Isn’t it delicious to land a really good zinger? Especially when you have an audience? You bask in the glow of showing your intelligence, your wit, and your one-upmanship, all with a perfectly delivered bon mot.
But is it worth it?
That’s the question we should ask ourselves before we resort to sarcasm. Because no matter how good it feels, the price we pay in the long run may vastly outweigh the visceral pleasure in the moment.
Sarcastic quips can undermine relationships, erode trust, sour alliances, alienate potential advocates, and toxify community culture.
Just because others think you’re smart doesn’t mean they’re going to want anything to do with you.
People who rely heavily on sarcasm are a lot like comics who rely on profanity. They might get an easy laugh, but they do so at the expense of genuine cleverness. And although sarcasm might truly be an indicator of intelligence, misapplication of it might be the least intelligent thing we can do to serve our own best interests.
Humor is a valuable tool when it is used to bring people together. Rather than making wisecracks at the expense of others, look for opportunities to point out life’s ironies and absurdities so we all laugh together.
When you do, they make inclusion less about identity and more about common bonds and solidarity.
And that will give us all something to smile about.