©5-11-11 by Donna Cunningham, MSW
Do you like it when people tease you? Most likely not, but are there times when it’s okay? Have you ever stopped to analyze what kinds of teasing are funny and what kinds are wounding?
And what planet rules this iffy brand of humor? Do you think it’s Mercury? Mars? Jupiter? Or, brrr, Pluto? For sure, it’s not Venus!
Teasers would have you believe it’s a Mercury thang. “It’s a joke, for God’s sake! I’m just having fun with you. Can’t you be a Good Sport?”
It’s not JUST. A. JOKE. Not if the person who’s being teased isn’t laughing. Really laughing—not just faking it.
If you look deeper, most of the time, it’s an act of ill-concealed aggression…a deft attack on your most vulnerable spots.
It’s also generally a form of competition:
- A way of putting you down
- A kind of one-upmanship
- Of exposing your weaknesses
- And of making you the butt of a joke
- In short, a form of humiliation
Although women do tease, it’s a peculiarly male type of humor in its more vicious forms, institutionalized in the locker room, on the playing field, in sports competitions, and in the frat house. It’s part of how they establish themselves as the Alpha Male.
So, yeah, if you noticed the words in red, you’ve guessed I’m voting for Mars and its tougher aspects as the ruler/chart signature of teasing. If you don’t agree, you’re welcome to share your reasoning in the comment section.
Is there a Jupiter form of teasing? You do see it in standup routines that wildly exaggerate the traits of an ethnic group, gender, segment of society, politician, or celebrity. Or at a roast.
It works best when it’s not mean spirited and when the comics poke fun at themselves and the group they belong to. Mean-spirited cracks do get laughs, but don’t you feel squirmy inside, like you’re probably next and it won’t be pretty?
What about “affectionate teasing?” The fun you have at the expense of Dear Old Dad? Or teenage sis who’s just starting to get attention from boys? Is that Mars? Mercury? Or maybe even the Moon?
It’s Mercury IF the person who’s being teased is laughing too. But it’s probably Mars if Sis locks herself in the bathroom and emerges an hour later with reddened eyes.
It’s Mars with Saturn or Pluto if the “joke” comes from a parent, teacher, boss, or other authority figure who uses it to punish and diminish a young person or subordinate.
It’s a cruel—and often tragically successful—form of verbal abuse intended to make you believe you’ll never amount to anything.
The most biting kind comes from Mars in Scorpio, Virgo, Capricorn, or Aries, especially with hard aspects from Saturn or Pluto. Mars-Neptune, maybe, if it’s the nasty type of comment that only shows up when the person is drunk. Mercury-Pluto aspects can tease, too, but it’s definitely meant to wound.
Personally, I never tease because I recognize that most such “jests” are intended, on some level, to wound. With a Mars like mine—and a Mercury honed to a stiletto point—I just don’t want to go there. Oh, if someone teases me, I might tease back, just a wee, non-lethal jab.
Who Gets Away with Teasing Me?
In exploring this subject, I’ve been pondering what kind of teasing bothers me and what kind does not. Perhaps if I share my conclusions it will help you sort out your own responses to teasing. So here are some examples of people—those still alive, that is—who have dared to tease me.
Friend A has Mars in Leo conjunct my own. Her brand of teasing is playful, in that she assumes a sort of “bad boy” role at that time. There’s never any real harm in it, and she makes me laugh because I have just a bit of “bad boy” in me too that seldom gets to come out to play. Since our Mars are conjunct, we sometimes join forces to gang up on Friend B, to our endless merriment and her exasperation.
Friend B has Mars in Scorpio square mine. She cannot get away with even the mildest bit of teasing, as it strikes me as mean-spirited. Even though she protests that it’s not meant that way, I still believe it is. Early in our relationship, at a time when I was really down, she bullied me until I stood up to her quite forcefully. Though I’ve earnestly worked for years on letting go of it, a vulnerable part of me is still on guard and ready to bristle–it’s not a forgiveness issue, it’s a trust issue.
Friend C is a good-hearted, helpful soul who I believe is headed for beatification when she passes on. Not what you’d call witty, she gets off a real zinger at me once in a while—usually more than deserved. Then she’s so pleased with herself that I get tickled and laugh until my sides ache. Her Mars in Gemini is less than a half degree from my Mercury.
Who else gets away with it? There’s a certain sort of cheeky fan who points out my foibles and inconsistencies. That little jab in the ribs startles me and makes me laugh at myself. You’ll find these cheeky ones occasionally on Skywriter.
(If that sort of delicate balance isn’t your forte—if there’s even a tinge of mean-spirited malice in your intention—I wouldn’t recommend trying it.)
How about you, Readers? How do you react to being teased? When is it funny, and when does it feel like an attack? If you tease someone yourself, what lies beneath it? And what in your chart gets triggered when you tease or are teased? Share your thoughts in the comment section.
Related articles on Skywriter:
- How to Live with Criticism — and How to Give Constructive Criticism
- How to Recognize and Deal with an Abusive Person.
- How Strong is your Mars? Here’s the Score!
- Mars and Conflict—Road Block or Productive Detour?
- Mars Mission 2: Anger—the Guard Dog of Denial
- Boundaries 101 ~ A Course for Neptunians (Teasing)
- How to Recognize and Deal with an Abusive Person
- Anger Management Tips for Home and Work
- Pluto and Bullying: How to Recognize and Deal with It
- Battling the Bully – Standing Up For Yourself With Confidence and Assertiveness
- Understanding Mars in the Fixed Signs
- The Law of Progressive Annoyance—Mars or Jupiter?
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