How do the members of this community feel about sarcasm and teasing?
Does it affect you? How do you react to it? How do you not?
What role or purpose do you feel it serves?
I personally find it exhausting. You never know if you’re suppose to laugh or cry. You keep wondering, “How much personal opinion is the person expressing and veiling through a feeble attempt at humour?”
I think it depends on the circumstances and your relationship with the person.
I once knew someone who was sarcastic and teasing, but coming from them it was a mark of affection. The more this person liked you, the more likely they were to tease you. Also they would take a lot of sarcasm and teasing back. It was the way they playfully related to the world. It never bothered me because I knew that the intent behind it was kindness and affection.
There was another person in my life who was the opposite. For them the phrase ‘Many a true word spoken in jest’ was probably written. This person used humour in a cowardly manner, as a shield to hide behind. They used it to hurt and wound and if called upon it, would say ‘Oh you are so sensitive, I am only joking’.
So it’s possible that you find it exhausting because you are misinterpreting what this person is intending. Or it is possible that you find it exhausting because, actually, you are under emotional attack by this person.
Only you can know which it is.
You might want to consider asking this person what they mean next time they make a comment, and see how they react.
And the trick is knowing the difference. Sometimes I feel like some friendly teasing or sarcasm back would help strenghten the relationship, but I do tend to be very sensitive (a trait I’ve come to accept) and so I don’t return the serve (to use a tennis metaphor). I’d sooner leave the court rather than offer a poor return or escalate the back and forth rally to a place that I won’t be able to handle.
Reacting in any other matter other than jokingly laughing it off usually solicits the reaction, “Oh, don’t be so sensitive. I’m only joking”.
So why do I take it so personally? I’m not really sure.
Part of me wishes I could as easily banter and joke around without meaning what I say, but words are very important to me and I do my best choose them carefully.
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