I was reminded recently of the power of words. Our society seems to thrive in sarcasm as a mode of social communication. In small doses it can be an appropriate way to engage individuals to encourage bonding and interesting conversation. When overdone, it can be hurtful and damaging at its worst. It is about the latter that I want to focus on in this post.
I was joking around with a buddy of mine when we are out one night. It was one of those jokes about him that buddies make that, in my mind, I thought was good natured. It went on for a while. Finally my friend looked at me, literally hurt in his eyes, and said, “I am tired of you pointing out my flaws.” Ouch!
I felt like I was hit by a sledgehammer. I apologized to him and things have worked out between us. However, it caused me to reflect on my sarcastic humor and my words. Never in a million years would I intentionally hurt any of the feelings of my friends or loved ones. I always want to be supportive and to uplift them.
I did realize that what I say does matter to them and the words I use has power in their lives. My joking should not be about things that are sensitive in to them Guys are notorious of this with their buddies. We like to zing each other thinking it is no big deal because, after all, we are guys! However, that is not the case, especially when the source of sarcasm is coming from your best buddies.
You cannot use the excuse that you said it because you had too much to drink, either. If that is the case, then stop drinking. It is not the worth the collateral damage to your friends.
It is a wonderful thing to be out with your buddies and to share some great times and jokes. However, remember the words you choose… especially towards each other.