Both meanness and bullying can involve an imbalance of power between the bully and victim with that imbalance including both social class and physical differences. But meanness has a subjective component and what one person perceives as mean or even cruel behavior may be more the result of underdeveloped social skills and unintentional slights on the part of the perpetrator.
The key difference seems to be frequency, and the intent to control. A bully seeks to make another submissive to his or her power, through social, psychological and physical aggression.
Bullying is a relationship in which one individual seeks to gain power and control over the life of another.
Most experts agree that the behavior becomes “bullying” when it is frequent and intentional.
“The key difference seems to be
not only the frequency
but the intent to control.”
Bullying is repeated and frequent intentional actions that bring harm to an individual.
Bobby Kipper and Bud Ramey have co-authored two books and numerous articles on the crisis in youth violence plaguing our culture, addressing “best practices” for making a difference in the gang crisis and bullying epidemic that is impacting an entire generation. Over 4,400 young people committed suicide last year, largely due to the bullying epidemic. Their books, No BULLIES : Solutions for Saving Our Children from Today’s Bully and No COLORS : 100 Ways to Stop Gangs from Taking Away Our Communities, offer advocacy for at-risk youth.
Bobby Kipper, Director and Founder of the National Center for the Prevention of Community Violence, is a career law enforcement officer with extensive experience in the area of preventing youth and community violence nationwide. His background includes working on a number of key national initiatives with the White House, Congress, and the Department of Justice.
Bud Ramey is the 2010 Public Affairs Silver Anvil Award winner of the Public Relations Society of America—the highest public affairs recognition in the world. His grassroots public affairs and humanitarian successes and advocacy for at-risk youth stretch across three decades.