Conflict with Friends


Question #53: My friend has no sense of humor. I like to pat him on the head and tease him about being short, because he is, and he gets so mad! I tell him I’m just kidding, but that doesn’t help. What can I do to teach him to take a joke?
- Henry Humoroff

See Dr. F's Answer

Dear Henry,

Uh-oh. It’s clear that your friend is not enjoying your humor. Most people don’t like it when you make comments about the way they look–especially if it’s about something they can’t change. I’m sure you’re trying to be playful and fun, but your words and actions probably seem mean to your friend. You say your friend gets mad when you tease him about his height. If you do something that makes your friend mad, even if you weren’t trying to be mean, you need to stop. Kids don’t want to be around kids who make them mad. Instead of trying to be funny, be kind to your friend. You can’t go wrong with kindness.

Best wishes in friendship,

Dr. Friendtastic