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Author Topic: stop teasing me!
bthyb
WiFi Christmas


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My parents were here for the weekend, which was great all in all. However, my dad's way of showing affection is to tease me - which by the end of the trip was seriously getting on my nerves.

It started on Christmas, when we were driving through the city and hubby and I were pointing out various landmarks. I mentioned that the La Brea bakery was famous for their bread - which started a whole "look, a florist, are they famous for their flowers? Look, a gas station, are they famous for their gas?" sequence. Hubby mentioned that Pink's hot dogs are world famous, which started a "world famous" sequence. It went on and on and got really annoying.

I'm not without sense of humour, really...I tried teasing him back and not taking it so seriously. There was a moment today (Dec 26) where he was teasing my mom about getting a tattoo, and I teased him about getting one that said "Rick is my friend." Rick is a friend of the family that he was seeing later for dinner. I had wanted to join them, as I had been included in several dinners with Rick in the past and had spent time with Rick and his former wife for high holidays one year, but my dad wanted to go on his own.

So my dad says "why are you so jealous that Rick is my friend?" Ouch, hurtful, considering that I had wanted to see Rick and wasn't included. I said something about not being jealous, but my dad said that he was only teasing.

Yeah, right. How convienent that he was teasing me about a sensitive issue that he never bothered to actually discuss with me - all communications were through my mother.

I'm just annoyed. They want me to come visit in April for Passover, and I'm just worn out. Why would I want to spend time with someone who picks apart what I say? My dad would say it's just his way of being affectionate, but I have some doubts that it's all just affection. Even if it is, it still drives me nuts, and makes me not want to talk, as I don't know what will be made fun of.

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If you say you love ice cream, you better be dreaming of an orgy with Ben, Jerry, and one fine-ass chunky monkey.

-- My sister and poet extraordinaire, Joanna Hoffman

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MissEltoe
We Wish You a Merry Giftmas


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Oooh your dad sounds like one of my coworkers.

I don't have any real advice because I haven't learned quite how to deal with her yet. I'm tired of walking on eggshells though.

How come it seems like when (general) you're the one that's teasing, no one gets it?

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Licorice of the Lord! This is classy stuff...Should I be wearing a tie? Or, at least, pants?
~I'mNotDedalus

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Para
Deck the Malls


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bthyb, have you tried just adopting the most bored, unamused expression you're capable of and point-blank saying "Dad.. that's really annoying. Not funny. Just annoying"?

Or there's always the "ignore them until they quit repeating it" method.. no idea what would work better with your dad, though. If you're really tired of it, just tell him instead of playing along. That's just encouraging him, imo.

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"But what of the golden spider-duck and the squat crimson pig?"

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LeaflessMapleTree
The twelve shopping days 'til Christmas


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Is he going bald? Can you make fun of that? It always stop's my dad's teasing dead in its tracks.

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"For me, religion is like a rhinoceros: I don't have one, and I'd really prefer not to be trampled by yours. But it is impressive, and even beautiful, and, to be honest, the world would be slightly worse off if there weren't any."
-Silas Sparkhammer

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glisp42
I'm Dreaming Of A White iPod


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I used to make fun of my Dad's inability to complete household projects. Unfortunately, I seem to have inherited it.

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What does "Bookachow", "YOMANK" and other lingo mean?

And we'll collect the moments one by one I guess that's how the future's done. -Feist

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Lonely Mountain
Jingle All the Layaway


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I can relate to this. My advice is just have a sit down and talk with your dad about it. He might be like my dad who had no clue that what he was saying was inappropriate and pushing people away. If not, you will probably start to not like him. Then you will start avoiding him until you have no contact with him at all. Just try talking to him. He might not know he's upsetting you.

After that, if he still does it then you need to decide if it is something you can live with or you need to limit your exposure. For example, my father is an aboslute horror when he drives. He screams and cusses at other drivers for the most stupid reasons and I can't stand it. Many of us have asked him to stop but he still does it. As a result, I no longer ride in any car when he is driving, even if I have to take my own car.

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"Tis too much proved that with devotion's visage and pious action we do sugar o'er the devil himself." - Hamlet

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bthyb
WiFi Christmas


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Thanks for the feedback all!

Maple, he's been balding since I've known him - and yes, he's my biological father.

I think the answer is to either have a talk with him, or just know it's his way of being affectionate and let it go.

AFA limiting my exposure - they live on the East coast, and I'm on the West coast, so exposure is limited right there - until we visit them or vice versa, and then there's 3-4 days of non-stop exposure, wherein lies the problem.

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If you say you love ice cream, you better be dreaming of an orgy with Ben, Jerry, and one fine-ass chunky monkey.

-- My sister and poet extraordinaire, Joanna Hoffman

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ThistleSoftware
Little Sales Drummer Boy


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In my opinion that much teasing is a form of bullying. My tactic (which has varying degrees of success) has been to respond as though they had just made the opening statement in a serious and measured scientific debate. That kills the "fun" pretty quickly, since they have to explain that they were joking, and then if they tease me about not having a sense of humor I say "Oh, I didn't realize you were joking since it wasn't funny at all."

So your conversation would go like this:
Dad: Oh, there's a gas station, are they famous for their gas?
You (completely deadpan): No, actually, that gas station isn't famous at all. There is a station on Fairfax* that was in David Lynch's Lost Highway, though.
Dad: No, you see, I was kidding, you know how you said the bakery was famous for bread? You really need to lighten up.
You: That wasn't funny so I didn't know you were kidding.

*I can't remember if it's on Fairfax but it's somewhere around there.

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Officially Heartless

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Lonely Mountain
Jingle All the Layaway


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quote:
Originally posted by ThistleSoftware:
In my opinion that much teasing is a form of bullying. My tactic (which has varying degrees of success) has been to respond as though they had just made the opening statement in a serious and measured scientific debate. That kills the "fun" pretty quickly, since they have to explain that they were joking, and then if they tease me about not having a sense of humor I say "Oh, I didn't realize you were joking since it wasn't funny at all."

So your conversation would go like this:
Dad: Oh, there's a gas station, are they famous for their gas?
You (completely deadpan): No, actually, that gas station isn't famous at all. There is a station on Fairfax* that was in David Lynch's Lost Highway, though.
Dad: No, you see, I was kidding, you know how you said the bakery was famous for bread? You really need to lighten up.
You: That wasn't funny so I didn't know you were kidding.

*I can't remember if it's on Fairfax but it's somewhere around there.

I'll have to try this because I can't stand to be teased. Once in a while I can live with it but when it's a constant barrage of teasing about everything you say or do and it just makes you feel like a worthless scrap of nothingness and all you want to do is to strangle the person and watch him turn purple as he slowly gasps and suffocates and then their eyes start to glaze over and... Ok, I may have shared too much childhood trauma.

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"Tis too much proved that with devotion's visage and pious action we do sugar o'er the devil himself." - Hamlet

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ThistleSoftware
Little Sales Drummer Boy


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LonelyMountain, I dislike being teased a great deal. I am not very quick-witted with comebacks, so I try to utilize my natural deadpan to turn the person's nastiness back on them. They are trying to be funny, and if I can make them look stupid instead of funny for even a minute, I feel loads better about the situation.

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Officially Heartless

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Lonely Mountain
Jingle All the Layaway


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I do understand and I'm sorry if I insinuated with my joke that it's no big deal. One of my defenses is to try to make a joke in anything serious to try to take the tension out of it.

As far as teasing I've had more than my fair share. I got it constantly at school, at home from kids in the neighborhood, and from my dad and brother. They would tease about my weight, my big ears, my glasses, my clothes, my shoes, the way I talked, my name, my friends, my pets, my parents, even how I walked for crying out loud. I couldn't get it to stop and the help I got were the worthless cliches of "They're only teasing.", "Lighten up.", "Stop being so serious all the time.", "Grow a sense of humor." and the worst of all, "They wouldn't tease you if they didn't love you."

I do think there is nothing wrong with a little teasing as long as you know the person behind it is not being a jerk. When the Steelers absolutley creamed the Carolina Panthers a couple weeks ago, my friend Bill teased me about it. But that was only a football game and I don't live or die if the Panthers win or lose. Also, if I told Bill that something he said is bothering me, he would stop. My father on the other hand, constantly teased me about everything, even stuff I should be proud of like getting my Masters degree when no one on his side of the family even went to college. This is where I agree with what you said and it becomes bullying. He never stops and after I had a very bad turn in my life and he still continued, I couldn't take anymore. We haven't spoken now for over three years.

Now, I'm going to hope for the best with bthyb and her dad and hope she manages to have some sort of relationship with her dad. This means she has to either do nothing and live with it or do something and get him to stop or at least do it less. If she can't then she might end up with my situation, which I wouldn't wish on anyone.

Ok, I have definitely shared too much childhood trauma.

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"Tis too much proved that with devotion's visage and pious action we do sugar o'er the devil himself." - Hamlet

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ThistleSoftware
Little Sales Drummer Boy


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Hah, I didn't think you were joking! I was agreeing with you rather than defending myself. What an odd misunderstanding.

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Officially Heartless

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bthyb
WiFi Christmas


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The kind of misunderstanding that only happens when people have been teased too much, I think.

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If you say you love ice cream, you better be dreaming of an orgy with Ben, Jerry, and one fine-ass chunky monkey.

-- My sister and poet extraordinaire, Joanna Hoffman

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ThistleSoftware
Little Sales Drummer Boy


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I think so too.

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Officially Heartless

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TallGeekyGirl
O Read, O Read, The Manual


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This could be a form of passive-aggressive behavior that he's using to deflect some aggravation he has about you.

There might be something about you or how you act that irritates him and he does this constant "teasing" as a way to vent frustration while at the same time giving himself an out because it's "just teasing" and you "shouldn't take it so seriously."

Of course in saying this I'm not meaning to say that it's your fault that he's doing this. The blame is still squarely on him, but it might give you some insight as to where it's coming from.

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See, if I tell you about it, it won't be a mystery. It'll just be a fact, an ugly, moist fact, squatting on your brain like an octopus. And you don't want an octopus squatting on your brain, do you, son? -- Stan Smith, American Dad

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Barbara
Layaway in a Manger


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bthyb, the teasing bothers you. Whether it should or shouldn't, whether the teasing is barely-disguised envious digs at you or honest attempts at warm, inclusive "just between us and only because we're as close as we are" humour, the bottom line is it bothers you. So tell your dad, flat out, to stop. Don't tease him back, don't play games with him, just tell him. And be sure to tell him that at least part of the reason you've haven't seen much of him these past three years has to do with his teasing.

Do have this discussion with your dad away from everyone else, in a quiet moment when it's just you and him and there's no risk of anyone else walking in. If you have this talk in front of a third party, no matter who it is, he's going to feel backed into a corner, with the only way out being proving you wrong, and so he'll argue whether it's right for you to feel the way you do rather than listen to you. But if it's just the two of you, you have a real chance of effecting the change you want, especially if you put it to him as "I realize this must sound unreasonable because you certainly never meant any harm, but could you just for me tote it up in the 'damn fool things my daughter has asked me to do and which I do for her even though they don't make sense' column?"

Keep firmly in the front of your mind that the goal is to end the teasing - do not sidetrack yourself into pursuing an alternate goal of getting him to admit to wrongdoing or one of getting your hurt feelings validated. Realize that going after either or both of those possible alternate goals could result in failure to get what you really want from all this, which is an end to it. So don't take your eyes off the brass ring.

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bthyb
WiFi Christmas


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Thanks Barbara, that's certainly worth trying the next time I see him.

To be honest, that's not the reason I haven't seen them much - it's been expenses and finishing my dissertation that stopped me from seeing them (and I did see them a bunch when I lived in NJ).

The teasing at this level is new - he always teased a bit, but not this much - I chalk it up to feeling more comfortable around the hubby and because he's not depressed like he used to be (for most of the years I've known him).

TGG - interesting POV...I thought about it, and I don't think that's it, but it was definitely worth pondering.

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If you say you love ice cream, you better be dreaming of an orgy with Ben, Jerry, and one fine-ass chunky monkey.

-- My sister and poet extraordinaire, Joanna Hoffman

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snapdragonfly
Happy Xmas (Warranty Is Over)


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A therapist once said to me that a joke isn't really so funny when you are always the butt of it.

Teasing gets old. People who blame the person being teased for their "lack of humor" - well, they suck. I can't find a more eloquent way to put it, sorry.

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"Wolves, dragons and vampires, man. Draw the nut-bars like big ol' nut-bar magnets." ~evilrabbit

(snurched because one of my nutbar family members is all about wolves and another one is all about dragons...)(with apologies to surfcitydogdad)

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Santa Mari-a
Happy Holly Days


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I didn't think the "bakery is famous for bread" remark was that obvious. Bakeries in this country generally make many things besides bread, so they could be famous for cookies, or pies, or cakes, etc.

Having a talk with your dad sounds like an excellent idea, but don't be too upset if it doesn't change things. My dad was the same--making "funny" putdowns and then saying "Can't you take a joke?" if I didn't laugh. I never did have that serious one-on-one talk with him; it might have improved our relationship, but I always thought he would just repeat his "Can't you take a joke?" line.

**Hijack** IMHO, any sort of humor that's repeated too often gets really old fast. At Christmas dinner, one couple, friends of my mother's, both fancied themselves entertainers. They just love puns and jokes, which to me are OK in small doses, but not in every other sentence! And if someone happens to say something that's also a song title, suddenly we're in a musical! I wanted to [fish] them both by afternoon's end.

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Si hoc comprehendere potes, gratias age magistro Latinae.

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mrs.hi-c clown fishies
Happy Holly Days


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Your dad sounds like my dad. He's been like that my entire life. If I got hurt...say tripped and fell, he'd say something like "ooh...that felt good, didn't it?" No sympathy of any kind. What was really upsetting was when I graduated with my associate's degree. I was the first person in my family to go through college, and the only thing my dad could say was "we're proud of you...now if only you'd clean your room." I wanted to cry.

That situation made me think in the long run...my dad never even graduated from high school. I think there's always been a bit of envy there for me accomplishing more in my lifetime than he has. Perhaps your dad is a bit envious that you have bits of trivia that he didn't know.

I'm throwing in my support for having a chat with him. Does your mom and dad communicate well? Maybe she could say a few words on your behalf--after you've left.

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This song has no title...just words and a tune.

Instant Hi-C--Just add water...

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franjava
Deck the Malls


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My FIL is a teaser. So am I, by the way, but not as bad as he is! I just put up with it for the week we see the in-laws, then enjoy that he's leaving. [Smile] Not to mention, I kick his butt playing cards!

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Never eat anything given to you by a toddler.

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Purple Iguana
Markdown, the Herald Angels Sing


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Yeah, I was kinda thinking death glare followed by eye roll and heavy sigh and, "Moving right along..."

If he's really that dense, do what I've done with my hubby on a few occasions when he's said something that was "just a joke:"

"Sweetie, if it was a joke, we'd BOTH be laughing."

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They just don't make crazed, beserk robots like they used to. --Sheen Estevez, Jimmy Neutron, Boy Genius

If I manage to post something swipe-worthy that you would like to make your sig, you may do so with my blessing.

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