How to Respond to Sarcasm

Today we'll discus the economical and religious importance regarding sarcasm. Working as a team, we'll dissect the the way sarcasm is used, how to respond to it, and how to impress your co-workers with your sharp replies so they'll stop avoiding you at office parties. "Someone who thinks logically, provides a nice contrast to the real world."


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    Stop, Process. Immediately following the application of the device "sarcasm", take a second to decide why it was used. Was it used for humor, insult, or a dorky way for history teachers to connect to their rad students. Follow these tips to help decide:
    • Humor: Was the quip used quickly in a light setting? Was it followed by a smile and a longing look of approval? If so- it was probably intended humorously.
    • Insult: Was the situation heated before the comment? Did the statement contain hurtful material. Perhaps regarding your recent weight gain. It's not your fault, your carbohydrate loading for an upcoming marathon. Hopefully. If any of this applies, you've probably just been dissed.
    • Reaching out to youth: In more cases than necessary, sarcasm is used as a foolish ploy to gain youth attraction. This is usually initiated in forms of awkwardness anchored with puns and other word play. Characteristics include the phrases "Uh-duh!", "NOT!", and the topical application of "uh-WINNING!".
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    Think fast! Regardless of choice, the most important things is to reply quickly. Any dawdling will immediately become a sign of weakness, showing limited exercise of your sarcasm muscles. A quick response ensures a hearty comeback. (On a special note, the faster you reply, the less creative your comeback has to be)
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    Decide how to reply. Will you crush your competitor with a sassy comment about her birkenstocks or simply outwit your friend with a humorous quote. Things to keep in mind while replying to sarcasm would be found in the following steps:
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    • Reply fast.
    • Use previous knowledge on opposite.
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    • Exploit their weaknesses, mainly their weird eye tick.
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    • Cry (anywhere besides a Meg Ryan rom-com and sex, crying is unnecessary).
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    • Use commonly used sarcastic replies (see Reaching out to youth).
    • Back down, once a comment is said, it's out there. Don't go back, man.
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    Disarm them. Sarcasm loses its edge when you respond properly. Try one of the following:
    • Correct them. Explain the facts clearly and calmly. This response has the bonus that it can be combined with the laughter of step 3. But be prepared that the sarcastic won't care for your explanations since he or she is not on a lookout for justice.
    • Ignore it. They won't use sarcasm if they don't see any effect. Either pretend you didn't understand, or continue with the conversation. But your price for peace here is sleepless nights (one or more) when you're kept awake with regret and contempt.
    • Agree. Be sarcastic about their sarcasm. Be careful, however, as this can extend into a game of wits and the most sarcastic person walks away the winner, often leaving misunderstandings in its wake.
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    Remember when to walk away. A person who can only respond with sarcasm probably isn't worth listening to. But walking away leaves the sarcastic person pleased with his win and you emotionally devastated.


  • If they're insulting you, pretending not to get the sarcasm is a great way to annoy them.
  • Sometimes sarcasm is confused with quick wit.
  • Sarcasm is used differently across cultures, age groups, and genders. Learn when sarcasm is acceptable in different places, and learn to respond accordingly.
  • Sometimes the best comeback is to roll your eyes and walk away.
  • Don't get angry. Walk away if you have to.
  • Never cry in front of the sarcastic. It will give pleasure to them and will encourage them to insult you more.
  • If they insult you, don't do it back. Then you'd be stooping down to their level.
  • If you too have some personal jokes or something like that, that only you two will really understand, try including that in your sarcasm or "conversation", as they will understand it, but do not say it to anyone who would wrongly interpret it. Be careful how you use it, or how it's interpreted.


  • Don't brood on a comment you ignore. Deal with the comment if it crosses the line of acceptability, or it could snowball into a bigger problem.

Article Info

Categories: Language Nuances | Managing Conflict and Difficult Interactions