Solutions for Sarcasm? Yeah, Right. (Nix the Negativity Series, Part 3)

Solutions for Sarcasm? Yeah, Right. (Nix the Negativity Series, Part 3) November 28, 2023

This is Part 3 of a three-part series to help us nix the negative patterns that may be damaging our relationships. Part 1 tackled suspicion, Part 2 examined grumbling, and Part 3 takes aim at solutions for sarcasm.

One of my friends has a sign in her laundry room that says – in a very official looking font –  “National Sarcasm Society.” In small letters underneath, the group’s motto boasts: “Like we need your support.”

Clever, right?

The question is: in relationships, when does pithy become … painful? When is our sarcasm really just cover (or seen as cover) for a sense of cynicism, superiority, emotional unavailability or even meanness?

Our research for The Kindness Challenge found that sarcasm holds a special place in the pantheon of our unrecognized patterns of negativity. It is often perceived and rewarded as a strength. And sometimes sarcasm is indeed purely, hilariously, clever and funny, with no downside (more on that in a moment). Yet this perceived strength can also rapidly transform into a real relational weakness.

Yes, hearing this can be alarming for some of us! A common speaking format for me is being interviewed by a pastor onstage as the sermon time during worship services – and a common topic is kindness. More than once, when I’ve outlined sarcasm as one of the seven patterns of unkindness, the pastor has looked pained and said, “But sarcasm is my spiritual gift!”

If you, too, think your gift of sarcasm might have gotten away from you, here are four key questions to ask yourself, along with four transformative strategies.


"Actually we are reversed and i want to leave the lights on. He shuts them ..."

Your Husband Wants You To Know ..."
"Only time I think about sex is when I tell a man I don't want ..."

How Often Do Men Need to ..."

Browse Our Archives