The Importance of Teasing

Outlawing teasing as a form of bullying is a step too far, says psychologist Dacher Keltner in The New York Times, as current research shows that teasing is “a form of social play […] essential for learning to manage complex social interactions”.

The reason teasing is viewed as inherently damaging is that it is too often confused with bullying. But bullying is something different; it’s aggression, pure and simple. Bullies steal, punch, kick, harass and humiliate. Sexual harassers grope, leer and make crude, often threatening passes. They’re pretty ineffectual flirts. By contrast, teasing is a mode of play, no doubt with a sharp edge, in which we provoke to negotiate life’s ambiguities and conflicts. And it is essential to making us fully human.

via Mind Hacks