This weekend, I was with my sister (we are both around 25 years old and I'm the youngest). The first day, she learned something about me and started teasing me about it.

The second day, we were cooking and the subject of the teasing came back. I knew she was going to make a joke about it again, so I said "No" but she made the joke anyway.

I then decided to leave the room and let her cook alone to show to her that teasing me about this was really not nice. I verbally express my displeasure:

If you want to be annoying, I don't have to listen to you!

I came back less than five minutes later because it was important to do the cooking and because, despite the fact that I hate cooking, I was feeling guilty about letting her cook alone.

In any case, she did not tease me about this subject afterward (and I believe she won't do it again in the future). However, I'm wondering:

Would have there been another way for me to strongly express that I don't want to be teased about this without having to let my sister cook on her own (even if only for five minutes)?

Please don't suggest that I kick her out of the kitchen to cook alone, that would be an even worst solution for me.

Notes and clarifications

  • The first day, I didn't tell my sister that I found the jokes hurting. I was just trying to "defend" myself and I was not laughing when my sister and my cousin (who was there) were laughing (but I might have been nervously smiling).

  • Also, when she was teasing me the first day, it was late and I was tired, confuse and unable to think or even realize that I found the jokes hurtful (I'm on the autism spectrum and I sometimes need time to understand how I feel and that something is making me feel unwell).

  • The teasing was done in a good spirit and I wouldn't have minded a little of it but, at some point, it wasn't funny anymore.


2 Answers 2


I love teasing. I tease my boyfriend, I tease my younger brother, I tease some of my friends. I don't tease my other friends or my other younger brother, since they don't like it. In return, I'm also getting teased by my boyfriend and some of my friends. It's all in good fun, no one is meant to be hurt.

From what I see it's the same here : your sister didn't want to hurt you, she just didn't know she was crossing a line and you weren't in on the joke anymore. My boyfriend doesn't realize when I'm not in the mood or the joke has gone on too long, so I also have to be a bit more forceful for him to stop. Here's what works :

  • Look the person in the eye (or something close to it) : this grabs their attention, make them more aware of you (some people are so caught up in their own jokes they don't notice the change in mood anymore).
  • Don't smile, speak in a neutral voice. Don't sound mad either, but show with your face and your voice you're not having fun.
  • Say explicitly you want them to stop. Just saying "No" isn't polite (that's what I say to my pets), try something like the following :

Please don't continue. I didn't like the jokes from yesterday, and I really don't want to hear any more on this today. Could we move on and talk about something else ?

If you're able to think on your feet, instead of asking for another topic, you can change the conversation yourself and start talking about something else (I myself am not good at that).

You say you didn't realize the first day you were bothered by those jokes, but if you did you could have done a "light" version of this (before it escalates and you get really frustrated or hurt) :

  • Again, do not smile, look at them with a bored face, making it clear you're not amused
  • Say "It's not funny" in that same manner
  • If the teasing continues (which is rare at this point), explicitly ask them to stop, like described above

This is my advice on how to deal with good natured people who don't want to hurt you and would respect the fact that you tell them to stop something that upsets you. It works quite well for me with people with whom I have that kind of relationship.


The first thing to do is to tell the person, nicely, that you do not feel comfortable with that joke / being teased / whatever. You may even repeat it, once or twice, as: "Please, I kindly asked you to stop!" if needed. If you need to repeat yourself, you may use some extra authority in your voice - to make sure that the other person understands that you are not just playing along, but you are serious.

However, if the person is not only a kind teaser, but becomes more of a bully...

I have had experiences with teases since kinder-garden. I tried a lot of tricks.

The only one which actually worked (and I still use when necessary) was to ignore the teasing altogether. Eventually, join the teasing temporarily (depending on the specifics), and then don't pay attention to it at all.

Nobody enjoys spending energy (to to the teasing, in this case) without any benefit (enjoying that you feel bothered). So they will stop sooner rather than later, and find something else to do.

I do not necessarily recommend this, but sometimes it can work to accelerate things. Take it to the next level. Make the person repeat their text, until they become bored playing the role of "talking parrot", under your control.

Would have there been another way for me to strongly express that I don't want to be teased about this without having to let my sister cook on her own (even if only for five minutes)?

That is the key to the entire thing: another way for me to strongly express - that is the source of energy for the teasing. The stronger you say, the stronger the teasing. The only easy way out is to "starve" the person doing the teasing.

  • 1
    This might be the best tactics for bullies, but not for this specific situation where apparently, the sister thought she was only being funny and stopped once she realized it hurt OP.
    – MlleMei
    May 20, 2019 at 14:05
  • In a way (maybe I am not entirely right) bullies and teasers are similar. The difference is in the reason and effects intended. For me, the strategy that I explained worked always - once I discovered it!
    – virolino
    May 20, 2019 at 14:09
  • They might work, but I wouldn't like to treat a sibling or dear friend this way, there are better ways to make clear that a good natured joke didn't land, put a stop to it, and move on.
    – MlleMei
    May 20, 2019 at 14:11
  • You have a point here, I will make an update. Thank you.
    – virolino
    May 20, 2019 at 14:13

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