When Sarcasm Is Not Funny

When Sarcasm Isn't Funny
I’m a big fan of sarcasm. It seems to be one of the ways our goofy family handles things. It’s done in love and fun.

But sometimes folks cross the line with it.

You know what I’m talking about. They joke about something that isn’t really joke material. Or they use it as a passive/aggressive tool to say something they would normally never say.

The thing is, we know they’re not joking. A biting comment, no matter how you play it off, is still a biting comment.

No matter how you dice it.

There are people who do not think before they speak. That filter seems to be missing. Is that an excuse to get away with saying things they shouldn’t? Perhaps but not always.

I keep my sarcasm under wraps most of the time because I try to be conscious of what I say. And sometimes – though not often– my inner mean girl can slip through my sarcasm. I really do try to keep her on a very short leash.

What do you do when a friend slights you with their sarcastic humor?

  • Ask them if they really meant what they said the way it came across or the way you perceived it.
  • Forgive on the spot and move on. If you can’t let it go, then you need to address it.
  • Speak up. If it’s repetitive behavior that is hurtful, you need to speak up before resentment ad bitterness have a chance to set in.

How do you control your biting tongue?

  • Pause before you speak. Don’t instantly jump into a conversation with something to say. Count to five or ten.
  • Know your audience well enough to know if you should be joking. Not everyone takes sarcasm well. If they don’t know you well enough, they may get a really negative opinion of you.
  • Pray for God to give you discernment for when sarcasm is appropriate and when it’s not.
  • Don’t tease anyone for mistakes they’ve made – unless they find them funny too. That time the sneaker wave attacked you when your back was turned is probably still funny. Financial mistakes or painful mistakes, not so much.
  • Apologize. If you think you may have offended someone, apologize for it!

Everyone enjoys laughing and having fun but let’s be good stewards with our words and make sure that what we say is received in a positive light. When we mess up, we own it.

The words of the reckless pierce like swords, but the tongue of the wise brings healing. Proverbs 12:18

Have you ever been the victim of someone’s sarcastic joke? Do you think sarcasm is funny or hurtful? Share your experiences in the comments.



  1. Oh I love sarcasm too but I have a few friends who just go overboard with it. It’s like they don’t know where to draw the line. Good topic!

  2. I, too use sarcasm…possibly too much, but I do try to be very careful to whom I’m talking. Using the sarcasm falls in our family circles, and my siblings dish it right back. However, this post is a great reminder to us all to keep very conscience tabs on what comes out of our mouths. Thanks for sharing.

  3. I used to use sarcasm as a protective device. My nick name for years was Acid Tongue, I could literally cut and burn with my words. And I did. Too often. God humbled me and although sarcasm is now used for fun and as a playful banter with some friends and family, I’ve become more of a funny sarcastic rather than hurting sarcastic person.

    Although I’ve often used sarcasm, and I can appreciate it, I dislike it when people use a comment to hurt and judge and then call it a ‘joke’ or expect that you won’t notice it was a dig.

    Great post Mel!

  4. Unfortunately I consume little biting comments that people make and they continue to stab at me over and over. I never forget. I try… I try to just believe the best about people, but when it’s something said about me I let Satan use it against me. It’s definitely an insecurity/fear of man issue! I don’t ask them if they meant it because usually don’t tell the truth, so I don’t see the point in asking. I do forgive because that’s just who I am… I don’t hold grudges. If it’s repetitive I just limit my time with whoever it is. I think it’s probably a pretty sad person that wants to hurt others all of the time. I have to watch my own biting tongue with my husband… that’s where the sarcasm comes out in me 🙂 especially when we are in the company of other people, that’s when I tend to give him the hardest time. I’m getting so much better at being thoughtful with my words. I don’t want anyone to hurt because of something I carelessly spit out… least of all my husband. Great post Mel with wonderful wisdom! Blessings!
    Heidi recently posted..This is Your Reminder

    • Me too Heidi! I would risk betting that us writers generally do because most of us have words of affirmation as our #1 love language. Words sting!

  5. I am one of those very sarcastic in love people! never mean or nasty never never never…
    but I do love to get a good sarcastic twist in every time I can. I think it levels the playing field for everyone
    if used right. But you’re right, it can be just mean if used by a mean person. The heart makes the difference. Out of the proceeds of the
    heart… that is what determines whether it is for wounding or laughter. Pause; where is your heart, where is this person in your heart, what is your goal? Remix / good post- thanks

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