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What's the difference between bullying and teasing?

267 Answers
Last Updated: 01/09/2022 at 5:27pm
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I have over 9 years of clinical experience, specialize in anxiety, and am passionate about my work. My approach is collaborative, empathic, supportive, and goal-oriented.

Top Rated Answers
March 13th, 2015 12:34am
Teasing is light-hearted, playful joking around between friends and family mutually. It is done with a sense of fun and to create laughter and amusement between the people involved. Bullying, on the other hand, is not done playfully or jokingly, but rather hurtfully and negatively. In my opinion, there can be a fine line between the two. Teasing can become bullying if it hurts a person or is done with the intention to hurt the other.
December 7th, 2014 1:47pm
In my opinion, teasing becomes bullying when it continues even if they know it's upsetting you. If they know how you feel about it and they don't stop or aren't bothered, you should probably talk to somebody about it.
November 25th, 2014 1:24am
Sometimes there isn't always a difference. What is "teasing" to one person may feel like bullying to another. If you don't see them laughing with you and if they're averting their gaze to not make eye contact, that's a good sign that they feel uncomfortable. No joke should go far enough to make a person feel worse than when the joke started. That's not funny, that's abuse.
July 27th, 2015 12:18am
I hate the way adults use "teasing" as a euphemism for "bullying." Teasing is friendly and fun, done between friends; it's supposed to be fun for everyone even if it makes someone a little embarrassed. Bullying is intended to purely to hurt and humiliate someone. People sometimes pretend to be teasing when they're bullying so they can escape the consequences and because it's fun for them to see you get extra frustrated arguing about whether they're being offensive, but it's easy to tell which is which: if they really are just teasing, they'll stop and say sorry or cool it down the moment you get visibly upset. If they make fun of you for being uptight, they are bullying you.
December 23rd, 2014 1:01am
The difference between them is that bullying is the act of putting someone down in a serious way that can impact them for life and Teasing is the act of making fun or saying thing in a light joking way
November 30th, 2014 1:59pm
In my personal opinion, if a friend says something to you and you only, which you both know is not true and afterwards in a moment of seriousness confirms that it it isn't true. That's teasing. For example two people together and one turns to the other and says "you are so dumb" and then afterwards says something like "but your actually not, just distracted or something". That's teasing, harassment is when someone makes you feel bad and you definitely don't like it.
November 28th, 2014 9:40pm
From the outside, the difference is minimal, but from the inside it's vious. Teasing usually comes from someone you trust and that you know is only messing with you as a friend. Also, if you tell them to stop teasing you because it makes you upset, they most definetely will. Bullying comes from a place full of distrust and negative emotions, and they won't go just because you tell them to at first. It'll take several tries and a long time, whereas teasing would immediately dissapear.
December 16th, 2014 10:52pm
Teasing generally involves a sense of play and mutual joking around,bullying does not involve play or mutual joking around. Teasing is usually for both to have fun with, while bullying is intentionally hurting someone's feelings.
October 6th, 2016 1:00pm
if the one who being teased feels really unconfortable specially until they feel anxiety, sad, afraid, and depressed, it can be called bullying.
November 25th, 2014 4:05pm
Teasing is an attempt at lighthearted joking that takes the person's feelings into consideration. Bullying is intentionally putting someone down, without regard of the target's feelings. Bullying is something that happens to someone, whereas teasing attempts to be inclusive. If someone's teasing steps over a line, they are most often receptive to reproach. Bullies do not take feedback into consideration because they are acting out of insecurity instead of inclusive and friendly banter.
April 9th, 2015 12:51am
In my experience, teasing is usually a playful thing back and forth between people, whereas bullying is something that upsets someone and can effect their self esteem.
September 17th, 2016 10:53am
There's a fine line... teasing can have the affect of bullying but it is not usually intentional and is usually seen as "humor". Bullying is purposely making someone feel down and worthless.
December 28th, 2014 6:13pm
Teasing is often light-hearted and usually occurs between friends or family members. Bullying has far more significant effects and can happen between friends, strangers, family members; anyone.
October 13th, 2016 3:42pm
Teasing is thought of as a more joking and light-hearted action which shouldn't hurt the other personally mentally or physically but perhaps embarrassed. The second the other person doesn't feel comfortable, it is bullying.
November 24th, 2014 5:33pm
When is comes to teasing and bullying there can be that fine line of what defines them and can often be hard to tell the difference for some. But when it comes down to it the difference of teasing and bullying is about your relationship with that person. Teasing is typically between two or more people who are either close or know one another, an they will say things that so bug them or even make fun of them but mean it in a nice way. Like for example when two friends call each other stupid. They don't really mean it they are just making fun of one another. Sometimes people will often tease people as well to get their attention or whatnot. Where as bullying on the other hand is when someone uses hard or physical actions in the means to harm you. If someone is intending to bully you they will use words or actions with the intention to hurt you and bring you down, and it's horrible. Now unlike bullying when someone is teasing you they will say something to you with the intention of not hurting you. Sometimes some people may say something hurtful to you when teasing when it was not intended to be. That would be a time to say something and that you actually found it hurtful so they know. But it all comes down to the persons intentions and how they are saying those words to others.
December 7th, 2016 2:14am
Bullying is defined as use superior strength or influence to intimidate (someone), typically to force him or her to do what one wants Teasing is defined as making fun of or attempt to provoke (a person or animal) in a playful way
May 20th, 2018 5:18pm
The short answer is: not usually. Most of the time, teasing is harmless. But when it’s intentionally hurtful or negative it can lead to bullying. Some learning and attention issues can make it hard for kids to tell when teasing is playful and when it’s mean and threatening. Here’s what you need to know about teasing and bullying to help your child navigate tricky social waters. Teasing is a way of communicating. Teasing is a social exchange that can be friendly, neutral or negative. Done in the right spirit, it can actually be positive. When kids tease each other about clothes, musical tastes or behavior, it helps them learn to deal with constructive criticism. It’s part of how they relate. There are two main types of teasing—endearment teasing and influence teasing. Endearment teasing is a way to bond or form a relationship. When a kid misses a dunk in basketball, and a teammate says, “Hey Magic, nice shot,” it’s endearment teasing. Influence teasing is intended to change someone’s behavior. One kid might tell another, “Stop laughing, goofball. This movie is so stupid.” Both endearment and influence teasing are ways for friends to exchange harmless back-and-forth banter. Unlike kids who are being bullied, kids who are being teased can influence whether it continues or ends. If they get upset, the teaser will usually stop. The comments were never meant to be hurtful in the first place. Bullying is meant to hurt. Verbal bullying is different from teasing. It’s not done as a way to relate, or to make friends. Just the opposite. The goal is to embarrass the victim and make the bully look better. It may start out as negative teasing. But when it’s done repeatedly with the intent of being hurtful or threatening, it becomes bullying. Verbal bullying includes calling a victim names, taunting and sexual harassment. It can happen in person, through texting and online, through social media and email. Bullying of any sort is an imbalance of power. The victim usually hasn’t provoked the bullying. He also might not be able to defend himself. Bullies don’t back down. Their intention is to be hostile and their goal is to be in charge.
April 24th, 2015 11:21am
Teasing is meant to be light-hearted, something that friends do to joke around, where everyone is laughing together. Bullying, on the other hand, is mean-spirited and singles out an individual or group who is hurt rather than humored by the "joke". Bullying is not a joke, and is never funny.
May 26th, 2015 1:50pm
Teasing is when you know they are kidding. If it's gets physical, it's bullying. Bullying is crossing the line. You know it's bullying when you have to think about it, when you ask the question.
August 24th, 2015 9:20am
Bullying they hurt you emotionally and physically and don't really care how you feel, but teasing, they're just joking around messing with you as a friend.
September 28th, 2015 9:30pm
Teasing is done in a joking tone and it is done between people that have a strong relationship and the person being teased doesn't look in distress. Bullying is done in a hostile way and is meant to alienate and embarrass the person
February 23rd, 2017 3:26pm
Its like the difference between confidence and arrogance, Pride and vanity. An acceptable limit, in which the other part equally enjoys himself or takes part in[consensual]. The consent can be withdrawn, or the meanings may change by circumstances or due to the personality of the other.
August 13th, 2017 11:30pm
Teasing is when the other person is also laughing with you when you make a joke and they know you do not mean it. Bullying is when the other person looks scared or upset when you say something to them. Teasing is fun and not harmful. Bullying can impact someone for the rest of their life. Know the difference
- Expert in Bullying
September 8th, 2015 9:36pm
Teasing is when the person teased can laugh with it. Bullying is something more 'evil' than teasing with the intent of hurting a person. Dont be a bully.
April 5th, 2016 2:09pm
Bullying is malicious action or inaction in an organised fashion with the purpose of physically or psychologically breaking down a person or a group. The motives for bullying vary greatly. Teasing are benign violations of a person or a group and usually are not harmful unless the target takes offense.
May 31st, 2016 12:17am
I think bullying has to do with imposing the bully's will on his victim, while teasing is a "liter" form of violence that mainly has to do with "humorous" verbal harassment. While teasing has to do with mockery and insult, bullying is a darker form of humiliation, sometimes physical, always abusive.
September 16th, 2016 10:18pm
Bullying is extended victimisation and cannot be confused with anything remotely friendly, and is carried out with the intention of causing emotional or physical pain. Teasing can be a sub-category of bullying, and can be part it, but it can also be interpreted as something light-hearted, amiable, and without the intention of causing harm.
November 9th, 2015 8:11am
Bullying is the unwanted abusive actions are speech targeting another individual which they do not want.
September 11th, 2016 6:36pm
If someone is teasing you it is still fun for you. If someone is bullying then it will make you feel awful
October 2nd, 2016 5:00pm
Teasing is something that close friends usually do, it's not meant to be hurtful to you in any way or form. However, bullying is something that is intended to spread hate, or gossip to others.