POLYAMORY: THE MORE LOVING PERSPECTIVE
Dr. Sasha (Alex) Lessin & Janet Kira Lessin

Answer Questions from the More Loving Perspective
  
 
Cure Lovers Sarcasm


Question: My girlfriend speaks sarcastically and mocks me with her voice and words. I hate it. She doesn't even realize she's being sarcastic. How can I make her stop?

Sasha: Sarcasm veils anger but vents it indirectly.  We suggest you and your girlfriend discuss the hurt, fear or insecurity generating the sarcasm.

    Next time she's sarcastic, tell her you feel hurt when she speaks that way.  Say, "I imagine speaking that way vents your anger.  Under the anger, I'll bet you feel scared, hurt or insecure, and I'd like to hear about that.  Tell me what you're angry about and I'll actively listen [Listen Actively Cue Sheets] to you." 

          

The Kiss - Gustav Klimt

    Set yourself to understand and empathize with her before you react.  Look in her eyes, keep your face neutral and make no reactive gestures or faces.

    Every few sentences, ask her to stop, so you can see if you're getting her right.  Tell her what you heard her say and ask, "Is that what you're saying?" until she agrees you accurately reflect her ideas.  

Then say, "Is there more on this you'd like to say?"  When she's said all she chooses on the subject, summarize what she said and say, "I imagine you felt...". 

    Then take your turn and respond to her concerns.  Alternate turns as speaker and listener till you work through the issue.

Tell your girlfriend that, from now on, when she's vexed with you, to use active listening instead of sarcasm.  Ask her, when she feels an impulse to be sarcastic, or when she or you notice she's becoming sarcastic, to say, "I'm feeling (hurt, angry, disappointed).  I need you to listen actively to me; let's find a time so I can work through this feeling and feel close and loving again."

    It may take a week or so of practice to get comfortable with this new way of sharing and it may take months for her to break her sarcasm habit.  Your girlfriend learned to communicate her anger through sarcasm long before she knew you, so be patient with her.