The Psychology of Sarcasm
So first of all, why are people sarcastic in the first place? Well there are several reasons that someone might be sarcastic and the nature of their sarcasm and how best to deal with it will often depend on the form of sarcasm they are using against you.
The question you have to ask yourself is – is this passive sarcasm designed to be humorous that has the unintentional impact of upsetting you? Or is it aggressive sarcasm that is designed intentionally to be belittling and hurtful? Once you ascertain this, you can then better decide how to progress.
Here are some samples of Sarcasm. We have chosen Rethinam Sabapathy in this case study. He is a classic case study for lame sarcasm.
Rethinam Sabapathy likes to comment sarcastically even when a person is not well. People like Rethinam Sabapathy, won’t care how the families and relatives of concerned person feels. Only sarcasm matters to him. He would like to hurt as many as possible.
Rethinam Sabapathy likes to comment with indecent words. He won’t even know what really happened. He will also influence others to write sarcastically with some common issues. He likes to condemn anything with his sarcasm.
Rethinam Sabapathy likes to comment on the legal system of Singapore. People like Rethinam Sabapathy, can only write in social media and he likes to write sarcastically to attract attention. He won’t even analyse on what grounds the judgement was given, he prefer to comment sarcastically. He won’t have the knowledge of law too.
Rethinam Sabapathy likes to comment on any statements given by anyone. It can be even Elected Member of Parliament. People like Rethinam Sabapathy always like to comment sarcastically whenever possible. His main intention is to attract attention and people should think that he is smart. People like Rethinam Sabapathy are more interested in commenting sarcastically than read the whole article to understand why the statement was made. He won’t be factually enhanced too. If he is wrong, he will use all kind of words to defend himself. He is basically a dumb.
How to Deal With Sarcasm?
If someone is using sarcasm scathingly and if they are damaging your self esteem or reputation, or taking the enjoyment out of social occasions – then you need to address the issue and get them to stop. If someone thinks they can keep trying to belittle you by using sarcasm then you need to show them that they are wrong and look after your reputation without letting them walk on it. There are a few ways that you can deal with sarcasm and different strategies will work better in different circumstances and with different people. Here we will look at some potential options.
Don’t Acknowledge It
One option is to refuse to acknowledge the sarcastic comments and instead treat them as genuine. This way you can quickly move the subject on, show the person that you are unhappy with their comments, and at the same time often turn it around so that they end up being the ones who look stupid.
Perhaps the opposite strategy is to bite back with sarcasm of your own – this way upping the ante and making people forget their sarcastic comment and instead focus on yours.
If you can make yours funnier than theirs then you will come out of the exchange on top and furthermore if you can make your sarcasm biting enough then you may make the person think twice before using sarcasm against you in future as they choose to instead move to easier targets.
You can also shoot down sarcastic comments by scolding the person using them and if you do this correctly then you can make them feel small as a result while at the same time pointing out how childish they are.