There's nothing quite like the audacity of someone who wronged you and has conveniently forgotten. Being approached for friendship, or worse yet - romance, by someone who used to mistreat you creates a deeply awkward position. On one hand, it never looks good to stew in resentment, but on the other hand - setting boundaries and keeping it real is important for your own dignity and mental health.
In a popular post on the AITA subreddit, a young woman asked if she's wrong for snapping on her former classmate when he asked her out. She wrote:
Throwaway and this happened recently so bear with me
I (F18) started university this year. My school is located outside my home province, so I wasn’t expecting to see too many people from high school here. However, I did see this one guy from high school, Thomas (M18), here.
To say Thomas and I had a difficult past is a bit of an understatement. He tormented my friends, especially me, during our preteen years and for the first two years of high school. He would always call me the most hurtful things and was your typical b*lly. I don’t know why he hated me, though I think he probably thought I was an easy target.
He stopped picking on us around grade 11, and I thought that was it. Apparently, according to some of my friends, he turned over a new leaf around that time. Fast forward, and I see him during orientation week. He approached me and said hi. I returned his greeting, and we made some small talk, but I tried to keep things relatively short.
During this chat, I learned that (surprise, surprise) we're in the same program and even in the same residence building. He seemed happy with this, as in his words, it was nice to see a familiar face. Over the next few weeks, we’ve been chatting pretty regularly given that we do have pretty similar schedules.
I’ve been trying to give short, polite answers, but whenever we talk, he just doesn’t shut up. I sometimes suspect that he actively seeks me out for a chat. Earlier today, when I was at the campus gym, I saw Thomas. I tried to avoid his general area in the gym and kept my AirPods in my ears, hoping that he would not notice me. About halfway through my set, I heard him call out to me.
We talked for a bit (I was annoyed at this stage, as he did interrupt my workout), and then he starts asking me if I need help with any of the equipment or anything like that and that he could personally train me. I declined his offer, and then he bluntly asked me out. I didn’t think I heard him properly, so I asked him to repeat what he said.
He then said he wanted to take me out for lunch or something like that. I said something along the lines of now wouldn’t be a good time, but he persisted and said that it could be fun. At this stage, I snapped. I told him that I thought he was beyond repulsive and dumb as s#$t if he thought I’d go out with him.
He looked very shocked at this, and before anything else could be said, I grabbed my bag and left. Later, I told my roommate about this, and she said that I was sort of an @$$, but that she could understand where I was coming from. AITA?
Callow98989 had a big question:
Has he ever apologized for what he did to you? Or has the topic of why he ever treated you like that. NAH. He tormented you for years so of course you want nothing to do with him. But it does seem like he is trying to make a genuine effort not to the person he use to be. He still has to know there are consequences to his actions.
And OP answered:
He kind of apologized back in grade 11, he's made no reference to our past aside from "its nice to see someone familiar" for the past few weeks.
NTA. He made your life hell. B*llied you. You’re going to have a lot of anger towards him built up inside. Yeah, you snapped at him but I’d do the same if someone had made my life such a hell in school. Yes, he may of changed now but from what you’ve said he’s never actually apologised for any of it.
NTA. Unless he got brain damage between grade 11 and now, he has to remember how he treated you. Hopefully, he now knows that you remember even if he pretends not to.
Another one of these, "I've changed, so nothing I did before counts" people. Well, it counts. People have been scarred for life by b*llying. Though I hope you're not one of them. Stop chit-chatting with him and tell him that due to the way he acted in high school that you want absolutely nothing to do with him. It's what you should have told him in the first place. NTA.
Yes, you were an A H but you had the right to be, and sounds like he wasn’t gonna back off otherwise. So ultimately, NTA.
OP is NTA here, it's just a very uncomfortable situation.