What do you do when someone makes a cutting remark toward you or even when you make a cutting remark toward yourself that hurts?
Responding to Others
There are a few ways to respond when others are intentionally sarcastic and mean to you.
1) Respond literally to the content of their message, not the tone. If they say “nice shot” when you miss a throw, you can respond, “thanks, that’s what practice does for you” or even, “well, I think I can do even better next time.”
2) Ignore them and focus on what you’re doing. Realize that some people haven’t learned to build people up and the positiveness that comes from making someone happy. They will run into problems later in life unless they correct that behavior.
3) Respond with kindness. Next time you see them, pay them a sincere compliment without any sarcasm in your voice or the words. They will probably look at you funny and wonder why you are responding that way when they’ve treated you poorly, but if you do this a few times, and to their friends that might encourage their sarcasm, they will most likely stop soon.
4) Let them know that what they are saying isn’t funny. You might respond with, “you’re a pretty smart person and you might not realize it but when you use sarcasm to talk to others, it actually hurts their feelings and makes you look mean. I think you could be great at encouraging people and make them happy instead.”
Discuss: Think of a time someone used sarcasm on you. What did they say? Try to respond using these 4 methods.
Responding to Yourself
When you hurt yourself with your own words, essentially reinforcing negative self-images, it affects everything about your life from your health to your relationships. You need to identify the things you say that hurt yourself and start the process of reversing them. Make a list of the top 5-10 things you think negatively about yourself along the left side of a piece of paper. These are the things you say in your head like, “I’m stupid” or “I can’t do anything right.” Then along the right side of the paper, write the opposite plus one other positive thing about yourself. Memorize the list. Now the next time you do something and hear, “I’m stupid” in your head, say, “I’m actually smart and I am very creative.” Double up on your positives until your negative voice stops lying to you.
Discuss: After dinner, get a piece of paper and try this for a week. Every negative thought you get, reverse it and add another positive to it. Build yourself up instead of tearing yourself down.
Also see Shades of Sarcasm #1 on what sarcasm is and how to eliminate it.
(Image by khosrork @ 123rf.com)