Trapped Anger Comes Out Sideways As Sarcasm

28 December 2016 Written by 

How does it feel when you are around someone who uses sarcasm as a way of communication? Can you sense the underlying anger?

Anger that is not dealt with in healthy ways will come out “sideways” as sarcasm or constant criticism. Sarcasm is mocking, sharp, bitter, cutting – a taunt that ridicules, mocks, and is spoken contemptuously. It is couched in disdain and scorn.

Sarcasm is not an innocuous way of making a joke. If you are the brunt of derision, scorn, mockery, etc., how could this possibly feel okay? And yet, people who are close to us sometimes use sarcasm in their communication. Sarcasm reflects anger and frustration.

This type of passive-aggressive behavior is very destructive. It hurts others. There is an undercurrent of anger and rage that causes pain and hurt with every sarcastic jab. If I speak up to the passive-aggressive user of sarcasm, I might get this response: “Can’t you take a joke?” This individual takes pleasure in provoking others with their use of sarcasm, and then feigns shock when they get a reaction. The response they give is, “Why are you getting so upset? You are over-reacting!”

Sarcasm is hidden hostility and mean-spirited. It’s important to recognize it for what it is – it’s abusive. If someone tosses me a ball, I don’t have to catch it. Sometimes it’s best just to walk away.

Content Originally Published By: Amy T. @


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Amy T.

Raised on a dairy farm in upstate NY, I learned to work hard along with my five siblings. I grew up in a very conservative Mennonite-Amish church which shaped a lot of my fundamental core values and beliefs. After moving to Florida to attend college, I married and became mother to five children. Eventually, my unmanageable life came to a crashing halt and I found my way into an Al-Anon recovery program. Recovery has affected every area of my life and I love sharing the things I am learning with others so that they might also find hope for their own recovery.
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