We all have been receptors of being teased. Whether from co-workers (gentle tease) to boyfriends and spouses (loving tease) to people who are outright mean (school, church, siblings, etc.) The last kind you can find anywhere. The first two are out there. You’ve just got to find them. Or, they’ll find you.
My spouse and I have been married for almost 27 years. And, after all this time, one would think that we can tell whether we’re being gently teased or it’s a hard tease. Sometimes, it’s just hard for either one of us to tell.
Why is that?
I think it’s because of the tone of the voice that delivers the tease. The body language that goes along with it and how those words are said. Half jesting. Seriously. Venomously.
At the end of each tease session, and we have many, we often find ourselves apologizing to each other for saying the wrong thing.
Words hurt. Words Influence. Words take on a life of their own. And, like Guns, and other objects of power, in a person’s hands, they can become dangerous and sometimes lethal.
Think of all the times when a gentle tease got twisted. It meant something entirely different than what the person who said it meant. When that happens, hold up your hands in a half time signal and stop talking. Let the silence enfold you. Let the words die out. And eventually crawl out of sight. You don’t want to repeat the above performance. Because somewhere between here and there, your words are no longer friendly. They are no longer loving, They are no longer gentle. But have become bullets from a gun that can hurt and main.
Let’s face it folks. That’s what teasing is all about. To get a reaction from the other person. To see how they would respond. Walk away in tears is a common reaction.
What happens if you push the emotional buttons on that person? Instead of words, they may respond with fists, a knife, a gun, a karate chop. People are real funny when they feel attacked. Their life is on the line.
Their flight syndrome takes over. Remember what cavemen did when defending their tribe? Their families? Well, folks, we still have this primeval behavior stuck in us. And, when our brain kicks out and our cave persona emerges, teasing is the least of your problems.
The next time someone teases you, Call Them Out on it. Don’t let them get away easily. Don’t let them win. Call them a name back and see what kind of reaction you get from them.
I bet they won’t be as accepting as you were when you walked away hurt and humiliated inside. Sometimes what’s right for one person isn’t necessarily right for the next person. Behavior plays a huge part in how we react and respond to any given situation.
So the next time you tease a person, my suggestion is to tread softly. You’ll never know what that cave man or cave woman might do.