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Handling sarcasm

Old 01-18-2013, 08:44 AM
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Handling sarcasm

My AH has brought it to my attention that I can't handle him poking fun at me and that I don't like his sarcasm. He thinks I'm too sensitive and that I take things too personally. While that may be true, I just don't see sarcasm as being necessary to have 'fun' in a relationship. He thinks he can't have fun or laugh without being sarcastic. No one in my family is sarcastic and we all know how to have fun and have a good time together, I'm not sure why he thinks life isn't enjoying if you can't poke fun at others.

One of the situations that was brought us was when we were at a car dealership and I asked the question, "Do you negotiate (or something along the lines of asking him if they haggle about prices)?" And, AH thought it was something to make fun of me about and he started laughing at how silly my question was. Then, a month later he revealed to me that he told one of his buddies about it and they had a good laugh at my expense over this. I didn't take it well and now I'm too sensitive?

Anyway, I know I need to work on being less sensitive and I know I need to stop taking things too personally. Yet, how do you handle sarcasm in general, when it's you someone is poking fun at? I mean, I laugh at myself for being clumsy, for talking to myself, for being disorganized about certain things, etc. I know how to take a simple joke but when it's something that is about my character, I see it as an attack. And, to be honest, I don't know anyone who is as sarcastic as my AH is. NO ONE. Not even my alcoholic father who was more of a belittler than sarcastic anyway.
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Old 01-18-2013, 09:02 AM
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It's not just sarcasm, lizatola, it's passive-aggressive belittling. I think this must be an alcoholic trait as my partner used to make fun of me all the time and complain I was being too sensitive about it. It's one thing to be playful; it's another to put someone down continuously. It got to the point where every interaction I had with my partner was riddled with this and there was no normal conversation left.

This has eased quite a lot since he quit, and I am also able to talk to him about it much better now (and he tends to remember!), but it's still there.

I think it boils down to lack of confidence manifesting itself as superiority and cockiness. This is no excuse, but I know my partner suffers from low self-esteem and recently told me in a moment of truth that he sometimes feels small next to me.

Don't let your husband make you feel small. And no, you are not too sensitive. Relaying this conversation with his friend and claiming they both laughed at you sounds eerily familiar to me, and it's simply unacceptable, especially as you have told him how you feel.

I'm not sure if I can give you advice on handling your specific issue, but the last time this happened to me, quite a while back now, I looked my partner in the eye and asked him if it made him feel like a bigger man to try to make me feel small. He laughed it off but he was quiet for a while thinking about it.
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Old 01-18-2013, 09:13 AM
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I had a boyfriend like that. If I got upset he would say "I'm just kidding!"

One day I said "Why do you think it is okay to kid around with me like that?"

I can't recall ever seeing a situation where I thought someone really was being too sensitive when hurt by a joke. It's just a poor excuse for the "jokes yet" to be passive aggressive. The phrase "I was just kidding!" to me is code for "I want to be hurtful to you under the guide of humor."
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Old 01-18-2013, 09:36 AM
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Yes, I get the "jokes on me" all the time! However, it is always at home when no-one else ever hears it. In fact, to the public eye I am the Queen, but behind closed doors is a different story.

When we first got our dog (Lab) AH was "training" her and showing the rest of us how to train her. If you are giving the dog something, you hold it with your thumb and index finger, hold the other 3 fingers out to show the dog "not till I say", when you relax your 3 fingers that is when the dog can have her treat. Yep, he did that to me one night with a piece of steak!! I flat out REFUSED to take it and he got the message for about a week. That's when he started calling me "Slug-o", the dog's name of a famous comedian. He didn't see the problem with it, he was just joking and thought it was funny.

Later that evening we went to his brother's for family gathering, as AH was calling me "sweetie" and "honey" etc, I saw it as the perfect opportunity, in which I replied "I thought I was Slug-o?". Everyone wanted to know what that was about, and I haven't been called that or "given a treat" since.

I still get all the other jokes and sarcasm so I don't really know either how to deal with it. I too would love to know how to deal with it better!

Ugh!

Jen
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Old 01-18-2013, 09:39 AM
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I don't really like sarcasm either and that was a big issue in my last relationship.

He told me I was too sensitive too but I felt his comments were verbally abuse. Nobody likes being made fun of or put down all the time.

The older I get the more I think it's just a form of thinly veiled aggression.

Yes, we should all have the ability to laugh at ourselves but when you tell someone not to speak to you in a certain way they should also respect your wishes.
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Old 01-18-2013, 09:39 AM
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what shocks me is he told his "friends"....and they laughed at it...was it an impression on him that you where CHEAP?....or smart? or you are "beneath him"....

I am being honest here...."i dont get the laugh" and i am being serious...it is a smart question to ask when getting a big purchase...*shakes my head* and my reaction would be to punch him in the mouth....
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Old 01-18-2013, 10:05 AM
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Red face

I read on ODAT or CTC that sarcasm is "to tear flesh", and the Synonyms are: irony, mockery, cynicism, derision, acerbity, scorn, disdain.
Sarcasm is a strange habit. The word “sarcasm” comes from the Greek word that meant “to tear flesh.” When we are sarcastic, we cut others with our words. Sometimes it’s done humorously or caustically. However it’s done, the ultimate result when we’re sarcastic is that we slice people with our tongues.
My XAH was a master on sarcasm. I don't allow sarcasm in my life anymore from no one. To me that is part of my self-care, and love.
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Old 01-18-2013, 10:27 AM
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Originally Posted by Audrey1 View Post
It's not just sarcasm, lizatola, it's passive-aggressive belittling. I think this must be an alcoholic trait as my partner used to make fun of me all the time and complain I was being too sensitive about it. It's one thing to be playful; it's another to put someone down continuously.
I agree - there's a big difference between well-placed sarcasm & passive-agressive behavior.

RAH still struggles with this at times, it seems almost like a knee-jerk reaction that he's having a hard time reversing & like I've pointed out to him recently; it's a sign of tremendous immaturity above all else.
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Old 01-18-2013, 10:30 AM
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Originally Posted by fourmaggie View Post
what shocks me is he told his "friends"....and they laughed at it...was it an impression on him that you where CHEAP?....or smart? or you are "beneath him"....

I am being honest here...."i dont get the laugh" and i am being serious...it is a smart question to ask when getting a big purchase...*shakes my head* and my reaction would be to punch him in the mouth....
I agree - I don't understand what's even funny about it. It sounds like a reasonable question under those circumstances.
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Old 01-18-2013, 10:43 AM
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Lizatola I agree with you. I do a pretty good job of being polite, but there are always those who view it as a weakness and exploit it to the maximum.
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Old 01-18-2013, 10:46 AM
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One of the situations that was brought us was when we were at a car dealership and I asked the question, "Do you negotiate (or something along the lines of asking him if they haggle about prices)?" And, AH thought it was something to make fun of me about and he started laughing at how silly my question was.
Being sarcastic is one thing but you're describing something worse: taking shots at you in front of other people. That's hostile and cutting. You deserve to be treated with respect, not put down. There's nothing wrong with you, certainly.
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Old 01-18-2013, 10:47 AM
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My FOO has a very sarcastic sense of humor. However, we can also laugh at ourselves. At times, I will have some great embarrassing stories to share and can hardly wait to see my family to share them - knowing for well, it will be a joke within the family for years.

For me, the difference is the intent. If the sarcasm is a guise for resentments or belittling then its not funny. But if it just in fun, then I am OK with it.

Lastly, I would never poke fun or be sarcastic with someone who clearly doesn't like it. My husband is very funny and we make fun of him all the time. He can laugh at himself. His best friend is a RA of 20 yrs, and an ACOA, and will often look at him to make its OK to laugh. I tease him about that. . Although, I tease him too, I am very careful not to cross a line because he is very sensitive. Just recently, he told me he envies my husband and I ability to laugh and joke with each other without causing harm and is learning not to take himself too seriously now. (He is currently working from our home office, so he is here a lot).
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Old 01-18-2013, 11:57 AM
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Being honest with myself and taking input from my RAH I admit I have a tendency to make a sarcastic remark. Now that my RAH has indicated to me that it bothers him, I am trying to be aware and work on it.

Mostly for me the sarcasm comes when I am frustrated and can't express what my wants or needs are in a calm, clear way. I am not justifying this but just wanted to help you consider how you might respond to your AH.

For example when he made fun of your question about negotiating you might consider saying - 'If you have a problem with me asking a question or wanting to introduce negotiations into our dealings with the salesperson you can let me know ... I will not allow you to make fun of me and if you do so again or continue to do so we will have to discontinue the discussion until a later time.'

Not sure if this makes sense but I notice that when I express sarcasm my RAH is less responsive to me which makes me reconsider how I am speaking to him and what it is that is really bothering me that is making me choose sarcasm. Of course, I consider myself a considerate person and I am trying to work on this to be more compassionate to my RAH and to be a better person. Nevertheless, you sticking up for yourself and not accepting sarcasm may help your AH reconsider how he treats you or let him know sarcasm will not be acknowledged.

I do agree with other posts that what you are describing seems like more than sarcasm and is not really the type of treatment I would want from a partner.
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Old 01-18-2013, 01:06 PM
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Here's another example of what he gets upset about and considers me too sensitive about. He likes to tease me about how I open packages. I just tear into stuff and many times the chips go flying or the bag won't close properly, etc. When we first got married, money was tight so he used to get on my case about how wasteful it was to open packages like that and how much it costs to replace stuff when it gets stale. In present day he's now upset with me because he feels he can't joke about my package opening issue because I take his joking too seriously. Well, heck yes, I do. The original intent behind his comments was to chastise me for being wasteful but now it's OK to be wasteful? I can't keep up.

Anyway, I just feel like I'm constantly being a detective. Trying to figure out the intent, etc. And, now, if I tell him that some of his comments don't bother me he'll accuse me of lying and just covering up my real feelings so I feel like I'm always working from a disadvantage here.
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Old 01-18-2013, 01:31 PM
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Lizatola~
Consider the source......
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Old 01-18-2013, 01:36 PM
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I think your question was pretty legitimate! And even if a little misplaced, still not really a funny thing...especially funny enough to share with friends.

Sometimes I think the "sarcasm" and little "nit picks" are meant subconsciously to tear us down so that we are on their level.
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Old 01-18-2013, 01:44 PM
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I guess I am in the minority in that I appreciate sarcasm - actually I like it I find it very funny. BUT - if I am not kindred spirits with someone I DON'T like it at all. I find it annoying and humorless which is more a reflection of what I feel about them than whether or not its funny.
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Old 01-18-2013, 01:52 PM
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Originally Posted by redatlanta View Post
I guess I am in the minority in that I appreciate sarcasm - actually I like it I find it very funny. BUT - if I am not kindred spirits with someone I DON'T like it at all. I find it annoying and humorless which is more a reflection of what I feel about them than whether or not its funny.
Don't get me wrong - I utterly appreciate well-placed sarcasm. It can make for some hysterical moments.

But when it's used passive-aggressively as a tool to hurt, it's wrong.
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Old 01-18-2013, 03:49 PM
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Originally Posted by lizatola View Post
Here's another example of what he gets upset about and considers me too sensitive about. He likes to tease me about how I open packages. I just tear into stuff and many times the chips go flying or the bag won't close properly, etc. When we first got married, money was tight so he used to get on my case about how wasteful it was to open packages like that and how much it costs to replace stuff when it gets stale. In present day he's now upset with me because he feels he can't joke about my package opening issue because I take his joking too seriously. Well, heck yes, I do. The original intent behind his comments was to chastise me for being wasteful but now it's OK to be wasteful? I can't keep up.

Anyway, I just feel like I'm constantly being a detective. Trying to figure out the intent, etc. And, now, if I tell him that some of his comments don't bother me he'll accuse me of lying and just covering up my real feelings so I feel like I'm always working from a disadvantage here.
Liz, I have to tell you.........my husband has "package opening issues" too and it drives me crazy. It can just be one of those husband/wife issues. I don't close the cabinet doors tightly so they swing open and that drives him crazy too. When he rips something open, I always tell him that he will find every cabinet door open next time he comes in the kitchen. Or just moving his stapler on his desk makes him nuts, so I threatened that. Sometimes, it is in fun and sometimes its not. It is just how big of a deal I make it that becomes the point. I would rather be happy then annoyed and try to keep that in mind.
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Old 01-18-2013, 05:19 PM
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my xabf used to use what i would tell him against me often. i took it so personal. i shared with him that i am insecure with men....something that stems back to my childhood. a man who has his wits about him...someone that isnt in the alcoholic frame of mind would have NEVER used that information against me....he would call me insecure at times because he remembered me sharing that with him (something that I never shared with any of my boyfriends until him). he took advantage of my weakness and I hate him for that. he completely disrespected me and that is something i will never forgive him for. i just cant. i know its his diseased mind and that makes me able to let it go now that i am no longer with him...but i will tell you that during that time (of being with him) i began to feel wow maybe i am insecure in other ways too...i started really doubting myself. NOT ANYMORE! please dont let him doubt yourself or disrespect you that way anymore! i really dont think they get it at all...the hurt it causes and the mind f%$% it causes
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