The paradox of sarcasm

Sarcasm is a characteristic of Scandinavian culture. What that means in reality? The definition of sarcasm is to make remarks which are the opposite of what someone says in order to criticize in a humorous way or hurt someone feelings. It is also said that the Viking sarcasm and irony travelled to Britain and made the well know British black humor.

Sarcasm is also a characteristic of other countries or cultures in a greater or smaller degree. However, Scandinavian cultures are also known, as the countries resistant to gelato phobia. What gelato phobia means? I am not afraid to be made fun of. As a result, the combination of sarcasm, irony and gelato phobia is some key components of the Nordics, which make the culture unique. People do not care for perfectionism. Someone can be dressed as he wishes and walk outside without anybody to care. The only comment that other people might say: “interesting” and the comment ends there. This means high tolerance of diversity and respect of differences without criticism.

Sarcasm without tolerance can lead to failure and hurt someone’s feeling. I am convinced that irony is part of our life and can help us to express in a positive way without trying to hurt other’s feeling. This is how I use irony but it is not always well accepted. I hope that people, in general, will be more tolerant to sarcasm, irony or gelato phobia and not look on that as a barrier. The dark humor is not linked to our dark side, it is another way to see things and if that works why don’t we try it.

Many of the above words have a Greek origin and their initial meaning was completely different that it is now. One example is the word sarcasm, which means tear skin with my teeth. Maybe the modern expression connects with the ancient one metaphorically. In the past, the meaning was to tear with my own teeth, now it is to tear someone feeling with my own words. How harm can, somebody make with his own words or how good? Words have an impact on motivation or make people go the extra mile. Good appraisal or nice words have a positive impact on the receiver and definitely helps a lot. Is it the sarcasm used to create this positive energy or keep only the good words? This is the art of using the right words for the right people and adjust. The first receiver of this writing is myself who is still trying to adapt to my audience. Always trying but not always successful.

The paradox now of the sarcasm is how sarcasm can be successful in certain people and very unsuccessful in others. Some people say that sarcasm is a sign of intelligence. However, timing is another factor that really affects the message and the receiver can take it as it is or misinterpreted. Hoping in a more acceptance of all kind of sarcasm, irony with only one target: how we can smile more in our life and enjoy every moment!



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