Hey Captain Awkward…
So! I used to be BFF with this guy. I eventually ended things after it took a turn for the weird – he became incredibly demanding of my time and attention and started telling me things that, frankly, freaked me out. Our friendship ended after we took a trip together, during which I became increasingly uncomfortable with how dependent he was. I needed space, and I took it. And I guess he was pretty pissed. When I came to my hometown for the summer, he started showing up at my house, calling all the time, that kind of thing. I got a letter and several emails demanding that we ‘talk about this.’ I was freaked out and resolved to avoid him for, oh, the rest of my life.
Anyway, the rest of my life lasted… awhile. Eventually, we began talking again (I don’t really remember how this came about, but we’re from a small town so, you know… you run into people) and I thought everything was cool? We talked. He seemed to be in a better place. We were never close again, but we were friendly enough and hung out a few times without any weirdness. He remained friends with some of my friends and became quite close with a couple of them. I haven’t spoken to him in awhile, but, before recently, I would have said we were at least on friendly terms.
Cut to the present day, when I finally learn his version of what happened between us. Namely, that I threw myself at him, was
rejected, and (I guess) was too humiliated to face him again. I know some people believe his version of events. He is a skilled liar when he wants to be. Honestly, this is the second time I’ve found out way after the fact that someone lied about me and everyone took it as truth and just didn’t tell me. But at least the other time, the person said we had sex – so I could pretend it was at least a little bit flattering.
I feel humiliated now, in keeping with his story. I know that if I were a cooler person, I would just accept that I know the truth, and that is all that really matters. But I’m not cool, and I’m upset. I will see this person again, and likely over the holidays… it’s the
nature of the hometown beast. Before I learned this, I would have just said hi and chatted for a few minutes. But now I know this thing. What should I do if we run into each other? Is it even worth it to confront someone over something that happened years ago? Is it super not worth it to confront someone who knows extremely sensitive information about you and is prone to spreading bad vibes throughout the land? Am I deeply uncool for being so incredibly bothered by this?
It’s definitely not “uncool” to be angry that your former stalker is spreading lies.
I think working really hard to correct the record will be more effort than you want to put in and definitely more attention than you want to send his way. Here are some steps for you:
1. Block him everywhere online without explanation. Block his phone number from your cell (there’s an app for that). He deserves nothing from you.
2. If he gets around your safeguards and contacts you, give him one “I don’t want to be friends with you anymore. Please don’t contact me”. Then NEVER respond to anything he sends you ever, ever again.
3. If you run into him somewhere in your hometown, excuse yourself from the room/scene as quickly as you can. You can actually get by for quite a while without anyone realizing you hate someone’s guts simply by walking out of a room whenever they walk into it. Give a nod if you feel you have to for politeness sake, but get out of there.
4. Straight up ask your closest friends to stop inviting him places where you know he’ll be. You don’t have to protect his privacy.
5. Say you can’t get away, and he brings up the story with you again in front of other people, say “But we both know that’s not true, X. It’s really weird to me that you’d lie about that,” and then leave the situation. Say to your friends “Sorry, it’s too awkward for me to be around him.”
6. Did you find out his story from him or from someone else? If someone else brings it up to you, say “Whoa, that’s actually pretty far from the truth. It’s so weird that he’d lie.” Then change the subject. In other words, don’t worry too much about correcting the record in general, but if it does come up, tell the truth and don’t be shy or feel like you’re the one making it weird. He made it weird when he lied about you.
I’m sorry this is happening to you. What you had was a friend who turned into a stalker who invented a face-saving lie about you to make himself feel better. Have nothing to do with him, feel no obligation to be nice or go along with anything he says, and don’t feel embarrassed to stand up for yourself with the people who matter. You’ve done nothing wrong and your feelings of anger and violation are more than justified.
Eff that guy. I know it feels stressful now, but imagine the freedom in knowing that you don’t have to spend one more second of your precious beautiful life with this shitbag.