Four steps out of bullying.

A simple help guide

This guide has been created to help adults assist young people in bullying situations. Its main aim is to help teachers, parents, uncles, elder brothers or sisters deliver clearly what is really happening to the victim, other than the obvious. Please remember when using this guide, that although the adult may be aware of these points the teenager most likely is not. We have compiled this information in four steps that will help the adult assist the teenager shift his view. Quite often the person who is being bullied is left in the dark, for rarely is there a concise description of what is happening and the steps can be taken to get out of the situation. We know there are many angles to approach bullying and each case requires special attention and discernment in order to understand what is really happening. At times when a crisis affects our life we are so lost in it, we forget that if we are capable of getting into a situation, there is also a way out. In my particular case of bullying when I was 13, I had no idea what was happening in the least. The longest description I received from adults was “We know its unfair, but these things do happen” or “ that's life, get on with it”, remembers Craig Stuart Garner. In other words, we have no choice other than find a solution for ourselves . “Personally I believe that if I had been blessed with some kind of description that would of enabled me to come up with not only a faster solution but a much better way of dealing with my teenage relationships. This is no different from the adult who visits his doctor with some kind of pain, not only in search of a way of removing it but also in search of the cause. Just knowing the probable cause helps us all deal with our particular situation”.

Our view and focus of bullying

Many other systems focus entirely on the bully being the problem and with the removal of the bully, the problem completely dissolves. This of course is a a very logical deduction, but we have found that this leaves a lot uncovered ground with regards to the victim. Even when the bully disappears out of the victim’s life, in many cases the bullying continues inside the mind of the victim. It is precisely for this reason that we have created these four steps, which enables one to be an empowered young adult, instead of being, a bundle of nerves, always on the defense and reacting to almost every situation as some kind of an attack. We hope you find these points useful and that you are able to find an effective manner in passing this information on, and at the same time attain a higher level of communication and harmony with the person who is suffering bullying.

Basic map of a bully’s method

As a general rule, the bully chooses someone he can easily defeat and selects his victims in accordance to what he considers to be a specific weakness, be it physical, emotional or /mental (the later includes racial and cultural causes). But in other cases a weakness is not even required, for the aggressor will hypnotize his victim into believing what he wants them to see and believe. With this choice at hand, he will project forcefully the idea that he is a powerful aggressor and the victim is a helpless and weak creature with no resources to counter attack . Many victims unconsciously accept this mental projection from the aggressor and without their conscious consent form part of a vicious mind game. From here and on, victims are easily manipulated and fall into a powerless pre-assigned role dictated by the bully. After this first victory, the bully only requires a minimum effort to keep his victim entranced. Along with the help of some of his allies he leads his victim into a paralyzing trap, much like the way a spider traps a fly wrapping him up tighter with each thread. One aspect that is very clear in all cases is that the bully is looking to create a victim no matter what his methodology or own particular reasons might be. We suggest that independently of this guide, the person that is helping the victim make their own particular assessment. Each case has its own peculiarities, and being sure of the details is essential for a happy ending.

The four steps

The way you see any given situation and the way you perceive and define yourself within that situation, determines the outcome of it for you. The basic truth of this is very simple but often is fully overlooked, and that's exactly what the bully is trying to achieve through his victims. His aim is to superimpose his view on to you, so that you take it in, you believe it, you embody it and at a later stage you become it. Realizing this game plan, we can now work on creating the four steps that will shift our perception of the situation, of ourselves and of our existing resources to overcome it.

The first step: The victim Identification

A true victim is someone who suffers to the extreme a situation of bullying, and as a result perceives it as a catastrophic and life threatening event. Having believed and thus fallen completely into the bully’s trap he/she has now become a confirmed and self-identified victim. The bully has now become his/her own personal jailer in what seems to be a very real imprisoned state. A state made up of fear, isolation, hopelessness and despair, with no inner resources to free oneself from the situation. The victim is trapped in a deep well, with no sign of light or hope of escape possible. Sustaining this view as a victim only leads to an ever increasing paralysis and a sensation that there will never be any help available.

Getting out of the victim’s mode

A good explanation summary must be passed on to the victim so that they are aware of their present state. This must be done in a language that the victim is familiar with. In other words, the academic approach would be useless for a thirteen year old, where as, a simple description in everyday language will assist in truly getting the message over

Considering that the person’s reactions to bullying as a victim is mostly unconscious, a brief explanation of the persons present state is essential. This enables the victim to become more conscious and much more ready for the steps that lay ahead.

For a shift to occur in the mind of the victim a seed must be planted to open the way to a new view. This is the point where the help is needed from someone who can expand the victim’s understanding. Two challenging questions can prompt the victim in a new direction:

1. Do you want this bullying situation to go on like this for ever? 2. What would your life be like without bullying?

Ensuring that the victim has thought deeply about the above questions, some definite changes will have occurred .The first question leads the person into realizing and deciding they would love to put an end to this situation. The second, gives them the energy, the will and the reason to take positive action in the right direction. It is from this point that the victim is ready to take the next step away from bullying.

The survivor Differentiation

Driven by his/her will to overcome the situation, the survivor goes through the same bullying act but does not get trapped so easily in it. This renewed sense of hope and energy will assist him in taking the first action as a survivor: to give up being a victim by rejecting this projection, thus differentiating himself from this pre-assigned role.The bully is not seen anymore as a jailer but more as a threat to be dealt with, using the survivors qualities: endurance and the will to be safe. You consciously become a survivor instead of a victim when you decide you want to overcome the situation. This is done, firstly by knowing that you were tricked and used in the first place. In other words, the survivor acknowledges that as a victim they have felt as if they were a direct target, but now as survivor knows he or she is being used to form part of a plan. It is important to realize the bully always needs a victim and never a survivor. By understanding the basic mind game or mental projection that has been imposed onto him, the survivor will now open his mind. This new sense of curiosity will lead him to the path of the explorer, the one willing to discover more of the bully´s strategies of domination.

The Explorer Integration

The explorer has realized that although what has happened to him was very real, on the other hand he is beginning to see that it really all forms part of the bully’s strategies. Although the explorer is changing his way of seeing bullying this is gradual. He is now becoming a witness of a destructive game that unfolds around him. At this point, he is feeling a certain degree of detachment and feels more and more liberated from the hypnotic grip of the bully. He senses the great potential in braking down these strategies, and because of this sees the bully as a source of information and not so much as a threat. He is ready to integrate his experiences and what he will learn as an explorer. For the first time the person suffering from bullying, is taking a positive stance with regards to the events that have occurred to him.

Know thy enemy-know yourself

The mission of the explorer is to find out exactly how the bully operates and also how it is affecting him internally. In each case there are many variants, but the explorer really needs to know all the tools the bully uses against him. For this to happen, a series of very personal questions need to be answered to assist the process of exploration:

-How does the bully physically intimidate you? What is his body language like? How does it affect you? -How does he verbally harass you? What are his exact choice of words and how do they harm you?

-How does he emotionally attack you? How does he make you feel during and after the act of bullying? -How does he use his friends or even the people around you to put you down? -Do you really have any idea at all of how the bully has tricked you? -What is the bully making you believe? Do you really believe this? Or is it something you are accepting passively without enquiry?

These questions will not only offer valuable information on the bully and his ways but also will open a new course of exploration: the path of self enquiry where the person suffering bullying must undergo a personal and internal quest to discover how the bully is triggering him. This part of the process, being delicate, requires the explorer to look closely at his wounds and what weaknesses or misconceptions he carries within him. Once we work on these internal aspects with a loving and non judgemental attitude, it will result in a greater sense of freedom. As a result, the bully will now find it very hard to access the internal buttons of his victim, making it much more difficult for his strategies to work successfully.

The self empowered Transcendence
If the explorer really has done his homework, he is now ready to take the next step towards self empowerment. The self empowered person has gained a clear understanding on how bullying is a distorted way of relating , based on a power game and the wrong conception of what true power is. He has now understood that real power is the inner strength someone has acquired through a process of growth and maturity and has nothing to do with overpowering another person. Confident in his own realizations he is now able to confront any type of situation in life. He has overcome his difficulties and understands that its the bully who is having trouble relating . None the less, he is also aware of his responsibility towards his own safety and the need to be cautious when dealing with troubled people. At this point, he is also aware that anybody, including himself could become a bully. This is something that should be always taken into account. Finally, after passing through this traumatic experience, the explorer must have not only overcome this negative challenge but also is enabled to help others overcome their situations. In this manner, after taking the four steps a circle is completed and the whole trauma is finalized.

Of what benefit are these four steps ?

These four steps are co-related with four different levels of consciousness and each one of these lead to a new vision of ourselves, the reality we live in and the tools we have for working with life. The main aim of someone who wishes to help another, suffering from any type of bullying is to enable them to move from a limited level of consciousness, towards a more expanded and empowering one. This in turn gives the person the ability to respond in a variety of ways gradually leading him or she out of the reactionary ways of the victim.


Although it is uncommon, it is not impossible that a person having taken the first steps reaches the explorer stage, takes a sharp u turn. Instead of taking the next steps towards personal freedom, he or she returns to the beginning stage and re-identifies with the victim’s role. For some people, this first phase can be very attractive, mainly because they seem to consider it is much easier to do nothing and let others resolve our problems. This dangerous U-turn can get us stuck in the role of victim becoming more and more bitter every day. On the other hand, the return to victim hood can be a great way of gaining attention and energy from others. Needless to say, its not the ideal state to be in as one becomes a beggar and is far from being self sufficient. If this does occur, we recommend to reveal this dynamic to the person, thus shedding the light of conscious awareness into this regressive pattern. It is only by opening the eyes and being clear of this U-turn that someone can return to the path of self empowerment and freedom.

May this guide be of benefit to you and your beloved ones. © Craig Stuart Garner and Barbara Meneses Montgomery (2008) This guide can be copied, printed, distributed, translated exclusively for free if its content remains unaltered and the name of the authors and the website is displayed. A Spanish and French translation is also available at:

MAKE A DONATION If you feel this guide has been of benefit and wish to contribute to our future works you may make a Paypal donation at this authorised email: Our deepest gratitude!

The author´s of this guide are authors of the book: CQP 1.0, una aventura para liberarte del bullying y otras formas de acoso”, Ed. 2007, a therapeutic tale for teenagers and adults with powerful tools to overcome bullying and its devastating effects. The book can be bought in Spanish language. More info on it at: soon available through


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