#488 - Teasing
Volume 2 - Prayers to Love Our Neighbor
Dear Father, teasing is part of human interaction. It is a very sophisticated form of communication, relying entirely on context. Context can change the meaning of a tease. If I am emotionally close with someone and we are smiling and enjoying good natured conversation, a tease can be endearing and bonding. However, if I'm interacting with someone who I don't particularly care for, a tease can be aggressive with the intent to hurt or humiliate. There is also the context of time and circumstance. An otherwise innocent tease might feel hurtful thirty minutes after the person had a fight with their spouse. Father, I need to be careful teasing people. I must know them well. I must know their current situation and mindset. There must be full sharing and transparency in the relationship so that I know if it is an appropriate time for an endearing tease. Father, help me to exercise great caution teasing other people, especially because I may not understand my true motivation. What I think is endearing might be passive-aggressive. Help me to endeavor to get to know people and their sensitivities before I tease them. If I must tease, help me to tease myself while I affirm and encourage the other person. Amen.
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