Social Question

MyNewtBoobs's avatar

How do you differentiate between "friendly teasing" and "picking on"?

Asked by MyNewtBoobs (19044points) March 6th, 2011

How do you tell the difference between teasing someone and picking on someone? How would you teach that difference to your kids?

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19 Answers

TexasDude's avatar

Friendly teasing is done in jest with tongue often planted firmly in cheek.

“Picking on” is abusive, most often recurring, and is much more likely to interfere with the tease-ee’s day to day functioning or mental health.

Saying “nerd alert nerd alert!” with a smile when your friend mentions Star Trek is friendly teasing. Telling them they’ll never get laid and bringing it up several times is “picking.”

shpadoinkle_sue's avatar

When you make it apparent that you don’t like what it going on and it continues, that’s picking on someone. That’s how I would explain it. Even if it’s your friends doing it, doesn’t make it okay if you don’t like it.

faye's avatar

How does your teasing make the other person feel? If they’re hurt, it’s picking on.

filmfann's avatar

The way this works with me, on my crew, is if I pick on you with any joke, I like you. The assholes I don’t get along with, I ignore.

seazen's avatar

If it feels bad, it’s teasing.

TexasDude's avatar

@seazen, sums it up rather succinctly.

MyNewtBoobs's avatar

@seazen Wait, teasing bad, picking on good? I thought it was the other way around…

Aethelwine's avatar

An asshole will pick on you.

A friend will tease you.

Friendly teasing is harmless. Learn to laugh at yourself!

MyNewtBoobs's avatar

@jonsblond But what about when you aren’t sure if they’re a friend or an asshole (or a friend who’s an asshole)?

Aethelwine's avatar

@MyNewtBoobs A friend will quit teasing if it really bothers you and you speak up. An asshole will continue. Ditch the assholes, they aren’t friends.

tranquilsea's avatar

Teasing is when both parties are genuinely laughing. Taunting, or picking on, is when one party is laughing and the other isn’t.

seazen's avatar

A friend will help you move. A best friend will help you move a body.

MyNewtBoobs's avatar

@tranquilsea Oooo, I like that.

ucme's avatar

The former is mutually understood as being for shits & giggles, while the latter is not…..

ette_'s avatar

I like this question. However, I sometimes don’t know if it’s as cut-and-dry as we think it is, because where does one draw the line? With certain people, I actually see a recurring pattern of bullying in the form of teasing among both friends and people who aren’t friends, mainly due to the bully-er’s desire to make everyone else around him/her unhappy simply because he/she is unhappy. I wish there were a way to keep people like this accountable.

bunnygrl's avatar

@ette_ well said honey. Some people do take pleasure from hurting others, from the misfortunes of others, from taking every opportunity to put others down for the slightest things. This really does say more about them though, about how unfulfilled, how unhappy they are in themselves, than it does about their victims. Their spite, nastyness and bile come from a dark place within themselves, and such people are best avoided at all costs. I had to cut friends like this out of my life but by the time I did the damage was already done, and done when I was at my weakest too.

As to the question, if someone repeatedly makes you feel bad, gives you a nickname you don’t like, even when you’ve said you don’t like it, they are picking not teasing. Kick them to the kerb, life is too short.
hugs xx

meagan's avatar

I don’t believe that any teasing is “friendly”. Any joke at another person’s expense isn’t right.

Facade's avatar

I personally can’t. I hate being teased.

downtide's avatar

I’m the same as @Facade – I can’t tell the difference and I hate it all.

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