Sarcastic people are the most successful people — and here’s why

Sarcastic people aren’t successful at all. No, really.

OK, maybe sarcasm is hard to communicate via writing, so let’s just cut to the chase: We’ve got good news for those who are always ready with a sarcastic reply. A recent study suggests that maybe that dry humor that drives your loved ones insane at times can actually do amazing things for your career — and probably is already.


A study conducted by Harvard, Columbia, and Insead researchers tested the effects of sarcasm by having their subjects were asked to engage in either a neutral, sincere, or sarcastic exchange with a coworker. After this exchange, they were asked to complete a task that would assess their creativity. Turns out that being sarcastic was the best for the brain, and no, I’m not being sarcastic.

“To create or decode sarcasm, both the expressers and recipients of sarcasm need to overcome the contradiction (i.e., psychological distance) between the literal and actual meanings of the sarcastic expressions,” one of the study’s researchers, Francesca Gino of Harvard, told the Harvard Gazette. “This is a process that activates and is facilitated by abstraction, which in turn promotes creative thinking.”

Could we BE any happier about this news? The researchers explained that having Chandler Bing-like humor has been thought to require “mental gymnastics [that indicate] superior cognitive processes,” they didn’t have a direct link previously — nor did they know that sarcasm can actually benefit those receiving it as well.”

“Not only did we demonstrate the causal effect of expressing sarcasm on creativity and explore the relational cost sarcasm expressers and recipients have to endure, we also demonstrated, for the first time, the cognitive benefit sarcasm recipients could reap,” Gino told the Harvard Gazette.

One of the reasons for this? It indicates a “trusting relationship.” Makes sense, since many sarcastic folks may be a little wary of letting their humor loose on someone they’re not comfortable with for fear of being misinterpreted. “Additionally, for the first time, our research proposed and has shown that to minimize the relational cost while still benefiting creatively, sarcasm is better used between people who have a trusting relationship,” Gino said.

However, Gino said, there’s one drawback to the study that could have affected the results:

Either way: Sarcastic folks, keep on channeling your inner Chandler.

(Image via Warner Bros. Television, Giphy.)

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