An Alternative to Sarcasm: Honesty

You’ve heard of sarcasm, right? Whether you answered yes or no, it’s likely that “no” was a sarcastic one. Sarcasm is ever present in our daily life – movies, TV shows, and radio are full of sarcastic comments about celebrities, reality TV stars and really just about anyone. Listen in to any conversation around school or your campus and it’s likely you’ll hear a sarcastic comments or two.  “It’s all in good fun!” people say. “I don’t really mean that – it’s just for laughs,” they may comment. Even though that may be true, there are many unintentional (or perhaps, in some cases, sadly intentional) consequences related to using sarcasm. Whether it’s “just for fun” or not, using sarcasm can often times be more hurtful than helpful.

One warning sign that you shouldn’t be using sarcasm is when it gets a strong, negative response from someone. Usually the offender chalks it up to the person being “too sensitive,” but what that really means is their feelings don’t count. Try being honest with the person instead. If you’re frustrated with them showing up late all the time or not doing their part in chores, let them know in a loving way… in private! No one likes to be cornered in front of a crowd.

It does take some courage to stand up and say how you feel, but it is also important to know the right time to do it. If you think your friend’s sweater is ugly, but they love it, think if it’s worth it before sharing how you feel. A good way to know if it’s a time to be honest is to think: “Will telling them this help them have a better relationship with me and with other people?” If the answer is a definitive “YES,” then go for it! If there’s any doubt, think it over some more, and ask yourself if the problem you have really has to do with that person, or does it have to do with your own perceptions, jealousy or other circumstances in your life.

Jesus taught us to love one another, and by being honest with our family and friends we are doing just that. Using sarcasm simply does not help spread the love. It is these small little habits that can be so hard to break, but can make a big difference in the way we see others and the way others see us. As we strive to represent Christ in the world, sarcasm just doesn’t fit.

To read more about the hurtful nature of sarcasm, and ways to break the habit, check out this post: http://modernmrsdarcy.com/2011/03/you-can-kick-the-sarcastic-habit/