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How to respond to sarcasm over text

Updated February 21, 2017

Text messaging is an effective yet impersonal way to establish a conversation with family, friends and coworkers via your cell phone. One of the advantages of texting with someone is that you have time to think about what you want to reply before you send your message, unlike when you converse with someone face-to-face. When you are texting with someone that has a sarcastic attitude, you can take advantage of this favoured position to think before you reply and say exactly what you want. There are several ways to approach someone's sarcasm on a text message.

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  1. Examine the text to determine if the sarcasm is meant to be hurtful or a joke. It is important to discern the type of sarcasm the person is giving you so you can reply to the text appropriately. For instance, a text saying "where are you Mr. always late?" may be a funny or rude way to say you are always late depending on who is sending the text.

  2. Avoid being overly sensitive. Keep in mind that things can come off differently through a text. Consider that the person texting you may just want to be funny and the text may not come across that way. Also, your mood can alter the way you perceive things.

  3. Compose a response that fits a funny sarcastic message. There is no specific way to respond to a funny sarcastic comment; however, people that communicate with sarcasm appreciate a sarcastic and funny reply. If you can come up with something silly and witty reply on that note.

  4. Demonstrate that you appreciate a funny sarcastic text by typing "lol," or "haha!" along with your response. For instance, if the person says: "Where are you Mr. always late?" you can reply "Mr. always late reporting to Mrs. sarcasm; I'm on my way. LOL."

  5. Ignore the sarcastic remark if it was supposed to be hurtful. Sometimes the best thing you can do is to ignore sarcasm by replying without acknowledging the sarcasm in the text. For example, if the text said "Where are you Mr. always late?" ignore the sarcastic tone and reply directly to the question by saying something like this: "Hi, I'll be there soon."

  6. Tip

    If the sarcasm crosses the line to where it becomes disrespectful consider calling the person to address the issue rather than replying via text. There is only so much you can say in a text. A good way to figure out the type of sarcasm someone is giving you is by considering who the sender is; for example, is the sender known for a moody and snippy attitude or for a cheerful and humorous personality. A hurtful sarcastic text only has power to hurt you if you give it the power.

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About the Author

Based in Orange County, Calif., Herman Cruz has been writing since 2007. His articles have been published in various content platforms and he also has written for Internet entrepreneurs who need assistance with writing sales letters and articles for their businesses. Cruz is pursuing his Bachelor of Arts in integrated composition, improvisation and technology at the University of California in Irvine.

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