Question of the Week: Outlook

How do you feel when someone teases you?

Honestly it depends on the circumstances, who is doing the teasing, how they sound when they’re doing it, and how I feel at the moment. I’m an only child, so I didn’t grow up being teased by someone who loved me — I was only teased by the other kids in school and they were right mean bastards. So for the longest time I didn’t know teasing was done by nice people who liked you, I thought teasing was only done by assholes. It was probably not until my late twenties that I became OK with being teased *if* it was someone I knew liked me, if I could tell they were being funny, and if I wasn’t feeling vulnerable about something already. I always try to take it in stride, whether I think it’s funny or not (probably mental training from not wanting the other kids at school to see that my feelings were hurt).


  1. Quinn Jones

    I agree with all of your caveats. However, there’s also a difference between something that either wasn’t particularly funny or a little too pointed the first time, and then that person proceeds to do it again and again. That annoys the shit out of me. Same as when someone teases you over stuff that doesn’t bother you at all, and then you realize they are teasing you over their own insecurities. That is just sad.

    Actual, funny teasing between friends is good. It keeps us from taking ourselves too seriously. But it’s a fine line, and if you’re doing the teasing, you better be ready to apologize if it didn’t come across right, rather than get defensive.

  2. nakhira

    ^^ What Quinn said. If i was any good at teasing (i’m not), I’d aim to undersell the tease, just to make sure the recipient wasn’t having a Really Bad Day about the Subject You Just Poked. Which kinda goes back to the “best done by friends” caveat, so – yeah.

  3. AnneB

    Yeah, right there with you. Except that I’ve never been good at hiding my emotions so teasing always seemed to go on and on and on… If it’s gentle and understood by both parties? Sure. But it’s a really gray area for me.

    A particular pet peeve? When someone makes a hurtful remark, you screw up your courage to say something and their response? “Gosh, lighten up, I was just kidding.” Talk about a way to walk away from responsibility for how your words can hurt someone.

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