My Boyfriend's Sarcastic Comments Bother Me

Question asked by Julie - My boyfriend can be very loving and is very playful but his sarcastic comments go too far. I've talked to him about this calmly and told him that it hurts my feelings but I get the same "You're too sensitive. I'm just kidding" answer every time. We have been living together for 2 years and dating for 5 in total. When I bring up our future together he tells me that we need to work on our communication before we go to the next step.

I am a person who can take a joke and enjoy a good time but his constant sarcasm is burying me. I am so confused.

Thank you for any light you could shed on this subject for me.



Hi Julie,

Sarcasm can be highly annoying especially when it has an undertone of criticism. Your boyfriend is clearly not being sensitive towards your “sensitivities”. Truth be said, he’s never going to change either. He comes across as a confident, self-assured and cocky guy, and these type of men are usually very “pig headed” when it comes to changing their ways.

You will be banging your head against a stone wall if you try to change him. His confidence and self-assurance, causes him to be sarcastic towards others, but this is a very unconscious habit of his. He will never find anything wrong with his behavior, because it feels natural to him. In fact, he will find it very surprising, and annoying, when you venture to suggest that his sarcasm “hurts” you. He can never comprehend how you could take his sarcasm so seriously, and why it should “offend” you.

It’s a common behavior among “self-assured” guys to see faults in others rather than to see their own fault. He will blame you for being “over sensitive” but he will not stop being sarcastic. He will blame you for being “childish” but he will never see that his sarcasm screams of immaturity. He will blame you for never understanding him but he will never make an attempt to understand your perspective. In case you have not grasped the essence yet, the point is that this is his “nature”, and this is not going to change.

So how do you deal with a sarcastic boyfriend? Here are a few tips:

Stop trying to change him

The first step towards progress is a “reality check”. All along you have been trying to get him to change his ways, you are literally “begging” him to stop being so stingingly sarcastic. Where has that gotten you? He now thinks you are “over sensitive” and he believes there is a “lack of understanding” in the relationship. Is this not frustrating? But the truth is that “you” asked for it. You failed to understand a simple male dynamic – “men can never see their faults” (because they don’t want to).

If you point out a fault in them, they will deny it completely and in turn start blaming you. There is no motivation behind this; it’s just an unconscious male behavior. But when a woman fails to understand this aspect, it can cause several problems in a relationship. You will feel “misunderstood”, frustrated and at your wits end and in the worst case you might even contemplate quitting on the guy. But what you need to understand is that this is an “unconscious” behavior, wired into the male brain. This is not going to change ever, and he’s not at fault at all because this is his inherent, ingrained, innate nature.

So the first piece of advise would be to “accept” this nature of his, and perish any hope of every changing this aspect of his personality. If you love him, this is a compromise you will have to make. Everything else will only lead to more “friction” in your relationship.

Ignore his sarcasms the way you would ignore a burp

Yeah when people burp it can be annoying, but what the use of feeling “frustrated” by it. Nothing can be easier than to simply “ignore” it. Sarcasms are obnoxious too, but you have the independence to completely ignore it. If you don’t pay attention to something, effectively it cannot really impact you. You choose your own misery, if you take his sarcasm to heart. Ignore it the way you would ignore the remarks of a kid, after all sarcasm is an immature response.

Don’t be cold towards him, don’t hate him for being sarcastic (the chap’s not at fault, it happens unconsciously), don’t chide him, don’t get hurt, just simply “ignore”. It’s easy, once you get the hang of it. There are so many good things in your relationship, focus on them and just ignore this aspect of his behavior. To ignore is not an “escapist” strategy, it’s the device of love. Because you love yourself, you should ignore his sarcasm and because you love him, you should ignore his sarcasm. Dealing with a sarcastic boyfriend can be a “self growth” experience.

Become "extra loving" when he gets sarcastic

Whenever he pulls out a stinging sarcastic remark, surprise him by becoming more loving towards him. He will be stunned by the change of “response” and it will shake him up a bit. He unconsciously enjoys your “frustration” at his sarcasm, so he keeps doing it again and again. Once you break the pattern by reacting in a completely different manner to his sarcasm, his conditioning will break down automatically.

So the next time he is sarcastic, give him a long French kiss, hug him, cuddle him, baby talk him, and tell him you love him so much for being what he is. Even if it’s completely counter intuitive for you, just give it a try and see what happens. You will be really surprised at the results.

You are responsible for your feelings

No one is responsible for hurting you, other than yourself. No one can insult you without your “unconscious” permission. So take complete responsibility for your feelings, and stop wanting to change others. Your boyfriend is fine the way he is. Look at his positives – he is confident, humorous, self-assured, cocky, bold and self-sustained, being sarcastic may be his only negative and he inherently does not do it “intentionally”, it just happens to be his nature.

Don’t let his sarcasm put you down; know that he does not really “intend” it to hurt you. Learn to love yourself enough to ignore the criticism jutted out by people. You have complete control over your “response” to any situation. Why do you want to give your power away to your boyfriend’s sarcasm? So stop focusing on these negatives, and just concentrate on loving yourself and your boyfriend.

A relationship always entails a mix of “bitter” and “sweet” aspects. A dark chocolate is bitter sweet, but that’s where its flavor lies. Learn to enjoy, accept and appreciate both the “positives” and the “negatives” in your partner, this is how a strong relationship is forged. But before you even think of loving your partner, be sure to love yourself enough to be independent. Always remember the only thing you can control, and change, is “your” response.






Your Comments

Julie said..
Thank you, thank you, thank you for responding back to me on this. I have searched for countless hours online trying to find an answer about this issue and you have helped probably save my relationship. All this time, I have felt that there was some hidden truth in his sarcasm and that deep down he really didn't like me very much. I just could not understand him. I am relieved to know that this is something that I can move on from now ;-)

Jesse said..
This seems to be an un-objective reply to a problem that both partners have a part in. Telling a woman "He's just like that, you have to change because he won't" is not the answer. Nobody should change themselves completely to try to make a relationship work but being open and sensitive to the other's feelings, and trying to make small, slight adaptations makes a lot more sense than telling either partner to just "deal with it" when something bothers them.