What is the most effective way to respond to
sarcastic nasty comments ? When any response
you give back is met with laughter and
telling you that you are too sensitive or
can't take a joke ?


3455 days ago
Good question!

Lets first distinguish between two types of sarcastic comments. The first type is playful and teasing. It's harmless, but you know it's harmless because usually the speaker will suggest that everything is safe with body language or other comments. The second type is really a disguised form of aggression used to put you down. I usually dish out the first, though I am sensitive and resist the second when it's being dished out to me.

I had a friend who started doing this (the second type) to me a few years ago. At first I would try and go head to head with him and dish it back to him. But the truth is, it's not my style to be combative like that; I'm a more peaceful person and I don't like to compete with my friends. It took a while, but I eventually brought it up and said: "hey, you know what, it doesn't make me feel good when you say that stuff. It needs to stop." In my situation, it didn't stop, and I'm not really friends with that person anymore, but it's worth a try.

So lets say you try it and he says you're being too sensitive. The answer is that you say "no I'm not. You're being INsensitive with those remarks. Don't twist it into my problem. You're using it as a way to put me down, and it's not going to fly anymore. Do you understand what I'm saying to you?" His response will probably be dismissive, but you have to be firm, even if it leads to awkwardness. In fact, it SHOULD lead to some awkwardness, because they he'll know not to F with you anymore. If he still pushed back, you can say something like "you know what? I don't think you're capable of seeing what's going on, so I'm not going to try and convince you anymore. I don't care if you think I'M being too sensitive or whatever. I want it to stop either way."

Go in with the attitude that you know, 100%, that this isn't your problem but his. Don't back down until you get him to agree to stop, EVEN if it means that he still thinks you're being oversensitive. If you show him that you're 100% confident that you're acting normally and responsibly and maturely, he'll back down. Do you think you can try that?

3448 days ago
Right on.