Harmless Teasing. Playfulness, and Comedy: 2 Differences Between Harmless Teasing and Cruel Jokes

I’m all for harmless teasing,Β  playful banter, and comedy. Sadly, it’s something that seems to be dying out today.

Too many people get triggered anymore by anything. And bullies seem to be the very people who are easily triggered and are constantly looking for something to get offended over.

Don’t get me wrong, I completely understand getting offended or triggered over cruel jokes because cruel jokes can be harmful. However, there’s a difference between harmless teasing and cruel jokes.

Bad behavior bullying children cartoon characters composition with group of teenage girls laughing at their classmate vector illustration

Here are 2 differences to be aware of:

1. Cruel jokes poke fun of things the target is insecure about, such as their height, weight, nose and ear size, and other hot spots.

Harmless teasing stays away for the target’s hot spots.

2. Cruel jokes continue even after the target has expressed hurt and discomfort.

Harmless teasing immediately stops once the target has expressed hurt and discomfort.

Again, harmless teasing is harmless and done all in good fun. Cruel jokes, on the other hand, can be damaging to a person’s self-esteem and should be avoided.

With knowledge comes empowerment!

42 thoughts on “Harmless Teasing. Playfulness, and Comedy: 2 Differences Between Harmless Teasing and Cruel Jokes

  1. This is great Cheri, I have a friend that pokes fun and at first it was funny but now I find it happening during every interaction and she ends her “teasing” with “I’m just kidding”.
    I let it slide because I know she doesn’t have the happiest life BUT she’s getting a little carried away!

  2. Very true! Teasing is just light hearted fun but once the joke targets someone’s income, looks, family, or intelligence, etc. it can get cruel. And you notice bullies will keep poking those hot spots if they get a reaction out of someone.

  3. I have seen on many occasions where the bully says he’s just harmlessly teasing but when the target comes back with an equally or less equally tease, the bully responds with his fists.

  4. There is a thin line between ”harmless teasing” and cruel jokes. What one person may seem as harmless, might be affecting the person concerned. How often have I heard, its only banter. As grown ups we need to teach our children it isn’t acceptable to say anything we wouldn’t want to hear.

  5. Great points Cherie. πŸ‘©πŸΌβ€πŸ« If you are going to tell a joke, that’s ok. But telling one that is offensive and belittling is downright unacceptable and damaging. Great job girlfriend with breaking this down on the do’s and don’ts of bullish responses when they can’t take it when someone dishes out the exact thing they did. SMH πŸ™„ Deplorable!!! 🀨

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    • I don’t have a Twitter account. Deleted it over a year ago because of Jack Dorsey’s BS with suspending accounts he didn’t like. Email me. My email is in Contact on my blog.

  7. There is a thin line between harmless banter and being cruel, true. One needs to be cautious and ensure they don’t hurt somebody in the process of a being candid with a joke.

  8. It is important to know the difference. I certainly have a few close friends we can joke around with and playfully tease but it is because we are close and in it is all in good fun and not to be taken seriously. We would never intentionally hurt each other. And usually it is something about how clumsy we are or playful smack talking because we are having some kind of physical competition or playing a board game. I almost equate it with siblings clowning around.

    However, there is a fine line with that. We have to watch even microaggression and you don’t even teasingly hit on sensitive spots and if that person gets their feelings hurt even by accident you stop and apologize. And if you think you may have accidentally went too far you talk to them and tell them you are sorry whether they say something or not. You can usually tell if they react funny. And it doesn’t hurt to sometimes wink or say just messing with

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