bullying or being impolite. Before getting into sarcasm think about your interlocutor, his/ her way of being and whether sarcasm is really the best approach.

Sarcasm can be interpreted as a clear sign of insecurity. Through the usage of sarcasm you try to defend yourself because you are insecure and hence avoid a possible sensitive conversation.

It can also be a sign for passive aggressiveness or latent anger. I mean, instead of jumping to one’s throat, it’s far easier (and more politically correct) to make a sarcastic comment which hides a deep level of anger.

Also, sarcasm is a good friend for people who are a bit awkward in social situations (so am I). When there’s nothing better to say or your inspiration does not work with you, it’s easier to drop a sarcastic comment that deflates the situation.

My final point is that when we often use sarcasm even with our friends or coworkers we can risk hurting them, even though they might fake a smile, deep down they might make some naughty comments at our address. Teasing can be ok every once in a while and even sarcasm, just maybe not with everyone and not in every situation. So just watch your tone and language and you should be fine. If not, just text me a sarcastic comment from one sarcasm lover to another!

[i] https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/sarcasm

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