Difference Between Intimidation and Bullying

Intimidation vs Bullying
 

Though there is a difference between intimidation and bullying, both are close in action and thus, some take them as words having the same meaning and use them interchangeably. Intimidation and Bullying can be viewed as violent behavior towards an individual, which can take place in a number of settings such as the school, workplace, or even on streets. Intimidation can be considered as an act of frightening someone into doing something. Bullying, on the other hand, can be viewed as an act of domination of another through the use of force or threats. Especially, in schools, bullying is considered as a negative pattern of behavior that can be very harmful to the individual who is being subjected to bullying. Through this article let us examine the difference between intimidation and bullying while understanding these two words.

What is Intimidation?

Intimidation can be defined as the act of frightening someone into doing something. This usually involves threats that make the person, who is subjected to intimidation, feel afraid. In some countries such as the United States, this is considered as a criminal offense. However, in order for it to become a crime, the person should knowingly communicate a threat to another. Intimidation is often associated with verbal abuse, condescension, manipulation, and sometimes physical harm. People usually intimidate others based on their differences. This can be due to the differences in race, religion, sexual orientation, gender, etc.

For example, if a person is threatened for his or her sexual orientation this can be considered as a form of intimidation. Usually, when people go against what is considered as normal by the society and approved within the societal context, people are intimidated.

Difference Between Intimidation and Bullying

Frightening someone to do something is intimidation

However, in the English language we using the term intimidating when referring to personality types as well. For example, when we say ‘He looks intimidating’ this does not mean that the person uses threats and is violent. On the contrary, it refers to his appearance.

What is Bullying?

Bullying can be defined as an act of domination of another through the use of force or threats. Intimidation is often considered as a way of bullying. Bullying takes place in a number of contexts such as schools and even in workplaces. This can be verbal and physical as well. Bullying is often viewed as a result of an imbalance of power between two individuals or else between two groups.

For example, in a classroom, if a child is constantly being threatened, laughed about, and even hurt by another, this can be considered as an act of bullying.

A person can be bullied because of his gender, religion, ethnic group, color or even sexual orientation, just as in the case of intimidation. The impact of being bullied especially in children is rather severe. A child can end up being depressed, isolated, and lacking social skills. There are situations where bullying has even led to suicide.

 Intimidation vs Bullying

Dominating another is bullying

What is the difference between Intimidation and Bullying?

• Intimidation can be considered as an act of frightening someone into doing something whereas Bullying can be viewed as an act of domination of another through the use of force or threats.

• Intimidation is often considered as a way of bullying.

• A person can be intimidated or bullied because of his gender, religion ethnic group, color or even sexual orientation.

 

Images Courtesy:

  1. The Comic History of Rome by Gilbert Abbott A Beckett via Wikicommons (Public Domain)
  2. Bully by Charles LeBlanc (CC BY-SA 2.0)