Watch out for Sarcasm

Episode 26
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Do you use sarcasm?

In spite of the cliche –  Sarcasm is the lowest form of wit, many people use sarcasm.

I don’t think that sarcasm is harmful in all cases, but it pays to check where and when to avoid it according to research.

Sarcasm can be used differently and the best way to screen your use of sarcasm is to be aware of the contexts to avoid it! 


In today’s episode of The Little Shot™, I’ll cover 4 main ways sarcasm can be used so you can take more care when using sarcasm. You’re going to learn that sarcasm is risky. It can very easily cause a fall out if not carefully applied (or avoided).

Do you use Sarcasm?


Scroll to watch 5-minute episode and further your insight into sarcasm.

1. Face Saving Sarcasm

This refers to moments when you might use sarcasm if you’re feeling at risk of violation or personal put down. In this context, your sarcastic remark served to make you save face. 

2. Embarrassment Diffusion Sarcasm

This is a case where you may have done a great job at something but you’re trying to deflect attention from yourself, by making a sarcastic remark. In this instance, the sarcastic comment reduces the positive outcome you achieved and also “downplays your success.”

Embarrassment diffusion sarcasm is quite similar to self-deprecation and should be avoided in most cases. 

You can learn more about Why Self Deprecation sabotages you.

3. Ironic Complement Sarcasm

Sometimes, when your conversation partner is feeling awkward, let’s just say they just met you, they may use sarcasm as a way to compliment you or add humor. We call this an ironic compliment. Watch out in this context, research shows that younger people are less likely to take ironic compliments well (Ivanko, Pexman & Olinek, 2004), also, if you’re female you’re more likely to read compliments as sarcastic. 

Watch out for Sarcasm

Episode 26

This little shot is scheduled for 10 am on Tuesday the 17th of November, 2020. If you arrive here earlier, don’t forget to turn on notifications via the YouTube premiere button so you can be first to know once the mini-tutorial pushes live.

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4. Frustration Diffusion Sarcasm

This is the sarcasm that pops out during frustration. Take care, as it can be the prelude to a conflict!

When people are frustrated, they are more at risk of using sarcasm to cope with the annoying things going on around them. I don’t recommend using sarcasm in this instance with others as when stress levels increase, so does cognitive processing.

Our High-Performance Communication Audit will identify for you the core areas you can level up your communication so that you can interact with more confidence and comfort.
I’m sure this Little shot episode has given you a few things to think about regarding sarcasm. Now, over to you.

How does sarcasm make you feel when you’re on the receiving end of it? Let me know in the comments below. 

Let me know in the comments below.

Thank you so much for watching and I’ll see you next time.

Ciao for now!




Ivanko, Stacey & Pexman, Penny & Olineck, Kara. (2004). How Sarcastic are You? Individual Differences and Verbal Irony. Journal of Language and Social Psychology – J LANG SOC PSYCHOL. 23. 244-271. 10.1177/0261927X04266809. 
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