when wit turns mean

I have love, compassion, and kindness in my heart, but biting sarcasm coming out of my mouth.

What does it look like when wit turns mean?
Can one be of dry wit with the perfect bit of snark without crossing over to critical, hurtful, sarcasm?
Being playful, is that little bit of snarky humor without being unkind?

These are the questions I’m asking myself today.

Now, you may be aware of this quote.

I mean, come on, we have to admit Oscar Wilde was witty.
What interests me about this particular quote is I’m actually inclined to agree. Sarcasm, not super witty. But those who wield sarcasm are quite possibly using their intelligence, and instincts to point out what they observe about the world around them.
The more ‘intelligent’ (intuitive, instinctive, aware) you are the more you observe. The more you observe the more you understand. The more you understand the more you remark upon. The more you remark upon the more critical you can become.
That makes a kind of sense to me.

YBW and I were having a conversation with our therapist about helping each other feel safe. This kind of morphed into a discussion about him being butthurt (he used this word, I’m not being intentionally hurtful) when I’m “being myself” and saying whatever thing I’m thinking or feeling. Actually, it isn’t as much my words as it is my facial expressions.
Apparently when I think I’m making a “You sure about that?” face, what actually appears is a disapproving look.

This ‘face situation’ happens with positive emotions too. If I’m happy, y’all will know it!
(and that’s why I don’t play poker)
Most of what shows on my face and comes out of my mouth does not reflect what’s actually happening in my brain. Meaning, oftentimes what I’m actually thinking is much more kind than what my face shows.

According to Clifford N Lazarus Ph.D., sarcasm is really just hostility disguised as humor.

Am I hostile?!?
Do I attempt to mock or show contempt?!?
Do I honestly think I’m better than other people?
(Let’s be real, I am better than some people. I mean, for the most part I am a helpful, productive member of society. That said, am I walking the walk that matches the talk I’m talking?)
Here’s my truth.
I honestly have love and kindness and compassion in my heart.
When I say my intention is to do everything in love. It’s not bullshit. I’m as serious and I can possibly be.
I believe in the power of kindness. The power of compassion. The power of love.
They’re our super powers!

So why is that not reflected in what my mouth spews?
Why is it I can express my love, my kindness, my devotion a thousand million times, but the three times I express something like, “Don’t be stupid.” that’s what becomes internalized? When I say, “Don’t be stupid.” It’s not that I actually think the subject, or person, or whatever is stupid, I’m jut saying something off the cuff, something that to me means more like, “That’s a silly thing.” And mostly I mean it in a playful way.
Which leads us to intention.
For the most part, my intention is to just be “stupid” myself, by saying or doing something off the cuff. Off the cuff means I’m not putting any thought into it.
Not. Putting. Any. Thought. Into. It.
Whoa!
I’m not being mindful. I’m just saying whatever comes into my mind as fast as it comes.

I’m not hostile! (well, sometimes I am) I’m simply not paying attention. I’m not being mindful.
Words can and do hurt.
Dry wit is funny.
Snark can be funny.
Sarcasm is hurtful.

I don’t understand why I’m just now realizing that.
I learned that meanness as a small child. I learned that was how you communicate. My mother was more sarcastic than I could ever dream of being! But she was hostile. And she was chock-full of contempt.
I didn’t know. I didn’t know then what I know about her now.
I didn’t know that being mean was not the way I should treat people.
Only, I didn’t know it was mean. I thought that was how people who loved each other functioned.

Oh, I’m not making excuses, I understand that sometimes sarcasm sounds unkind.
What I’m really understanding for the first time is that my intentions and my actions are at odds.
I have much work to do.
I want my intentions and actions to become much more cohesive.
I’m journaling my ass off getting ready for my appointment with my own therapist next week.

I’ve been fighting to reach perfection my entire life!
Perfection is the big lie!
Being critical of others might make one feel perfect…but perfection isn’t truly achievable.
Being the best possible you is the only thing you can really strive for.

Damn.
It’s true what they say about learning something new each day. Kinda wish I’d known all this a bit sooner though.
I’m not entire finished with this thought process. There’s more to it. I’m going to give it a good think and get back to you.

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Categories: me | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

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2 thoughts on “when wit turns mean

  1. Being critical, sarcastic, and snarky is your subconscious mind saying things before your consciousness is even aware af what you really, deep down, think and believe. If you want to change then maybe you have to overcome all that nasty programming you picked up from your mother before you were old enough to know any better
    I know you are mindful, and that you can do anything you apply all that love, compassion, and kindness you have in your heart.
    For one, I believe in your ❤❤❤

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