I can’t speak for all of you but I can tell you that I have been falsely accused of things in the past that I didn’t do. I’ll own up to my mistakes but there have been times where someone threw me under the bus because they didn’t want to get into trouble. In the past, I let it happen. I didn’t know how to protect myself from being victimized. After I finally realized what had happened and why, I made a promise to myself to try to prevent things like that from ever happening again.
So what happened? In high school, I got accused of plagiarism. I had worked really hard on a presentation and had it ready a week early. My parents sent me to a private school on my college money and I was working at Burger King in order to get a scholarship to go to college. I wasn’t affluent. I didn’t fit into the high society world that the school was well known for. I was different and not the typical student. I got outcast a lot. The other kids didn’t want to sit with me at lunch. I was a true loner and I couldn’t have been happier to have graduated from there. It meant the bullying would cease but before that happened, there was an event that shook me to my core.
We had a substitute teacher one year for English. The assignment was for a particular report and I honestly don’t remember the subject now. That’s been almost 30 some years ago. Anyway, I researched the hell out of that paper. I got my report together and submitted it. Somehow, my report and my notes were changed. There was a report that I didn’t even recognize when she showed it to me and everything looked like it was copied out of a book. I was to be brought up on charges with the school. I have no idea to this day what happened. All I know is that the report she presented me was not the report I submitted but it was made to look like I had. And the ironic thing is that I never had charges pressed against me and the issue was dropped as quickly as it came up. Now, I’m no detective but something didn’t seem right with that scenario.
I had one other instance in college where I was accused and I even had proof that I didn’t plagiarize. I took it up with the Dean of Students and even though it was proven, the professor didn’t change my grade and refused to admit he was wrong. It was after the second time in my life, that I decided I was going to do whatever it took to keep this from happening again.
I use these two instances to show you one area in my life where I was falsely accused. As I did some research I found I couple of tips that helped me to make some changes in my life for the better.
One of the recommendations I found was to manage or deal with my feelings. You can’t very well deal with the accusations if you don’t deal with your own emotions. If you allow the negative energy to drain you and not think that the problem will disappear then you may be deluding yourself. Sometimes the best course of action is no action but many times, standing up for yourself is a key component to not being a doormat. You don’t have to get angry with the world but you do have to keep your composure and stay calm to the outside world. Presentation is everything. Bottling up emotions will only lead to more problems.
Own your part in the situation but don’t let someone make you feel guilty. It’s really easy to let someone make you think that you deserve bad things to happen to you but the truth is that none of us deserve being bullied by others. Just because you don’t have the money or the influence of someone else does NOT give them the right to treat you as if you are a piece of trash to be disgarded. No. You are worth more than money. Do NOT let anyone make you feel that you deserve to be treated with disrespect. Respect yourself enough to stand tall and keep your head up.
There’s a time and a place to fight for what’s right. Choose your battles carefully. You may win the battle but lose the war. I lost the war. I lost because I didn’t understand how to play the game but I do now. I’m no longer the doormat that I once was but I don’t go fighting every battle I have to fight. Just like in chess, sometimes we have to let our opponent think they’ve won before the ultimate checkmate. Many times there’s nothing better than letting the world know that you are not willing to be bullied or harrassed. Don’t be rude. Be yourself and show that you are respected.
Talk to your support team. This one is really important. You don’t want to tip your hand if you are in a work or school environment to those around you unless you know without a shadow of a doubt you can trust them. In high school, I had friends that went to another school that really helped me. I had teachers I could talk to and confide in and that really helped me to move forward. What I didn’t have was the support of the other students. It took me a long time to understand that many of them were jealous of me. I had no clue until a friend of mine told that to me. They were jealous that I wasn’t conforming to the life they were in. I was staying true to myself and that bugged them. In a way it was healing to hear this. In another way, it made me ache for the young girl I was who thought I was a reject. It would have been nice to have known that information back then.
Alibi’s are another thing that really help when nothing else seems to work. I had the proof with the computer program that I used to print up the report that what I printed was not what was turned in. I was able to prove both times that I was innocent but a lot of folks aren’t that lucky. Keep everything. Document everything. And make sure that you keep track of where you are and what you do because there are a lot of people who can’t wait to make you look bad. Jealousy and Greed are two of the nastiest adjectives around but they are very real problems in this world. If someone thinks that by stepping all over you, that they can get ahead, they will try. The main thing is to watch your back. Pay attention to what is going on around you. Don’t be gullible.
There are more things that you can do if the problems escalate into legal issues but I would consult an attorney in order to get the best guidance for your issues. What I can tell you is that people will always try to falsely accuse someone of things. There is usually an agenda with them for why they are doing it. I was falsely accused from a woman that got me kicked out of a restaurant for causing problems and the only thing I did was exist and that was a problem because her boyfriend seemed to like me. She wanted to get me out of the picture so she got me kicked out. She didn’t count on me defending myself with him and the fact that I exposed her for the fraud that she was. I may not be with him. But the truth is that even if he and I were together, she would not have beaten me because I recognized her to be the bully she is and I refuse to allow someone to falsely accuse me of something and not stand up for myself.
I leave you with a final thought. If someone is trying to cause problems, you may want to talk directly with them but be warned, that person may play you. They may tell you one thing and do another. Keep an eye out for what they do and how they are at school/work. They may or may not be a frenemy. What you do want is to be able to hold your head high and know that you are going to be okay.