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Before you tease – be sure your teasing is kind

Today I am revisiting the subject of teasing

I’m sure most of you have been teased at some stage in your life and on the whole, people only tease those they are fond of.

But teasing can get out of hand. It can also be unkind, belittling or even emasculating. None of us is in a position to be certain that what we find funny or amusing will be the same for someone else. Your gentle teasing of your partner could actually be having a hurtful effect on them. They may not say so – after all, that would show their vulnerability, and they may be telling themselves not to be so sensitive or stupid.

Left unchecked teasing can build resentments and hurt.

If this is the case your partner may well be on red-alert for the next barb to fly their way. Because they are on the lookout for it they will miss all the other kinder remarks as they focus on the next ‘missile’ to come their way.

If you are prone to teasing your partner watch next time you do and really observe their reaction. Is it truly what you would like it to be or have they withdrawn a little. Do they truly find it funny or are they looking slightly insecure or hurt.

I know your intention is good but what is teasing really giving you? Is it your need to be seen to be funny? Is your need for significance the real driver here? Are you using teasing to show others that you are clever and witty?

Teasing can be fun but it can also be dangerous. It can turn into put-downs.  As I have already said, teasing can be belittling.  This is creating a dangerous place for passion and connection.

Notes for women:

Some women are prone to come out with remarks like

  • “As long as he knows who’s boss” or
  • “Everything is fine as long as he does as I say” or
  • a myriad of other remarks on similar lines.

So ladies if you do this just stop to think a moment. How emasculating is that? If you were a man – whose job it is to protect and cherish and problem solve – how good would that make you feel?

If you want to keep the strong protector and cherisher in your life watch what you say about him.

Notes for men:

Men can fall into the teasing-trap by referring to their wife as

  • “the boss” or
  • the wife or
  • “I know my place”
  • even plain “she”

How feminine is that going to make her feel?

She is NOT an object (the wife), she is a human being.

You want her to keep her girly, playful, sexy, fun side, so make sure your language encourages that.

What happens if you don’t

If both partners resort to destructive teasing then they are now creating a cold environment where trust is collapsing and love, warmth and communication are beginning to die. Neither partner really knows what’s happening or why.  Challenged, they often say “But he/she doesn’t mind, we’ve always done it!”

Saying a swift “I’m sorry” doesn’t seem to be working – mainly because the behaviour is still there and so both partners are still looking out for the next ‘tease’.

Learn to understand your partner’s world

Understanding your partner’s world is vital.  What it is like to be them.

If you don’t then finding out is critical.

My sessions are created around the unique needs of each person in the relationship. Each person’s needs are different so each couple’s issues are different and finding out the truth behind their issues gives them the freedom to explore and create a strong, connected future.