5

Usually, I'm pretty good at replying to people trying to make fun of me or pissing me off. I'm able to reply something clever pretty fast most of the time.

However, with teenagers it's different. What they say when they try to make fun of me doesn't seem to matter as much as the act of making fun of me. What they say is generally very stupid but not harsh, leaving no room for me to reply.

An example of this:

I'm in my room and I need to do something in another room. I'm walking with my stuff across the living room where they are and I drop something by accident. One will look at me and says:

Nooo! Don't drop things!

My sister is just like:

Wtf hahahaha

I didn't even look at him when he said that, I felt like giving him more attention would not help the situation. I just picked my stuff up and gone to my things, ignoring him completely. When I come back, as I'm closing the door of my room, the same stands up and says:

Don't close the doooor...

His friend that was also looking at me says:

Hahahaha he doesn't even bother looking at you

I know my reaction was not the best but I really have no clue about how I should have reacted. For me it's just so stupid there's nothing to answer to that. But he is still making his friends laugh so I feel like being more serious would not improve the situation. I realise they are mocking me for being too serious and they may just want me to cool down but it's not really my type of thing to be friendly with strangers. And the way they are doing it does not really invite me into the club.

How should I react to this if I want them to stop?

I live in Canada. I'm 19 years old and the people I'm confronting should be around 14 years old.

  • The problem is of course that their peers respond positively, so any response you give would need to outweigh that positive reinforcement. You may find that they don't do that at all if you two ever happen to be alone. – NotThatGuy Aug 20 '17 at 4:49
7

I'm 18 years old, but I'm not the most intimidating sort of person, especially to kids in this age range (early teenage years). As such, in cases where I have to tell kids this age to do something, either in a work, academic or athletic setting, I command little authority. I've also been easy to roll over at times, so to speak.

There are times when I see kids around 14 or 15 acting all tough and mature, and I roll my eyes. See, I remember being that age. I've grown a lot in the past four years or so, and even though I'm obviously still young, I at the very least recognize that I am not fully developed. At 14, a kid might not understand that. It's a transition phase, often accompanied by rebellious tendencies, and early teenage arrogance is all too common.

The point is this: In all likelihood,

  • These kids are not fully mature, no matter what they say.
  • They don't know how to deal with all of the curveballs life will throw at them.
  • They aren't as tough as they think they are.

I always bear this in mind when interacting with younger kids. My general reaction to being laughed at my ones I don't really know or need to get to know was always "Eh, let them laugh." Honestly, they're being only slightly more mature than a 7-year-old making fart jokes.

I'm a serious person, and I look it. You can imagine that in this sort of situation, I command as little authority as you do. I can tell you that confronting the teenagers about it will not work. They laugh at you for being serious; getting even more serious will only compound their amusement. Things won't go well from there.

However, you have an interesting option, which is that it appears that your sister is involved. She presumably has some sway over these kids, if she's their friend. So use that. Talk to her.

Sibling issues are possible at this age. I've had them with my own sister. Sometimes, I found her friends annoying - not mean, just a bit annoying. It was unintentional; at times, their personalities simply were orthogonal to my own. And so I talked to my sister, because she has some respect for me. If I told her

Hey, your friends are making me feel awkward or uncomfortable at times.

and then explained why, she'd understand. Okay, sure, at times we disagreed, but she's still my sister. She does care about me, and so she tried to change how her friends acted a bit. I don't know exactly how, but she's worked to make it happen.

  • Putting aside the option about talking to my sister, do you mean I should not change my behavior? I don't want to command them but if they do anything bad in the house, I won't hesitate to be authoritarian and kick them out. But I don't have anything to do if they aren't doing anything bad. I felt a bit like a guard keeping a gate. – Winter Aug 20 '17 at 2:45
  • @Winter Well, you certainly can't change the behavior they're laughing at, and I'd bet that many attempts at direct confrontation will only make them mock you more. When it comes to people of this age being jerks, I generally advocate for turning the other cheek unless it becomes a practical problem. If they want to laugh, so be it. Let them be immature all by themselves. You still respect yourself, and most of the people you care about probably do, too. That's what matters. – HDE 226868 Aug 20 '17 at 2:52
  • I am not affected by their immature behavior but I'm still interested into improving my also immature behavior. But I guess that would require acting less serious and it becomes off the reach of this question. Great answer, thank you ! – Winter Aug 20 '17 at 3:04
  • @Winter how was your behavior immature? Ignoring dumb kids who are laughing at you for no real reason isn't immature. It's your only decent option, really. There's nothing wrong with being a serious person either, so don't let them make you feel bad about that. – Kat Aug 20 '17 at 17:30
  • @Kat I don't feel bad. Its cute how everyone here seems to care about my feelings more than about the question. My reaction wasn't the best reaction, I know it because there's people charismatic enough to handle any teenager. – Winter Aug 20 '17 at 18:24
4

Although I'm from India, I think I understand your situation. I'm 16 now, and I have a 13-year-old sister, and her friends to bother about. At school, I have a number of responsibilities which include taking teenagers of the age range 14-15 and younger. Messing up around them generally results in the kinds of situations that you are facing, but as I have recently grown out of that age, I kinda understand what they're thinking.

Every time people would act all authoritative around me, I would think something along these lines:

Who the hell does he/she think he is? Telling us all to [something older people say]? I know everything, and I know what's going to happen if I do it, and what will happen if I don't.

Teenagers often have a mindset that they know everything, and try to act the way they think adults act. (I shouldn't be saying this, but I think I know how that felt :P)

As a result, whenever someone older would mess up, we (as in my friends and myself) would all laugh at him/her like crazy, and/or make snide comments. If they wouldn't reply, it would mean, at least for us, that he/she doesn't know what they're doing, and after that, if it were a class, we wouldn't listen to them further, because he doesn't know what he's doing. We didn't realize then that even the smartest of teachers are human, and every human can make a mistake/mess up.

What I suggest to you is, turn to the person cracking jokes, give them a warm, yet all-knowing smile, and acknowledge their joke, before you continue on your way. It's worked for me every single time, and it results in you earning the teen's respect, slowly and steadily. I know that my answer probably doesn't add anything useful, but its' an experience I had, and I'm sharing it in the hope that it comes of use to you some time. :)

I'm basically a kid, but I understand now what it means to behave serious and mature, and I can convince most kids, teens, and adults that I'm capable of taking care of bigger things... So although my answer looks childish, please don't judge it by its looks... You can try and use it.

  • Abhigyan C has already given exactly the answer I was going to, @Winter: "What I suggest to you is, turn to the person cracking jokes, give them a warm, yet all-knowing smile, and acknowledge their joke, before you continue on your way. It's worked for me every single time, and it results in you earning the teen's respect, slowly and steadily." I appreciate and upvote! – English Student Aug 22 '17 at 13:23
1

This would make anybody uncomfortable, especially over such dumb things as dropping something.

I find, the best thing to do is to rob the person of the thrill of affecting your emotions. Even if you're upset inside, don't let them see it.

It they're teasing you innocently, not trying to hurt your feelings, make a joke back at yourself. Dropping stuff is sometimes funny! You could say "I guess I'm just a butterfingers today!" or "Watch out! I'm throwing stuff all over the place". Laugh at yourself! They're laughing at what you did, not who are.

Also, as you get older, you just won't care as much. Think of an old person, they do embarrassing stuff all the time, and they don't care! They know that a minute is only a fraction of a life, and should not be dwelt upon. Try to be "mature" and emulate this yourself. Who cares what some kid thinks! Your an adult with adult problems to deal with. You're more than just a momentary mistake.

More info: 3 Ways to Handle Being Mocked

  • I don't think I acted under emotional influence but thank you for your answer. – Winter Aug 21 '17 at 16:49
  • Sure, not saying you did, just giving some thoughts for the future. – user2191 Aug 21 '17 at 16:51

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.