Sarcasm for Grown-Ups

For the longest time I looked at sarcasm as a way of life, but the older I get the more I realize we have to be careful with our words and grow up a little.

I was on a camping trip earlier this year and made a snide remark about a dear friend of mine, one who has been like a sister to me in the last five years. It led to a couple serious conversations and a vastly improved friendship–one with a little bit gentler teasing. And I now doubly understand:

A similar thing happened to me not too long ago with my sister. I know her intentions were innocuous, but it struck a chord. And now a serious conversation awaits.

A love for sarcasm was not something that came to me by chance. It likely played a role in my parents divorce (we’re talking a long time ago), and in retrospect those conversations probably weren’t too funny. I’m not surprised that I’ve taken things too far and that other family members have, too.

We’ve all been in situations where someone’s made an inappropriate comment. It’s usually something where they know something about you that others don’t and they bring it up in jest. Chances are it’ll get a laugh and maybe a little silence. Chances are they should have kept their mouth shut.

This has been a really lucky year for me–I’ve never had more things to do or people around. And it’s become obvious that the people who I like most are the ones who are more giving, kind, and open. Dry humor and wit are not mutually exclusive with treating people well.

So this entry is just a reminder to pause for reflection before getting out that quick thought. A reminder to let up when you’re teasing a friend. So what if they can dish it back–what good did the whole thing do? As the holidays pick up–don’t just say thank you and offer presents–be a little gentler. That’ll keep those around you around you.

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