I recently had to deal with someone who accused me of something I didn’t do. It shocked me as it came completely out of the blue. Not only did they accuse me, they stated that they had proof of me doing it. They were extremely aggressive and rude. I couldn’t believe it. They even threatened to get the police involved. I think they may be a narcissist. At the very least, they are a bully! This was very stressful for me and it affected me very intensely emotionally. Why question is, what should I do? On one hand, I feel helpless when I think of doing nothing. On the other hand, I feel I’ll lose control if I confront them openly and won’t be able to control my anger! Is there a way to negotiate this best?
The biggest thing to realise here is that you hold the winning hand. You didn’t do it and have nothing to answer for. In fact, there is no onus on you to do anything at all. Simply put all responsibility for action on them.
A big mistake is to try to reason with this person or to seek a conversation (do not do this and ignore anyone who tries to convince you otherwise). This will place you in a position of need. How exactly? You might find yourself needing or expecting them to be reasonable, open, rational, or fair. They very well won’t be. It can be difficult to accept, but some people (especially when convinced that they are right) are entirely unreasonable. If they are hurt emotionally, they may even be vindictive. Seeking a ‘conversation’ with them, particularly after they’ve shown themselves to be unopen to it, places you in a position of weakness.
If you must deal with this person in future, never defend yourself. Never enter a dynamic in which you are being persuasive. Never even say that they are ‘wrong’.
If you need to speak with them, make everything about them. Use statement such as:
- “It must seem like that from your perspective.
- “Why do you think that is true?”
- “What gave you that impression?”
In the end, they have no proof, because no such proof exists. Any defensive stance you take, will actually result in countertransference. You’ll start to feel and act like a guilty person (guilty parties often defend and deny).
When you become reactive rather than proactive, you lose your power. It’s not that they gain your power. They can never be empowered in that mindset. It’s just that you lose your power also.
You’ve got this sorted and there is no need to do anything.