The Difference Between Joking Around And Bullying

Some bullies may try and down-play their bullying behaviour by saying they are only having a joke or they are only having a bit of fun with someone. But if this joking around and fun is not being enjoyed by EVERYONE involved and starts to become frequently nasty and at the expense of someone else then this is not ‘having a bit of fun’, this is bullying.

Its all good to have a joke with someone and poke a little fun if the other person involved is not being offended in any way. It is natural behaviour and can enhance relationships through a sense of bonding and comradery amongst peers. However, if the joking around and ‘fun’ is not being appreciated by EVERYONE involved then this type of behaviour should be stopped.

People need to realise the point at which the joking around and ‘fun’ starts to turn nasty and vindictive, and to realise that even though they might find something funny or enjoyable to them,it may not be that fun and enjoyable to the other person involved. If it is obvious that EVERYONE involved is not getting the same enjoyment out of the situation and the joking around or ‘fun’ continues then this can be considered as bullying.

If this type of behaviour is happening in the workplace it can become extremely serious. There can be a fine line between having a joke or a bit of ‘fun’ and flat out harassment. There are strict laws in place that are there to protect people who are being bullied or harassed in the workplace and the results of someone who is accused of harassment in the workplace can leave that person without a job.

Sure you need to have a sense of humour in life and everyone should enjoy a joke every now again, but you should always take into consideration the feelings of the other person involved. Everybody has their own ‘tipping point’ when it comes to their own sense of humour and when the joking around is obviously not being enjoyed by EVERYONE involved, the joking around should stop.

No matter of your age or situation a persons feelings and ’boundaries’ should always be respected. If someone continually over steps these boundaries and continues to make jokes or ‘have fun’ at the expense of someone else then this is definitely considered bullying.

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31-35, M
Oct 6, 2011