Sarcasm: Is It Humor or Something Sinister?

I hate sarcasm. It’s rude, hurtful, and offensive. Yet I have met many people who insist that it is humorous. “Sarcasm can be funny, ” my friend John told me. “I beg to differ”, I replied. “There is nothing funny about saying something hurtful to another person.” “Yes, but…”, he continued, “you can make fun of them and as long as it’s done in good taste it’s not insulting.” We debated the issue for a few minutes and then put it to rest. Clearly, he was of the mindset that there was nothing wrong with sarcasm.

However, there are distinct disparities between the two. Look up both words in the dictionary: sarcasm comes from the Greek word “sarcazmos”, which literally means “to tear ones flesh”. That’s a pretty violent description. Other terms used to define sarcasm are “sharp, satirical utterances designed to cut or give pain; bitter, caustic language directed against an individual.” Tear, cut, pain, bitter, caustic: are any of these words indicative of humor?

The definition of humor, on the other hand, uses such terms as “funny quality; elicits amusement and laughter; designed to make others laugh, smile or chuckle.” Quite a contrast, don’t you agree?

Sarcasm is actually a form of passive/aggressive anger. It is designed to hurt the intended party, to embarrass or humiliate them, to make them feel uncomfortable. Covert and underhanded, it is used to disguise anger and alleviate any responsibility should the other party take personal offense. “I was just kidding! Everyone else laughed. You are just too sensitive.” Blame: an alternative for ownership of bad behavior.

Sarcasm reveals a lot about the person dishing it out. People who are kind, sensitive, respectful, thoughtful, and confident do not resort to such cowardly behavior. If they have something unflattering to say to the other person they do so in a direct and polite manner. Calling your child a nickname that they do not like and telling them they are too sensitive when they get angry with you is passive/aggressive. Making a joke about your husband’s balding head, knowing he is sensitive about his receding hairline, is hurtful. Calling your boss a “know-it-all” (“Well, how could you be wrong? You surely know everything there is to know about running this company!”) cannot be negated by a lame “I meant that in the most flattering way possible.”

Humor is truly lighthearted and careful not to offend the other party. My husband and I use humor with each other all the time. We can tease one another in a very playful manner, designed to make them laugh (like the time I left a pot of boiling water on the stove and forgot to add the rice, scorching and blistering my favorite saucepan). He knows I am not the least bit sensitive or embarrassed by my sheer stupidity and he has free reign to use it as an opportunity to make me and any other family member laugh.

Humor can alleviate stress, diffuse anger, relieve sadness, and bring people together. It releases endorphins, the feel-good chemical, in the brain and actually boosts the body’s natural immune system. There are never any underlying or sinister intentions behind the action and there is no pain or offense on the receiver’s end. Webster uses words like funny, playful, amusement, smile, and chuckle in defining true humor.

In discerning whether or not your teasing is actual humor or sarcasm, check your motives and intent. Are you truly being playful or on some level do you hope that the dig you are throwing at the other party hurts? Motive and intent are key.

There is one exception to using humor that I must caution you about: never ever use vitreous humor. It can be very dangerous and do some serious damage. Oh wait – isn’t that the gel that fills the space between the lens and retina of the eye? Ok, never mind. It’s safe. (That’s a little humor – did I make you laugh? No? Too little wit, I’m guessing. So sue me. I’ll take it to the Court of A(banana)peels.) 🙂

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January Jones-Single Dads with Heart

January Jones-Single Dads with Heart

Larry Agresto coverA Fathers New Beginning(FRONT COVER hi-resolution)

Single Dads With Heart: A Father’s New Beginning. Larry Agresto was a single father for ten years before he remarried. On May 20, 1995, Larry Agresto became a single father literally overnight. His wife Jody, mother of his two daughters Lauren age 11 and Julia age seven, was rushed to the hospital on Thursday night and pronounced dead on Saturday morning. She had not been ill, so this turn of events was both a shock and tragedy for Larry and his daughters. 

Although he wasn’t aware of this at the time, Jody was and her last spoken words to him were “take good care of my girls.”  Larry made a promise and as a result, he committed himself to being the best single father he could be and he made raising his girls a priority in his life. 

Get Healthy by Juicing with Dr. Linda Marquez Goodine, Health & Wellness Expert

Tune in to The Nancy Ferrari Show on Tuesday, March 4th, 10:00 am PT/1:00 pm ET as her featured guest is Dr. Linda Marquez Goodine, a Chiropractic Wellness Doctor who has been practicing since 1993.  She received her undergraduate training at California State University Fullerton and attended Los Angeles College of Chiropractic. She has been licensed and practiced in several states including California, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina and Tennessee. She has extensive postgraduate training in Nutrition, Functional Blood Chemistry, Functional Endocrinology, Brain Chemistry, and Managing Obesity. She is speaker, author, wellness educator, life coach, certified nutritionist and fitness trainer.

She has been studying health and nutrition for over 30 years and enjoys helping people improve their quality of life through diet, exercise, lifestyle changes and alternative care.  She customizes health and wellness programs for her clients based on blood tests and hormone salivary testing that over 90% of medical doctors don’t do. She currently devotes her practice to treating difficult conditions using customized blood test panels and metabolic support.  Her non-invasive therapies, natural remedies, enthusiasm and passion for health have allowed her to help hundreds of people.

She has had the opportunity to bless and change the lives of many people with nutrition and alternative therapies.  In the past 10 years she has had tremendous success in helping the most challenging weight loss resistant cases where patients have been able to learn the secrets of staying healthy and fit for life.  She has also helped many clients, who have come to her as a last resort before giving up on becoming healthy and having the energy to do everyday tasks, by adopting a healthier lifestyle with diet and nutrition.

In addition to helping her patients she also teaches many people in the corporate world, local communities and churches on adopting a healthier lifestyle.  She has been able to reach thousands of people as a frequent speaker at Mother’s Market Health Food Stores, frequently interviewed on radio programs and has been recently interviewed on TV. She has also been able to reach thousands of readers through a column she contributed to in the Excelsior Newspaper.

She keeps a very active lifestyle in addition to giving workshops, writing articles, in private practice and the mother of three children ages 9, 15 & 17 year olds and is happily married to her high school sweetheart.  She enjoys spending time with her family, running and reading books on health, fitness and personal development.  Her enthusiasm and lifestyle are a reflection of her prescription to patients seeking optimal health, vitality and maximum living!!