Teasing, Playfulness and Bullying

Teasing, Playfulness, and Bullying


Teasing, Playfulness, and Bullying is a continuation of the conversation that we started last time about single-channel flirting. If you didn’t see the video, you can check it out by clicking the link.

Single-channel Recap

Single-channel flirting is basically teaching you to pay attention to the other five senses, rather than your most preferred sense. So, if you’re a visual, you’ll have a tendency to pay attention to what you see.

If you’re auditory, you’ll have a tendency to pay attention to your words, or the words of the person that you’re speaking to. If you’re kinesthetic, you may have attention to how you feel, or how the other person feels, you might do physical touch or tickling.

And this takes us into today’s conversation about teasing and playfulness and bullying. And, the short version is that teasing or being playful and bullying someone really boils down to is what is the other person experiencing, as well as what are you are experiencing. 

We all come from different families. 

And they have different rules. Some people/families play really rough and some do not. Some families don’t play at all or tease at all. And I think that part of the problem is that we just assume that whoever we’re talking to, or interacting with had the same exact childhood With the same exact experiences that we did.

For example, I really don’t like teasing. My interpretation of being teased by somebody is a way for them to be passive-aggressive, but that’s just my perception. It doesn’t make it right. It doesn’t make it wrong. But it is my perception. So when someone is teasing me I will probably tell them to stop.

Teasing, playfulness, AND bullying, are also dependent on the type of relationship that I’m in with that person. Are they casual friends? Or an acquaintance? Or are they a close personal friend or family member that I’ve spent lots of time around?

Try this before You Tease

So I’m going to be referring back to that video, single-channel flirting, that we did last time. And I’m going to be asking you to think about the last time that you had an interaction with somebody that was really fun.

So just think about that for a second; what were you doing? What were they doing? How did it feel, was there a smooth, back and forth, transition between what you’re doing and what they’re doing. And it was there mutual laughing? Was it fun and all that stuff?

Now, I want you to think about a time when teasing went wrong, or playfulness went wrong. Maybe it was you that was doing the teasing or the playing. What was that other person doing, how were they responding?

When you think about that. See if you can pull up a picture of their face, see if you can feel their energy or hear their words.

It’s just a way that we do things. And like I said, where all basing our playfulness and playing based on our personal experiences. Our family members, our personal friends, our siblings. And then we superimpose those belief systems on whomever that we’re playing with are teasing.

So that, is just a thought. About how to tease or play with someone… both of you should be laughing.

Bullying is getting worse

I really haven’t heard or seen any numbers on what’s happening in the world of bullying. I don’t think it has slowed down, it’s has gotten worse.

My position on bullying is kind of the same position that I have on teasing and playing. I think that a person that is teasing or being playful, or even bullying is nonverbally requesting a deeper connection with you.

They may not have the skills to say these words, or they may not even know those words. Frequently, what people are trying to do is they’re trying to have fun, or they’re trying to interact in the way that they have been interacted with. The other thing that is interesting about bullying is, very often, bullies used to get bullied.

So, in order to be safe or in order to not be bullied, they bully somebody else and take the attention off of them. Maybe they’re fearful. Maybe they feel less than? Perhaps, they’re just playing scared, and they’ve been hurt.

Maybe, they don’t have an accurate way of articulating those feelings, so that the way they are, are articulating those feelings or are for acting out those feelings, is by making someone else feel like they did, so they don’t have to.

My view on what you should do with bullies has changed as I, as I’ve gotten older. I’ve really gotten to the point where I think that if you actually talked to them and you said “hey, that doesn’t feel good” and when you do what you’re doing, it makes me feel scared. It makes me feel less than. It makes me feel unsafe.

They may or may not be able to connect with that. But when you say to them, I’m going to leave now because I don’t like the way this feels. But if you want to talk later, I’ll be the person who would be more than willing to listen.

Another thing that you might want to consider is if you see bullying, Step in and say “Hey, have you noticed that that person that you’re picking on isn’t enjoying themselves”? Have you noticed that? They’re quiet, or are trying to get away, and you’re preventing them. And if you didn’t have your little crowd of buddies there, would you be acting like this?

This was just going to be a short video. I want you to think about that and think about what our actions. And what our thoughts do to other people.

Are they having as much fun as you’re having. Can you feel a reciprocal flow of energy, when you’re playing with somebody, or you’re teasing with someone. Because you might be bullying them, or you may not know it.

But if you’ll just take a few minutes and do some of these questions and really get to feel into what it is that you’re doing what it is that you’re attempting to accomplish.

Questions to ask

Are you trying to hurt someone?

Are you trying to make someone else, or yourself feel better?

Or are you just really trying to connect with that person and you don’t know how?

And I’d appreciate your comments on this video. I’ve been thinking about it for a while I hope it came out, okay because this topic is really important. We’re going to be out there in the world here very soon and I’m hoping really hoping that when we come out on the other side, that we come out as better people.

Please feel free to email me or a private message me, and I’ll talk to you soon.


I do have a new book for you to read. The short version is about how to deliberately send the right non-verbal messages to create friendships, and business connections as well as improve your existing relationships.

It’s a quick read but has lots of interesting tools that are used by the FBI for asset cultivation as well as for non-violent interrogations…

The Like Switch

By: Jack Schafer PhD, Ph.D. Marvin Karlins Ph.D. 
Narrated by: George Newbern