Sarcasm has long been a method of attempted comedy and the cause of sudden, brisk beatings visited on would-be comedians. It turns out, however, sarcasm pushes you to be creative, whether you’re the smart-ass or being smart-assed.
Why? Sarcasm forces you to think abstractly. It takes more effort to come up with a sarcastic remark, and more effort to properly interpret that remark, and as a result, your abstract thinking abilities get a workout. Unsurprisingly, it’s most effective when you’re being sarcastic with somebody you know well and who knows you well; they don’t have to spend any time figuring out whether or not you’re being a jerk and can just think about your comment, before throwing one back.
Note, however, that the researchers refer to sarcasm as a “catalyst for conflict.” In fact, the first section of the paper is dedicated to the aforementioned beatings. We sadly lack any data about whether or not these beatings were useful in ending sarcasm, but we’re sure it will be forthcoming.
The conclusion we should draw is obvious: You should perform a valuable service! Be sarcastic with everybody! Your friends! Your coworkers! Retail employees! Surely they will appreciate your efforts to stimulate creative thinking! That won’t leave you struggling with loneliness at all!