Snarky Sarcasm – over it!

by Madeline Laughs
English: The

English: The “SarcMark” is used to emphasis sarcasm in a medium where tone of voice is not evident. Similar marks have been proposed, such as the File:Irony mark full.svg. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

As I get older the list of things I’ll put up with keeps getting shorter. I never thought that would happen. I always thought the list would have to get longer as more and more crap gets thrown in my direction. Well, I was wrong. It does indeed, get shorter.

Yesterday I decided that I had enough snarky sarcasm. Yesterday became the day I stopped taking sarcasm, listening to sarcasm, dealing with sarcasm, and hearing sarcasm. That’s it. Done. Unless I know for sure that you’re being funny, don’t count on a reaction from me. Don’t count on me “getting it” and doing something about it. But do count on me closing the door for further snarky, hurtful sarcasm.

Take your passive aggressive,  sarcastic ass some place else for attention. I’m all full up here. I’ve had my tank topped off. I’m filled to the brim with enough biting sarcastic bullshit to last the rest of my life. 

Why are people sarcastic? What exactly is sarcasm and what does it mean?

“Sarcasm is “a sharp, bitter, or cutting expression or remark; a bitter jibe or taunt.”Though irony is usually the immediate context, most authorities sharply distinguish sarcasm from irony;however, others argue that sarcasm may or often does involve irony or employs ambivalence. Sarcasm has been suggested as a possible bullying action in some circumstances.”

~from Wikipedia

I thought about the times I could be considered sarcastic when I was only trying to be funny. I thought about the remarks I made and how sometimes I would get a feeling of discomfort after making them. It would be a twinge and in my head I would wonder if the person I just said that to would know I was just being funny, or if they would be secretly hurt by it.

Sarcasm can be funny.

I get that.

But most of the time, sarcasm is just a hidden feeling of resentment made loud and disguised as a joke.

In Psychology Today is an article I found by Rachel Mosteller called Field Guide: Sarcastic Masters.  She talks about her own sarcasm and what it has cost her. Then she provides a gauge for your own sarcasm.

When to Take The Edge Off

Yes, you’re sharp. But are you cutting too deep? Here’s how to ensure people don’t take what you say the wrong way.

Know your audience.

People have as wide a range of tolerance for sarcasm as they do for liquor. “If the person at the receiving end of sarcasm knows it’s meant as a joke, the reaction may be more positive,” Joakim says. “But I try not to be sarcastic with total strangers. That’s usually not pretty.”

Scan before you send.

It’s best to avoid snarkiness in e-mails and text messages. Sarcasm is highly dependent on tone, while people tend to take typed notes more literally. As silly as those smiley-face emoticons are, use one if there is any possibility that your message could be misinterpreted.

Examine your motivations.

Some people resort to over-the-top sarcasm in an attempt to shore up their own self-image. Consider whether you yourself harbor feelings of inadequacy. Once you feel comfortable with who you are, you won’t need to hide behind a veil of sarcasm.

Err on the side of caution.

If you’re unsure how the target of your statement will respond, it’s best not to unleash sarcasm at all, as Mosteller has learned. “If I’m around my husband’s boss, I hold my tongue,” she says. “I know that once I open my mouth, things are just going to keep coming.”

I want to make the distinction between snarky, mean sarcasm and someone that has a wicked sense of humor. Most of the time you totally “get” the funny sarcasm. You’re meant to “get” it. But passive aggressive sarcasm is not meant to be understood by anyone, except the person it’s directed towards and perhaps a few others in their circle of friends.

What is passive aggressive behavior and how does it relate to sarcasm?

1 passive-aggressive definition

Function: adj
:  being, marked by, or displaying behavior characterized by expression of negative feelings, resentment, and aggression in an unassertive way (as through procrastination, stubbornness, and unwillingness to communicate) < span=””> <>passive-aggressive  personality>
passive-aggressively Function: adv

~from the Medical Dictionary

I found this great website, when I looked up the definition of this personality type. What I found was a great guide of how to deal with the passive aggressive individual. Check it out;

“People displaying passive aggressive behavior carry a lot of repressed anger from their childhood, now projected on the people around them. It appears as sarcastic comments, derisive opinions and blaming other people for their own shortcomings”

If it’s someone I care about I try to open that door of discussion for them by saying something like “Hey, maybe I misunderstood you because what you just said really hurt my feelings. What did you mean by that?” Sometimes they take this opportunity and discuss what is bothering them. But sometimes they don’t take the chance and they deny that they meant anything mean, only to say something mean again and again.

I am only human and my door of discussion has an expiration date.

After numerous tries to repair the damage being executed on my friendship, I tend to conclude that this person just doesn’t like me and doesn’t know how to tell me that. Or I could be behaving in a new way that they find unacceptable and they can’t handle this change in our dynamic, so rather than address it and try to find a way to coexist, they choose to demean me for it and shame me into reverting back to the way I used to be.

Well, I have to tell you, that never works with me.

I am usually pretty direct. That’s not always an admirable trait, but it is who I am and I like it. It saves me from having to deal with a lot of bullshit. Being direct means that I tend to be less tolerant of subversiveness. I enjoyed the definition of this I found in the Urban Dictionary;

“Subversive behavior: Subversive behavior is to undermine somebody with various trick (lies, cheats, backstabbing, false advice etc…) where the intent or goal is not visible at all.

The subversive person often assumes little responsibility and occupies a border position in the project. To the group says how bad is the management to the management says how bad is the group and to the big boss says how bad are both and how good is he and he should be made boss.
His goal is to undermine the project so that it fails and he can emerge as the new knows it all leader.”
I think they’re onto something there.I know a few people that are just like this! And when you make them angry they’re even worse.When I run into this I want to drag them out in the open, not literally, but figuratively. I never have a desire to expose anyone that isn’t willing to expose themselves.Once the sarcasm and biting remarks start flying I can’t think of anything else to do except get to the heart of the problem. This doesn’t always have good results. Usually the person is subversive for a reason and nothing you can do will bring them around. The best advice I can give you is to move on.

Eventually this person will work out whatever is hassling them and they’ll be better for it.

Most of the time, no matter how important you might think you are to this person, it has nothing to do with you.

One thing I am very sure of. I am tired of having my feelings hurt because someone else is hurt. It’s senseless and it’s a huge waste of my time. I won’t always be an intolerant bitch, but I will have limits.

I have a few friends that are fabulously sarcastic. I wouldn’t want them to change a thing about the way they approach the world. I love it when they get going. They are hilarious! I think this is how I choose to accept sarcasm as part of my daily world…with humor and with laughter. Bring it on!

About Madeline Scribes

A writer with a sense of humor. If anyone can laugh at life, it's me.
This entry was posted in All kinds of Advice and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Snarky Sarcasm – over it!

  1. Lisa says:

    I think that sometimes directness is taken as sarcasm, because people no longer know how to interact with each other. I also thin that we tolerate less as we get older because we have watched all of the pretense and falseness of people, and no longer want to play those games.


    • That is so true. I guess that’s it. I’m just tired of the games. I never thought about it like that. I just kept thinking it was because I was getting old. LMAO! I like your reasoning much better than my own 😀


  2. tsitser says:

    Interesting, well written article. You make a number of very valid points and I appreciate the amount of research that went into this piece. I do, however, want to make the distinction between sarcasm that is directed at you personally by an individual – which, I agree, is often snarky – and sarcasm used as commentary in a media piece meant for an audience. When a comic says in public “How did our oil end up under somebody else’s country?” He or she is making a point that might escape the listener if it was said in a less obviously ridiculous manner. There is value in that.

    I’m looking forward to reading more of your posts. And that is NOT meant sarcastically!


    • Thank you Tara and I like that distinction you made. Sometimes sarcasm can also be educational, you’re absolutely right. Thanks for stopping by and please come back often 🙂


  3. Just Jennee says:

    Great post Madeline! And thank you for the link love. Like yourself, my list of things I’ll tolerate has shrunk substantially as I’ve gotten older and I am more selective of who I choose to surround myself with – not everyone can handle change and you have to cut loose those that can’t grow and evolve with you!


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