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obsessingoverobsessions
Pileated woodpecker
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01 Mar 2016, 12:52 pm

I was having a conversation with someone at school and I said to them, "I have a good lesson next", then they said "what is it?", and I said "German", and smiled happily. They then said "I love German!" and I smiled even more happily and I said "really?" and got excited because German is my favourite subject. Someone else then pointed out they were being sarcastic and I just felt so stupid and I walked away.

How can I prevent this from happening next time? Is there any signs I can look out for when someone is being sarcastic?


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naturalplastic
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01 Mar 2016, 1:10 pm

From what you've told us about that situation it sounds like you were missing something like his facial expressions, or tone of voice.
Hard to tell what you did wrong in that situation without having had a video crew capture the incident.

If he said "I LOOOOVE German" with a snear, or rolling his eyes then that incongruity between what he said,and his facial expressions, would be the signal that its sarcasm.

Or if he acted happy about German, but it was an exaggerated happiness about the subject like the way your parents might say "oh goody I get to do my income taxes now!", that would be tip off.

Its all depends on the context, and subtext, and the situation.

In that particular instance you might not have done anything wrong. The guy might have been with his clique of friends when you were talking to him, and he might have been notorious within his clique for hating the subject of German. Might have been an inside joke that any NT might have stumbled over. Its hard to say.



obsessingoverobsessions
Pileated woodpecker
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01 Mar 2016, 1:45 pm

He did smile, and his eyes widened too as if he was excited too, so I'm not really sure. He also emphasised it in the middle like,"I LOVE German!"

Is that helpful?


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01 Mar 2016, 2:10 pm

Either (A) the above "acting over excited" theory, or (B) he and his friends may have been smiling because they were already inwardly laughing at you for being such a geek (who actually looks forward to a German class). Or who who knows what.

Maybe it wasn't malicious. Who knows.

When someone says something like "I LOVE such and such" (especially if its a thing that not everyone likes) it might be a good idea to say "really?", before saying "cause I do too". The "really" signals youre not sure and that you know that it could be sarcasm. And then they can say "yes I'm serious", or "no I HATE German. You kidding?".



obsessingoverobsessions
Pileated woodpecker
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02 Mar 2016, 3:29 am

Thank you so much for your help, I will definitely use this advice in future situations like this :D


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ZombieBrideXD
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02 Mar 2016, 3:36 am

I can usually tell if someone is very opinionated in one direction but makes a hyperbolic statement in the other direction.

For example if someone hates the doctors and but has to go and says "oh im so excited to go! ill be so happy to go to the doctor itll be just so fun!" ill know they are being sarcastic because of how hyperbolic their being and (if i know them) i would know that they hate the doctor.

I dont rely on body language, its kinda 'fake' to me i dont believe in body language...


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Yigeren
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02 Mar 2016, 4:04 am

I can only pick up more obvious sarcasm. Like if it's something that of course would not be said seriously, such as " How wonderful! I just cut off my left pinkie while chopping vegetables!" Now that's an exaggeration, of course. There's also tone of voice. An overly enthusiastic tone can indicate sarcasm, but sarcasm is also expressed in a very serious tone of voice, probably for effect.

Now, with people that I know very well, it's much easier to pick up on sarcasm. I know their habits, speech patterns, and the way that they think. So I have a lot more information to go on. Even then, with certain people I have trouble with subtle sarcasm and I have to ask "Are you being serious?" This happens on a daily basis, unfortunately.

In public, with strangers or acquaintances, I have a much harder time. I often don't get jokes when presented in a serious manner, or sarcasm either. It's embarrassing at times. I'm not sure how to deal with it, to be honest.



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02 Mar 2016, 6:20 am

I'm told I'm great at being sarcastic. Funny thing is it often just comes out that way on its own. Getting others sarcasm is something I'm not always so good at.