How to Handle Being Made Fun Of

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Growing pains stem from many causes, but perhaps the worst cause is being teased. Whether it's a trusted friend or someone more random, being made fun of creates feelings of insecurity and low self-esteem that can take years to heal. While you can't control what others say or how they act, you can gain control by changing how you handle this behavior.

  • Pretend you didn't hear anything. Ignoring someone who's making fun of you is the first step to handling it. A person who's taking the time to tease you wants you to react; if you don't, he'll probably give up because he's not getting the response he wants.

  • Act brave. Even if you're not feeling overly confident, stand firm and pretend that you're braver than you feel at that moment. Responding to being made fun of with a tall stance and firm voice projects the image that you're stronger than your teaser initially thought.

  • Hide your true feelings until you're alone. If you show how much being made fun of hurts, the teaser has achieved her goal. It's perfectly understandable that you feel upset, but wait until you're with a trusted friend to vent or write your feelings down in a journal.

  • Resist the urge to respond in kind. Dropping to a teaser's level won't solve your problem. It only engages him, shows him how much he got to you and makes you look and feel as petty as he does.

  • Make light of the comments. If the offender is making fun of your new hairstyle or outfit, you can respond by thanking him for noticing your most recent change. It's not the response he wants, and you retain control over how you handle his comments.

  • Avoid the person. You can't be made fun of if you don't cross paths with the teaser. This may not be practical every day, especially if circumstances throw you together, but simply staying away will keep you out of sight and out of mind.

  • Remember that it's really not about you. People who tease are getting some sort of emotional satisfaction out of making fun of others, most likely to make themselves feel better about who they are. Remind yourself of this fact, and the insults are easier to ignore.

Tips & Warnings

  • When you know running into the teaser is inevitable, keep a good friend by your side.
  • If the teasing gets to be too much to handle, it's time to tell someone in authority.
  • Keep your self-esteem high and realize that no matter what someone says, you should feel good about who you are.
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