The urban dictionary classifies “snark” as a noun that combines “snide” and “remark.” In other words, snarks are sarcastic or malicious comments. The word can also be used as an adjective, “snarky,” or an adverb, “snarkily.” For example: “Your boundless ineptitude is astounding," she snarkily declared.
I’m focused on this because a relatively good friend of mine got snarky with me the other day. That’s right! Out of the blue she attacked me with one sarcastic (almost mean) comment after another.
Stunned, I didn’t respond to any of her comments. Basically, it’s not in my nature to be mean to anyone (unless provoked with malice). I stacked it up to her having a bad day. Generally, when someone you know well attacks you for no reason, it’s more about that person than you. Normally, that person is angry about something else, and you were just the scapegoat.
I asked John Daly, my friend, author and etiquette coach, how to handle “snark attacks.” Here’s what he advised:
1. Don’t lose your cool and don’t take it personally.
2. At the first occurrence, give the benefit of the doubt – try to cheer the person up or be a good listener.
3. Focus on the person's behavior, not the person.
4. Take it away from others; suggest grabbing a cup of coffee to discuss the issue privately to clear the air. If the person refuses to take it away from others, say, “I can see how frustrated you are. Would you be willing to speak to me about it so I know how better to fulfill your expectations?” When you give angry people empathy, you take away their armor. You infer that their rude behavior is not who they truly are.
Turning the situation away from yourself and focusing on the other person’s snarky behavior is always the best bet to soothing your hurt feelings and resolving any current or future snark attacks from that person!
Til Next Time,