Sarcasm…Just Another Service I Offer…

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I actually have a bumper sticker that says “Sarcasm:Just another service I offer.” I have had it for years…not on my car…but it was on my cubicle wall at a customer service job I had, under my desk blotter at another job, at my home office desk and it finally found a permanent home on the kitchen bulletin board. I have taken some sort of sick pride in my ability to have a quick, witty (read sarcastic) response to what I perceived to be idiotic behavior or comments from others. I truly thought I was HILARIOUS!  For instance, just recently, a friend who knows the situation with Will and our selling our home, asked where we were living while we built a new home.

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Yeah….Our travel trailer. Instead of just saying that however, I added that Will didn’t mind, he was used to sleeping with trailer trash.  Ha,ha,ha,ha…..ahem…. My friend gave me a slight smile and a “courtesy” chuckle but it clearly made her uncomfortable. In short, it just wasn’t funny. It was rude and crass.  I have learned that I do it to cover up for what I perceive to be embarrassing or uncomfortable situations. The problem is that it reverses the awkwardness onto others…diverting the feelings away from me. I do this a lot with Will but for different reasons. He bought a new fishing pole last week…

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Yes…it really is called an ugly stick. So when I saw it I said, “Oh, did you buy that to hit Skank with? …Nevermind, she’s clearly already been hit…a LOT!” A completely unnecessary comment. (True, but unnecessary 😏) I do it with Will to inflict hurt. To belittle and to remind him of his past behaviors. He told me the other day that he trusted my intuition. I replied that would be unwise as I had a history of believing a deceitful cheater. Ha! . . . Ugh! Why do I keep doing that?! It’s not funny, it’s just mean! It makes no difference if I say it in a laughing voice, with a chuckle or deliver it with a smile. Snarky is ugly.

Well….it stops here and now! It serves no purpose. Other than to temporarily (VERY temporarily) make me feel superior or vindicated in small doses, it only causes harm.

SARCASM. 1570s, sarcasmus, from Late Latin sarcasmus, from late Greek sarkasmos “a sneer, jest, taunt, mockery,” from sarkazein “to speak bitterly, sneer,” literally “to strip off the flesh” from.   (genitive sarkos) “flesh,” properly “piece of meat,” from PIE root *twerk- “to cut” (cf. Avestan thwares “to cut”).

I don’t want to be THAT girl anymore. That one with the smart-ass remark, the quick but sometimes hurtful comeback. I don’t want to be the one who always has something clever to say…even if it is at the expense of others. Particularly Will.  I don’t want to be responsible for intentionally causing harm to anyone by word or deed.  How hypocritical would that be? From someone to whom so much harm has been done? Trust me when I say that it will take Herculean strength for me not to speak out loud the quips that constantly pop into my head and I make no promises that one or two won’t appear here, just between you and me 😉, but I have to make this effort to soften my demeanor, to curb my sharp tongue and to move towards a kinder, gentler me. Not that I am some kind of snotty shrew who has nothing kind to say about anyone or am constantly critical or nasty…that certainly is not true. I am generally a kind and decent person. I just think my sense of humor has become warped over all these years and changed from what is genuinely witty to a sick sort of defense mechanism. THAT is what I need to be mindful of and what I seek to change. The hurt needs to stop now. With me.

Oh…this journey of recovery…

 

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14 thoughts on “Sarcasm…Just Another Service I Offer…

  1. I am married to someone who is very sarcastic. It is difficult to live with but I do. I have called him on it many times and he says he has a very hard time not jumping in first. I think it is a defense mechanism for him. If I strike first you can’t get me.
    My suggestion is if you do it to promptly apologize. You take the sting out if you recognize immediately iwhat you said was inappropriate. Most people are forgiving if they know you are genuinely sorry for what you said. The problem with sarcasm is it is hostility.
    I have no idea when my husband started being this way because I met him in college and he was already this way. He recognizes that it often has the opposite effect of what he wants. My back gets up and I get angry. I will say over the years he has gotten much better and I have gotten much better at unloading on him when he does it.

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  2. By the way, I have tons of friends who retired early, sold their homes and visited every state and Canada for years in their rvs. They all say it was the best time of their lives. No yard upkeep, not much housework, many wonderful sights to see and great friends made along the way. None of them bought a macmansion when they sold their rvs. They got so used to being carefree that being “owned” by all that responsibility was not what they wanted anymore.

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    1. Ha! I wish we had the time and freedom to do that! Our plan now is to just settle in a new home and try to build/re-build our lives together. We are absolutely selling the trailer when we are moved out of it. An RV or traveling will have to wait a few years. Sounds wonderful though! I could embrace a nomadic lifestyle!

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  3. Nice, leigh. I get it. I think it is common but recognising when it just makes you mean or bitter? Priceless. The old words of my mother (and no doubt lots of others’ mothers) ring in my ears when I resort to it more than I should, ‘sarcasm is the lowest form of wit, Paula.’ Yep.

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    1. Yes, Paula, there is sometimes a fine line between wit and snark…I cross it way too often with Will being the target. It is a difficult thing for me. Unfortunately, I have passed some of this along to my son..he fortunately has the sweetest wife ever who reigns him in. What a process!

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  4. I so get this and have been the most unfunny sarcastic bitch I could ever have been but like you have come to a place where it really does not serve any purpose. It gets better with time. Even this morning I made a remark that was meant to hurt him but it was interesting that he took it and chose to accept it and admit it was was he used to do but now no longer does. The remark I made seemed to be taken on board but I actually got no satisfaction in the hurt. It was weird. Maybe I liken it to rewarding or noticing good behaviour and ignoring the bad. Do I really need to keep hurting him? I am better than that. The relationship is better than that.
    I have been missing for a while due to moving house and having no internet but feel a post coming up.
    Xxxx

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    1. It’s weird isn’t it, how we start to see ourselves so differently? It’s almost like an out of body experience to hear stuff come out of our mouths and then think, “Crap, that was totally unnecessary!” I am trying to get this arrested as soon as possible, but, damn!, it’s hard! I hope you post soon…I miss your insights! **hugs** 💕

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  5. Yep, that is me…. I do not want to be the person I am at regular intervals. The behaviour is there due to what has been done to me and I react…with nastiness as a defense and to let my partner know that I am still hurting….He knows, so there is no real reason to keep on being nasty…and yet….

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  6. Just yesterday an opportunity came up for me when I could have thrown him a snarky comment. It was in my mind just waiting to be said and for the first time in a very very long time I held it back and gave myself a few seconds to think it over. I guess I was in a good mood and I was able to let it pass. I let it go. I was so proud of myself. Get me in not so good a mood and I guess it would have come out. Everything is in our control and it is so very difficult to be mindful. I hope it is a habit and maybe one that will become more common.

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