• Don't Be A Monster

What is the difference between being mean, being rude, and bullying?

Updated: Jul 6, 2020



One of the many critical things we cover in a Don’t Be A Monster presentation is how to identify bullying. Bullying behavior may not always look like a big kid pushing you down to steal your lunch money like movies like to portray. Bullying is intentionally aggressive behavior, repeated over time, that involves an imbalance of power. It is willful, repeated, and harmful.


But what if your friend is constantly putting you down? What if someone you know is always making jokes that leave you with hurt feelings? What if your friend made a comment that hurt your feelings, but by accident? These behaviors may be willful, repeated, and harmful...does that mean it’s bullying?


Oftentimes, students at our presentations ask us these questions about behaviors their own friends are doing...how do they know if they are being bullied? Here’s how Don’t Be A Monster breaks down the differences of being mean, being rude, and bullying.



Being Rude - Inadvertently saying or doing something that hurts someone else.


Being rude is a behavior that everyone accidentally does at one point or another. Everyone puts their foot in their mouth from time to time, but that doesn’t mean we should excuse rude behaviors. We all need to work together to call out when someone has been rude so they do not repeat the behavior in the future. Rude behaviors can be resolved through apology and forgiveness.