“Anger Betrays The Innocent”
Contrary to what some might believe, people will often become angry or upset when they are falsely accused of something. Most people have learned to accept their own flaws and mistakes, but when someone accuses them of being something that they know they are not or something they know they haven’t done, it can trigger a negative reaction. Unfortunately, reacting badly can make it seem like you’re guilty, especially if there’s some evidence (False as it may be) that shows you might have done what the accuser said. Lashing out can also take away any credibility you have. When someone reacts calmly, others are more likely to listen to them and consider their side of the story.
It’s difficult to defend ourselves when someone’s mind is already made up. They have already developed a confirmation bias about us (Or they’re purposely trying to attack you with false accusations). There’s no way to produce evidence on the spot when we’re challenged like this – defending ourselves will fall on deaf ears, but saying nothing may also give the impression that we feel guilty or are agreeing with the false claim. There is a way we can respond to false accusers and I’ll go over that soon.
In Real Life, Some People Won’t See You As You Are
I know it sucks, but sometimes people will get a wrong idea about us or they’ll make wrong assumptions. We sometimes do the same to others without even thinking about it. Sometimes as people get to know us more, they see the truth of who we really are. Wrong assumptions only become a disturbance when they are said out loud, especially in the company of other people, or are intended to defame the targeted person.
I remember one summer when I worked at a remote lodge in northern British Columbia. I was there to save money before moving to Vancouver (My dream city!). I would balance my writing time with hanging out with my coworkers. A lot of travelers and powerline workers would pass through; some of them would hang out with us at the campfires. I talked to some guys there – all of whom approached me first. It was nothing out of the ordinary for me. I also talked to women as well. I was comfortable speaking with new people after traveling in Alberta. However, somehow I had earned the title of being “too easy” – it was a couple of the guys I worked with who created this fabrication. Ironically, I hadn’t been intimate with any of the guys there (The ones who tried definitely knew the truth of my convictions). I was still getting over a relationship that had ended. While I was annoyed at the false label, I knew that they were just temporary people in my life. It didn’t really matter what they thought, because I knew the truth and I’d be leaving at the end of the summer.
What Should Someone Do If They’re Accused Of Doing Something They Didn’t Do?
Here are some techniques that can help soften the blow of a false accusation.
#1 Be Gentle With Old Wounds
Sometimes being accused of something will fire up old wounds. It may remind you of a time where you weren’t understood or appreciated. Maybe it triggers a bad memory of another time you were falsely accused of doing the same thing. Be gentle with yourself. Take some deep breaths and remind yourself who you are – you know the truth about you. No one else can take that truth away from you.
#2 Know Your Truth
You know what you did or didn’t do. While it can be upsetting or frustrating when someone is trying to paint a wrong picture of you, the best thing you can do is to remind yourself who you really are. The truth is the truth. When people are around you long enough, they’ll start to see the truth as well.
#3 Acknowledge Your Guilty Feelings
Guilt often arises after someone accuses us of something even if we haven’t done it. Especially if you are struggling with something already, you can feel as though you have done something to deserve the false claim. It’s normal to feel this way. Anyone who feels empathy wants to be seen in a positive light to those around them. Realize it’s okay to feel guilty and let it go.
#4 Speak Up, But Choose Your Battles
If it’s a minor slight, sometimes it’s better to shrug it off. When the bully/accuser sees they’re not getting a rise out of you, they’ll usually become bored and move on. However, if the accusation is more serious you have every right to stick up for yourself. Make sure you are calm and direct. It can be tempting to lash out or deflect blame to the accuser, but the calmer you act, the more believable and respectful you will look.
#5 Find Support In Close Friends & Family
Being wrongly accused of something, especially if it impacts your personal or professional life, can be demoralizing. It’s a good idea to turn to at least one friend or family member who knows you well. They will be happy to share their positive feelings about you and will even back you up if needed. You can also seek professional help with a therapist or counselor – they can help you work through your feelings.
#6 Document The Truth If Applicable
If the accusations are poor work performance and you suspect someone else is tampering with your work to make you look bad, for example, it might be a good idea to record the work you’re doing and take screenshots/photos if needed. Keep a notebook and record the tasks you did everyday. It can be helpful even if it’s just for yourself.
Thank you so much for reading my blog today! I hope you found it helpful.