Quiz: Friendly Teasing or Bullying?

You and your friends are having fun, joking around. But then the teasing goes too far. Someone’s feelings get hurt. What do you do?

Friends usually realize they’ve made a mistake, stop teasing, and apologize. Teasing is okay if it’s friendly and everyone likes it. It can be a fun part of hanging out together.      

But bullying is different. It’s repeatedly using mean or threatening words and actions meant to hurt. Bullying is never okay. If you’re being bullied, talk to a trusted adult for help.       

It can be tricky to tease people in a gentle, positive way. If you accidently hurt someone’s feelings, stop the teasing and say that you’re sorry. When everyone is respectful of others’ feelings, life can be a barrel of laughs.


Is it friendly teasing or mean bullying? Check out this list to make sure everyone is having fun.



1) They put you down for being upset.  

Friends  ____                Bullies   ____   


2) They continue making fun of you, even when you tell them to stop.  

Friends  ____                Bullies   ____   


3) They mock your race, religion, looks, or language.  

Friends  ____                Bullies   ____   


4) They only call you nicknames that you like.  

Friends  ____                Bullies   ____   


5) You want to avoid going places where you might see them.  

Friends  ____                Bullies   ____   


6) They whisper or laugh at you when they think you won’t notice.

Friends  ____                Bullies   ____   


7)  You like them and feel good when you’re around them.  

Friends  ____                Bullies   ____   


8) They threaten you or push you around physically.  

Friends  ____                Bullies   ____   


9) They don’t mind if you tease them in return.

Friends  ____                Bullies   ____   


10) You enjoy joking back and forth, and you all laugh along good-naturedly.

Friends  ____                Bullies   ____   


11) You share some interests and do fun things together.  

Friends  ____                Bullies   ____   


12) You feel angry, scared, or anxious when they make fun of you.  

Friends  ____                Bullies   ____   


13) They send mean e-mails to you or about you.  

Friends  ____                Bullies   ____   


14) They stand up for you when others are mean.  

Friends  ____                Bullies   ____   



Give yourself two points for each one you get right.

Bullies: 1, 2, 3, 5, 6, 8, 12, 13

Friends: 4, 7, 9, 10, 11, 14

20-28 points: You can clearly see what true friends are like, and you watch out for bullies. If you see a kid being bullied, use your smarts to speak up or tell adult.

10-18 points: You’re pretty good at spotting bullies, but you could sharpen your skills. If kids are acting mean, stay calm and tell them to stop. Look for kinder friends.

0-8 points: Take a closer look at the kids you hang out with—are they treating you with kindness? Talk it over with a parent or teacher. You deserve true friends.

For a printable version, download a PDF of this quiz.

Inspired by The Bully, the Bullied, and the Bystander, by Barbara Coloroso

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