Was this doctor sarcastic

Sarcasm: Pointy-tongued people are more creative

A pointed remark here, a mocking teasing there. sarcasm has an ambivalent reputation: some do not want to miss it in everyday language use, see it as a sign of intelligence and humor and use it at every opportunity. Others are more critical of the undisguised ridicule, which is why sarcasm should be treated with caution, especially in professional contacts. Maybe you will find yours pointed remark not so witty and funny at all, but feels attacked. Sensitivity is therefore required. However, as one study shows, sarcasm can sometimes be extremely helpful. Especially because the subliminal messages in it can increase creativity ...

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Definition: what is sarcasm anyway?

Sarcasm describes a special form of humor - a kind biting, mocking mockery. The fact that the mocked person is injured is usually intentional or accepted with approval.

This is also explained by the etymological origin of the term: sarcasm is derived from the Greek word for raw meat ("sarx") and could also be translated as "mangle" for short. The ancient Greek word "sarkazein", which translates as "to tear your mouth open", is also related. The sarcastic mangled so his sacrifice through scorn and ridicule.

Example of an ironic saying:

Unfortunately, I don't have the time or the crayons to explain it to you at the moment.

But what is the difference between sarcasm, irony, cynicism or sardonism?

  • irony

    is a rhetorical technique in which the opposite of what is meant is said. Sarcasm can use this technique, but not everything ironic is meant sarcastically.

    Example of an ironic saying:"It's really great how you play yourself in the foreground ..."

  • cynicism

    in turn, however, reveals more of a general attitude that expresses itself through sarcasm, but hardly conveys any values. Nothing is sacred to the cynic, he mocks everything: ideals, norms, values, successes - simply on principle. One could also say: the cynic is bitter in character, the sarcastic only sporadically.

    Example of a cynical saying:"What a shame, you will leave a void that will completely replace you."

  • Sardonism

    is also a form of ridicule. In contrast to sarcasm, sardonism is less ostentatious or snappy, but noticeably more angry and bitter. The sardonist is usually injured and turns his pain outward.

  • Example of a sardonic saying:"Your personality is fascinating: you have everything in you that you need for my misfortune."

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Do not exaggerate! Beware of too much sarcasm

Sarcasm - especially at work - is a double-edged sword. It can be a sign of pun, quick-wittedness and intelligence if you grasp a situation quickly and make an appropriate, slightly snappy comment. But it can also be taken up completely wrongly and become one Escalation of the situation to lead. The person addressed feels attacked and a conflict arises.

A single one sarcastic remark will not lead to conflict in most cases, but according to the doctor and philosopher Paracelsus: The dose makes the poison.

Even if sarcasm is mostly situational and the remark comes spontaneously, you should first ask yourself: Am I actually aware of the possible effects? Does it have to be that way? This is especially true in meetings:

Although sarcasm always comes with criticism and one Pinch of ridicule connected, there does not have to be any bad intent behind it, such as seriously insulting the other or even starting an open conflict. Some are simply not aware of the effect of their words and just find themselves whaaa insane funny.

Unfortunately - and every sarcasm fan should be aware of this - it is not your own humor that counts, but what is received by the other person. And it is precisely the scorn and ridicule that usually work hurtfulif they are directed against a person or his statements. So keep reminding yourself that Sarcasm doesn't go down well with everyoneOtherwise a little joke will suddenly turn into bitter seriousness.

Sarcasm is significantly less risky when it is itself directed against general conditions or generally understandable sources of frustration. Then the mockery is usually even welcome, because it speaks from the soul of many:

Sarcasm can make you more creative

You don't have to do without sarcasm completely. On the contrary: if used correctly, it can even make you more creative - and not just you, but also the person you are talking to.

To this exciting result came a study by the Harvard Business School.

In the related experiments, the scientists arranged various conversations in which the participants were asked to use different ways of speaking: Sarcastic, sincere, or neutral. It was then examined how both the speaker and the listener reacted to the sarcasm.

Result: Regardless of whether the test subjects made the sarcastic statements themselves or they were heard by their interlocutor, one could significantly increased cognitive activity determine.

According to the researchers, there is a good one for this Explanation:

  • To use or understand sarcasm, you have to Contradiction between what is said and what is meant to be resolved. Only if the speaker is able to do so can he himself use sarcasm and the recipient can only understand the true message if he can discover the difference between words and real content.
  • This process requires abstract and creative thinking and helps to apply a similar thought process to other tasks.

In other words: Anyone who regularly makes sarcastic remarks themselves or comes into contact with them through others (and understands them!) Can make their own Increase creativity.

The second positive effect: Depending on who you're sarcastic about, you can even override the negative point mentioned above. Because the researchers at Harvard Business School also found that sarcasm only leads to a higher potential for conflict if it is one little trusted person is expressed to.

So you can continue to treat your friends or a dear colleague with whom you get along well with sarcasm. They understand that behind your statement not a malicious attack, but rather a nicely meant tease. Nevertheless, both sides continue to benefit from it, as the sarcasm is deciphered and thus creativity increases. A classic win-win situation.

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