Thursday, December 8, 2022

Miss Manners: Childhood bullies are asking me to attend class reunion

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I had a hopeless and lonely existence, with no buddy or anybody I might look to for cover or recommendation. When I used to be sufficiently old, I bought as far-off from that place as potential, and I’ve labored exhausting since to study the social expertise I would like to operate on this world.

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I’ve apparent scars, each bodily and emotional, from the mistreatment, however I’ve been in a position to flip my experiences into a robust sense of empathy. I’m a delicate particular person; younger youngsters and the aged are drawn to me, and I’ve a household of my very own creation who love me. But anxiousness (significantly social anxiousness) and post-traumatic stress dysfunction signs are additionally part of me, they usually most likely at all times might be.

I acknowledge that the children who tortured me after I was younger had been simply youngsters in want of civilizing, and little question they’ve grown up to be beautiful human beings. I do forgive them, and I want them effectively. I’ve expressed as a lot to these whose consciences have pricked them sufficient to search me out. This doesn’t imply I want to be round them, although.

I’m being pestered about subsequent yr’s class reunion already. It is a milestone yr. They need me to see how great everybody has change into. They need the possibility to apologize and make issues proper. Apparently, they really feel I owe them that.

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I respectfully disagree. My well mannered responses that I might not be obtainable have been met with exclamations that I’m being given a lot discover, so definitely I can rearrange my schedule to be with them, a minimum of for one of many days.

I actually don’t want to inform them that scheduling is just not the difficulty, and I believe that telling the entire reality would solely improve their resolve to clear their consciences in any respect prices. Could Miss Manners provide recommendation about a great way to make this downside disappear?

Unfortunately, Miss Manners is sorry to say, your childhood bullies haven’t, in reality, reformed their methods. Badgering you to attend an occasion that you’ve politely and repeatedly declined is a type of social bullying, and also you don’t have to tolerate it. Neither do you owe them something extra by the use of rationalization.

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Having satisfactorily and politely answered the invitation, your silence — or maybe one final agency, “I am sorry, but I can’t” — ought to serve to make the issue go away. If it doesn’t, “It seems that you still have trouble taking no for an answer” may alarm them simply sufficient to be a menace — if they honestly are repentant of their unsavory previous.

New Miss Manners columns are posted Monday via Saturday on You can ship questions to Miss Manners at her web site, You can even comply with her @ActualMissManners.

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