I don’t like to use the word “hate” a whole lot, but I hate sarcasm. I’ve hated that bitter humor for a while, for various reasons. Sarcasm is inherently insincere. Sarcasm is a cheap, easy laugh, often at the expense of someone else. Sarcasm is made to undermine one person in order to uphold another. Even the lightest touch of sarcasm is rooted in cruelty. I hate it, hate it, hate it!
Have you ever been the recipient of sarcasm? Of a comment tinged with insincerity? And then everyone else laughs along? It doesn’t feel too good, unless you’re extremely good at letting things roll off your back. I’m ashamed to say it, but I’m terrible at that, so sarcasm is a really good way to make me feel insecure. After having been the recipient of these kinds of jokes I can’t imagine why anyone would treat another person in such a way.
So to combat sarcasm, I try hard to not use any myself. I’ll be the first to admit that it’s SUPER hard to not use because it is the lowest form of humor. But I try really hard! Sometimes if someone is being especially sarcastic, I’ll try to be extra happy. Happy with a special dose of sweetness and sparkly! I’ll also try to not go along with the sarcasm in any way. I’ll try not to laugh at it.
Here are the problems though folks!
First of all, happiness is like ambrosia to sarcasm, so being happy is a little like feeding the beast. I don’t know why happiness seems to translate to air-headedness, weakness, or stupidity, but it always seems that the more happy you try to act, the more of a target you become. (But don’t use that as an excuse to be depressed. happy people are way cool. Always.)
Second of all, not laughing. Here’s my problem. Who likes killjoys who get offended all the time? People like killjoys even less than they do sarcasm! So, if the sarcasm is directed at me, I will laugh along heartily and “take it in stride”. I’m a cool girl! I can make fun of myself, especially since I must have just said some really hopelessly brain-dead, saccharine thing in order to deserve mockery! I don’t think I’m the only one who feels this way. I believe I’ve been a witness to this same thing with many of my peers, who laugh along when others laugh at them. In reality, I think they are tired of being the butt of every joke.
No one really likes to feel as if they’ve said something hopelessly stupid. Certainly not me! Usually I’ll feel really embarrassed inside for a long time after, especially if the sarcasm came from someone I wanted to impress. I understand that most sarcasm is probably unintentional, and perhaps I am too thin-skinned. But it is sarcasm nonetheless, and I am going to try my darn-tootingest to not laugh, not get offended, and be secure in what I say.
By the way, I’m going to be a little sexist here and say that men are ten times worse at using sarcasm than women are. Although I’ve met quite a few sarcastic women, I’ve seen the most (granted, probably unintentionally) cruel mockery come from the mouths of males. Old, young, married, single. Either sarcasm is irresistible to the stronger sex, or I really am that silly and stupid!
And you really, REALLY don’t know agony until you get verbally put down by a guy you like. *shudder*