Kate Turner

Self-help through sarcasm: My field study

After a Harvard study reported the alleged health benefits of sarcasm, Kate Turner volunteered to be sarcastic for a day to find out if it’s accurate.


OK, so there’s a new study from Harvard that claims sarcasm is a healthy thing that produces creative inspiration and that could, in fact, be good for both your wellbeing and the recipient.

Well, thank fuck.

I’m on a health kick at the moment: getting my body, mind, spirit and soul’s shit together. This can only benefit me, right?

Testing the results of this study gave me a great excuse to drop the sarcasm filters I’ve put in place with most peeps, I thought I’d go into ultra-sarcasm mode and hope it wouldn’t be a detriment to my health.

Here are my results in a day of the life of sarcasm.

I can feel your throbbing excitement from here.

9 AM: I woke up at my brother and sis-in-laws house and was greeted with the day’s first opportunity for sarcasm. My bro asked “How’d you sleep?” My answer? “Laying down in bed! Why…how the fuck do you sleep?”

He laughed, I laughed and all was good in the hood. I felt happy hormones forming already and charted it up for a small victory for the study.

It was time to brace the public.

12 PM: I’m doing a housecleaning job and was three-quarters of the way through, leaving only the floors left to do. It took me most of the daylight hours to get the heavier stains out.

At that point, my client’s little kid decided it would be fun to cling to my leg as I tried to finish steaming the carpets. The kid’s mother was all “Is he making it hard for you to clean, do you want him to go elsewhere, isn’t he cute?” First, I just thought “What the fuck do you think!” and toyed with the idea of sending the kid into orbit, but instead, I thought of the study and said “No, let him make it as hard as possible for me to do my job.”

Result: Awkwardness and a lot of apologies from her. I felt like a dick, but at least I wasn’t frustrated anymore. I was left alone to finish what she was paying me to do. Plus, the kid had stopped groping my leg.

Because sarcasm.

3 PM: I was at the grocery store sourcing that evening’s dinner. I stood at the deli, waiting for my number to be called. “What can I get you?” The tired looking woman queried. ”Hi” I said, “I would like one chicken Kiev please.” The tired woman picked up one with her tongs and tiredly asked me ”Is this one ok?’ My answer? ”I don’t know, has it been feeling depressed?”

Result: Blank stare followed with a slight smirk of the mouth.

7 PM: The next sarcasm took form in the cyber world via a meme (I feel we all say a lot of needless tosh just to fill up the silences).  ”Dude, it’s 35 degrees celsius here today, omg!”

Their response: ”Oh, it must be hot.”

I mean what do you say to that?

Well, you don’t.

Instead, you send a sarcastic meta-meme…and look no further than the best sarcastic meme out there, the Nicolas Cage meme, “You don’t say!” Look that genius up.

11:30 PM: At this point, I found sarcasm in a spiritual way…it was preordained, used on me from the big man up-stairs, yes, Him.

At this point, I may have had drunken five to six tequila shots (my notes are hazy), but this legit happened guys. It went like this.

I said “Dear God…”

God: “What, are you writing a letter? I’m right here lady! Speak like a normal person”

So I figured, if God uses it, it must be a good thing….

That was my day of removing the filters of etiquette, and I quite enjoyed it. I feel mentally and physically healthier, because I tore them down instead of internalising, lashing it to that bomb that’s ticking away, waiting to annihilate any unexpecting victim.

I was more honest with people with what I was thinking and I think people appreciate that, because they could be honest in return.

Besides, filtering is exhausting as shit! I’m sick of holding back, and if it’s damaging not to mock others, then I’m doing myself a disservice. My intentions would never be cruel, but in saying that, for all those offended…if you don’t want a sarcastic answer, don’t ask stupid questions.

Pretty simple really.

But saying that, I feel I need to add a caveat. There is a healthy sarcasm and an unhealthy sarcasm.

For instance, unhealthy sarcasm (in my words) is the teenage sarcasm. It makes me want to punch its acne-ridden face. As entertaining as it can be to watch teens huff and puff in frustration…dudes, cheer up. Your whining bitching as to why the world’s a piece of shit and your life sucks is really putting a downer on my mornings. Needlessly destructive. Serves no purpose.

However, healthy sarcasm is used with your good friends and family and some awesome strangers, who accompany you in your sarcasm. It’s all meant in fun, love and taking the mickey out of each other.

Personally, I think the study is a success.

My sarcasm mainly brought laughter, and we all know laughter brings the happy hormones, and the happiness and the laughter.

All of which is good for the wellbeing of you, so…big tick, sarcasm!

Really. Try it.

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