Teasing vs Bullying: Difference and Comparison

The terms teasing and bullying are very common words used in everyday life.

The meaning and definition of both terms are exactly different from their counterparts, but still, many of the individuals vanish the line between the terms.

Although these terms became one sometimes depending upon the situation faced by a person.

Key Takeaways

  1. Teasing is light-hearted, playful, and meant for amusement, while bullying is hurtful, aggressive, and intended to harm or intimidate.
  2. Teasing occurs between friends or acquaintances, while anyone, including strangers, can perpetrate bullying.
  3. Bullying involves an imbalance of power, whereas teasing does not necessarily imply a power differential between the involved parties.

Teasing vs Bullying

Teasing is a lighthearted, fun conversation that is mutual and intended to be hilarious. Bullying is defined as a pattern of violent and intentional action that is repeated in order to injure, intimidate, or control another person, frequently causing bodily or emotional discomfort.

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Teasing is defined as a practice followed by any person that pranks someone, makes jokes, don funny acts, etc. The whole practice of teasing doesn’t involve any intentional hurting of the feelings of someone.

The consequences of using this method among peers, groups, or friends are to build healthy relationships or have fun in life. 

Bullying is defined as a practice followed by any person that involves mocking of some weak individual in any way, like – physical abuse, mental abuse, calling out weird names, spreading rumors, and many more.

The people following such practice do this to show their authoritative nature and power. Such cases sometimes affect a person very adversely.

Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonTeasingBullying
DefinitionIt can be defined as the way of laughing but in a funny manner, but all this practice involves unintentional wayIt can be defined as the way of mocking someone intentionally and harming them
Characteristics Playful, funny, or friendlyPhysical, emotional, aggressive, or intentional
Perception PositiveNegative
Consequences Helps in building a relationship, overcoming awkward situationsDepression, distressed, frightened child, emotionally drained, an adverse case leads up to a suicide
ReasonsThe increased closeness between individuals, dealing social affiliations, and prevail over an awkward situationTo harm someone is done intentionally, to show authority
Example of WayIt is friendly, rational, involves calling out namesDiminishing someone’s character, saying out cruel names, forcing someone to do inappropriate things

What is Teasing?

Teasing is a practice followed by almost every individual once or in their lifetime.

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It is defined as a technique of making other laughs by cracking jokes, playing pranks, calling out funny names of someone, and many more.

Overall this method is a practice that doesn’t hurt the feelings of someone else in an intentional manner.

The characteristics for identifying teasing practice include – funny pranks, playful manner, and comfort zone. Thus it is said to be having a positive influence on others.

But sometimes, more than such practice, it can become negative. Teasing is practiced in many ways, like verbal or taunting.

Verbal teasing involves laughing, giggling, or smiling and making fun of each other in a comfortable manner.

While the taunting method involves continuously mocking someone for their words or action is done before the moment. The excess of this may turn into bullying, vanishing the difference line between them.

teasing 1

What is Bullying?

Bullying is a practice followed by someone who wants to show authoritative behavior toward the weak one.

It is defined as belittling some weak individual by following a different practice that may include – physical abuse, emotional abuse, social abuse, and many others.

For example – A person called Ram is continuously mocking some other individual, Shyam hurting his feelings and sentiments is termed as bullying.

Bullying includes different methods other than physical and emotional, and sometimes people get trapped in cyberbullying and social bullying.

Such practices are said to be avoided as they hurt the sentiments of the person facing them.

Often these practices have a very adverse effect on their mind that leads them to depression, distressed mind, fright, or suicide.


Main Differences Between Teasing and Bullying

  1. Teasing is defined as the practice that any individual uses to make fun of something or someone it is overall an unharmful practice, whereas comparatively, on the other hand, bullying is defined as the practice that is followed by someone who deliberately wants to harm someone. 
  2. The characteristics for identifying teasing practice include – funny pranks, a playful manner, and a comfort zone, while comparatively, on the other hand, the common characteristics for identifying bullying practices involves – physical, emotional, aggressive, or intentional way of disturbing someone.
  3. The overall perception of teasing is considered to be in a positive way while comparatively, on the other hand, the overall perception of teasing is considered to be in a negative way. 
  4. The after consequences experienced after teasing includes – some awkward situation and building a healthy relationship, while comparatively, on the other hand, the after consequences experienced after bullying includes – Depression, distress, frightened child, emotionally drained, and an adverse case leading up to suicide.
  5. The reason behind teasing involves a healthy relationship between the individuals, prevailing any unwanted situation, and having fun while comparatively, on the other hand, the reasons behind bullying someone may involve – showing authority to someone, aggression, intentional grudge against others, etc. 
  6. The example of the method of teasing someone may include – friendly, funny, calling out someone with funny names, pranks, etc., while comparatively, on the other hand, the example of a method of bullying someone include – deliberately forcing any child to do inappropriate things against s/he wish, physical abuse, calling cruel names, diminishing someone’s character. 
Difference Between Teasing and Bullying


  1. https://eric.ed.gov/?id=ED462134
  2. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/02671520110058679
  3. https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/0272431615596428
  4. https://eric.ed.gov/?id=ED453474
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Last Updated : 13 July, 2023

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