It’s interesting that information linking sarcasm with intelligence has found its way back to social media, claiming scientific proof (citing a study which is actually not that new) that “proves” sarcastic people are smarter people.
We love to think we’re intelligent. I do, at least.
And I have doled out my share of sarcasm!
Sometimes directly; sometimes under my breath!
Sometimes proudly; other times regrettably!
No matter! Moving on!
According to the study, allegedly the ability to engage in the two-step mental process that sarcasm demands, proves elevated intelligence.
- But, what if we wanted to do better than the heralded “two-step mental process” required to produce sarcasm?
(That would be like advocating for the triathlon of intelligence.)
- What if we’d say: a brain exercise is fine, but how about linking that with a further exercise?
(Along the lines of: so if 100 ab crunches are good, how about adding weights?)
- What if we’d begin thinking in terms of fine-tuned-human-functioning in addition to intelligence?
(Are those two even compatible?)
What if we were to add another step?
Step #3: self-editing.
I’m hijacking the term to mean adding self reflection to your spoken and written communication!
In other words: sure, use actual sarcasm, but add the third balancing element which includes:
- not unlimited,
- not unfiltered,
- not unreflected.
If we could learn to do that with any dexterity, intelligence would soar to even greater heights. We’d not lose the creativity–to say nothing of the sheer pleasure–of sarcasm; but we’d trade the often mislabeled rude element of humor (which isn’t sarcasm) with the grace of respect.
I’m convinced you know actual people who include Step #3. They are the most insightful, clever, humanly gracious and funny people around!