Men and "friendly" teasing

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Mar 19, 2009 6:55 AM GMT
    This post is probably going to make me look bad, but here goes...

    I was a very shy nerd growing up, with low self-esteem. I've come a long way since then. For instance, I've had enough experience to know that I'm an excellent lover (with the right partner, of course). But, there is one aspect of guy-ness in which I remain completely deficient: friendly teasing, or "yanking each others' chain", or being a smartass, or whatever you call it. Many guys like to have fun with their friends by teasing them, and their friends tease them back, and everyone has a good laugh.

    My problem is that I never know how to deal with it. When someone puts me down, I don't know what to do. Even if I figure out that they are probably joking (although I can never tell for sure), I don't know how to respond. Tease them back? I've never teased anyone in my life. When I was young, it hurt to be teased, and I would never treat someone else that way. I never ever got in a fight; I just walked away. So I never developed that "yank the chain" muscle, if you will. I always take people's words at face value. So when I'm with someone who teases as a way of being friendly, I'm very slow to get the joke, I have no response, and I feel like an idiot.

    As silly as it sounds... can anyone recommend resources I could use to learn to be more of a smartass? icon_smile.gif To be ready with a snarky retort when some dude tosses a barb at me?

    For example, when a guy tells me "you shouldn't put up shirtless pictures because your muscles are pale and small", all I can think about is my face burning red with embarrassment, because part of me thinks he's right. What would be the confident, manly, smartass-y thing to say instead?
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    Mar 19, 2009 6:59 AM GMT
    You want to be a jerky, smartass? That's attractive...okay, let us practice...try to insult me.

    HIT MEH!

    (btw, if it helps, I agree with the jerky meat-head who insulted you...)
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Mar 19, 2009 7:02 AM GMT
    Bitch, you think anyone wants to see your flappy ass?

    You basically described me in your post except I can usually dish it back. Your pictures look good to me.
  • Anto

    Posts: 2035

    Mar 19, 2009 9:24 AM GMT
    Don't take it too much to heart. Guys bond by insulting each other.

    "you shouldn't put up shirtless pictures because your muscles are pale and small"

    You have to be like this and throw it back at the person!

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    Mar 19, 2009 10:54 AM GMT
    OMG in so many ways you have just described my Aussie culture. We Aussies are notorious for it.

    Even here I have been toung and check,and a flame war has come of it. icon_lol.gif But I'm not responsible for anther's issues, or insecurities. There is a big difference to being light hearted about something, and making personal attacks!

    People who know me, will figure out I'm not serious, or just know. Other don't.
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    Mar 19, 2009 10:56 AM GMT
    Grasshoppah,

    There is much to be learned in the world of smart-assery.

    First, if you're going to tease someone, be sure you're ready for them to escalate. So, if you build your confidence and take a jab at a friend, and he jabs back, be sure it's not going to genuinely upset you. Nothing worse than someone who dishes it out but can't take it. You need to be confident that your friends love you and your sense of humor, and that you're fun to be with (even when being jerky.)

    How about a gentle starter with friends? Have you checked out the Tide Stain? It's a fun thing to do with friends, and you can prepare for it ahead of time by thinking to yourself "OK, when he starts talking, I'm gonna start yammering..." This 'exercise' takes timing out of the equation...



    To advance further, I recommend looking at the last sentence in your post: "all I can think about is my face burning red with embarrassment, because part of me thinks he's right. What would be the confident, manly..." Why ON EARTH would you think he's right!? I was reading your post but didn't make it through because I was gawking at your hot pics! You are manly, you are stacked, you are hot! If you don't believe that, and if you don't have confidence in your total package (no pun intended) then the smart-assness will seem fake.

    Finally, in your studies, you can always YouTube Homer Simpson, Peter Griffin, and South Park, and even Jack from Will and Grace (for the ultra-gay sensibility...) But, save them for later lessons...

    Good luck, let us know about your progress!
  • GQjock

    Posts: 11649

    Mar 19, 2009 11:01 AM GMT
    You have to learn the difference btw friendly teasing and someone who is out to put you down
    with your close friends you can come out and tell them
    Hey, I'm really not good with the teasing stuff It makes me feel bad
    But with acquaintances you'll need to build up a wall that doesn't put a chink in your armor
    You have to try to feel good in your own skin
    A guy says your muscles are puny? So what ... you know you look good and that's all that counts
    Find a place where anybody can say anything about you and you know that their words cannot hurt you in Anyway
    You'll be fine
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Mar 19, 2009 11:36 AM GMT
    rotabilis saidFor example, when a guy tells me "you shouldn't put up shirtless pictures because your muscles are pale and small", all I can think about is my face burning red with embarrassment, because part of me thinks he's right. What would be the confident, manly, smartass-y thing to say instead?


    Well, as soon as you say muscle, it means you probably have to make a dick joke in response. Like, "Yeah, well at least I got the big muscle where it really counts." The gratuitous crotch grab is optional (and I mean grabbing your crotch, not the crotch of the person teasing you)

    I find self-deprecating responses usually works on getting the person to stop teasing you if you want it to end. It shows you can be part of the joke and it usually takes the fun out of it for them. Its not a good thing to do in front of some one you are interested in though.

    Adding to ericsantamaria's excellent recommendations (seriously, who has time to write an essay like that at 6 in the morning?!? ), the Rosanne show really influenced my humor. They were relentless in their teasing on that show. As much as I loathe recommending Golden Girls on a gay website, Sophia was a fantastic source of insults and one-liners.

    Finally, I have one rule I try to keep when teasing people regardless of how well I know them. I try not to make fun of things people have no control over. Making fun of someone because they are freakishly tall or morbidly fat is lazy. Its the cheap and easy shot.
  • zakariahzol

    Posts: 2241

    Mar 19, 2009 12:09 PM GMT
    I terminated a friendship with an old friend after the teasing start to feel like and insult. He use to call me bottom, faggot, homo, sister and cocksucker. For a while I can still tolerated it. Then he overstep a boundary by physically teasing me by grabbing my crotch, climbing on my body while I am sleeping and dragging me to the dance floor when I dont feel like dancing.

    If the joke and teasing stop to sound funny, tell him firmly . If he refuse to stop ,look for another friend.
  • HndsmKansan

    Posts: 16311

    Mar 19, 2009 12:29 PM GMT
    zakariahzol saidI terminated a friendship with an old friend after the teasing start to feel like and insult. He use to call me bottom, faggot, homo, sister and cocksucker.

    If the joke and teasing stop to sound funny, tell him firmly . If he refuse to stop ,look for another friend.



    I think that this is probably more of an issue for people than many even realize or certainly mention.

    "Teasing" is something I would encourage you to tolerate. I get teased by my bf and others and it usally doesn't bother me much at all. In some cases its probably true.... and I chuckle. At the point when it becomes
    negative namecalling (as zakariahzol had above), I think you need to stand up for yourself and tell the person to back off.

    The key is serious self defense. Its all about the INTENTION of those doing the teasing I believe. Probably need to become a little less sensitive about
    simple teasing meant in jest and make sure to stand up for yourself when
    teasing becomes something worse.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Mar 19, 2009 3:42 PM GMT
    watch "40-year old virgin" on repeat, and you will get a hang of it. especially the "you know how i know you are gay" scene (anyone can find a clip? here is the transcript of some of it http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0405422/quotes). in fact, most judd apatow movies will put you on the right track.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Mar 19, 2009 3:52 PM GMT
    rotabilis said"you shouldn't put up shirtless pictures because your muscles are pale and small",


    I'm surprised no one else has pointed out, but this is just begging for a joke made about the guy's dick. That would have been my first reaction.
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    Mar 19, 2009 4:16 PM GMT
    There is a meditation technique called "body of glass". When you are in this kind of situation imagine your body is made of pure clear glass,especially your heart area. Then when the assault begins let all of the dissin go right thru you.

    The deal is that your are letting other people into your space. You are what is called an out of control healer. That is, you are empathic. There is a time for being empathic but it is not where you want to be 24/7. You can be damn sure that those smart ass guys don't let anyone into their space. In fact, you will often find those guys have the opposite problem.They have A hard time being intimate.
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    Mar 19, 2009 4:32 PM GMT
    take an acting class, you'll have to express emotions towards different ppl, but you will be acting, and they will be, so it's not like you're teasing them, it's like you're teasing a character as a different character . . . if that makes sense

    that might open you up a little bit icon_smile.gif
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    Mar 19, 2009 4:33 PM GMT
    i empathize with the OP. i've wrestled with this problem all my life- i've never taken criticism too well and am not always sure how to differentiate between meanness, criticism, and jest- and i really dont know how to throw the jests back at people without seeming defensive. i've been working on it though- i have my good days- i have to be in the right mindset for it; jovial, flirty, light.

    joining a fraternity helped. trial by fire lol

    i would suggest that
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    Mar 19, 2009 4:41 PM GMT
    OK, let's talk devices. Attitude is irrelevant, BTW.

    This device is called Owning. The point is to agree with them and escalate.
    Him: Blah blah blah blah [unclever, uncouth smackdown] blah blah blah.
    You: Wow. [expressing hurt shock]
    Him: Well, and another thing blah blah blah blah.
    You: Pale skin and girlish arms are a prized trait in my family. I'll have you know we're fifth-generation cave-dwelling seamstresses.


    The device is Redirecting. This treats him as a clinical curiosity.
    Him: Blah blah blah blah [unclever, uncouth smackdown] blah blah blah.
    You: Wow. [expressing hurt shock]
    Him: Well, and another thing blah blah blah blah.
    You: Umm, my therapist warned me about this. [taking it to the next level]
    Him: You NEED therapy! [an escalation]
    You: Wow. [expressing wonderment at his insensitivity]
    Him: I mean, IF you need therapy. [backpedaling]
    You: IF? [clarification]
    Him: You're not in therapy are you? [horror at his own slight]
    You: IF I need therapy. [like you're sounding it out to yourself]

    [this has taken several seconds to execute, giving you a moment's time to think of his intentions--serious, or silly]

    Him: Oh god, I didn't really mean all that...I was joking! [serious shit-eating]
    You: I have difficulty distinguishing between that stuff. [perhaps, but unlikely]
    Him: I really didn't... [he's mortified now]
    You: But my therapist warned me, about how guys raised by their abusive aunts lash out in their insecurity.
    Him: I wasn't raised by my...! Do you really think I'm insecure?
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Mar 19, 2009 4:42 PM GMT
    There are a few keys to being a smartass...

    First, you need to have a good sense of humor and you need to understand what other people find funny.

    Second, you need to be a good observer. Know the little quirks about the people you are a teasing. What are they confident about, what are their insecurities? Its usually best to go after things that the person is over-confident about or just slightly insecure about and avoid the big insecurities (and possibility of hurt feelings)

    Third, the best smartass comments always have a small bit a truth to them, but are way exaggerated, for example a better put down than the pale comment you made would be something like: Dude, the sun called.... he said to put on a shirt cuz you're hurting his eyes.

    Lastly... it takes lots and lots of practice
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    Mar 19, 2009 5:00 PM GMT
    Well, I guess I'm like the OP, in that I've never understood the need for "put-downs" in male bonding.

    I, too, was raised by a loving, considerate mother, although my cousin tended to be the put-down-as-humor type, and I simply learned never to rise to the bait. It's like someone trying to insist you play catch with them. When they toss you the ball, let it land in front of you with a "thud!" And then walk away. There are only one or two friends I have that I can occasionally get snarky with, but it's usually not very stinging, and if I feel that I've hurt the person, I stop and apologize.

    There was one occasion where a person ( a Gay guy, BTW) used to do this, thinking it was so uproarious to level these scathing put-downs, while (quite frankly) not having the stripes in life to back it up. In other words, he was a snippy, queeny little bitch with few redeeming values, and compensated for it with a loud mouth. After levelling such remarks at me and others in our party at a social outing, I finally had enough, and said something like, "I've heard you bitch and moan before about how this guy is not hot enough for you, or that guy isn't god enough for you, or how much more of a "queen" you are then the rest of us. I guess that's why you're so good at masturbation; thanks to your mouth you always end up going home alone, except for that one time with that old dude. Oh, wait, now I remember... he was drunk and you had to offer him money for the companionship!"

    Ended that bitch's reign of terror.

    In short, those that like to deliver put-downs do so because they are very insecure. Play that up. Let them know they have no dick! Publicly!
  • mcwclewis

    Posts: 1701

    Mar 19, 2009 5:12 PM GMT
    I'm going to start a band and call it


    "Cave-dwelling Seamstresses"
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    Mar 19, 2009 5:13 PM GMT
    When all else fails tell them: I am not your mirror.
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    Mar 20, 2009 1:09 AM GMT
    Thank you all for your responses! Thanks especially to mickytopogigio, daystroom, and ericsantamaria for making CONCRETE suggestions -- really appreciate it. :-)
  • Webster666

    Posts: 9217

    Mar 20, 2009 5:20 AM GMT
    I am extremely sensitive to other's feelings, so I always know when somebody is going too far with the teasing.
    Nevertheless, I love insult humor if it's clever, and appropriate, and not hurtful. And, I can take it as well as dish it out. But, I will make every effort to not hurt someone's feelings.
  • Webster666

    Posts: 9217

    Mar 20, 2009 5:28 AM GMT
    "What would be the confident, manly, smartass-y thing to say instead?"
    ____________________________________________________________
    To the guy who said that you shouldn't put up shirtless pics, I would have said, "Well, I noticed that you checked out my profile 27 times, so the pics couldn't have been that bad !"

    But, that's the thing.
    Either you have the knack to respond with a quick come back, or you don't. I don't think that it's something you can learn.

    If you can't think of a quick come back that is funny, you might difuse the situation with a serious come back, such as, "Thank you. I really appreciate your helpful advice concerning my profile page." That leaves the jerk who insulted you (even if he did mean to be helpful) with nothing else to say.
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    Mar 20, 2009 5:35 AM GMT
    Webster666 saidBut, that's the thing.
    Either you have the knack to respond with a quick come back, or you don't. I don't think that it's something you can learn.
    Of course you can learn it. I was born a babbling, drooling, sock of crow meat. And look at me now.

    OK, maybe I haven't come so far.