PITTSBURGH (NewsRadio 1020 KDKA) – Joking and teasing at work happens almost every day, but when does teasing turn into bullying? Larry and John talked to psychologist Dr. Christian Conte to discuss the topic that has become an issue across the country in light of the alleged bullying of a Miami Dolphin that was so bad he left the team.
When asked when is teasing playful and when does it become bullying Dr. Conte says, “If someone is not teasing back, then it is not a friendship.” He added that it needs to be a “two-way street” for it to be a friendship.
What happens when the person being bullied speaks up only to be called a tattletale or snitch?
“I think it contributes to a culture of maintaining the whole bullying,” Dr. Conte said.
He says that parents tell their children when they are growing up to not “tattle” on their brother or sister so they can learn to become “self-sufficient, but becoming self-sufficient means reaching out for help.”
Dr. Conte says he works with people who have committed violent crimes and that one of the worst things they can be known as is a snitch. He believes it stems from a disrespect culture, where people demand to be respected.
He thinks this could be replaced with “A kindness-first culture.” He says there is a difference between, “commanding respect and demanding respect.”
Dr. Conte says he doesn’t care how big a person is, if they are a football player or not, they still have a brain that is only “three pounds” and “our brain is really what determines our attitude, our mentality and how we approach the world.”
Dr. Conte says he isn’t happy that the player, Jonathan Martin, is being bullied, but it is good for our culture to see, “that it doesn’t matter the size of the person,” that the internal struggle is most powerful.
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