Snark No More: She Gave Up Sarcasm for Lent

A woman who too often turned to sarcastic judgement of other people shares how her daughter convinced her to give up "snark" for Lent. Look for Laura's story in the March 2017 edition of Guideposts.

Hi, Guideposts. I'm Laura Boggs, and I'm from Alpharetta, Georgia. I gave up snark for Lent. This is why.

Last year, it was a few days before Lent, and we were sitting at the dinner table. And I was making fun of someone who posted on social media a lot, rainbows and dolphins and encouragements, and I was just saying it was a little bit cheesy. That night, my daughter Maggie called me out on that and said she was afraid to share things with me because I might call her cheesy or think it was silly or tease her. And that was a wake up call for me. So I decided to give up snarky comments for Lent.

Ash Wednesday came and went, and I found myself in social situations. I was biting my tongue a lot, telling people why I wasn't speaking on certain subjects. So I figured out that I had to do this thing from the inside out. I realized it is hard to be kinder and gentler with folks when you are relentless with yourself, and so I needed to go easier on myself and give myself a pass to be less than perfect.

I also had a girlfriend remind me that I used to always say accept others because they're doing the best they can. And I really believe that, but I had drifted away from that way of thinking. And I needed to go back to that, and I did. And it helped.

The whole experience taught me quite a bit. And if I were going to say my top tips for giving up snark, I would say, number one, accept other people. They're doing the best they can.

Number two, accept yourself. You're doing the best you can. Don't go so hard on yourself, or you will find yourself being hard on other people.

Number three, I would say redirect your snark. Two things are safe. Number one, yourself. Yourself is a great subject for a snark and for making fun of. And number two, inanimate objects. They can't get their feelings hurt.

Number four, I would say pray a lot. Giving up snark for Lent was not easy. It was a struggle, although I learned so much.

This Lent, I might take an easier route. I think I'll give up chocolate. I learned to be more accepting of other people and to be a little kinder and gentler with my words. So it did have a lasting effect.

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