Can you cope with being teased? Or is it too much to deal with?
We’re having some building work done on our house at the moment. One day last week, I think there were 9
invaders tradesmen in the house at the same time. While I was having a little difficulty concentrating on my work, I did enjoy hearing some of the camaraderie that went on.
A few weeks ago, I was working studiously at my desk. There came a knock on the window, and the builder asked, “Power gone off?”. I replied that it hadn’t, and his response was to ask why the kettle wasn’t on. Hmmm. I was obviously failing in my tea-making duties, but I did feel a warmth in the exchange. It wouldn’t have happened if he had thought I couldn’t take it.
I’ve been playing in a netball team since last autumn. Some of the girls have been playing together for years, and at first I felt like a bit of an outsider. For the last couple of weeks, one of the players has teased me by including me in the jokes about paying 50p when I made a bad shot, or for getting penalised for breaking the footwork rule. It may seem strange to read, but this week I felt truly accepted – a member of the team – when my fines went up to £2 that match. (And it was a relief that it was less than the previous one…)
Paying the fines
Of course, teasing can be unpleasant if it gets too much, or is done with malicious intent. If it is merely a bit of gentle ribbing, it can help us to remember not to take ourselves too seriously. I was chuckling away to myself when the builders were teasing one of the plumbers for finally finding our central heating pump under the kitchen floorboards. They thought he would be dining out on it for months.
I mentioned last week that I work with a group of volunteers on a Friday morning. I love to hear the mickey-taking that goes on while we are setting up. We may be really pleased with ourselves for something we have achieved, but as we all know, pride comes before a fall. Having friends that will humorously remind us that we are still mortal is not a bad thing. Before we put ourselves on too high a pedestal, we can be gently prodded back down to earth.
Taking ourselves too seriously
So, if you are finding it hard to cope with some benign banter, have a think about where it is coming from. Is the perpetrator fond of you? Is it time to be taken down a peg or two?
What have you been teased about?
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