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Why Do People Tease?

Brooker

Anjin
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It seems a lot of times in relationships or friendships people eventually start to tease each other. In small amounts, it's ok, but often it seems to go too far to the point where feelings get hurt. It's usually intended just as a joke, but it leads to people being at odds and not being very supportive of each other. So, why do we do it? Every relationship I've ever been in has involved some teasing to varying degrees, sometimes ok, and in other cases it's led to the demise of the relationship. Inevitably someone says something that hurts the other person's feelings and, to get back for their hurt feelings, they take their teasing to the next level and it just keeps building until the people get very upset with each other and don't even really know why. I know that people sometimes tease to create a bond or show affection, but it usually ends up with negative results. No one really seems to like it, so why do we do it? And what can you do to let people know that you don't really appreciate it? Or, do you enjoy it and think it's healthy in a relationship/friendship?
 

jieshi

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Brooker I have been wondering the same thing. One of my closest friends in my japanese highschool (a girl) teases me all the time. I tease her back but I never take it past the point where her feelings would get hurt. Porblem is she always takes it past the point with me and hurts my feelings, matters are made worse because of language barriers, until she apologises lol. Though she gets very upset when she hears about me and other girls do you think she likes me?

I think teasing is ok when you know what your limitations are, I don't think it is good to push it to far because like you said feelings get hurt (like mine) and you end up complaining about it. Sometimes I will say to her "did you know you are really awful?" or "did you know sometimes you are really difficult?" which makes her think twice.
 

Index

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Here's some possible motivating reasons: Possibly (over the top or nasty) teasing is an expression of anger or frustration with some aspect of the relationship. Could also be a way of showing who's the boss. These are just two possibilities; I've got to finish packing so I can't think about it now lol.

By the way, a related problem is when people who are close to each other start being rude to each other and speaking to each other in a way that they wouldn't use with anyone else. I think this is a biggy too. Could be due to becoming so close to a person that you start to lose the distinction between you and the other person; therefore the twisted logic is that since whatever you say to yourself makes sense (to you), then whatever you say to them will also makes sense (to them), maybe because you also assume that they 'know' what you are thinking. I think this could be relevant to teasing too. :128:
 

Mike Cash

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The problem is that too many people don't realize when "teasing" crosses the borderline and becomes "tormenting".
 

jeisan

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well me and my friends will say some crazy things to each other as far as teasing goes most of it really bad, and accept it as jokes knowing that its funny and not serious. it all fun and games, until someone changes their tone of voice. you can tell when someone is being seriously insulting or just messing with you, especially if they are your friends.
 

Doc

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I have some extensive knowledge in this field from experience, so I'll tell you from my experiences why I think people tease each other. There are several reasons why people tease each other:

1.) Power - When go past the point of no return in teasing by hurting somebody's feelings, deep down it makes you feel like you have power over that person. It becomes an addiction after awhile, and eventually the teasing will never end unless something horrible happens to the other person, or something drastic makes the person change their ways. It's one of the worst reasons why people tease, the major reason why people tease, and it also shows your true nature. It can literally show how petty you can be.

2.) Distraction - Some people tease other people just to get the negative attention off of them. This usually means going to the next level, and is usually done in small groups so others can join in. It some aspect is can be a power trip, but it's mostly just to divert the negative attention from the teasing of others away from you, and on to someone else.

3.) Ignorance (a.k.a. Insecurity) - This reason is usually done when there is somebody different from you in a group. You are inexperienced and insecure on how to handle a person that may be different physically or mentally than you, so you tease out of ignorance. It some if not most cases this form moves up to power due to the sheer fact that it makes you look like you're better than the other person, when in reality it only exposes your true intelligence.

4.) Cruelty (a.k.a. Revenge) - This form of teasing once again reverts to power. It is usually done when somebody has hurt you in such a way, that emotionally you feel it is necessary to gain vengeance on those who have hurt you. This type of teasing much like any type of teasing can and will get out of hand, and can eventually swallow a person whole by destroying their lives.

5.) Love (a.k.a. joking) - This is the type of teasing that most people do in friendships and relationships. The main purpose of this type of teasing is just to lighten the mood between you and your loved one. However, if this type of teasing is done in an unnecessary manner, it could blow up in your face. You can hit a nerve you didn't mean to, and the teasing will become out of control. This usually means that the main motive will revert back to cruelty. When this happens, the relationship is usually lost.

There are many other types of teasing, but those are the main five that we as humans go with. While each one can be different, most of them all revert back to the same two reasons: insecurity and power. We tease because it makes us feel good. It makes us as humans feel that we have the power to ruin other peoples' lives by just a choice selection of words. Friendly teasing is normally done in small doses, and can be healthy for a relationship. However, it should also me monitored closely. One false move and the friendly teasing can spiral out of control.

Teasing can be a good thing or a bad thing depending on how it is used. It is up to the person on how to use it. Use it wisely, and it shows that you just like to joke around, keep things lively. Use it poorly, and your true intentions show through. The form of teasing is out of a gain for power and insecurity. It makes you look like you have the upper hand in every situation. It also proves that you're a jackass, and aren't worth the time of day for a friendship/relationship. Of course we're all prone and in some cases guilty of it. We're only human after all. The question is would you stoop that low in harming another person just to make yourself feel better?

Doc:ramen:😄
 

Jent

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I always thought teasing was a form of flirting. But it's true, sometimes it goes a little to far. I actually am not friends with some one anymore because of it.

It started out that it was just a joke. Some friends from work and I were drinking and playing pitch at one of their houses. It was fun at first, we were all having a good time. I got up to go to the bathroom and when I came back, one of my friend's hid my sandal (I had took them off under then table) and was acting like he hadn't.
Now, anyone who knows me knows that I am not one that can take a joke very well. I've just always been that way. My dad used to tease me SO much when I was younger, that I can't stand it to this day. I try not to dish it out, because in most cases, I can not take it. My friend, he knew this. And alcohol was involved, which probably didn't help.
So anyways, I guess I got pretty irrate about it. I think the main reason I was mad was because he was trying to make me look like a foolish drunkard. I yelled at him and he finally gave it back to me.
Yes, I realize it was merely over a shoe, but that wasn't the point. I didn't like looking like an idiot in front of everyone. Like I'd drank too much, because that was certainly NOT the case. Just him making me look foolish really offended me.
Eventually, (like we are talking weeks later) we made up.
But he'd always liked me and stuff, and I never returned his feelings. How do I know this? He'd tell me.
We worked at the same job and a few months went by and he was teasing me... AGAIN! As if the first blow up wasn't enough?
This time I got pretty mean. And he took it way too personal. Now we don't even talk.. and that was like... 7 months ago. He resents me for getting angry, and I feel resentment for him not respecting my feelings, and furthermore, for not getting over it...
Well, so that's my story about teasing. I think sometimes, it can get a little out of hand.
 

Brooker

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@Doc...
You make some good points.

I don't think teasing betwen friends and loved ones is usually intended to be hurtful, it just becomes a habit because people sometimes do it to try to remove the pressure from an awkward situation. However, if it becomes excessive, if can surely be a sign of deeper problems. It's a complicated thing. Sometimes people do it to show their affection for one another, but other times it seems to be used as a way to avoid true intimacy by diverting from intimacy to casual joking.
 

miu

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I have a friend who's pretty boyish and always teasing her boyfriend and you could really get offended by some of the stuff she says. I was really surprised, though, when I was at her boyfriend's housewarming party over the weekend and in the morning she was so sweet to him when most of the people were sleeping. I was so surprised @_@ So I guess some people don't really show their soft side when there are a lot of other people around... The girl's also a real attention seeker so I guess the teasing could also be interpreted as want for attention.
 
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