Commenters on a viral Internet thread were quick to defend a woman who said she called her former school bully at a dinner with her father’s business associates.
In a Reddit post published on r/AmITeA**hole, Redditor u/uhoh235 (aka Original Poster or OP) said she was “required” to attend the dinner and described the “embarrassing” consequences a brazen interaction with an antagonist from her past.
Captioned: “[Am I the a**hole] for ruining dinner by pointing out that one of my father’s guests bullied me?” The viral post has garnered nearly 8,000 votes and 900 comments in the past nine hours.
The original poster wrote that one of the dinner guests, whom she named Julian, bullied her at school, saying that she felt uncomfortable around him and was disappointed in her parents for inviting him.
“Both my parents know that he and his friends used to bully me, so I was upset that they invited him to dinner without warning me first,” the OP wrote. “I tried not to speak to him and just ate quietly, but then he asked me straight out if we’d met before because I looked familiar.”
Realizing she was considering deflecting the question, the original poster told the man they had met — many times.
“I probably could have lied, but seeing his stupid arrogant face again pissed me off so I reminded him that he and his friends used to bully me,” the OP wrote. “At first he denied it, but then I listed some of the things his friends did to me that he remembered doing.”
“My dad was visibly angry at that point and I was upset too, so I just apologized,” OP continued. “Julian tried to apologize to me but I ignored him.”
“After everyone left, my dad yelled at me for causing a scene, embarrassing him and acting like a kid,” OP added. “He wants me to go to lunch with Julian as apparently after I left he told everyone how awful he felt for what he did as a kid.”
In 2019, Mashable delved into the minds of former school bullies and analyzed why and how they come to terms with their teenage misconduct.
Mashable author Rachel Thompson told a similar story to the original poster, detailing two instances of old bullyers attempting to interact, years after their bullying behavior had seemingly subsided.
And while Thompson’s interactions with former bullies have taken place across multiple social media platforms, and the original posters could be seen at her parents’ dining table, Leeds University lecturer Dr. Andrew Kirton told Mashable that these half-hearted attempts at correction are common.
“The way you handle it, when you’re approaching someone, you’re making these timid little gestures of bowing your head in shame and guilt without really saying, ‘I’m really sorry,'” Kirton said. “You kinda dance around it.”
In the viral Reddit post, the original poster confirmed that Julian tried to apologize for his behavior growing up. However, the original poster said she declined the attempted apology and left the dinner altogether, angry at her parents’ seeming acceptance of her former bully.
Throughout the comments section of the viral post, Redditors called out OP’s dad to side with Julian, assuring the original poster that she had no obligation to forgive a bully based solely on mutual relationships and the passage of time.
“What a horrible parent your father is,” wrote Redditor u/Mountain-History5848 in a spirited comment.
“You did nothing wrong OP and [nor] should you feel like this Your parents are so inconsiderate it’s pathetic,” they continued. “If you don’t want to forgive Julian you shouldn’t have to, don’t give in, bullying shouldn’t be taken lightly and I’m sorry you did but going.”
In the top comment of the post, which garnered more than 12,500 votes, Redditor uAiyokusama offered a simpler perspective.
“[Not the a**hole]… your dad set you up and is mad that you didn’t turn around like a good little victim,” they wrote.
“Your dad is the asshole,” added Redditor u/mzpjlc, receiving more than 3,000 votes. “After that I would reduce contact with my father.”
Redditor u/tosser9212, whose answer received almost 2,000 upvotes, echoed this opinion.
“[Not the a**hole]but your father is – because he thinks his business partner is more important than his child,” they commented.
“Good luck with your father,” they added. “He’s the real problem here.”
news week asked u/uhoh235 for a comment.
https://www.newsweek.com/stupid-arrogant-woman-backed-calling-out-bully-business-dinner-1707994 Woman supports for calling bully at business lunch