Jess Commons | Deputy Editor | Monday, 27 July 2015

The Problems With Being \\\'The Sarcastic One\\\' In Your Group Of Mates

The Problems With Being 'The Sarcastic One' In Your Group Of Mates

The Debrief: Yeah whatever guys. Who gives a crap. Don't even care anyways

According to a new study, it turns out that you being a sarcastic cow is actually a beneficial thing for your long-suffering friends. Psychologists at Harvard and Colombia universities found that people who had been involved in a 'sarcastic exchange' (that's you firing witty and sarcastic verbal shots at your mates, BTW) were up to three times more creative when they were ask to perform some tests after. You're welcome guys. Whatever.

The thinking behind the finding is that in order to understand a sarcastic comment, the brain has to switch into thinking 'abstractly' which means a more creative manner of thinking is possible. TBF, this study is excellent news because, as anyone who's the sarcastic one in their friendship group knows, there's a whole bunch of social minefields sarcastic people have to deal with every day. Here's some of them.

Texting's a total nightmare

Your best friends have learned to ignore your more hurtful comments when you say them out loud, ('Yeah I'm really going to wear that hideous dress that's hanging in your cupboard on my date; what am I, YOU?'). Mean-sounding stuff like that goes straight over their heads on account of a a little technique you've mastered that linguists like to call 'tone'. Basically, the way you talk denotes that you're just pretending to be a total wankshaft (rather than actually being one). Write your hilarious sarcastic comments down in a text though and they come across less like light-hearted wit and more like you hate your friend, the world and yourself.


People have probably been mad at you for years

Because for every 10 excellently timed, perfectly dropped witty and sarcastic responses, there's probably three or four that landed with all the grace of a rugby-playing fresher hitting the pavement outside the Student Union at 2AM on a Saturday morning. And, while you just moved on, oblivious to any offence caused, timider folk might have taken your hilarious 'joke' to heart. Something you'll only find out three years later in the middle of a blazing row after two bottles of sauvignon blanc. Who knew that calling their now-dead-from-diabetes cat a 'porker' was something that they'd actually get upset about?

'Oh, you were joking'

There's some people out there (and granted we don't know many but we're assured they exist) who are honest folk. Nice people that take things at face value. The sort of people who, when they ask if you'd like to to go to that shitty Tapas restaurant with them on Thursday night don't get that your eye-rolling affirmative 'yes', was actually not what you meant at all. They're probably still waiting there for you with a plate of oily chorizo and a manky glass of wine with all the faithfullness of an old labrador guarding it's masters' grave, seven years after he's passed on. Oops.

No one believes your compliments

In all fairness, it does take a lot for you to be 'moved' in a big way – SO many times you've watched Secret Millionaire with dry eyes while your housemates are sobbing into their duvets. But when you ARE actually moved like, say when your best friend tries on her wedding dress for the first time, actual sincerity is really evoke. Simple sentences like: 'Oh my gosh you look so beautiful' actually comes out sounding like 'Really? You're going to wear that deformed pile of chiffon and lace on the most important day of your life? Nice one. Dick'. There goes you being asked to do reading on the big day.

And you can't recieve them either

Because real sincerity requires real emotion in response. Which is something you're terrible at. If Emotion was a GCSE, you'd still be re-taking it with a bunch of knock-kneed 15 year olds 10 years on. That's why your normal response to 'Oh, I really like your dress' is at first, suspicion, followed by a pithy remark like 'Yeah, shame yours looks like you've fished it out of the bargain basement reject pile of your local market stall. Ha.' Before you turn away and cry a little inside.

Like this? Then you might also be interested in:

How To Make Friends When You're Socially Awkward And Everyone Seems To Have Mates Except You

The Complications Of Shopping With Your BFFs

How To Make Your Friendships Last Throughout Your 20s

Follow Jess on Twitter @Jess_Commons

Tags: Friends