I once heard that the utmost sarcastic deem themselves as such on the basis of their hard times. While I’m not sure from whom the saying originated, I can certainly nod in understanding. Tough words for toughies. But–what about those who identify as, well, moderate users of sarcasm–those who’d rather not always push another too closely to the flame?
No matter how mildly or extremely heated the situation, you’ve become well socialized with this little beast. You’ve felt sarcasm’s singe, and you’ve felt your heart sink, as the harsh words are slowly interpreted. If you’re a bit on the witty side, you release it every now and then; you may even deem yourself a sarcastic person. Or, if you’re like me, you teeter between raw infatuation with sarcasm and use it on that one rude, pesky person who insists on nagging you.
I don’t label myself as sarcastic.Though, I cannot deny that using it, at times, delivers benefits; it is the verbal antidote for poisonous remarks, and its very nature can be venomous.These are the primary reasons why I became fascinated by people’s usage of sarcasm and why I chose to research irony and sarcasm while at university. I won’t get academic here, albeit the temptation is nipping at me as I type.
All my awe for sarcasm’s functionality aside, I find that I’m more likely to utter a sarcastic phrase or two upon a specific situation. For me, sarcastic utterances are more likely to be brought out specific to the matter: 1) As a person’s annoyances escalate 2) When I need to guard my emotions 3) When the other person’s emotions need to be spared for whatever reason.
Image courtesy: knowmemes.com
Hey, it’s Socially Awkward Penguin! All lightheartedness swept under the rug, it was a serious matter as the above meme actually happened to me. Turns out that my pesky peer had a problem with my facial expression, and I set the situation straight with sarcasm. Eventually, he acknowledged my usage of sarcasm, but he still repeatedly referred to me as “stupid” for speaking to him in the manner I had chosen. Had I become angered, the entire situation would have become inflamed. My aim had been to buffer the discourse by getting everything down to a simmer. I like to think that I had chosen to be wise about when and how I stated what I did at the time.
My dealings with sarcasm aren’t to claim a sense of arrogance or pompous intelligence. After all, I openly admit that I back away from fully encrusting myself in sarcasm; I believe that I lack the natural wit to carry it upon my demeanor at all times. It’s a delicate device. One unsure sarcastic utterance and one’s verbal intentions become faulty.
My point is that I’m selective about sarcasm; I reserve it for those who bring me to the point where there’s no alternative. So, that’s what’s behind my sarcasm mask, which I pick up cautiously. How about you? Are you a sarcastic person? Or, do you only use sarcasm every now and then?