Bullying vs. Teasing

April 1, 2016
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Cody Simpson

This time of year we are often asked by the schools to come and speak to their students about the difference between teasing and bullying. Some students have a general idea of the difference between the two but the line is still blurred for others. If you are looking for a way to speak with your students or child regarding the difference between teasing and bullying, please feel free to use the information below as a guiding point.

Teasing is when you make fun of or are attempting to provoke someone. There are two types of teasing:

Playful and Friendly Teasing

  • Used as a way of fitting in or when talking with our friends.
  • It is not used to make fun of characteristics that are out of someone’s control such as disabilities, ethnicity, faith, etc.
  • It is not harmful.
  • It is not repetitive.

Hurtful Teasing

  • Someone starts getting more than their fair share.
  • Repetitive, even when the person has asked them to stop.
  • Often done by someone you don’t have a close relationship with.
  • Makes fun of characteristics that are out of someone’s control such as disabilities, ethnicity, faith, etc.


  • The behavior is aggressive with the intent to inflict physical or emotional pain.
  • The behavior is repetitive.
  • The behavior occurs in a relationship where the bully has more power than the victim.


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