Author Topic: When someone accuses you of something they did  (Read 6842 times)

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MommyPenguin

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Re: When someone accuses you of something they did
« Reply #15 on: February 07, 2014, 09:39:38 AM »
I like Sophia's response.  Or, "Wow, that's a real piece of revisionist history.  Do you not remember that *you* were the one who did that?  I know it's been years, but I'd hardly have thought that's the kind of thing you'd forget."  Or possibly without that last line, might depend on how intentional the person seems to be about misplacing the blame.  Coming out strong in your declaration that they were the one who did it, and then changing the subject, "But I hardly think you really want to tell people about that time in your life.  On the plus side, there's bean dip!" might work.

Lynn2000

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Re: When someone accuses you of something they did
« Reply #16 on: February 07, 2014, 10:42:04 AM »
I do want to add, just so someone has, that sometimes it really can be that you are the one remembering it "wrong," or it's more a matter of interpretation. For example, about 8 years after we graduated high school, my high school friend and later college roommate, Jenny, ran into another high school classmate of ours, Bill. She and Bill were exchanging news of people they'd kept up with and she mentioned me. Later she told me Bill's response--he said that in high school, he had tried to be my friend, but whenever he tried to speak to me, I wouldn't even respond to him. He said he didn't know if I was stuck up or what.

This interpretation really confused me, because I honestly didn't remember Bill ever speaking to me at all. We were in different social circles--I got good grades, and he was more in the popular athlete group. Frankly, if he ever did speak to me, I probably thought it was an opener for me to do his homework for him, because that happened way more often than someone from a different social circle just wanting to chat and be friends. Which would explain why I didn't respond very enthusiastically. At this late date I don't think Bill would have any reason to lie; I really think it's more a case of our perspectives being very different, and something that was notable to one person not being memorable to another.

Now, obviously, this doesn't apply to every situation. Some things you might be crystal clear about, especially if it was distressing to you at the time. But, personally, knowing how skewed my own memory/perspective is, I tend to be more like, "Hmm, I don't remember it that way," but then dropping the argument if they insist otherwise, and changing the subject. I guess I don't want to loudly insist that I'm right, when I'm not 100% sure that I am. In a group, I'd rather be the person who tries to turn the conversation away from an incident that presumably no one else was involved with, rather than the person who continues the argument, you know? If the other person stays stuck on that subject, and their own rightness and my wrongness, I think eventually they're going to be the one who looks bad, especially if I'm just standing there calmly with a slightly quizzical look on my face.

Depending on my relationship with them, I might approach them later, when we're alone, and bring it up again. "It really bothered me that you mentioned that negative incident in front of everyone, especially since you blamed me when I remember it being your fault. If you've got something you've been stewing over that you want to discuss with me, I'd rather you do it in private." Kind of emphasize the "don't air dirty laundry in public" aspect rather than the "you're telling it wrong" aspect. Of course with some people/incidents, you just want to forget the whole thing, so maybe this approach wouldn't be the best in that case.
~Lynn2000

mime

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Re: When someone accuses you of something they did
« Reply #17 on: February 07, 2014, 11:00:54 AM »
I like Sophia's response.  Or, "Wow, that's a real piece of revisionist history.  Do you not remember that *you* were the one who did that?  I know it's been years, but I'd hardly have thought that's the kind of thing you'd forget."  Or possibly without that last line, might depend on how intentional the person seems to be about misplacing the blame.  Coming out strong in your declaration that they were the one who did it, and then changing the subject, "But I hardly think you really want to tell people about that time in your life.  On the plus side, there's bean dip!" might work.

I like Sophia's response. There are things people do or say that I let go because I know I shouldn't engage the crazy, or I know that I may just be drawing more attention to something I'd prefer to let pass. I do this when someone criticizes my parenting, my appearance, or points out some stupid thing I did that I wish I hadn't. 

In this situation of facing slander, though, I would find it very hard to let it go. When my character is attacked, I do hope people would doubt the claims because of my otherwise-stellar reputation ( ;D), but my sense of pride would make me really really want to set things straight. I suppose it's a flaw in my character and I suppose that mindset isn't necessarily ehell approved. Nonetheless, I'd hope to have the presence of mind to remember and use Sophia's or MommyPenguin's responses in as polite a manner as I can. It would save me from fuming afterwards about how so-and-so could say such a thing.

I know, I know, I should just let it go. But sometimes I can't.  :-\


spookycatlady

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Re: When someone accuses you of something they did
« Reply #18 on: February 07, 2014, 12:37:53 PM »
A cousin loves bringing up a story from junior high.  When her boyfriend and his buddies were picking us up to go to a dance, I slipped and fell down the front stairs of her house.  I took out two planters and got a nasty cut on my ankle.  I was hurt, embarrassed and dirty.  And the boys laughed at me.  She laughed at me.  When they stopped laughing, someone asked if I was okay.  I snarled, "Do I [f-bomb] looking okay?"  Then they all laughed some more.  I spent a good portion of the dance in the bathroom trying to get dirt off my clothes, cleaning the cut and crying from anger and embarrassment.  Then I walked home (country town, was a 40 minute walk).

She tells this story every time we meet up face to face-- about once every two years.  She finds it hysterical.

In (Spooky does some quick math) 27 years, I have never laughed with her.  Ever.  The last few times, I said, "I've never found this story funny.  And yet you keep telling it."  And she laughs.  I'm not still embarrassed by it, but I find it kind of repugnant that she finds humour in a 13 year old girl getting hurt and embarrassed.

Over the years, I learned to accept that I am not the social, nor physical gazelle I've always wanted to be, so it doesn't bother me that I fell.  It gets under my skin because I've noticed that she brings up this story whenever she thinks that I've come out ahead in something, or when I'm the centre of attention for an accomplishment of some kind. What bothers me is that my pain is continuously being held up as an example worth mocking, usually at a moment that I'm happy or feeling proud of myself.

The other thing that bothers me: she gets the facts wrong.  She has confused some of the details with another incident when I got hurt in gym class two years before this incident.  I think she honestly remembers it that way.  And she doesn't seem to "remember" every other time I've told her that I'm not entertained by her recounting.

I really like the response previously suggested, "I don't remember that way."  It's much better than what I've started doing when she tells the story...

wolfie

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Re: When someone accuses you of something they did
« Reply #19 on: February 07, 2014, 12:42:23 PM »
A cousin loves bringing up a story from junior high.  When her boyfriend and his buddies were picking us up to go to a dance, I slipped and fell down the front stairs of her house.  I took out two planters and got a nasty cut on my ankle.  I was hurt, embarrassed and dirty.  And the boys laughed at me.  She laughed at me.  When they stopped laughing, someone asked if I was okay.  I snarled, "Do I [f-bomb] looking okay?"  Then they all laughed some more.  I spent a good portion of the dance in the bathroom trying to get dirt off my clothes, cleaning the cut and crying from anger and embarrassment.  Then I walked home (country town, was a 40 minute walk).

She tells this story every time we meet up face to face-- about once every two years.  She finds it hysterical.

In (Spooky does some quick math) 27 years, I have never laughed with her.  Ever.  The last few times, I said, "I've never found this story funny.  And yet you keep telling it."  And she laughs.  I'm not still embarrassed by it, but I find it kind of repugnant that she finds humour in a 13 year old girl getting hurt and embarrassed.

Over the years, I learned to accept that I am not the social, nor physical gazelle I've always wanted to be, so it doesn't bother me that I fell.  It gets under my skin because I've noticed that she brings up this story whenever she thinks that I've come out ahead in something, or when I'm the centre of attention for an accomplishment of some kind. What bothers me is that my pain is continuously being held up as an example worth mocking, usually at a moment that I'm happy or feeling proud of myself.

The other thing that bothers me: she gets the facts wrong.  She has confused some of the details with another incident when I got hurt in gym class two years before this incident.  I think she honestly remembers it that way.  And she doesn't seem to "remember" every other time I've told her that I'm not entertained by her recounting.

I really like the response previously suggested, "I don't remember that way."  It's much better than what I've started doing when she tells the story...

Next time she says the story might be time for a breezy "Oh X! It's been 27 years! Don't you have another story to tell yet?" with a smile to let her know that you find her telling this story a sad commentary on her. Which really it is.

VorFemme

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Re: When someone accuses you of something they did
« Reply #20 on: February 07, 2014, 01:22:52 PM »
Or even something along the lines of "so taking someone who had a bleeding cut and a torn dress to a dance instead of to where they could get some first aid is funny?"

I have known people who were terrible about first aid...but that was worse!
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lowspark

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Re: When someone accuses you of something they did
« Reply #21 on: February 07, 2014, 01:27:15 PM »
I can see 13 year olds laughing at something like this. They're kids, they don't know better. But after so many years, she still thinks it's funny? I wonder if you did laugh it off and act like it was not a big deal if she would get as much pleasure out of rehashing this story? It sounds to me as though she's feeding off of your annoyance/anger about the incident.

MommyPenguin

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Re: When someone accuses you of something they did
« Reply #22 on: February 07, 2014, 01:34:39 PM »
A cousin loves bringing up a story from junior high.  When her boyfriend and his buddies were picking us up to go to a dance, I slipped and fell down the front stairs of her house.  I took out two planters and got a nasty cut on my ankle.  I was hurt, embarrassed and dirty.  And the boys laughed at me.  She laughed at me.  When they stopped laughing, someone asked if I was okay.  I snarled, "Do I [f-bomb] looking okay?"  Then they all laughed some more.  I spent a good portion of the dance in the bathroom trying to get dirt off my clothes, cleaning the cut and crying from anger and embarrassment.  Then I walked home (country town, was a 40 minute walk).

She tells this story every time we meet up face to face-- about once every two years.  She finds it hysterical.

In (Spooky does some quick math) 27 years, I have never laughed with her.  Ever.  The last few times, I said, "I've never found this story funny.  And yet you keep telling it."  And she laughs.  I'm not still embarrassed by it, but I find it kind of repugnant that she finds humour in a 13 year old girl getting hurt and embarrassed.

Over the years, I learned to accept that I am not the social, nor physical gazelle I've always wanted to be, so it doesn't bother me that I fell.  It gets under my skin because I've noticed that she brings up this story whenever she thinks that I've come out ahead in something, or when I'm the centre of attention for an accomplishment of some kind. What bothers me is that my pain is continuously being held up as an example worth mocking, usually at a moment that I'm happy or feeling proud of myself.

The other thing that bothers me: she gets the facts wrong.  She has confused some of the details with another incident when I got hurt in gym class two years before this incident.  I think she honestly remembers it that way.  And she doesn't seem to "remember" every other time I've told her that I'm not entertained by her recounting.

I really like the response previously suggested, "I don't remember that way."  It's much better than what I've started doing when she tells the story...

Next time she says the story might be time for a breezy "Oh X! It's been 27 years! Don't you have another story to tell yet?" with a smile to let her know that you find her telling this story a sad commentary on her. Which really it is.

Would it be bad etiquette to say directly, "You know, I find it kind of sad that you find so much humor in telling a story about a 13-year-old girl getting hurt and embarrassed, and you're still telling this story constantly 27 years later.  I'm surprised at such a "mean girl" attitude coming from a grown woman."

wolfie

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Re: When someone accuses you of something they did
« Reply #23 on: February 07, 2014, 01:38:02 PM »
A cousin loves bringing up a story from junior high.  When her boyfriend and his buddies were picking us up to go to a dance, I slipped and fell down the front stairs of her house.  I took out two planters and got a nasty cut on my ankle.  I was hurt, embarrassed and dirty.  And the boys laughed at me.  She laughed at me.  When they stopped laughing, someone asked if I was okay.  I snarled, "Do I [f-bomb] looking okay?"  Then they all laughed some more.  I spent a good portion of the dance in the bathroom trying to get dirt off my clothes, cleaning the cut and crying from anger and embarrassment.  Then I walked home (country town, was a 40 minute walk).

She tells this story every time we meet up face to face-- about once every two years.  She finds it hysterical.

In (Spooky does some quick math) 27 years, I have never laughed with her.  Ever.  The last few times, I said, "I've never found this story funny.  And yet you keep telling it."  And she laughs.  I'm not still embarrassed by it, but I find it kind of repugnant that she finds humour in a 13 year old girl getting hurt and embarrassed.

Over the years, I learned to accept that I am not the social, nor physical gazelle I've always wanted to be, so it doesn't bother me that I fell.  It gets under my skin because I've noticed that she brings up this story whenever she thinks that I've come out ahead in something, or when I'm the centre of attention for an accomplishment of some kind. What bothers me is that my pain is continuously being held up as an example worth mocking, usually at a moment that I'm happy or feeling proud of myself.

The other thing that bothers me: she gets the facts wrong.  She has confused some of the details with another incident when I got hurt in gym class two years before this incident.  I think she honestly remembers it that way.  And she doesn't seem to "remember" every other time I've told her that I'm not entertained by her recounting.

I really like the response previously suggested, "I don't remember that way."  It's much better than what I've started doing when she tells the story...

Next time she says the story might be time for a breezy "Oh X! It's been 27 years! Don't you have another story to tell yet?" with a smile to let her know that you find her telling this story a sad commentary on her. Which really it is.

Would it be bad etiquette to say directly, "You know, I find it kind of sad that you find so much humor in telling a story about a 13-year-old girl getting hurt and embarrassed, and you're still telling this story constantly 27 years later.  I'm surprised at such a "mean girl" attitude coming from a grown woman."

That will make her defensive and probably won't help. But maybe pre-empting will. Next time before she can tell the story say 'And now X is going to tell the story of when I fell and hurt myself and she and our dates laughed at me" with a smile of course.

Lynn2000

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Re: When someone accuses you of something they did
« Reply #24 on: February 07, 2014, 01:51:47 PM »
In a similar vein to spookycatlady's story, some of my relatives occasionally like to tell stories about me when I was little, which I find embarrassing. It's more or less typical little kid stuff, not them being cruel or anything, and another sort of person might find the stories cute or charming. But as I said I find them somewhat embarrassing, and also dull, and they kind of make me think, "That was 30 years ago. Is that how you still think of me? Aren't you interested in what I did this week, instead of back then?" Some of my family members have this problem (I consider it a problem) with focusing nostalgically on the past, instead of on what's in front of them here and now.

Anyway, what I've learned to do is to not make a big deal about the story. I just sort of sit there, and don't really respond, or maybe smile wanly and shrug. If they say, "Oh, do you remember that?" I'll say something like, "Oh, not really, it was so long ago." If someone's telling a story about me, when I'm right there, I feel like I get a "say" on the matter, and my response says, "I don't find this interesting, I don't want to keep discussing it." Hopefully in a polite way.

Actually, one of the stories involves me singing a song which, in retrospect, could be construed as racist. At least, I would kind of raise an eyebrow at it now, and err on the side of caution by not repeating it. At the time of course I was a little kid who didn't know any better, and I had actually read the song in an "old-fashioned" children's book. What gets me is that when my relatives repeat the story (and song) now, they don't seem worried that the content could be interpreted badly, they just think it was clever of me. :o So really, retelling the story without any kind of "of course, that's wrong" attitude anywhere just makes them look bad.

Same with spookycatlady's cousin--if she tells the story and laughs hysterically, and you're not laughing, and in fact maybe you're frowning or grimacing a bit, I think that would alert people to the fact that you don't find the story funny, and that would make them think, "Why is this person telling it and laughing so much, then? That's not cool." I think in some situations, looking back, the person who fell could find it funny (I know I have some stories like that about myself), but obviously then they'd be laughing along, or even telling it themselves.
~Lynn2000

Cali.in.UK

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Re: When someone accuses you of something they did
« Reply #25 on: February 07, 2014, 02:16:45 PM »
For BG1: Thanks for the advice, a lot of you recommended just letting it go and it really is the best thing. When she was talking, I could tell that she believed her version of the story, she wasn't just trying to be malicious. I couldn't really directly confront her more than I did, because it would have made my friend pretty uncomfortable. It just irked at the time, and like some of you mentioned, I kept having conflicting feelings of "that's not true" and "why is she even bringing it up?" Her mom was never really the nicest person and made a quite a few questionable comments to me when I was younger, so I agree with Veronaz that it would be a waste of time trying to analyze WHY she said it.
Also: spookycatlady: that sounds really frustrating. I've definitely known people who always love bringing up stories where you are the one that did or said something stupid/embarrassing/incorrect and they always find these stories "so funny!" to reminisce about, but I'm curios how these same people would react if they were the one being teased or reminded of cringe-worthy slip-ups from their past?

Sophia

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Re: When someone accuses you of something they did
« Reply #26 on: February 07, 2014, 02:49:44 PM »
A cousin loves bringing up a story from junior high.  When her boyfriend and his buddies were picking us up to go to a dance, I slipped and fell down the front stairs of her house.  I took out two planters and got a nasty cut on my ankle.  I was hurt, embarrassed and dirty.  And the boys laughed at me.  She laughed at me.  When they stopped laughing, someone asked if I was okay.  I snarled, "Do I [f-bomb] looking okay?"  Then they all laughed some more.  I spent a good portion of the dance in the bathroom trying to get dirt off my clothes, cleaning the cut and crying from anger and embarrassment.  Then I walked home (country town, was a 40 minute walk).

She tells this story every time we meet up face to face-- about once every two years.  She finds it hysterical.

In (Spooky does some quick math) 27 years, I have never laughed with her.  Ever.  The last few times, I said, "I've never found this story funny.  And yet you keep telling it."  And she laughs.  I'm not still embarrassed by it, but I find it kind of repugnant that she finds humour in a 13 year old girl getting hurt and embarrassed.

Over the years, I learned to accept that I am not the social, nor physical gazelle I've always wanted to be, so it doesn't bother me that I fell.  It gets under my skin because I've noticed that she brings up this story whenever she thinks that I've come out ahead in something, or when I'm the centre of attention for an accomplishment of some kind. What bothers me is that my pain is continuously being held up as an example worth mocking, usually at a moment that I'm happy or feeling proud of myself.

The other thing that bothers me: she gets the facts wrong.  She has confused some of the details with another incident when I got hurt in gym class two years before this incident.  I think she honestly remembers it that way.  And she doesn't seem to "remember" every other time I've told her that I'm not entertained by her recounting.

I really like the response previously suggested, "I don't remember that way."  It's much better than what I've started doing when she tells the story...

Next time she says the story might be time for a breezy "Oh X! It's been 27 years! Don't you have another story to tell yet?" with a smile to let her know that you find her telling this story a sad commentary on her. Which really it is.

Would it be bad etiquette to say directly, "You know, I find it kind of sad that you find so much humor in telling a story about a 13-year-old girl getting hurt and embarrassed, and you're still telling this story constantly 27 years later.  I'm surprised at such a "mean girl" attitude coming from a grown woman."

I do find it sad.  It is like the 27 years ago was the last time she felt good about herself.  I wonder if a "Bless your heart" might be in order?

veronaz

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Re: When someone accuses you of something they did
« Reply #27 on: February 07, 2014, 03:02:01 PM »
I disagree with “just letting it go”.  Whether it’s malicious or not, it’s certainly inappropriate and RUDE.   >:(   “Letting it go” sends the message that the behavior is okay, and that the person can continue to get away with it.  Letting them know it’s not okay to lie and embarrass someone might make them think next time - or at least be more careful about who they try to play that game with.

tinkytinky

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Re: When someone accuses you of something they did
« Reply #28 on: February 07, 2014, 03:08:32 PM »
For some reason, she likes the attention she gets from telling the story. so steal that thunder, so to speak. The next time she brings it up, say in a bored voice, "Oh, yeah, I remember that story. I fell down your front steps, gashed my leg, tore my dress, went to the dance where I doctored my leg, and then I walked home." Don't mention her or the boys laughing. if it's a story about you, don't mention her at all. Make it a one sentence story then move on. do that a couple of times and she will probably not bring it up again.

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Cali.in.UK

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Re: When someone accuses you of something they did
« Reply #29 on: February 07, 2014, 03:12:33 PM »
I meant letting it go now. At the time I did correct her and sort of left it at "we remember it differently" but it still bothered me a bit afterward (bothered enough to write a post about it). I actually told my mom about it after I came home from the dinner and she was pretty annoyed too, she was hoping that I had made a bigger deal about making my friend's mom remember correctly. But even if it was irking me, just based on what people are saying here, it seems like a lot of people remember things incorrectly. I can't imagine the next time I'll even see that woman again, but if I do and she brings it up, I'll probably just go with the same "that's not how I remember it happening" and move on.