Gentle Bamboo Solutions

Sarcasm and the Path to Happiness


If someone asks "Do you want a spoon for the soup?" the answer is quite simple. You either say Yes or you say No. But, a sarcastic reply would be "Of course not! I always drink soup straight out of the bowl."

Now, an adult would actually fetch the offered spoon (because they know the meaning is to be interpreted as the opposite of the words).

A kid wouldn’t understand it or act accordingly. The kid would say "OK then", and get on with its life.

Children don’t understand sarcasm for the first few years of their lives. Children take whatever is said to them literally. Children are happy.

As they grow up, they start understanding that there is a way of speaking in which the speaker says one thing and means the exact opposite of it.

The theory I postulate is to start ignoring sarcasm. Don’t react to it. Don’t read between the lines. Just accept things at face value. You won’t feel bad. You won’t feel the need to please everyone. You don’t even have to retaliate with an equally smart comeback. Just accept the answer with its literal meaning, and respond appropriately. Don’t fetch the spoon!

I have not tested this theory yet, but I have seen it in action today. It worked wonderfully. Shoutout to N.

I’m going to run this experiment and update how it goes. You try it too. Maybe we’re on to something. Maybe we are on a path to some little happiness.

Drinking soup from the bowl,