Is it time to call a time out on sarcasm?

Sarcasm may seem harmless but it is not. Most people use it as a coping mechanism or just their normal way of expressing themselves. In reality, sarcasm comes from a place of bitterness or hatred and ultimately erodes affection in the relationship. Frequently being sarcastic may hurt your own demeanor and cause depression. The etymology behind the word sarcasm comes from the Greek word ‘sarkazein’ which means to tear flesh. People will claim that their sarcasm is all in good fun but the intent of sarcasm is to hurt others. Sarcasm displays your annoyance or intolerance towards someone. Sarcastic remarks are made to put others down. Being sarcastic towards your partner might make them feel bad and ultimately withdraw from you.

If you often react with sarcasm in your marriage you are destroying your marriage. You should stop. If your spouse has a problem with sarcasm you should ask them to stop. The first step to stop using sarcasm is to become aware of it. When you use sarcasm you should be thinking that you are injuring your spouse. You should consider how you are making yourself feel better at the expense of your partner. The next step is to decide to make a change. At this point you will do a better job thinking before you speak. Thinking before you speak will help you in lots of situations and not just in cases where you may be sarcastic. If you take time before you respond you can ask yourself questions like “will me saying this be constructive to the conversation” or “how will me saying this make the other person feel”. Another step is to understand why you feel the need to be sarcastic. Figure out exactly what it is in these situations that trigger you into a sarcastic response. You may actually be retaliating for something your partner did to hurt you. Deal with that hurt directly rather than passive-aggressively. If you understand and control your triggers you should be able to manage your sarcasm.

If someone is being sarcastic to you and you do not appreciate it, you should speak up. Some people are good at comebacks and firing sarcasm at each other. Of course this is not constructive. Let your partner know that you would prefer for them to speak to you in a more positive manner. You can not make someone stop being sarcastic, that is a choice that they have to make on their own. If they refuse to reevaluate themselves an option is to just ignore them. It is possible that ignoring their negative behavior may open their eyes into seeing how their behavior is not good and make them want to change. Another option is to seek professional help.

Joe Follette

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