8 Reasons Why Sarcasm is So Damaging to Relationships

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1. It Disguises Insults.

Sarcasm is an easy way for us to share our feelings without being confrontational. Buried within many sarcastic remarks is a nugget of truth for the person making the comment. What’s delivered as a joke can actually hold real feelings that end up causing real pain for the person on the receiving end of the sarcasm. Just because a comment is wrapped up in a joke doesn’t mean it cannot cut another person.

2. Trust is Eroded.

When sarcasm is used with great frequency, trust within a relationship can erode over time. It can grow more and more difficult to decipher which remarks are sarcastic and which aren’t. After a while, people may begin writing off everything you say as being sarcastic, leaving you with little to no credibility when you’re trying to be serious. A pattern of sarcasm might create some laughter, but it doesn’t lay the groundwork for a foundation of trust and vulnerability.

3. It’s a Method for Shaming.

The relationships we invest in should be safe places where we experience iron sharpening iron. Our partner, family members, and friends should be sources of support, infusing us with life and joy rather than fear and shame. If sarcasm is being used as a method for shaming others, it’s being used maliciously. When a sarcastic comment makes someone else feel a sense of shame, its power is no longer in being funny, but in being harmful. Are others cringing at your sarcastic remarks because of the shame they bring another person? 

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