Dealing with Sarcasm

Updated: Jan 16

The general consensus when it comes to dealing with sarcasm as a person on the Autistic Spectrum seems to be that we’re not great at recognising it, though we do feel we can use it to an extent but we don’t like how it can be used as a method of bullying.


“If someone does it and they have a big grin on the face, they laugh and then say "just kidding" then I'll probably realise that it's not meant to be taken seriously, the problem is if they don't use such an obvious expression, or I'm not expecting it or it's someone I don't know well... and then they do this back and forth banter which I can't do because I a) can't think of a retort c ) can't judge the appropriate of the 'insult' or c) I'm still trying understand the previous insults up till now.... spontaneity in conversations is definitely not my thing! I certainly never initiate these conversations.” – Nesf


“The thing is, I think they must be serious with the insult because why else have they come up with that sentence?! If someone says, "Your glasses are ugly" (nobody has ever said that to me, I've never had any problems about wearing glasses) they must think that, otherwise the thought wouldn't have entered their head? Maybe not, Maybe I am just being totally autistic about it but I can't imagine how they would think it if they don't think it even a little bit!” – SM


“My view on sarcasm: I find that, usually, NTs just think it's cute when an aspie tries an attempt at making a witty joke, or unlike an NT making a joke they don't acknowledge it as much. I'm doing a lot better with picking up sarcasm social cues than I used to (Thanks to some therapy appointments). I love sarcasm in fiction though, because it's way more interesting to see characters act witty than other people. One big stereotype of Asperger’s so that we have little to no understanding of humour and never laugh or smile. I beg to differ, for me it just depends on the situation. Some situations are hit or miss for me. I tend to understand slapstick/physical humour, which is why I can understand comic strips and America's Funniest Home videos.” ­– brookeloveslotr


“I personally hate sarcasm that's meant to induce a bad feeling in people. I think it's ugly as it's just meanness.


Other sarcasm is fine...where someone for instance tries to make something come across without inducing a bad feeling. Where the sarcasm is a tool used to make things smoother. That's fine. Or where there is solely the intent to be funny through using sarcasm. That's fine too. Other people use it to tease people in a harmless way and that's cool too.


But any kind of sarcasm that's used for people to be startled or afraid or embarrassed or sarcasm with which people try to humiliate people in front of a group or anything like that is just monstrous.” - Peridot


“I think that you need to be able to see someone's face sometimes, to see how they are intending the sarcasm to come across - i.e. humorously, negatively etc. I think sometimes that is where we fall with it all though as we might not quite understand what a facial expression means, or how body language can make a statement mean something else. I also think it is sometimes difficult for people to pick up on sarcasm in text, as per here for instance, unless it's completely obvious.” - mary

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