I used to have a sharp tongue. Sarcasm was my second language, perfected by zinging my younger brother once he grew too big for me to take on physically. Ah yes, I was a smart one. Friends would high-five, smile, or point out the “burn” delivered. My ego loved the feedback.
I would dish it out and, often, had arrows returned to me. Most often I could take it, but every once in a while one of those arrows would leave a mark.
It got to the point where (what I thought were) clever quips would simply fly out of my mouth, unfiltered. And it was these remarks that left me reworking conversations in my head days later, wishing I could take them back. I was, I’m afraid, one of those people who didn’t always leave others feeling better when they left my company. My being funny and glib was more important than the feelings of another human being.
And so, bit-by-bit, I changed. It wasn’t an overnight conversion. It happened as I began to see myself in others and didn’t like the impact I observed. Sarcasm is never delivered in a loving way. It never makes someone feel better. It often hurts.
As my grandma used to say, “Fun’s fun when it’s fun for everyone.” With sarcasm, there almost always seems to be someone left out of the fun at the expense of another inflating his own ego.
I want each person who spends time with me to feel better afterward. I want fun to be fun for everyone. I want to be clever without taking someone down in the process. I want my ego to be boosted by these things instead.