Redditors who have been bullied were asked: “Have you ever run into said bully several years later? What was the encounter like?” These are some of the best answers.
1. In middle school I was absolutely tormented by this girl – she spread nasty rumors, manipulated other girls against me, did the whole “cold shoulder-refuse to acknowledge-and ostracize” deal. Eventually led to a host of social anxiety and insecurities that took a long time to recover from.
Years later, I ran into her at a coffee shop. I was the one to approach her – not aggressively but it felt amazing to be the one in “power”. I spoke positively and congratulated her on getting into a great school. It felt great to be the better person and it was obvious that she was uncomfortable and nervous to be around me.
Plus, she had developed a wicked unibrow.
2. I was bullied by this girl in middle school who was basically your stereotypical mean girl. Years later, I was lurking around on Facebook and saw that she had never made it out of our small town. I added her as a friend and sent her a message saying, no hard feelings.
She messaged me back about 5 paragraphs explaining how sorry she was and how she still thought about me sometimes and regretted treating me the way she did. She had kids at this point and I guess one of her kids was getting bullied at school and so she became an advocate in her kid’s school’s anti-bullying program.
3. I was bullied in high school by one of my used-to-be best friends. Years later, we ran into each other at a house party. I am not the kind of guy to keep a grudge, so I started talking to him and he told me how bad he felt for all the bad times he caused me and how he would take it all back if he could.
4. I had since grown up and become a successful IT pro. He was working the counter at a Pizza place me and my girlfriend at the time had ordered from.
I acted like I didn’t recognize him. He recognized me though…
5. He served me chicken at Nandos. He also had man boobs.
6. One bully is now a close friend whilst another is a drug dealer who probably will be on Jeremy Kyle in a year. Life works in odd ways.
7. A girl and her clique bullied me quite badly when I was younger, and at the time I resented it a great deal.
10 years later she added me on Facebook out of the blue, and we actually had a really nice conversation about our lives and what we were up to these days. She somehow turned into a pretty decent person, and the unpleasant past was not mentioned once by either of us.
I have never really been good at holding grudges, and I do believe that people often grow into someone very different than who they once were. Not to make light of bullying but a lot of the time children have no idea of the damage that they do, and are the victims of awful parenting (such as poor discipline) themselves.
8. The kid that bullied me the worst (gave me swirlies, paddled me, made fun of my mom after she died of cancer) got cancer at like 28. I’m glad.
9. I saw a bully from middle school in my local Shoprite. He had a lot of problems. His mom had a heart attack, and he had a car accident and suffered serious back injuries.
When I first recognized him, I exclaimed, “I remember you! You were such a jerk to me in middle school!” We laughed, and he told me the above. He apologized for acting like he did. He said something about this stuff happening to him because of how he treated me, but I was nice and I denied it.
10. I’d lost all the weight they bullied me for, her boyfriend tried to come onto me when we were both in a pub.
Long story short: Her chin, my fist, satisfaction.
11. I was bullied mercilessly by a boy all through elementary school. He’d mock my family and our poverty; he’d make fun of my clothes, lack of shoes, and the death of my brother. 20 years later he added me on Facebook. At first I was angry. However, he sent me a message saying how sad and horrified he was at how he had behaved towards me. He is a personal trainer at a big gym and sent me a membership. He also sends me positive messages quite frequently and wishes he lived closer so we could catch up in person. His initial message expressed his deepest, heartfelt sorrow for how he behaved towards me. He thought of me for years and couldn’t let it go. I’m happy to say that I’ve since forgiven him, and he has become a good friend.
12. I was bullied through out my childhood by this one little toerag. Fast forward about 6 or 7 years and he was shot in the face in a drugs den. It was interesting reading the newspaper article that claimed he was a “wonderful person”.
13. I got bullied badly by this kid named Randy in middle and high school. We went our separate ways for college, but I ran into him a while back. He got hired by my company, and asked to be on my project team. I got subtle revenge when I pretended like I didn’t recognize or remember him for several days, and I could see it was tearing him up inside, but he couldn’t bring himself to apologize and remind me, since I had firing authority over him. All’s forgiven, though. Life is far too short to hold grudges.
14. Guy who bullied me for being “gay” (not liking sports) turned out gay himself and hit on me several years later. He’s a bigger queen now than I ever was.
15. He died of an overdose three months after our class finished secondary school. Not that he finished on time with us, of course; he’d already been held back a year, then eventually he dropped out altogether.
I was actually quite sad when he died. He was a jerk, a drug-dealer (and user, obviously), and he stole from me, but he was also a very troubled and tragic person, and as it turns out, he did some very good things as well: he talked friends out of panic attacks and saved one girl from jumping out a 10-story window when she was drunk. All of this I found out after his death.
16. I was bullied by this mean girl all through elementary and middle school. Senior year of high school we had a mutual friend and were sitting at the same lunch table. I had just broken up with my boyfriend of 2.5 years and she asked me about it. She then told me that I was too good for him and he didn’t deserve me. It felt really good. No animosity towards her ever again.
17. Third through sixth grade this punk made my life hell. That Lenny had a gang even. Fast forward to just after college, making real money for they first time. I go to a shop to buy a high-end sound upgrade for my new car and what do you know is there. Crappy shirt and tie and all.
Salesman shuffles up to me and I say “Hiya, Lenny. I’m here to buy, but not from you.” I walked over to another salesman and requested his assistance instead.
I spent over twice as much as I intended to, sort of my version of both middle fingers in the air. The look of hatred on his face as I pulled out the credit card made 8 year old me very content. Worth it!
18. I met them while I was working at subway. They were rich and still douches.
19. I used to get made fun of in grade school for my clothes and shoes because my parents couldn’t afford to buy me anything new. There was one guy, Miguel, who was the worst about it. Around this time last year I went to a McDonald’s and saw him behind the register. I had just gotten freelance work, which could potentially lead to getting hired, at a company I really liked. He didn’t recognize me, but I definitely knew it was him, especially because of his name tag. I didn’t confront him or anything, because it was years ago and we were kids, but I thought it was interesting how different our lives were.
20. I wasn’t popular in high school, but in college I sort of blossomed and am actually attractive (not to sound conceited). It took some getting used to. I was still in the “ugly girl” mindset.
Visiting my hometown, I saw the popular girl from high school that used to tease me about boys not liking me. She was in line at the store and looked terrible. Overweight, tired. She looked like an adult, like a mom. But not a happy one. I couldn’t believe we were the same age! I guess I’m an adult technically but I don’t really feel like it.
I checked out her Facebook. Turns out she’s divorced with two kids from different guys. And she works at a paycheque loan place.
21. I specifically go out of my way to visit the full service gas station he works at now.
22. I had a bully in elementary/middle school. He continued to be in my classes until senior year of high school. During this time, he reigned back on the bullying and just turned into your run of the mill jerk. Last day of senior year, he asked me to sign his year book, which I thought was odd given our past. I wrote this long diatribe in his year book, paraphrased something like:
“Dear _____, Remember when you were my friend and then you turned into my bully in middle school? You’ll be happy to know that your not a bully so much as a jerk now. I can’t really stand to be around you, Have a good life.”
The kicker is that he went to my college. We ran into each other on campus once or twice and it was always super awkward, because he was really civil, and I can only think about the yearbook and wonder why he’s being really civil to me.
23. Kid from a well off family bullied me about my first name all through elementary, middle and most of high school. Pushing, shoving, name calling and physical conflicts were the norm. Long story short he died in a car crash, his families business went under and they are no longer wealthy. I was ecstatic when I found out what happened to them. Call me a bad person or whatever but he made me feel lower than dirt so I’m ok with what happened to him.
24. I ran into one of my bullies (I had many since I was universally hated wherever I went) in a workplace. I thought she would change once school was over and she entered into the actual adult world, but I was wrong and she continued to bully me in the workplace. I hated her, never forgave her and I still hope something awful happens to her. Sorry. I just crave it.
Another time an old bully who used to make me cry sent me a friend request on Facebook. I accepted her friend request, but adopted a “do not interact with” code because she did not seem to recall how badly she made my life. I do admit I feel sad for her having gone through a breakup/divorce or whatever, but I still won’t talk to her.
25. There’s the few I’ve seen when I visit home that are still the same as they were ten plus years ago, like giant kids in bars, but they never affected me on any more than a physical scale. I was the favorite target of one well-off kid in my class. He outmatched me in everything but academics, but he still felt like I was a threat or something. I never talked to him after graduation, or even gave it a second thought until 3 years ago, when I learned he died in a fire. I went to the funeral, but I can’t honestly say I felt any bit of regret that I didn’t patch things up. All I could think was “better him than me.” It was this that hit me, emotionally: I didn’t want closure, I just wanted him dead. Ten years after I first met him, and six years after I last saw him alive, he beat me once again, because it made me a worse person.
26. In the past i was bullied almost to the point of suicide. This was at the age of 12.
After about 3 years when I was finally past all the trauma of that time, I came across the bully again when walking in the park. He had done some groceries and decided to throw them at me. I got hit by a couple of eggs. He didn’t change at all, and still believed he stood above me. And at that time i felt like that. It just put me back another 3 years of therapy again.
Then about another 5 years past when I encountered him again. He still didn’t changed and though he could just call me names again thinking he was again better than me. Though by then I grew significantly that i finally wasn’t really affected by him. After all I know I got a future. And I don’t expect someone who didn’t change in almost 7 years to have a good future. This was further proven to me, when I saw him 2 weeks ago, This time though he didn’t call me any names. But that is also kind of impossible when you are being cuffed and put in the back of a police car.
27. I was flat-chested all of middle and high school. One guy was relentless when he picked on me. Years later he ended up trying to sleep with me at a party I hosted… I guess having large breasts made the difference for him.
28. One of my childhood bullies destroyed my bike in when I was about 10. Ran into him at a party a few years ago. He broke down apologizing. Both his parents died, his foster life was hell and all.
Played football with him for a few years. Really nice guy now.
29. I was bullied by this massive guy when I was 15. He easily had a foot and 2-3 stone on me. Went on for about a year and then kind of fizzled out. Nothing too harsh, just the occasional bloody nose.
5 years later I wander into a new hairdresser in town to get a standard trim and here’s the guy cutting hair. He was incredibly apologetic and explained how he’d been so confused and angry because he couldn’t admit to himself that a massive, tough guy like him could be gay and want to be a hairdresser.
He had the final laugh though as he offered me free highlights to make up for things and I looked like a tool for the next 7 weeks.
30. I was a pretty obviously gay kid, and hung out with a few other clearly queer but not out classmates. We keep in touch and have marvelled at the number of people who bullied us in school that now seem to remember things as peachy and fine. Because it was. For them.
One of them found Jesus and apologized to me in an embarrassed “I didn’t realize what I was doing to you,” tone which was honestly good to hear. One other I saw at the drugstore in my home town. She used to make fun of my appearance a lot. Big as a house, gray hair, sweaty, dragging along 4 kids under the age of 7 and a baby to boot. Meanwhile I was buying beer with my now ex-partner who is a model and I still wear the same pants size I did when I was 15 and have no visible gray. Sometimes life is the best revenge.
Share with friends & family!