Preventing Someone from Kidding With You

There are many variations of 'kidding'. Some is the passive variety where the person doing the kidding is going to say whatever they want with you or anyone else. This would be someone that just wants to hear themselves. The second is the 'interactive' type where they are looking to cause a reaction in you (whether it be positive or negative). This will address methods to prevent either.


  1. When approached, do not smile or react. This diffuses the desire to elicit reaction, and makes the person seek another audience. If this is the passive variety, the kidding will often end here, forcing the kidder to seek another individual.
  2. Play dumb. In the 'interactive' variety, the person will continue until they get a reaction from you. So, eventually you will have to. Simply act like you don't understand the nature of what they are trying to say. Basically an "I don't get it" to a joke.
  3. Ask them to explain a portion of what they are kidding about. Usually there is no logic to the kidding, so explaining it further tends to difuse it's ability to be funny. Thus allowing you to not smile or react. An example phrase would start with "What do you mean by..." or, "I don't get it".
  4. Once comfortable with the lack of logic in the kidding, turn it back on the person in the form of a statement or an additional question that will force them to realize the illogical nature of their 'kidding'. Note that this can sometimes irritate the person and cause an undesired effect. Use with caution.


  • While ignoring the person can sometimes be effective, the nature of 'kidding' is to get a reaction out of you. The trick is to give them a reaction, but not one they would expect.
  • Often times there can be an additional audience. The reaction that is being sought can given by the extra audience, thus requiring you to step further into making the person realize that you are not interested. Patience may be needed in this situation.


  • Interacting with a 'kidder' in a 'non-kidding way', and causing them to explain themselves can sometimes cause a violent reaction from the 'kidder'. This can make you now be viewed as a smart alec and turn the kidding into a verbal attack.
  • Some people use 'kidding' as a means of social acceptance. Depriving them of this can cause other reactions: a violent person may go on the attack, a non-violent person may become socially removed.