First of all, try to understand what is happening. Are they really trying to insult you?
Sometimes people resort to sarcasm in order to prevent negative emotions - anger, irritation, fear - from mastering themselves. Taunting may be their weapon against annoying circumstances or protection from a possible attack by others. It is important to know these differences if you do not want to inadvertently scare away the interlocutor who was simply unsuccessfully joking.
For example, you have just missed your flight. “What to do now?” You say in a fallen voice. “Well, our vacation has already begun,” your companion answers. “We can put on slippers and start resting right here.” There is no lunge in your direction in his remark. Most likely, he is simply trying to ward off annoyance. Think about what would happen if he began to complain and blame you.
Your companion might react differently. For example: “Are we late?” It's strange, because you spent only an hour and a half to collect a cosmetic bag. " This is already an attack. But here you should think: maybe he is right? Have you really been going too long? In this case, it is worth asking the partner to explain what exactly he is dissatisfied with. Make it clear that you acknowledge the validity of criticism, but you are offended by the form in which it is expressed.
It also happens that in our environment there is a person who is constantly ulcerating for any reason. Here are some ways to neutralize it.
Call for constructiveness
Why is sarcasm so hard to recognize? Often the interlocutor presents an insulting message in the form of advice or friendly participation. According to Eric Berne's transactional analysis, such a message operates on two levels - explicit and hidden. Obviously, conversation can go between two inner Adults. But the secretly inner Parent of your interlocutor addresses your Child, scolding him. Your task is to return the situation to the level of Adults.
“Maybe you should head the company instead of me?” If it seems to you that you understand business better.
- Wait a minute. I did not say that I understand something better than you. I just propose to look at the situation objectively. If my plan is successful, it will benefit everyone. That is exactly what I want.
Do not give in to hidden mockery
There is another way (if you know for sure that the person you are talking to is mocking): defiantly ignore the hidden package. A caustic remark always contains two levels of meaning: literal and hidden. Bring the literal meaning of his words to the point of absurdity. But it is worth reacting only if the mockery does not require an explicit answer.
- To find the right papers on your desk, you would have to hire a whole staff of archaeologists!
- Unfortunately, the crisis is now, and we cannot afford it. But I will gladly take over their work - completely free!
You can seize the initiative in a conversation if you resort to sarcasm yourself. So you will show to the interlocutor that you also own his weapons well. And besides - make him switch from his replica to yours. Do not forget that the masters of the verbal duel can perceive this as a challenge. And then you have to look for the answer to their next cue, and so on ad infinitum.
- Did you make a presentation in PowerPoint? How cute! Could still draw by hand.
“I'm afraid I would have to contact you.” After all, you have talent! Judging by those wonderful drawings that you so diligently display in your notebook during your meetings.
Let the person know that his behavior is unacceptable
Another simple way: directly indicate to the interlocutor that he is behaving inappropriately. Starting to make excuses, you admit that there really can be something ridiculous in your behavior. When you question the words of the interlocutor, you deprive them of power.
“You have a great plan!” Maybe just take all the money and give it to the poor?
“I see you're tired.” Let's take a break and get back to the conversation when you are ready to listen to me.
Find his motive
There are people who always sore - out of habit. For others, sarcasm is a way of manipulation. Think about what your interlocutor’s motive might be. Maybe he is trying to attract attention? Or, on the contrary, with the help of sharp remarks, he wants to get away from discussing a topic that is uncomfortable for him. Perhaps he provokes you to lose your temper and lose face. Having calculated the motive, you can choose the right strategy for behavior.
And most importantly: be confident. "Trolls" feel doubt and play on them. Your equanimity in itself will be a good defense against provocations.