Be Unlimited is taking a major stand against bullying. Our 3 On Bullying feature appears on the last Friday of every month. Here, you’ll learn facts to keep you informed, skills to help you handle bullying situations, the support you need, and much more. This month’s 3 On Bullying takes a look at the difference between teasing and bullying. It can be difficult to separate the two, as some times there is a fine line between them.
ONE: Teasing is often a playful exchange between people who poke fun at each other. The people involved usually know each other and have a relationship (family members, friends, teammates, etc.). Everyone may get a good laugh, but it is all in fun. The intention of playful teasing is not to hurt the feelings of another person. Most importantly, playful teasing is usually not directed at someone’s difference, such as their race, religion, appearance, or physical disability.
TWO: There is nothing playful about bullying. The bully intends to hurt the other person. Bullying is also a behavior that can happen over and over. Unlike someone who teases playfully, a bully wants to have power over another person. They demonstrate this through their actions, which are usually aggressive and can also be threatening.
THREE: Ultimately, the real difference between teasing and bullying is in how it makes the target feel. What might be funny or easy to shake off for one person might deeply hurt or threaten someone else. Teasing can turn into bullying in some situations. It’s important to understand this and be mindful of the feelings of others. Choose your words and actions carefully, and speak up when playful teasing begins to go too far.
Be Unlimited is taking a major stand against bullying. We hope you are ready to stand with us.