Good Morning All,
I just read Diana’s post from Toast, Tea, Twists… and loved it. Earlier this spring I put together a short presentation on Sarcasm. I think it’s something I needed to learn about myself. While looking into this I found that I had a really bad sarcastic tendency, yes I thought I was funny but actually I was just being mean and insensitive. From responses I have received, I now think sarcasm is something we all need to remove from our communications with others and we need to stop our own internal sarcastic voice.
Below is my presentation.
We live in a sarcastic society. Yes I’m stating that with no data to confirm it. Anecdotal evidence is everywhere.
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“from Late Latin sarcasmus, from Greek sarkasmos, from sarkazein to rend the flesh, from sarx flesh
A form of irony in which apparent praise conceals another, scornful meaning.”
The Question. The Response.
- “Today we are going to increase patron satisfaction by providing delivery of our items to their office.”
- Sarcastic Response: “Jeez. What’s next will we have to read it for them?”
When you hear the sarcastic response. What is your response?
Do you ignore the sarcasm?
- “Depends on how those around respond. While sarcasm can, perhaps, be helpful in bringing levity to a situation, my experience is that far more often it is toxic. If the people start to pile on, it can quickly degenerate to cynicism. While skepticism is the coin of the academic realm, I find cynicism hard to justify. It is criticism without solution or, frankly , any intent to be helpful.”
- “No. It’s covert anger expressed through an ironic twist.”
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Do you engage the sarcastic response with questions to understand and address their apparent frustration?
- “Yes, almost certainly. The style of engagement would depend partly on how folks respond to the comment.”
- “Yes, acknowledge it and analyze the statement. Ask to share experience with the team.”
will interfere with possibilities and opportunities
Do you join in and provide more sarcasm?
- “Never on my good days”
- “No, always inappropriate”
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- Sarcasm is used by the mean-spirited
- Sarcasm rarely will bring about a solution
- Sarcasm will shut down dialog
- Sarcasm “devalues”
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work in email or text comments.
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Chronic Sarcasm and Inappropriate Jokes become toxic weeds inside the workplace that slowly choke the morale and harmony out of good hardworking people who want to produce meaningful work. –Ty Howard
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Instead use polite, respectful humor
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Being respectful works for everyone
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Needless to say sarcasm in the workplace is not appropriate. It’s fun among peers but you really don’t want the boss to reply to your input with sarcasm. I would go one step further and say that even among peers sarcasm undermines work. I had the pleasure of putting together a short presentation. Out of 12 exemplars only 2 responded. I promised the respondents they would remain anonymous.
Sarcasm at work. What do you think?