Is there a line between bullying and banter? Where do you draw that line?
I feel like this is a topic that not many people actually realise where “banter” is actually bullying.
Let’s talk about a few scenarios…
You’re in a work place, and you’re constantly getting picked on, but when you confront the person about it, they just say that “it’s just banter!”
Well yes, they might just be joking and no offence or harm was actually meant by the act, but the other person is upset over it, is that just banter then?
Or another situation, you go to a group gathering, and everyone plans to take the mick out of a certain thing, where this is the nature of the group. But you weren’t involved, you were just the target, throwing nothing back, but they claim “it’s just banter!”
Is it? Even if it’s the nature of the group, is that really just banter?
Or a third scenario, you’re apart of the class, and you seem to be the subject of the “jokes”. You’re constantly getting the piss taken out of you. They go out of their way to make your life miserable. They find it hilarious, but they say “it’s just banter!”
No. It’s not just banter. Banter is a two way street, when both parties are not on board, it’s not banter, it’s bullying. If you are not thinking about how your actions are affecting the other person, that’s not banter in the slightest. Neither is targeting someone on purpose. You cannot excuse your mean actions saying it’s just banter.
My question to you, where do you think the banter ends and it becomes bullying?