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10 Reasons Sarcastic People Are Smarter Than You Think

10 Reasons Sarcastic People Are Smarter Than You Think

Some people choose being sarcastic because beating someone up can probably get you arrested in today’s society. Some say being sarcastic is an emotional tool to shield your feelings. Others say that it is a way to insult the idiots of this world and get away with it.

If you don’t get sarcasm, you might need to get with the program and start using your brain. There are several studies out that are now showing that sarcastic people are smarter than you think. So we have put together 10 solid reasons why sarcastic people are actually really smart.

1. They can see right through you

According to Dr. Shaman-Tsoory, who is a psychologist at the University of Haifa, “understanding other people’s state of mind and emotions are related to our ability to understand sarcasm.” Yes, this means they can see right through you and your smoke and mirrors.

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If they are responding with a sarcastic remark to your “I was late because…” story, then they probably do not believe you. They can read you pretty easily and know what to say to trigger whatever emotion they want. It is pretty much the closest thing to a mind-reading super power. You were warned.

2. They have sharper brains

In an article that Richard Chin wrote for the Smithsonian, h explained that the human brain has to work harder to understand sarcasm. That means that people who use sarcasm often work their brains just a little bit harder than you. So that friend coming up with the quick quips to snap back at you may be a jerk, but they are a sharp jerk.

3. They are great problem solvers

In the very same article, it goes over that sarcasm also helps them with their creative problem solving skills. Yup, go ahead and write them onto your zombie apocalypse team list. They will probably save your life.

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4. They are equipped with the key social skill for today’s society

It is said by John Haiman, a linguist at Macalaster College, that sarcasm is practically the primary language in today’s society. Usually sarcastic people are going to be keeping the conversation going and not be the person awkwardly standing in the back pretending to laugh at everyone else’s jokes.

5. They not only have great minds, they have thick skin

Sarcastic people are smart enough not to take everything to heart. This means they don’t burst out into tears when you are teasing each other over being tipsy after a few beers. They can throw the punches as well as take them. You rarely find them playing the victim in the situation, because let’s face it, no one likes a victim.

6. They have healthier brains

According to researchers at the University of California San Francisco and Neuropsychologist Katherine Rankin, the lack of ability to pick up on sarcasm can be an early warning sign of brain damage. It was found in a study that subjects with Fronto-Temporal Dementia had difficulty picking up on sarcasm.

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7. They make their friends and significant others smarter

Due to their constant way of communicating, sarcastic people affect the brains of the people around them. There are three stages our brains need to take to understand irony. If you are around them while watching TV, driving, or shopping, then you had to use your brain a little bit more to understand their thought process.

They are doing you a favor, so be sure to thank them.

8. They don’t get arrested while getting even

They are excellent at emotional warfare. If you have ever been in an argument with a sarcastic person, there is probably a sewed up scar on your heart from something they have said. It definitely beats getting arrested for aggravated assault, but it lasts a lot longer. As in, forever.

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9. They can deliver a gentle insult and still make you laugh

Remarks like, “I didn’t climb the top of the food chain to be a vegetarian, but I can make an exception for you” can sound really nice, until you think about it. Did they just insult your way of life and have you respond with thank you?

They can make someone laugh out loud at a remark and then watch as the realization kicks in that it was an insult. If you haven’t tried this yet, you need to.

10. They have friends that truly love them

They know that their friends are truly their friends because what kind of person willingly deals with such steady sarcasm everyday? More than likely, they are all sarcastic together, snickering at the gentle insult they just delivered to one another on a silver platter. It is a fun hobby to them, like playing baseball.

Featured photo credit: Nerd- Νick Perrone via flickr.com

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Margielyn Musser

Event And Volunteer Coordinator / World Traveler

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Last Updated on January 15, 2021

7 Ways To Have More Confident Body Language

7 Ways To Have More Confident Body Language

The popular idiomatic saying that “actions speak louder than words” has been around for centuries, but even to this day, most people struggle with at least one area of nonverbal communication. Consequently, many of us aspire to have more confident body language but don’t have the knowledge and tools necessary to change what are largely unconscious behaviors.

Given that others’ perceptions of our competence and confidence are predominantly influenced by what we do with our faces and bodies, it’s important to develop greater self-awareness and consciously practice better posture, stance, eye contact, facial expressions, hand movements, and other aspects of body language.

Posture

First things first: how is your posture? Let’s start with a quick self-assessment of your body.

  • Are your shoulders slumped over or rolled back in an upright posture?
  • When you stand up, do you evenly distribute your weight or lean excessively to one side?
  • Does your natural stance place your feet relatively shoulder-width apart or are your feet and legs close together in a closed-off position?
  • When you sit, does your lower back protrude out in a slumped position or maintain a straight, spine-friendly posture in your seat?

All of these are important considerations to make when evaluating and improving your posture and stance, which will lead to more confident body language over time. If you routinely struggle with maintaining good posture, consider buying a posture trainer/corrector, consulting a chiropractor or physical therapist, stretching daily, and strengthening both your core and back muscles.

Facial Expressions

Are you prone to any of the following in personal or professional settings?

  • Bruxism (tight, clenched jaw or grinding teeth)
  • Frowning and/or furrowing brows
  • Avoiding direct eye contact and/or staring at the ground

If you answered “yes” to any of these, then let’s start by examining various ways in which you can project confident body language through your facial expressions.

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1. Understand How Others Perceive Your Facial Expressions

A December 2020 study by UC Berkeley and Google researchers utilized a deep neural network to analyze facial expressions in six million YouTube clips representing people from over 140 countries. The study found that, despite socio-cultural differences, people around the world tended to use about 70% of the same facial expressions in response to different emotional stimuli and situations.[1]

The study’s researchers also published a fascinating interactive map to demonstrate how their machine learning technology assessed various facial expressions and determined subtle differences in emotional responses.

This study highlights the social importance of facial expressions because whether or not we’re consciously aware of them—by gazing into a mirror or your screen on a video conferencing platform—how we present our faces to others can have tremendous impacts on their perceptions of us, our confidence, and our emotional states. This awareness is the essential first step towards

2. Relax Your Face

New research on bruxism and facial tension found the stresses and anxieties of Covid-19 lockdowns led to considerable increases in orofacial pain, jaw-clenching, and teeth grinding, particularly among women.[2]

The National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research estimates that more than 10 million Americans alone have temporomandibular joint dysfunction (TMJ syndrome), and facial tension can lead to other complications such as insomnia, wrinkles, dry skin, and dark, puffy bags under your eyes.[3])

To avoid these unpleasant outcomes, start practicing progressive muscle relaxation techniques and taking breaks more frequently throughout the day to moderate facial tension.[4] You should also try out some biofeedback techniques to enhance your awareness of involuntary bodily processes like facial tension and achieve more confident body language as a result.[5]

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3. Improve Your Eye Contact

Did you know there’s an entire subfield of kinesic communication research dedicated to eye movements and behaviors called oculesics?[6] It refers to various communication behaviors including direct eye contact, averting one’s gaze, pupil dilation/constriction, and even frequency of blinking. All of these qualities can shape how other people perceive you, which means that eye contact is yet another area of nonverbal body language that we should be more mindful of in social interactions.

The ideal type (direct/indirect) and duration of eye contact depends on a variety of factors, such as cultural setting, differences in power/authority/age between the parties involved, and communication context. Research has shown that differences in the effects of eye contact are particularly prominent when comparing East Asian and Western European/North American cultures.[7]

To improve your eye contact with others, strive to maintain consistent contact for at least 3 to 4 seconds at a time, consciously consider where you’re looking while listening to someone else, and practice eye contact as much as possible (as strange as this may seem in the beginning, it’s the best way to improve).

3. Smile More

There are many benefits to smiling and laughing, and when it comes to working on more confident body language, this is an area that should be fun, low-stakes, and relatively stress-free.

Smiling is associated with the “happiness chemical” dopamine and the mood-stabilizing hormone, serotonin. Many empirical studies have shown that smiling generally leads to positive outcomes for the person smiling, and further research has shown that smiling can influence listeners’ perceptions of our confidence and trustworthiness as well.

4. Hand Gestures

Similar to facial expressions and posture, what you do with your hands while speaking or listening in a conversation can significantly influence others’ perceptions of you in positive or negative ways.

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It’s undoubtedly challenging to consciously account for all of your nonverbal signals while simultaneously trying to stay engaged with the verbal part of the discussion, but putting in the effort to develop more bodily awareness now will make it much easier to unconsciously project more confident body language later on.

5. Enhance Your Handshake

In the article, “An Anthropology of the Handshake,” University of Copenhagen social anthropology professor Bjarke Oxlund assessed the future of handshaking in wake of the Covid-19 pandemic:[8]

“Handshakes not only vary in function and meaning but do so according to social context, situation and scale. . . a public discussion should ensue on the advantages and disadvantages of holding on to the tradition of shaking hands as the conventional gesture of greeting and leave-taking in a variety of circumstances.”

It’s too early to determine some of the ways in which Covid-19 has permanently changed our social norms and professional etiquette standards, but it’s reasonable to assume that handshaking may retain its importance in American society even after this pandemic. To practice more confident body language in the meantime, the video on the science of the perfect handshake below explains what you need to know.

6. Complement Your Verbals With Hand Gestures

As you know by now, confident communication involves so much more than simply smiling more or sounding like you know what you’re talking about. What you do with your hands can be particularly influential in how others perceive you, whether you’re fidgeting with an object, clenching your fists, hiding your hands in your pockets, or calmly gesturing to emphasize important points you’re discussing.

Social psychology researchers have found that “iconic gestures”—hand movements that appear to be meaningfully related to the speaker’s verbal content—can have profound impacts on listeners’ information retention. In other words, people are more likely to engage with you and remember more of what you said when you speak with complementary hand gestures instead of just your voice.[9]

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Further research on hand gestures has shown that even your choice of the left or right hand for gesturing can influence your ability to clearly convey information to listeners, which supports the notion that more confident body language is readily achievable through greater self-awareness and deliberate nonverbal actions.[10]

Final Takeaways

Developing better posture, enhancing your facial expressiveness, and practicing hand gestures can vastly improve your communication with other people. At first, it will be challenging to consciously practice nonverbal behaviors that many of us are accustomed to performing daily without thinking about them.

If you ever feel discouraged, however, remember that there’s no downside to consistently putting in just a little more time and effort to increase your bodily awareness. With the tips and strategies above, you’ll be well on your way to embracing more confident body language and amplifying others’ perceptions of you in no time.

More Tips on How to Develop a Confident Body Language

Featured photo credit: Maria Lupan via unsplash.com

Reference

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