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Complete Guide to the Bully/Victim Cycle

Dr. Webster-Doyle’s work on peace promotion and solving conflict nonviolently, especially for young audiences, is groundbreaking and brilliant! 

Dr. Michael D. Knox, Chair, US Peace Memorial Foundation

Complete Guide to the Bully/Victim Cycle

From the Playground to the Battlefield


Those of us who have been bullied have been conditioned to get scared, which is a natural human reaction. Fear ties a knot in our brain. As we’ve already learned, this knot causes us to either want to fight whatever threatens us, or run away from it. Is one of these responses better or worse than the other?

The fact is — they’re both unproductive.

When we’re scared and, as a result, we bully ourselves into responding in a certain way, we react totally out of fear. But we don’t have to. When we can see that we can act based on “rational” thinking rather than react on fearful “reactive” thinking -there is freedom in that.. When we’re scared, we react out of fear. When we can understand our fear, we can act intelligently. Knots in our brains can cause us to have thoughts that aren’t true - thoughts that can condition us to think in ways that are not helpful to us in our lives.

  • Can we cut through those knots in our brain?
  • Are we able to recognize the thoughts we have that aren’t true?
  • Do we keep thinking we will never have thoughts that aren’t true?
  • Is this apart of “reactive” conditioned thinking?”

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