Thursday, September 16, 2010

Bullying vs Teasing

I've been hearing a lot about bullying lately from different sources. Here are my thoughts. defines tease: irritate or provoke with persistent petty distractions, trifling raillery, or other annoyance, often in sport.

And bully:

(n)1. a blustering, quarrelsome, overbearing person who habitually badgers and intimidates smaller or weaker people.

(v)6. to act the bully toward; intimidate; domineer.


Teasing is supposed to be done in fun, without the intent to hurt. Bullying, however, is intended to hurt and intimidate. I think teasing is a necessary part of life so that we can all learn to laugh off and laugh at our blunders. Children need to be taught the difference. Children need to be taught to consider the feelings of others. It is true that some people are more sensitive than others. But is someone is extra sensitive about something and "your" intent was to tease, then "your" response should be to apologize, love on them, and build them up again. A bully wouldn't care.


My question, where would you draw the line between teasing and bullying? Do you think it is an easily defined line, a fine line, or a gray area?


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