Alphathon: Banter or Bullying?

Today is brought to you by the letter B and Katy S. I’m not the biggest fan of today’s themes so, unfortunately for me, it was a case of choosing any because I could have written something about all. Nothing too passionate, but something all the same.

I’ve decided to write about Banter.

Strangely enough, on Friday, when I should have been writing this blog, I was sat on a chair next to Katy P. Something I’ve never done before and who knows if I’ll ever get to do it again.

Anyway, I digress, she was sharing what is classed as ‘banter’ with her friend.

So, was this banter a laugh or an excuse to be rude?

I honestly believe it depends on the person making the jokes and the person at the receiving end.

If you’d been sat in between two people sharing banter, like I was on Friday, then you would know that what they were doing was a bit of fun. They were having a laugh and it wasn’t at anyone’s expense because they both seemed to enjoy the jokes.

But does it always end up that way?

I don’t think.

Where I used to work we would always make jokes about one of my fellow colleagues and he enjoyed it. It was how it was, he loved to share his stories about his latest conquests/events and my other colleagues loved to know about them. It was funny to make a joke or two and he laughed along with us.

However, let me take you back to school.

You’re sat in a classroom and in front of you is someone you don’t know all that well, you make a couple of comments, or your friend makes a couple of comments and you both laugh. But the other person doesn’t. In fact, they seem to get a bit upset.

Your reaction? Well, some people might say “don’t be stupid it’s just banter”.

Well, is it?

Is it banter when the person who is being joked about doesn’t find it funny? Is it banter when you continue to make the same jokes and the person continues to not find them funny?

I’d say not.

There’s a very fine line between banter and bullying.

In fact, so many people probably cross the line without ever knowing. Do you want to admit to your friends that after weeks of them joking you actually no longer find it funny? Some people don’t.

I guess the most important thing to remember is that banter can only be banter if everyone is enjoying it and even though someone may have enjoyed it in the beginning they may not weeks or months down the line.

I think banter should only ever be shared with people you know will be okay with it. Like Katy and the friend she’s known for years and me and my colleague who I have also known for years.

People can change their minds, things can bother people more on one day and not the next and most of all, it’s okay to tell someone when the banter is crossing the line.

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2 thoughts on “Alphathon: Banter or Bullying?

  1. Oh wow I panicked a little bit when you mentioned me then, very much am always joking when bantering, the idea that anyone would be upset by me is in itself upsetting.

    I had the most gorgeous weekend, super happy that I got to meet you and that you came for tea. The only thing I would change is failing to get a photo of the event, what a travisty!!

    Last point, banter was Katy S’s theme, mine was bad habits, so you and I are on 1 a peice and Katy is on 3…an early lead!!

  2. I think you sum this up so well in the last line – it is ok, and you must tell someone when banter just isn’t funny any more. Very well written!

    And I agree with Katy, the lack of photo is a travisty… my stick people aren’t up to the job!

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