Irony, sarcasm, and vulnerability


Perhaps you saw Christy Wampole’s New York Times article “How to Live Without Irony,” published in mid-November. While I believe Ms. Wampole makes a mistake in mass-labeling so-called hipsters as insincere narcissists (because I know plenty of people that fit the “hipster” bill who are both genuine and generous), I do think she’s accurately pinpointed a larger cultural norm.

From the outside looking in, I am the furthest thing from a hipster; I like my jeans flared and my house Pottery Barned. But I recognize my use of irony and sarcasm as shields against vulnerability – and I know that I’m not alone. I see it all around me, in people of all ages, in all sorts of clothing, with all sorts of hobbies, and all manner of facial hair. Irony is not reserved for the mustached.

In light of that article (which is worth the read), I hope you’ll watch this TED talk by Brené Brown about the importance of vulnerability. You may have seen it already (6 million have), but I revisit it often, particularly when I feel my armor start to go up. I could go on about all of the reasons I love this talk, but really, you should just take the 20 minutes to watch it.



  1. Hope on December 5, 2012 at 11:21 AM

    We actually watched this video in church a few weeks ago. So good, and it’s so good to read your words again.

    With our Colorado recording trip postponed until next spring, it looks like we won’t be able to get hang time pre-baby, but we will make this happen sooner or later.

  2. Danielly on December 5, 2012 at 2:20 PM

    Thanks for posting the TED talk. I needed to hear those words today!

  3. Emily from Seattle on December 6, 2012 at 5:17 PM

    One of the leaders of my women’s Bible study group raved about that talk a few months ago. It’s a good one!

  4. Miranda on December 9, 2012 at 8:31 AM

    I have watched that Brene Brown video several times before. So true.

  5. Shanna on December 11, 2012 at 12:28 PM

    YES. Have you read this article from Darling Magazine? You’ve got to.

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