Do you know where the word “sarcasm” comes? It comes from the Greek σαρκασμός (sarkasmós) which is taken from σαρκάζειν (sarkázein) meaning “to tear flesh, bite the lip in rage, sneer”. Unfortunately, witty sarcasm in our culture is often laughed at and almost always revered. The one who can put another person down in the most clever way is the winner. Sarcasm often is a way for one person to put another person down without being able to be called out. After all, they were just joking…right?
The reality is that sarcasm is often hurtful. As a result, the person left on the other end of sarcastic remarks is unsure of how to take the “joking” put down. Furthermore, if they say they are hurt by the comment they are deemed “too sensitive”. If they retaliate in kind, things often escalate. Each person in the sarcastic battle tries to outdo the other one. Consequently, many times both parties will leave the interaction slightly offended, if not full out hurt and angry.
I hear about the after effects of sarcasm frequently in my practice. Feelings and relationships are hurt. People are unsure how to respond and what is really meant by the hurtful words. Does any of this resonate with you? Are you someone who is either sarcastic or has been on the receiving end of sarcastic comments? Although banter can be fun, is this something you want to try to shift in your life? Have you seen this banter hurt relationship?
It is important to be aware of the culture we create in our relationships. The good news is that if you become aware of the culture of your relationships, you can shift it. If you are aware of the damage that witty sarcasm can cause you stop engaging it in. If you are in a relationship where you have been hurt by someone else’s sarcastic comments, you can address it with them. In addition, you can share this post, or just share how sarcasm has hurt you.
You can get help creating healthy relationships by calling 720-538-9332. We would love to connect you with a counselor to help you out!
Written by Dr. Steffanie Stecker
Dr. Steffanie Stecker a licensed psychologist and the owner and clinical director of Mountain Vista Psychology, PLLC.
In addition, she is a board certified neurotherapist (BCN E5669) and board certified in QEEG (QEEG-D). Less than 100 people world wide are board certified in QEEG, which indicates competency in reading QEEGs and choosing neurofeedback protocols. Dr. Stecker is passionate about brain based effective therapy and creating a safe relationship for her clients to create change. She loves what she gets to do each day!