Growing up with brothers or sisters leaves us open to being teased. Big brothers tend to tease their sisters. I was always being teased. Always had to endure it. You can normally tell when someone is teasing, but how far must a tease go, before it begins to materialise into something more than just a tease?
Why do we tease?
- To be noticed;
- To show others that we can be the centre of attention;
- To get satisfaction from the tease;
- To know that we can tease;
- To amuse ourselves;
- To annoy the person being teased;
- To hide our vulnerability;
- A bad habit that we find hard to break;
- Perhaps a bribe from someone to see if we’ll do the tease.
I believe that even if a tease starts off as something harmless, it can turn into something more. When we tease anyone, we must know that person has a sense of humour and will take the tease in good faith, then I would consider it a tease; but when we target a specific individual with the intention of causing emotional harm, then it can be considered a form of bullying.
When the person we tease begins to feel uncomfortable, or needs to stand his or her ground, then it is obvious it’s more than just a tease. When it happens in the playground at school, it’s more likely to be a form of bullying. I believe there is a difference. I also believe being teased shapes our past, present and future life with memories that we’re not fond to remember.
Perhaps we ought to teach children that it’s not right to tease, if the shoe were on the other foot, they wouldn’t like it; but if it’s something they continue to do, they must accept full responsibility for their actions and any consequences.
Unfortunately, and my experience has shown; not all parents take their children to task on this.