Can’t you just take a joke?

Even though I’ve come to accept that teasing is a way of life, I still don’t understand it.

Oh sure, I do it to other people as well. I mean I’m the oldest of three kids, it’s part of growing up. I don’t know why I do it. Sometimes it’s funny because I’ll get a laugh from other people but most of the time, it doesn’t make me feel any better. I think a lot of it also stems from this: where if we don’t like something, we can’t understand why someone else does (or vice versa). And because we can’t understand it, we use teasing as a defense mechanism to try to justify our way of thinking.

A lot of folks will just tell you to lighten up or don’t take it so seriously if you get offended by the teasing. I think the worst response I ever after I told someone to stop teasing me was “well you asked for it. It’s your fault.” Don’t ever tell someone that they asked for the teasing, that they wanted the teasing. You are in control of your own actions. Own up to it and admit it.

Growing up, I got teased a lot for being Asian. Kids would come up to me and bow at me, pull back their eyes, or say things like “CHING CHONG” at me. To this day I still cannot understand why this happens. Why do we make fun of things that are different from us? Did their parents just never educate them on different cultures? Were they unaware of what their kids were doing? Or did they themselves also make fun of Asians at home and their kids were just imitating them? As an aside, I think that’s why to this day even though I am proud of being Asian, culturally I fit better with being “American and white” because I didn’t want to stand out so much and get teased.

 

I still get teased a lot for things I like because other people either 1) don’t like them or 2) cannot understand why I like something they deem to be inferior. Example: I like lighter colored beers such as witbiers, belgian goldens, radlers, etc. I’m not a fan of the bitterness in a lot of IPAs and beers like stouts are just too much for me. I accept the fact that while I don’t mind trying new things because maybe I might like them, I pretty much know what I like and I’m good with that. I’m also proud that I discovered this on my own after multiple tastings and doing research vs. being completely clueless. That being said, I feel like every time I go out with people and order a beer that I like, I get teased mercilessly for being such a girl because of my choices. All the guys will have darker beers and I’ll have a flight of lighter colored beers. And I’m like….What on earth do you want me to do? Why am I getting teased for this? I AM A GIRL. This is what I like. You’re not going to respect me any more if I just do what you want me to do.

Usually I just ignore it because I know I’ve done nothing wrong but sometimes teasing like this gets really annoying.

While I’ve been teased my entire life, sometimes to the point where I end up crying, I’ve thankfully never been really bullied. And I feel so sorry for all the people who do, especially kids and teenagers who get bullied for things they truly cannot control. I really do not understand the mindset behind a bully. It’s so disgusting that someone gets so much happiness out of making someone miserable to the point where they end up killing themselves to stop the hurt. And even then it’s still not enough because the bullies keep targeting others. Maybe it’s a good thing I cannot understand this way of thinking.

But that’s the extreme way of teasing. I’m not saying that there should never be teasing in life. A good amount is healthy and if it’s good-natured, then it can be fun for everyone. Just be wise about it.

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