How acceptable is sarcastic humor in marriage? Can sarcasm and relationships co-exist? These are some pressing questions that may be going through your mind.
Crossing that fine line where the sarcastic comments cannot be classified as humor may be often encountered. Sarcasm in relationships is tricky. It’s complicated.
But don’t worry. You will learn about the meaning and impact of sarcasm in relationships. Not only that, you’ll find an answer to that long-standing question: Does using sarcasm do damage in relationships?
And if yes, then why does sarcasm damage relationships.
Sarcasm, in general, is an indirect speech form. This type of indirect speech is used by a speaketh to facilitate a dramatic reaction from the recipient.
Simply put, when someone is being sarcastic or making a sarcastic comment, they want you to react in a dramatic way to what they’ve said. This dramatic reaction could be bursting out into laughter, shock, saying something equally dramatic back, and so on.
Sarcasm in relationships is a little more complicated to decode. Sarcasm in marriage can have different effects depending upon the intention of the person who is being sarcastic.
To use sarcasm in a relationship in a way that doesn’t render a negative reaction in the recipient, the speaker should be well aware of the recipient’s boundaries.
What complicates the use of sarcasm in romantic relationships even further is that sarcasm is often an indirect and polite way to criticize someone.
Individual differences in the impact of sarcastic communication on people
These factors have been delineated as follows:
The personality of the recipient
How the recipient perceives sarcasm plays a major role in how sarcasm affects the recipient. If the recipients are sarcastic individuals, they will in all probability, react to the sarcastic comment positively. If they aren’t appreciative of sarcastic humor, then they won’t, most likely.
Nature of relationship between speaker and recipient of the sarcastic comment
If the individual making the sarcastic comment doesn’t crack a lot of sarcastic jokes, it may either be understood or not. If the person is often seen to be making sarcastic jokes, it won’t render a lot of reaction.
Here’s how you can be sarcastic without seeming contemptible:
10 reasons why sarcasm is so damaging to relationships
Check out these reasons why sarcasm can be detrimental to the relationship:
1. Thinly-veiled insults
Dealing with sarcasm in a relationship can be difficult, especially when your partner is always worried whether your sarcastic remarks are close to your honest thoughts.
With a healthy dose of sarcasm, relationships can be filled with fun. But, an overabundance of sarcastic comments may leave your partner feeling resentful of harmless but hurtful remarks that you make.
Sarcasm in relationships isn’t always bad. In fact, a sarcastic remark here and there may be funny. However, when speaking of sarcasm, relationships based mostly on sarcastic remarks can be a little tricky. Your partner may try to minutely analyze each remark, trying to find a kernel of truth.
3. A tool for shaming
When your witty remark doesn’t incite laughter but shame instead, can you pass it off as a sarcastic remark?
It is important to remember that you’re meant to make your partner happy and not shame them with your sarcasm. Relationships should bring happiness and not be a cause of stress in your life.
Even if most people think that the blow that sarcasm gives is a softer one than brutal honesty, it is not always the case.
This is because, over time, our partner becomes tuned to the sarcastic comments to check themselves negatively. Their behavior can get modified every time they hear a sarcastic tone, and eventually, you will have a wrongful power over them.
These passive-aggressive tones often are associated with shame, harmful thoughts, and guilt, which moves them to behave according to your wishes. However, this robs your partner of their agency, and they become a puppet in your hands.
If you want to get closer to your partner, both emotionally as well as physically, you might want to ditch making sarcastic remarks. If you rely on sarcasm a lot, you might alienate your partner. Sarcasm in intimate relationships can increase the distance between you and your partner.
9. The credibility of the speaker is questioned
Loss of trust is, unfortunately, a common consequence of the frequent use of sarcasm in romantic relationships. This happens because your beloved is in a constant state of confusion about your true intentions.
You should make a mental note of all the examples of sarcasm in relationships that you are witnessing yourself guilty of. These are the ones that you should continually avoid to have a fulfilling and nurturing relationship. Do not let the haunting feelings of self-doubt cripple your partner.
How does sarcasm affect your relationships?
Sarcastic comments, especially an overdose of the same, can have a lot of negative impacts. These include:
● Sarcastic comments prevent people from trusting you
It is extremely tiring to be around sarcastic individuals. How is that any different for your beloved? Your partner might lose faith in you if you’re sarcastic too often.
● Excessive use of sarcasm is a boot camp for training yourself to be cruel
There are certain simple ways of effectively dealing with mean sarcasm. This especially applies to sarcastic comments from your partner.
The strategies for dealing with sarcasm in relationships have been delineated as follows:
1. Avoid the tone
Just try to respond to content. Do not try to respond to the tone of the comment at all. The point is not to respond to the comment as if you’ve taken it quite literally.
Try and ignore the person who has decided to make that sarcastic comment. Sometimes they want to make you feel miserable and put you down, but you can escape such sarcasm in relationships by ignoring them.
Sometimes your partner is sarcastic because he or she does not know how to express their feelings. Instead of reacting negatively, be their guide and sincerely ask them the matter with questions like, “It seems you are angry. What is the matter?”
4. Show the way
Sometimes when people show sarcasm in relationships, they do not realize that they are hurting you. They just feel that they are being funny. Sincerely tell them that they might appear to be hostile, although you completely understand that they do not intend to be so.
Sarcasm does no good to the relationship in any way. Remember these aspects about sarcasm in relationships. They are essential for saving any relationship where one or both partners are extremely sarcastic!
If you feel disconnected or frustrated about the state of your marriage but want to avoid separation and/or divorce, the marriage.com course meant for married couples is an excellent resource to help you overcome the most challenging aspects of being married.
Rachael Pace is a noted relationship writer associated with Marriage.com. She provides inspiration, support, and empowerment in the form of motivational articles and essays. Rachael enjoys studying the evolution of loving partnerships and is passionate about writing on them. She believes that everyone should make room for love in their lives and encourages couples to work on overcoming their challenges together.