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5 Ways Sarcasm Is Hurting Your Relationship

Snarky comments have become a way of life nowadays, thanks, in part, to social media and popular culture. Everyone wants to come up with something clever and just mean enough to get attention, not to mention likes on Facebook. Unfortunately, this new manner of speaking has infected our home life, too. Now, we think it's okay to use sarcasm when communicating with our colleagues, children, and even spouses. While telling Eghost37 on Twitter that "his opinion of the cronut proves he is inCROorrigible" gets a virtual laugh, telling your husband he is slowly turning into the Pillsbury Dough Boy won't go over as well. The answer is to eliminate sarcasm all together (unless you're doing a stand-up comedy routine.) Here are the ways sarcasm is hurting your relationship: 

1.  Sarcasm prevents real communication.

Sarcasm is defined as "using irony to mock or convey contempt." Whenever you do this, you are not saying whatever is really on your mind. Therefore, you are skirting around problems and not solving anything.

The Fix: Instead of muttering, "You're the antithesis of a Swiss watch," say "You upset me when you're late for our dates and it's been happening frequently. What can we do about this?" Get right to the point without the severity of sarcasm. And ask about how to find a solution together. 

2.  You are hurting each other's feelings.

By its very definition, sarcasm is meant to stab a person with words. When you are constantly "stabbing" your spouse (or even if you only do it sometimes), you are making your husband or wife feel badly. It's simply not nice, and it creates a hostile atmosphere. The other person is always on the defense, and the cycle of sarcasm continues.

The Fix: Be kind. If you have diarrhea of the mouth and relapse with the sarcasm, apologize as soon as you realize the error of your ways. Try to inject some positivity into your communication by sharing what you appreciate about each other. 

3.  You are creating unnecessary arguments.

When you are sarcastic, your spouse is going to feel threatened. The receiver of the comment will likely respond with a snarky retort. The next thing you know you're embroiled in an ugly argument, replete with insults and jibes.

The Fix: What you need is a time machine. But since that's impossible, seek the next best thing: a do over. If you find yourself engaging in battle because of a sarcastic remark one of you said, take a time out. Cool down. Then, meet up again and tell your spouse that you want to have a conversation and not an argument about whatever brought this comment to light in the first place. Of course, apologize for the harsh words and agree to stop using them as you continue the discussion. 

4.  You are causing resentment.

Whenever you repeatedly say mean things, which inevitably cause arguments, you run the risk of resolving nothing. Then, these heated words become like poison in your brain. You go over the argument in your head non-stop. Then, you develop inner bile, better known as resentment.

The Fix: As is the case with all these issues, you should quit being mean. But you also need to deal with your own anger. Find a way to forgive. Try to remember the things you love about your spouse. What you're doing is cleansing your heart of anger. It's hard work, but it's not impossible. Patience will help you, too. 

5.  You are serving as poor role models.

Even if you don't have children, you should be modeling a good relationship for your friends and family. We all look to each other to discover the right and wrong way to be in a couple. You want to always be flaunting the right way. Whenever you step into the "wrong" category, you are doing a disservice to anyone - not to mention yourselves - who looks up to you for your relationship skills.

Granted, you don't owe anybody anything. And you don't have to put on a show for anyone either. But you should be proud to serve as role models for your friends and family, and you should look to them for the same. It's a great motivator to keep your marriage on track.

The Fix: Start behaving. Quit being mean. Eliminate sarcasm. Take responsibility for whatever rude acts you've committed in your marriage. Apologize and move forward with grace and kindness in your heart. It sounds corny, but it is admirable. It might also keep your marriage in one piece, and that's a pretty great reward. 


source: about.com




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Love Magazine: 5 Ways Sarcasm Is Hurting Your Relationship
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