You know your dry humour and sarcastic comments that make people want to punch you in the face sometimes (all the time)? Yeah, that might mean that you are much more creative and likely to be successful at work than most people.
A recent study conducted by Harvard Business School, Columbia Business School and INSEAD revealed that people who are sarcastic all the time are more successful at work than those who are not!
The researchers randomly assigned participants to different conditions labelled neutral, sarcastic, or sincere. Then these participants were required to have a conversation with their co-workers based on the conditions assigned to them.
After this simulation, they were given tasks to perform and the researchers found that those who were in the 'sarcastic' condition performed much better at creativity based tasks than those in the 'sincere' or 'neutral' conditions, suggesting that sarcasm has the potential to trigger creativity in people!
According to Francesca Gino, the researcher from Harvard, being sarcastic most of the time requires a lot of mental activity thus encouraging superior cognitive ability. Speaking to the Harvard Gazette, she said, "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. This is a process that activates and is facilitated by abstraction, which in turn promotes creative thinking."
They also warn that while sarcasm has its cognitive benefits, it may not bode well for positive work-place interactions, as it might lead to miscommunication, confusions and might even offend a lot of people.
On this, Adam Galinsky (from Columbia) said, "While most previous research seems to suggest that sarcasm is detrimental to effective communication because it is perceived to be more contemptuous than sincerity, we found that, unlike sarcasm between individuals who share a trusting relationship does not generate more contempt than sincerity."
Research is still going on about what kind of sarcasm (yes, there are several kinds) is the best kind to trigger creativity and not affect work-place communication in any negative way. But for now you can rest happy knowing that your excessive sarcasm has some benefits after all!