Teasing vs. Taunting
When it comes to bullying, one of the major problems we have is that we think everything is bullying. For example; the word teasing has been blended over the years with taunting. This is not saying teasing is okay, but teasing is not bullying, where as taunting is. Teasing and Taunting have many similarities, so letís take a look at the two so we can see the difference.
Teasing the other person is usually done between friends. Itís consists of joking comments and there is no intention of hurting the friendís feelings. The laughter is with the person and not at the person. The moment it is realized that what was said has hurt their friend's feelings, it stops. There is no imbalance of power, no intent to harm, and no threat of further aggression.
When someone taunts another person, it is usually done outside their circle of friends. The intent is to hurt the other person's feelings. The main intention is to take their dignity and self esteem away. The laughter is at the victim/target's expense and not with them. Even if it is realized that what they are saying is hurting other person's feelings, they do not stop. They do it over and over again. With taunting all three indicators are present- you have intent to harm, threat of further aggression and an imbalance of power.
Sometimes friends tease thinking its funny, when actually what theyíre saying is hurtful so they are asked to stop. However, for whatever reason, they continue with the same comments; the teasing has now turned into taunting.