Difference Between Similar Terms and Objects

Difference Between Bullying and Harassment

bullyBullying vs Harassment

No matter how old you are or how successful you have become, having to face bullying or harassment is still an unpleasant prospect at best. At worst it can destabilize your routine and undermine your self-confidence or even health. If you feel that you might be the victim of harassment or bullying, it is important to know the distinctions between the two and what steps you can take to eliminate it from your life.

Where you are likely to encounter Bullying and Harassment
Bullying ‘“ usually happens in the comfort zone of the bully. This space is almost always at school, the workplace or a space associated with one of the two, such as a parking lot or a favorite bar or diner.
Harassment ‘“ can take place anywhere. It may happen in the same location as bullying, but it can also happen in a neutral or public environment.

Who is likely be Bullying or Harassing you
Bullying ‘“ is generally done by someone whom know you and who knows you. You may not be close, but they will be at least familiar with you and your life.
Harassment ‘“ can be done by someone who knows you but it can also be done by a complete stranger, someone you’ve never seen before and may never see again.

The likely causes of Bullying and Harassment
Bullying ‘“ many studies have been done about the causes of bullying. It seems that people who engage in bullying, both in school and the workplace, do so from a sense of insecurity or inadequacy. In school they will target those they feel are weaker than them. However, in the workplace the opposite is often true and bullying takes place when one coworker feels intimidated by the success of another.
Harassment ‘“ has its basis in herd mentality. People have a tendency to assume that people who are different from their personal norm as bad. Therefore harassment is based on the discrimination of someone due to his or her color, creed, nationality, sex, or sexual preference.

Official actions against Bullying and Harassment
Bullying ‘“ is an internal matter. If you feel you are a victim of bullying, you should document the instances of bullying and then report them to a superior be that a teacher or a boss. Your bully might receive some kind of disciplinary action, but there is no guarantee the bullying will ever stop.
Harassment ‘“ is regulated by federal law. If you feel that you have been harassed, even one time, you can report that incident to a police officer and press charges against the harasser. Many workplaces have a zero tolerance policy on harassment.

1.Bullying and harassment are actions taken to make you feel bad about yourself.
2.Bullying usually takes place by someone you know in an environment with which you are familiar whereas harassment can take place anywhere, anytime, and by anyone.
3.Bullying is not considered as severe as harassment because it is usually based on jealousy however harassment is often prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law as it discriminatory in nature.

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1 Comment

  1. Greetings;
    I found your attempt to define the difference between bullying and harassment interesting and worthwhile. There is more that could be said however. Your wrote, at the end, that “Bullying is not considered as severe as harassment…” That may be in part because some kinds of harassment is illegal and bullying is not necessarily illegal in the US. However studies have shown that workplace bullying is more harmful than sexual harassment: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/03/080308090927.htm
    as reported on the Science Daily website.

    It’s also important to note that all bullying is harassment, but not all harassment in bullying. Bullying is a repeated offense in which one or more people target the same victim repeatedly for weeks, months or years. Harassment can be a single event.

    I believe the causes of bullying and harassment can overlap. Your causes mentioned above are correct, but sometimes a bully will act out of feelings of inadequancy but may also be acting in part because of a prejudice (such as religion, race ,sex, age, etc) against the target. Anyone can be the target of harassment, but targets of bullying in the workplace are almost without exception excellent, loyal, committed, and productive employees who most likely will be left without any recourse except to seek employment elsewhere to escape the bully.

    After working for more than 27 years with an excellent work record at St. Alphonsus Regional Medical Center (A part of the Trinity Health Medical system headquartered in Novi, Michigan) in Boise Idaho, I became the target of a workplace bully who, from the evidence, directed her violence at me because she did not approve of my political and religious beliefs. The bullying, including the cause, was reported to management numerous times. Nothing was done. After a year I was diagnosed with a PTSD injury as a result of being bullied. That too was reported. Still nothing was done. After 2.5 years of being bullied I had to leave and get a job elsewhere because I was becoming disabled by the violence. One important characteristic of bullying that we have to remember is that bullying is an act of violence. Those targeted will eventually be injured by the repeated attacks. The psychological damage done to victims of bullying is comparable to the psychological damage done to victims of rape, torture, or other acts of violence.

    I’ve written extensively about my experience under the heading “Workplace Psychological Abuse” on my blog “The Cambium Level” at http://www.leonardnolt.blogspot.com. I include an entry on the definitions of bullying at

    Thanks for the article and the opportunity to respond.
    Leonard Nolt
    Boise, Idaho

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