bullyingI had a crazy realization the other day. Have you ever been having a conversation with someone and they throw a smart ass remark at you? Then they can tell by the look on your face that you’re not comfortable with what they said so they immediately follow it up with, “Oh, I was only being sarcastic!!”....

I have a new rule. No sarcasm. I don’t do it. I don’t accept it. Do you know what sarcasm is?  It's BULLYING!

Stick with me for a minute…

How many times are you exposed to this type of banter? You friends in school, your family, coworkers, etc… It’s so common, it’s ridiculous!! Now project that out over a long span of your life…. How many negative phrases, names, or comments have been launched at you and have been determined acceptable because they were just a joke.

Here’s the reality...

Every single one of those times, there was an amount of truth behind their words. Sarcasm is actually hostility disguised as humor… and negative words hurt. Words have an impact the moment they are said, and they can’t be UNsaid. Everything from just being hurtful to actually causing your body to begin producing certain chemicals within (stress) which can still linger even though you may have moved on. They somehow leave little remnant of their unpleasant presence.

Another issue associated with this form of interaction is your subconscious mind doesn’t distinguish between what’s real or fake so as far as your nervous system and unconscious are concerned, those statements are absolutely 100% true and correct and because you received them, you must therefore agree….

Seem a little extreme?

What’s more, since actions strongly determine thoughts and feelings, when a person consistently acts sarcastically it usually only heightens his or her underlying hostility and insecurity. After all, when you come right down to it, sarcasm is a subtle form of bullying and most bullies are angry, insecure, cowards.   Alternatively, when a person stops voicing negative comments, especially sarcastic and critical ones, he or she soon starts to feel happier and more self-confident. Also, the other people in his or her life benefit even faster because they no longer have to hear the emotionally hurtful language of sarcasm.

Now I’m not saying all sarcasm is bad. It’s just better used sparingly – like a potent spice in cooking. Too much spice and the dish will be overwhelmed by it. Similarly, an occasional dash of sarcastic wit can spice up a chat and add an element of humor to it. But a big or steady serving of sarcasm will overwhelm the emotional flavor of any conversation and taste very bitter to its recipient.   Don't hesitate to tell others that you don't appreciate their sarcastic comments because it's just thinly veiled hostility and unacceptable bullying.

So, tone down the sarcasm and work on clever wit instead which is usually devoid of hostility and thus more appreciated by those you’re communicating with. In essence, sarcasm is easy (as is most anger, criticism and meanness) while true, harmless wit takes talent.

Daily Journey Journal Tony Kates