I have a tendency to be flip, sarcastic sprinkled with humor. Naturally, my intent is never to harm someone, but there are the occasions where my teasing manner can be construed as something more. Recently, I opened my mouth to join in what I thought was a joking matter, when what happened next made me realize that the subject was tender, which resulted in a hurtful remark directed at me. Honestly, I don’t fault this individual because I realize that my sarcasm isn’t always appropriate. However, this isn’t the first time or the last time, that my comments have been met with, what I refer to as, “under the skin” remarks. Anything “under the skin” refers to something that is close to the heart. Something, that if said, harms the individual. It is the semantic version of Superman’s kryptonite.
While I am not perfect, I try to be mindful of spewing words when triggered or fearful. I use sarcasm as a way to fit in or get people to laugh, but as I get older, I am learning to tread lightly. People’s sensitivity is heightened on many levels. Now, I can’t control other people’s words, but by keeping myself in check, my side of the street is clean.
While hurtful, I was able to actually be grateful for the comment as it encouraged me on various levels. Words can be a painful form of torture that lie embedded in our soul. They can be forgiven, but not forgotten. I must remember that harsh semantics are never a solution to a temporary situation. If it isn’t doesn’t meet these three criteria – Is it kind? Is it necessary? Is it true? – then it should remain tucked away and never said. Such a tall order, but such a valuable tool when dealing in healthy relationships.