When does banter go too far?

Banter can be such a fun part of being in a group of friends - whether it’s in a sports team, friendship group or other community group. Joking around with others can help you bond with each other.

Sometimes, it can be tricky knowing where to draw the line. What you’d say to one friend, you might not to another, and it’s important to think about what’s appropriate. Many people also don’t know what to do when they’re uncomfortable with something their friend has said.

We asked the boys from Randwick Rugby what they thought about some common jokes, and they told us whether they think they’re ‘banter’ or crossing the line.

Read the transcript.

If someone has said something to you that has maybe gone a little too far, you definitely should speak up because what’s the point in just standing there and letting it happen again.

Some key takeaways from the Randwick Rugby team:

  • Banter is important. It can be a way to joke around with your mates, make everyone feel comfortable and create a great mood.

  • The difference between banter and bullying isn’t always clear-cut. Sometimes, what’s intended to be banter could actually be hurtful to the other person. It isn’t always obvious since many people might choose to ignore it or laugh it off.

  • If your mates have crossed the line, speak up. If they’re true mates, they’ll listen to you seriously when you speak up.

  • Check in with your mates. There might be someone you’ve noticed is uncomfortable with the banter, but they haven’t spoken up. Check in with them and see if they need some extra support.

What can I do now?

  • If you’ve noticed a mate seems uncomfortable with the banter, check in with them.