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13: The Truth in Every Bit of Sarcasm

Part of living our most authentic lives is taking ownership. When we slight someone with words, we skirt our true emotions. Being present and changing the way we connect with each other is a gift. I pray your awareness of “truth in sarcasm” brings about more clarity and love for yourself and for those around you.


Think meditation is hard? Do me a favor. Take a slow deep breath in and now breathe out. Congratulations! You just meditated. Hi, I’m Krystal Jakosky and this is Breathe In, Breathe Out, a weekly mindfulness and meditation podcast for anyone ready to own their own shit and find a little peace while doing it.

Welcome back to Breathe In, Breathe Out. I am so glad that you’re still with us or that you’ve just found us. And I really hope that you are enjoying these podcasts as much as I am enjoying just sharing my thoughts and ideas with you. 

Today is a little bit of story time because it just feels like today is a really good day for story time, cuddling up with my co-host Barry right now. I am, have been, probably always will be, on a quest for personal improvement, personal empowerment, personal growth, and understanding.

I want to be the best, most compassionate, understanding human being that I can be. And that means, for myself, as well as for those around me, I want to be my best self for me. I want to be my best self for my family and those around me. I want to be my best self for my partner, and yet I also want to be extremely compassionate for myself, for my partner, for the people around me. 

It all just kind of tumbles out. Once I take care of me, then everything else just comes together.

So this one class that I went to, it was right before COVID kind of got very intense, and it was a little bit out of my comfort zone because I am a pretty introverted person, and yet I decided that I was going to go to this three-day course by myself. 

It was just me and I knew that I was going to be into a room with, I didn’t know how many people, and I knew that I would not know a single one. I didn’t grab my best friend and have her tag along with me. And I sat down kind of in the middle-ish so that I was approachable yet still kind of protected personally. 

And I bubbled up, was taking care of myself, and eventually someone sat behind me just to my right and somebody else sat just two chairs over. I was keenly aware of them, and we ended up striking up a conversation because we had all shown up a little bit early and we kind of became friendly. 

And we went to lunch that first day together and got to know each other a little bit. And on the second day we went to lunch again. As we’re at lunch, somebody else joined us from the class, and we were talking and this new person that joined us was asking me a little about me and what I was doing. 

And I started to tell her about the Beam and Bell and the gardens and what we were building and growing here. And I was so excited and just thrilled to be able to share this vision and this growth with somebody else. 

And one of the other two ladies that had been sitting with me looks at the other and says, “Don’t you just love to hate her?” And I stopped for a second, and I looked at the woman and I very calmly said, “You know, there’s truth in every bit of sarcasm.” 

And then I went back to my statement and finished what I was saying to this other lady, because I wanted to honor the fact that I was excited and she was interested and I was able to share a bit of myself with her.

Now, I was a little bit hurt to have anybody say, “Don’t you love to hate her,” is a very jarring and hurtful statement. And to hear it right there, in my face was just kind of this… On the one hand, it was a gut punch, and on the other hand, I had the mental clarity to stop and understand that she personally had something else going on for her, whether she was insecure or uncertain. 

And the fact that I was excited and that I was moving forward in a project that I had been working on for so long, because it had been years and it was finally coming to fruition. So I understood that in some way, my success was a threat to her. 

So instead of taking it quite so deeply as a jab and allowing it to really hurt, I was able to recognize it for an insecurity that she had instead. And as we finished up lunch and we started heading back to class, this woman kind of hung back a little bit with me. 

And she said she was sorry. She did not mean to hurt me and to be rude, and she recognized that she was being a little insecure in her moment. And we were able to have this new connected conversation about where we are truthfully and how there is truth in sarcasm.  

And that we often, as humans, use sarcasm as a way to soften our own pain, soften our own insecurities, to express ourselves, and then be able to say, “Just kidding, just kidding. I didn’t mean it that way.” There was still a part of you that needed to be expressed. I have two boys and they’re grown, and they’re married now.

When they were at home, they would fight with each other and they would say some biting comment, and I would say, “Okay, well now you get to stop and give 10 pushups,” because that’s just what I made them do. It’s like, “Well, if you’re going to be mean to your brother, then you have to stop and you have to give me pushups.” 

And my boys got really strong. I could always out push them, but they got really strong in these pushups, and it was always this, “Just kidding, mom. I was just kidding.” And I’d say, “Nope, I don’t think so. Let’s just take a moment.” It was, “I hate you” or “You’re ugly,” or… just those little comments that two boys are going to say, or kids, are going to say to each other. 

Kind of cut you down a little bit so that you can feel a little better. It happens all the time. It is just normal and it rolls off our tongues, just like nothing. We don’t even stop to think about it. It’s just a natural part of our speech.

But I called my kids out on it every time, because I recognized that while it was a natural part of their speech, in the same aspect, this was a way to bite and hurt their sibling and express their own insecurity, and then try to skirt around it and avoid what was truly going on for them in that moment. 

So, mom didn’t like the, “Just kidding. I was just kidding.” And mom would make them stop, work through it, acknowledge what was going on and then move forward. It was a unique thing for me. It was a unique thing for them. 

When I was a kid and we, as kids, would do that to each other. I’m one of five. I’m the middle child of five kids. And when we would do it to each other, our parents didn’t think anything of it. I just started feeling differently about it, because I recognized the truth that was there.

So now I see that sarcasm, because there is a little bit of truth in sarcasm, it is actually an opportunity for us to check into ourselves and say, “How am I, really? What is it that I want to express? What is it that needs to come out in this moment? What personal thing do I need to face and work with?” 

I’m going to tell you a story about “how are you really?” My husband started doing this to me a few years back. We all know the standard American greetings, “Hey, how are you?” “I’m fine.” “Great.” “How are you?” “I’m fine.” “Cool,” and you keep walking. You just leave. 

There’s not really anything deeper meant in that exchange. And then you have moments where you are connecting with an old friend or a loved one or a family member, roommate, business colleague, whatever that is. And you say, “Hey, how are you?” And that acquaintance says, “I’m fine. How are you?” 

Well, my husband took a different tact on this. My husband would say, “Hey, Krystal, how are you?” And I’d say, “I’m fine. How are you?” And he’d say, “Well, I got a crick in my neck, and I really wish that you would just do a little bit of your magic right here, because my shoulder hurts and there’s a pinch there. I had a really productive day and I’m feeling good about that. And I’m really looking forward to having an evening together and connecting with you.” 

And I was like, “Wow. Okay, cool. Congratulations on your day. And let me work on that neck for you so that we can have an evening together.”

And then he would say, “Okay, so how are you, really?” The first time that he did it, I just kind of looked at him like he’d grown a couple heads. “Why are you asking me again? I already answered that question. Did you not remember that I answered that question already?” 

And he would say, “No, how are you, really?” And it gave me pause, so I’d stop and say, “Well, this is how I’m feeling,” and I would expand, “It was a rough day today and I’m a little emotional, because I don’t feel like I achieved everything that I really wanted to achieve. And I’m tired because I didn’t really sleep well last night. And I’m really excited because this is coming up tomorrow. So, that’s kind of where I’m at. I’m all over the place.” 

This moment to check in and say, “How am I, really?”  It did a lot of things for me, the biggest one was that he cared enough to ask. He cared enough to say, “Hey, baby, I love you. And I really want to connect with you in this moment. And I really want to know, how are you, how has your day gone? You look a little tired. Do you need to take a nap? Do you need just to snuggle? What can I do to support you in this moment?” 

It really said, “I want to connect with you on a deeper level than just this surfacy, ‘I’m fine. How are you?'” It was uncomfortable for me in the beginning because I wasn’t used to that. I wasn’t used to somebody saying, “Hey, I care about you enough to say, “Hey, how are you, really? Tell me what you really think. Tell me what you really want. Tell me what you really need, how you really feel.” 

I wasn’t used to checking into my own emotions. I wasn’t used to sharing that there was something a little off, something a little different, something not “perfect” in my life. Because if someone says, “How are you, really?” 

They must already know that something’s not right, that something’s not exactly as it should be, which means that you have to then admit that something’s wrong, but what is wrong when it’s just how you are in that moment? And isn’t it right if you’re being true to the emotions and the thoughts that are there? How are you, really? 

When was the last time you checked in and asked, “How am I, really?”

I’d started taking this tact with some friends and coworkers, one gal, I knew that she was struggling a little bit, she was an employee. I knew that she was overwhelmed, that she had a lot of responsibilities on her plate, and I sincerely wanted to know how she was handling them, if she needed a little bit of support, if there was anything I could do to help her get through. 

I wanted her to know that she was not alone and that there were people pulling with her if she was able to reach out. So I saw her and I said, “Hey, how are you doing?” And she said, “Well, I talked to this person and I got this project moved forward, and I got that project move forward. And I spent way too much on the phone dealing with this person and that issue and that issue and dah, dah, dah, dah, dah. And so that’s where my time is at.” 

And I said, “Well, thanks for letting me know how all of these projects are doing, because I know that they’re really important. How are you, really? How are you?” She stopped and she looked at me like “You’re asking… Well, I’m really tired and I’m really frustrated. And I wish I had more time. I wish that I had more ability to get ABC and XYZ done. This person is stressing me out, and I know that I have to deal with them tomorrow.” 

And she just let it all tumble out and opened up. It was beautiful because in that moment, I could see the weight just admitting that she was not great, just admitting that she was overwhelmed and stressed and needed a little boost, just verbalizing what she was going through. I could see that she was already feeling better. 

It was no longer pent up and held in. It was no longer this knot that was bottled up. It was, “I can express this.” And expressing it somehow made it seem a little less large. She still had the same stuff to do. Nothing changed that way. Her responsibilities were still big and yet just voicing them and having somebody literally, truly hear her, made them better. 

So it meant that now she could be more honest and she could be more centered in her own thoughts and feelings. This person has been sarcastic in the past and her sarcasm could hurt other people. And I noticed that the more stressed that she got, the more sarcastic she would get. And when you stop and listen, and she was able to really think about where she was at and she was able to verbalize her stress and frustration, her sarcasm just kind of dwindled and went away. 

She took that moment to check in. She took that moment to see where am I? What needs to happen? How can I change that? And the sarcasm just disappeared.

So you draw a parallel and you see that and you recognize that we use sarcasm to voice our feelings and our thoughts and our concerns when we don’t really have another way to express them. We haven’t fully checked in to where we’re at. 

My kids would use sarcasm because somehow they were threatened by the other one, somehow the other one is more important or loved more, or what is that? And they would use that sarcasm to make the other one come down a couple pegs so that they were on the same playing field. When in actuality, if they would just stop and say, “Why am I so insecure in this moment,” and then face that insecurity, the sarcasm would have gone away.

I watch myself now when I use sarcasm, I stop and I say, “Okay, why was that sarcastic? Why did I say that in such a manner? Why did I express that? What can I do to change that?” And it’s really cool to be so connected. So when I am sarcastic now, I stop, I ask myself why I was sarcastic, I ask, what am I afraid of? What am I hiding? What am I scared of? What’s really going on for me? 

And I take it as a moment to just dig a little deeper, connect, understand, and find a little bit more peace. And if I need to go to somebody and apologize and say, “Hey, I was really sarcastic and I’m really sorry that I said something that was hurtful. I recognize now that this is why I did that, so I just wanted to apologize and let you know that this is what was going on for me, and that’s why I did it.”

It really changes things and it lets me connect with people a little bit deeper. It actually lets me connect with myself a little bit deeper because I’m not as insecure. When I recognize that I’m being sarcastic, I check in, I see what’s there, I acknowledge that, and because I acknowledged it, it’s no longer this big, scary thing. Now it’s this, “Oh, yeah. I see you. Okay. You’re not so big and scary anymore. I can let you go.” Truth in sarcasm.

When was the last time that you used a sarcastic snarky remark back at somebody? Can you remember what it was about, or how often do you use sarcasm in a daily or a day to day life? Do you find that you use it a lot? Can you check in and see why you use it? Is there a prevailing emotion that you are hiding when you use it? 

I encourage you to stop and look. I encourage you to pay attention. Just make a note. The next time that you decide to use sarcasm with somebody, make a note and then go home and sit with it. “Okay. That was really funny.” And maybe you’ll find that there wasn’t anything to it, or maybe you’ll find that that sarcasm was helping you hide something that you’d really love to let go of and heal and move forward.

I would love for you to share on Instagram and Facebook. Let us know, what have you noticed? What changes do you see when you pay more attention to that sarcasm and you start expressing your feelings more sincerely? Is there a shift? How does your relationship with people change when you are more aware of the emotions and the sarcasm that comes from them. 

And how does your relationship with yourself change when you recognize that sarcasm and you start turning it into something more productive?

Thank you for listening to my story time today. Thank you for coming and joining me and just taking a moment to add something to think about, something to dig a little deeper and connect personally with who you are and where you’re at. 

I really am excited to hear what changes you notice, if any. I hope you’re doing well. And the next time you’re with somebody and you can tell they’re just a little bit off, when you ask them, “How are you?” And they say, “I’m fine.” Ask them again, “How are you, really?” Give them that opportunity to check in and seek a little deeper. 

And the next time you’re asked, “How are you,” and it’s a loved one and you really want to connect, tell them how you really are, and then give them a chance to tell you how they really are. Let’s make deeper connections, deeper connections filled with permission to really just be exactly where you are in the state that you are, in the emotional, physical way that you are showing up in that moment. 

Let’s give each other permission to just be exactly authentic and true in every way, shape and form that we possibly can. Until next time, take care.

I hope this moment of self care and healing brought you some hope and peace. I’m @KrystalJakosky on Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube, and I hope you check us out and follow along for more content coming soon. I look forward to being with you again here on Breathe In, Breathe Out. Until next time, take care.

Breathe In, Breathe Out is a weekly mindfulness and meditation podcast hosted by yours truly, Krystal Jakosky. Each week, we’ll release a brand new lesson or meditation focused on helping you navigate your life by giving YOU the tools to become your own healer.

Breathe In, Breathe Out is available now – wherever you get your podcasts.

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