Humor is a great way to reduce stress, but there is one type of humor you should avoid at all costs; sarcasm. If you were to look up the word sarcasm in the dictionary, you would see this definition: “To tear flesh!” That’s what sarcasm means. While a sarcastic comment may be funny, if the comment is directed at you, it hurts! Sarcasm is a latent (unconscious) form of anger. People use sarcams in an underhanded way to seek revenge. Many people who use sarcasm mask their anger with a quick barb and a laugh. Unlike other types of humor that reduce stress, sarcasm only promotes it. Sarcasm is rampant in the American culture, particularly at the worksite. Sarcasm can also be seen in the media as well. The comedian Rosanne is renowned for using sarcasm in her stand-up shows, even her TV show contained much sarcasm. She’s not alone in these efforts. The Dilbert cartoon strip is often called “Biting Humor.” Life, in turn, imitates art and sarcasm perpetuates throughout the culture. But this is not an index of a healthy culture, nor is sarcasm a healthy way to deal with stress.

• Stress Tip For The Day:
Consciously observe your thoughts and words this week for sarcasm. Ask yourself how often you use sarcasm. If and when you find sarcasm streaming from your lips, stop and ask yourself “What am I angry about?” Ultimatley, unresolved anger is a threat to your physical health. Unresolved anger must be resolved. When you hear other people being sarcastic, remind yourself that these people are angry. If possible, ask they why? (particularly if they include your spouse, friends or co-workers).

• Links/Books Worth Noting:
I couldn’t find any worthwhile links on the topic of sarcasm, though there are many that flaunt it. Instead, I opted to include here an inspirational graduation speech by Steve Jobs at Stamford University. Enjoy!

• Quotes for the Day:
“He (or she) who seeks revenge should dig two graves.” —Anonymous.

• Photo of the Day:
I didn’t plan on swimming with sharks while in Tahiti last month. They just kind of showed up. Thank God they didn’t like human flesh (as a rule, black tipped sharks never attack humans). But other sharks do! This seemed like an appropriate photo for today’s theme.

Brian Luke Seaward, Ph.D. is an internationally renowned expert in the fields of stress management, mind-body-spirit healing and stress and human spirituality. He is the author of over 10 books including the bestsellers, Stand Like Mountain, Flow Like Water, Stressed Is Desserts Spelled Backward, The Art of Calm, Quiet Mind, Fearless Heart and Managing Stress (6E). He can be reached through his

© Brian Luke Seaward, Ph.D.

Brian Luke Seaward

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  • Renay Miller says:

    Wow, the shark photo is not only stunning, but beautifully illustrates the definition of sarcasm. We can tear at each other’s flesh and bloody up the water, or we can swim peacefully with clear vision.

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