We probably all remember someone from our childhood, especially in middle school or junior high, who made our lives miserable. Kids can be really mean as they navigate the social world and their own raging insecurities. We rarely get to confront the people who tormented us, but for some, the resentment can linger into adulthood. A Redditor named u/YeahMarkYeah shared a story on the subreddt r/socialskills about finally doing something about all his resentments that actually had a good ending. He wrote:
So, I messaged my 8th grade bully on FB…
I’ve been socially awkward my whole life, and so, I had my fair share of bullies in school. And this guy was a real asshole.
I haven’t spoken to him in 15 years. I‘ve lurked on his FB a few times, daydreaming about how I might message him one day, but knowing deep down that I probably never would…
Well, maybe you do become more confident with age, because early this morning I happened upon his profile, and I don’t know if it was the coffee or what, but I actually messaged him. I instantly regretted it, but damn it, I did it!
Surprisingly, he was really understanding, and sincerely apologetic about the whole thing. It was very cathartic.
He also shared the messages themselves, which are unexpectedly satisfying to read:
“Hey, man, how’s it goin? Just wanted to say that you were a dickhead to me in school and I didn’t deserve that. That’s about it.”
“I’m sorry my immaturity had such a negative effect on you. You are absolutely right. I was a dickhead to you in school for no reason really other than that I kind of thought it was cool to be an asshole,” his apology began, surprisingly probably everyone reading it.
He continued, “You were always a nice enough guy to me and to be honest I always liked you you and I certainly had no reason to bully you the way I did. I’d like to make an excuse but I think that putting you down made me feel better about my own insecurities.”
He concluded by saying he hoped the OP was “well and happy” and apologized for anything he did that was hurtful.
Few people get this kind of resolution and even fewer reach for it. Not all bullies grow out of it, but stories like this are a great reminder that it’s possible to grow up and make amends.