Get a Boy to Stop Teasing You
When boys start teasing, it can sometimes be a very frustrating experience. Teasing can range from light-hearted jokes to mean comments that might get you down. Having a certain amount of self-confidence and clever responses can often diffuse any teasing that comes your way. Even so, it usually helps to talk to someone about what is going on to get a second opinion. Don’t let it go too far. If teasing crosses the line into a bullying problem, you’ll need to alert a trusted authority.
- Manage your body. Unwanted teasing isn’t your fault no matter who you are. No one deserves to be teased or made to feel uncomfortable. Unfortunately, many people are teased because of non-verbal cues they give off to other people. Your physical body and the way you carry yourself say a lot about your self-confidence.
Boys tend to tease others who show weakness. Use your body to give off a confident vibe so boys are less likely to mess with you.
- Look relaxed. Take deep breaths and keep calm. Sit or stand up straight, but keep your muscles relaxed. Be intentional when you look around. Avoid signs of insecurity like glancing quickly around the room, fidgeting, and lowering your head.
- Practice a strong voice.
There is nothing wrong with your regular voice and your voice is not the cause of teasing. The more confident you sound when you speak, however, the less likely you are to be questioned. Stand in front of the mirror or sit with a trusted friend and practice. Speak loudly, firmly, and make eye contact. Use a neutral tone that conveys that you truly believe what you are saying.
- Try having a simple conversation using your strong voice. Remember that you are developing general self-confidence so that you are ready to respond if you are teased.
- Alternatively, practice saying specific comebacks like, “You’re not funny.”
- Learn self defense. Boosting your self-confidence is just of the many benefits of learning self-defense. Sometimes just knowing that you can physically defend yourself from a boy is enough to make his mean words seem worthless.
- Seemingly harmless teasing can sometimes escalate to physical altercations. Poking, hair-pulling, inappropriate touching, or physical fighting may start with light teasing from a boy. Do not get physical with anyone who teases you. Instead, know that you have to tools to fend someone off if anything should happen.
- Love yourself. Build your own self-esteem by focusing on the positive things you have to offer to the world. Encourage yourself by making a note of the things you do well each day. Be nice to yourself and avoid putting yourself down.
- Negative thoughts are something to accept as a normal part of life. Manage your negative or critical thoughts by noticing when they come up. For example, you might feel down about a bad soccer game and think, “I really suck at this.” Notice the thought and adjust it to something like, “I made some mistakes, but I know I can get it right if I practice.”
Finding the Right Response
- Don’t get upset. Boys often tease others simply to get a rise out of them. The teaser knows he has the upper hand when the other person gets upset. If you want him to stop, don’t show signs that he is upsetting you.
- Boys often tease people when they look different. For example, maybe you just got a new hairstyle and a boy says, “Look, Sheila looks like my grandma!” This can be hurtful, annoying, or embarrassing, especially if you don’t want to look like anybody’s grandmother. Try not to get really angry, sad, or sulky. Maintain a neutral expression and keep your chin up. That way he’ll think he didn’t get to you.
- Seek help if you are upset. Constant teasing that truly hurts your feelings can move into bullying territory. If you are feeling threatened by a boy or are always afraid that he is going to torment you, you should seek help. Bullying should not be taken lightly as it can have physical and emotional consequences if left unaddressed.
- Tell him to stop. Sometimes you can tell someone that you are not amused, and they will get the message. Look them in the eye and tell them to stop doing whatever is bothering you.
- Keep it short and simple. Try saying, “Chris, seriously, stop doing that.”
- Use a good comeback. Some people have a natural way with words and have the perfect comeback for every situation. If this isn’t you, practice some comebacks with a friend, parent, or in front of the mirror. When he teases you, let him finish what he is saying, look him in the eye, and respond. Remember to use your strong voice and confident body language. Come up with short, neutral comebacks that don’t escalate the situation. Your goal is not to get into a fight, but to get the teasing to stop.
- Some examples of short comebacks are, “Get a life,” “Yeah, whatever, Chris,” and “Wow! You discovered I’m different from you.” Add a little laugh or an eyeroll to show that you are done with the conversation.
- Laugh. Often teasing can take various meanings depending on how the person being teased responds. If you laugh, most people--including the teaser-- will accept the comment as a joke.
Laugh it off and move on. Start a conversation or get back to what you were doing.
- If you feel the need to say something, try chuckling and saying, “That was so silly,” or “Whatever, Chris.”
- Don’t laugh if you are truly hurt by consistent teasing. If a boy is constantly teasing you and making you feel uncomfortable, you should not keep laughing it off. Use a verbal response to let him know that you don’t like what he is doing.
- Walk away. Sometimes the easiest thing to do is to simply walk away. Keep a calm body and neutral facial expression. Turn around and go find something else to do.
Getting Help from Others
- Talk to your friends. Your true friends will listen to you if you have concerns about teasing. Your friends might even be able to help you analyze the situation, and, hopefully, stop it from bothering you. You don’t have to let your friends completely change your mind or your feelings. Simply be open to hearing what they have to say.
- Friends who are present during the teasing might offer a different perspective about what happened. Maybe the boy was teasing you because he likes something about you. Maybe the boy is insecure about himself so he chose to pick on you.
- After the boy leaves, turn to your friend and say, “Hey, what was that about? Do you think he likes me?”
- Talk to an adult at school. Talk to a teacher, guidance counselor, or coach if you feel comfortable with them. Immediately tattling so that the boy gets in trouble may not be the best first move. You can, however, get advice from a teacher as you might do with a friend. Adults have a different perspective of student social life and can often offer more seasoned advice.
- If the teasing happens regularly, makes you feel physically or emotionally uncomfortable, and generally affects your quality of life, you have a more serious problem. Teasing that targets one person in an effort to truly hurt them is bullying. Tell an adult if you are being bullied as this can escalate into more serious physical or emotional problems. School officials are trained to intervene in bullying situations, so be sure to communicate with them.
- Approach a trusted adult. Try saying, “Hi Mr. Taylor, I wanted to ask you about something. Sam makes rude comments about my clothes during class and it’s starting to get to me. I’ve tried telling him to stop but it isn’t working. Is there something you can do?”
- Talk to your parents or an adult at home. Like an adult at school, your parents might be able to help you cope with teasing. They may offer new perspectives or help you practice comebacks for when you are teased. Ask your parent to help you handle the situation. Do not ask them to intervene. It is not recommended for parents to get involved with peer conflict.
- Sit down with your parents when you are both free from distraction. Be clear about what you want from the conversation. Maybe you only want them to listen, or maybe you are looking for real advice. Try saying, “Hey grandma, I need your help with something. This boy keeps making fun of my height. What do you think I should say to him?”
- Learn from others. The internet has many resources for people who are being teased. Read other people’s stories about teasing, and see if you can relate to their experience. It helps to know that you are not alone. Some websites, for example, have advice columns where youth send in their stories and get advice from experienced mentors.
- If you don't talk to him or just ignore whatever he's doing, he might notice that you aren't affected by it and will leave you alone.
- Don’t get caught up in feeling embarrassed. Remember that teasing is part of growing up. Many things blow over pretty quickly.
- Take bullying seriously. Bullying can have very serious emotional and physical consequences for all people involved.
- Do not overreact or completely ignore teasing that happens more than once. Both can lead to more serious problems.
- Deal With People Who Make Fun of Your Appearance
- Stop Bullying
- Avoid Bullies
- Get Rid of a Bully when in a New School
- Get Your Crush to Stop Teasing You
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