fbpx

When Does Teasing Go Too Far? Bullying vs Teasing

When Does Teasing Go Too Far? Bullying vs Teasing

Table of Contents

Summary

When talking about bullying, it's important to understand what is not bullying. Many times, a single act or behavior is hurtful but it is not considered bullying. Some people think that bullying is any aggressive behavior. Although such behaviors are a source of concern and need attention, it is important to separate them from bullying.

When talking about bullying, it is very important to understand what is not bullying. Many times, a single act or behavior is mean, hurtful, or out of proportion, but it is not considered bullying.

Some people think that bullying is any aggressive behavior. Although such behaviors are a source of concern and need attention, it is important to separate them from bullying. 

What is Bullying

Bulling is the repeated actions or threats of an action directed toward a person by one or more people who have or are perceived to have more power or status than their target in order to cause fear, distress, or harm. Bullying can be physical, verbal, psychological, or any combination of these three.

Put more simply, bullying is when a person or a group behaves in ways—on purpose and over and over—that make someone feel hurt, afraid, or embarrassed.

Bullying can happen in person or online (cyberbullying). It also can involve an individual or a group misusing their power over one or more people who feel unable to stop it from happening.

What is Teasing

On the other hand, teasing can include arguments or fights between friends. It is often good-natured or “playful” and does not involve a group of people ganging up on one person. A key difference between bullying and teasing is that teasing is not repeated and the teasing stops when the person asks.

Bullying is Also Not:

  • Single episodes of social rejection or dislike.
  • Single episodes of spite.
  • Random acts of aggression or intimidation.
  • Mutual arguments, disagreements, or fights.
  • Accidently causing physical harm or discomfort.
  • A single act of telling a joke about someone.
  • Expression of unpleasant thoughts or feelings regarding others.
  • Isolated acts of harassment, aggressive behavior, or intimidation.

Basically, if it is not repeated, it is not considered bullying.

When Does Teasing Turn into Bullying?

However, what starts out as teasing can lead to bullying. This change can be hard to notice so here are some questions to ask if the teasing is good-natured or harmful. 

  • Are you being teased by your friends?
  • Do you like it when they tease you?
  • Do you tease them back?
  • If you told them to stop, would they?
  • Would they apologize if you said your feelings were hurt? 
  • Does it only happen every once in a while? 

If the answer to any of these questions is no, then it might be bullying instead of teasing. If this is the case, reach out to a trusted adult or friend. You can also report the incidents to your school 

Key Takeaways

  • Bullying is repeated and meant to cause harm
  • Teasing is more isolated and happens between friends
  • Talk to a trusted adult if you are unsure if you are being bullied.

Extend Your Mental Health Support Coverage

Oasis Helps K-12 And Higher Education Institutions Support Student, Faculty, And Staff Wellbeing With Access To Mental Health Professionals And Evidence-Based Content

Scroll to Top