While your "friends" may dismiss it as a sophomoric waste of time, it turns out that teasing (and pranking!) is good for inter-peer behavior regulation. We all know that the best friends are the ones who lovingly point out your flaws, but Lord knows it ain't easy to call a hairdo a bird's nest and get away without a bloodied nose. According to the Times, science recommends that criticism take the form of a gentle tease, as it apparently facilitates "coordinated action, cooperative physiology and the establishing of common ground." And ideally some good gaffaws!
The article also advises that if you find yourself on the wrong end of this sort of jesting at a frat initiation (or the next workplace team-building activity; same diff), remember to keep your head down and relish the sweet burn of blush on your cheeks. The redder you are, the more sympathetic your peers. Public embarrassment is like Velcro: It keeps the group tight.
And here's more good news for you married wiseacres: Couch your bitching in a joke or two cuz "Studies find that married couples with a rich vocabulary of teasing nicknames and formulaic insults are happier and more satisfied" Forget Merry Christmas; bring on what Shakespeare called "the merry war." And whatever the Elizabethian name for "make up sex" might be, we know the best method is to start with a tease — preferably strip.
posted by AB