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Insulting Teasing Not Humorous

Dear Dr. Dave and Dr. Dee,

A coworker always teases me or makes fun of me, then follows it with "only kidding." If I don't laugh at her joking around, then she says, "You don't have any sense of humor." So, when she teases me, to not seem like a spoil sport, I smile or force a giggle. I'm always nice to her and never tease her. Do you think that this is just her type of humor, and I'm being too thin skinned? It really bothers me, and I wish she would stop.


Had it

Dear Had it,

If you laugh at her jokes made at your expense, then you are condoning her insult, which is what she wants. Her brand of humor is obnoxious. Don't feel like you're being picked on, people like this insult many around them.

To get an abrasive person to stop, you need be more assertive, but you don't want to create friction since she is probably the type to escalate matters. Don't smile or encourage her teasing. When she says, "You don't have any sense of humor," tell her nicely that, "That type of humor isn't funny." Then calmly turn and go back to your work. Every time she teases you, say it again, and get back to work. She'll eventually get bored with not getting a reaction out of you, and look elsewhere to hurl her barbs.