Being a victim of verbal bullying from back in Elementary-High School you can say that my opinion on this is carved in stone forever. So you must look at this debate deeper, going behind the words and see what the person is not saying and in there lies your answer. Where’s the line? Well that is not the easiest answer because there are just so many different factors: the person, there past, there upbringing/home life, friend situation and so many other things; so to be fair I must say that each person has there own line that they use to judge when someone is crossing it.
For me it’s when someone gets hurt, either mentally or physically. If you say or do something and the other person is not smiling, laughing and/or going with it then it’s safe to say that you hit a nerve with them. I don’t think it takes a person all that intelligent to determine when they might have crossed the line- the requirements: a heart, a mind and being able to count to 2. You have to see that even the simplest of words can act as a trigger to someone. You don’t know what someone has been through so you don’t know safe words and dangerous ones. For example if someone is bashing there mothers and then turn to me, not knowing my past, and bash mine, I will get immediately offended (if I don’t know or like the person anyway) and I will get pissed off and tear them a “new one”. So what was a safe topic for them isn’t for me sometimes so you see?
At the same time though I think that there are times when the person who is offended is just being just a little too uptight. In this life you must have a sense of humor and be able to take jokes and give them. If you aren’t having fun then your life is going to be full of darkness and lies and unfortunate reactions and you just don’t have enough time on this planet to waste time. Even after the things that I have been through I can joke around about 99% of topics and not get offended or feel that I offended anyone, but if I did I’d apologize.
In conclusion I say this: you must have your own line and you must know others lines or play it safe until you know them. You’re not going to always guess right and not hurt someones feelings or make them mad but if you be safe and come off as nice then those times when you do cross the line won’t be so bad, they’ll know that you didn’t know. My mom is someone I miss dearly every single day and my dad is someone who I wish would change back to who he was when my mom was around but I can joke around about those topics… mom’s and dad’s… to an extent. My school life is something that still gets me uncontrollably angry sometimes and remembering can bad for me but I can joke around about it. It’s not all on the ones making the joke to judge harmless fun and bullying, it’s also up to the ones listening or there to judge also and sometimes lighten up and go with it… then afterwards pull the person aside and nicely, emphasis on nicely, mention you were kind of offended by what they said but know they meant no harm. It’s a 50-50 deal…