Difference Between Bullying And Harassment in The Workplace

December 17, 2008 by  
Filed under Bullies and Adults

Adult bullying in the workplace happens a lot more often than most people realize. Most people believe that bullying in the workplace is one and the same as harassment, and although they’re alike, there are deviations between bullying and harassment. It should be noted that there’s a fine line in a lot cases, but one of the stellar differences between bullying and harassment in the workplace is that harassment is easy to terminate whereas bullying is not.

The main difference that separates bullying from harassment is that harassment has physical factors such as uninvited touching, intruding in one’s personal space, and/or the damaging of one’s possessions. Bullying differs in the fact that it is almost always emotional or psychological and it often involves verbal and/or written communication and actions. This elusive nature of workplace bullying makes it a great deal more toilsome to stop than harassment.

Another difference between bullying and harassment is that adult bullies will target anybody, even popular thriving people. In fact, by and large, adult bullies direct their antics at people they perceive to be better than themselves and not at people who are thought of as weaker. On the other hand, one who harasses generally singles out those who are dissimilar than the majority whether it be race, gender, and/or other distinct differences. Harassment of these minorities is often identified and even expected, whereas bullying of people who do not have these divergences is more difficult to distinguish. Probably the best way to differentiate between the two is to remember that harassment is founded on discrimination whereas bullying is based on jealousy and/or insecurity.

It should be noted that only one instance of harassment is required to distinguish it as harassment. This differs harassment from bullying since bullying is oftentimes an ongoing problem. Harassment can happen repeatedly but it does not have to, whereas bullying always takes place more than once and typically many times. Harassment it also normally more apparent and involves things that are easy to spot as a inappropriate. Bullying can be much more subtle and even the victim may not even recognise they are being bullied until after it begins to come about regularly. Unfortunately, this often means that harassment victims are acknowledged quickly and sympathized with, while bullying victims are often not recognized at all.

An interesting fact about adult bullying is that it largely comes about in the workplace. Harassment differs in that it almost always takes place both inside and outside of work. Harassers frequently take pleasure in targeting other people, while bullies bully to conceal their own insecurities and to rule out the threat they perceive in other people.

So as you can see, there are some distinguishable differences between bullying and harassment. However, what is most significant is that we are able to identify both of these iniquities and do what we can to eliminate them from the workplace.


3 Responses to “Difference Between Bullying And Harassment in The Workplace”

  1. johnny on December 30th, 2008 11:33 pm

    MkujDY Thanks for good post

  2. sylvia starbard on January 8th, 2011 2:17 pm

    having trouble at work with a new boss who has very different ideas and she expects a lot and seems to be unhappy with my work so belittles me and contradicts eveything i say and is very rude and curses which i think is not professional . especially for a woman

  3. sylvia starbard on January 8th, 2011 2:20 pm

    having trouble at work with a new woman boss she has different ideas and belittles me and is rude also curses which is not professional

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