Bullies control your life and make you doubt your abilities. Don’t let them have that power. Stand up to them and confront them. That is what we are going to be addressing – how to confront your childhood bully when you are an adult.

Tense Asian businesswoman looking at male partner with crossed arms.

First and foremost, don’t go out of your way to get in contact with someone who abused you in the past. The decision is entirely yours, but know that you have to make the decision if it will be helpful to you to reach back out, not expecting a response, or just learn to deal with the trauma they brought about in your life. With that being said, if the childhood bully or abuser is presently in your life, such as a friend, a friend of a friend, or even a family member, then it may be a good time to confront them.

If you were abused when you were younger, then you may have repressed memories of abuse, and even a hatred of the person who abused you. This is where you need to take a step back and learn to calm your emotions. Having hatred towards another, and repeating the abuse that was done to you will not solve anything. Rather, learn to forgive. That may seem like a foreign idea, but the calmer you can be, and learn to forgive the abuser, the more rationally you can confront them to get your point across.

Hatred as a negative aspect of life

Have a list of things you want to bring up, and how their abuse made you feel. And also be prepared for an array of reactions from them, including continued abuse. Yes, they may completely disregard your claims, and continue to blame things on you. So, don’t let them abuse you again and again. Be strong and be prepared for them to react in a negative manner. While they could be understanding and comfort you, maybe not even knowing that what they did hurt you, don’t plan on that reaction. Plan for the worst so you are not surprised.

Organize your thoughts and even write a letter. Be kind and sincere in your letter. Don’t use profanity or name call. Be polite and professional. Put emotions into your words. It’s perfectly fine to cry during the process. In fact, that’s how you know you are getting emotions out.

Be as calm as you can, sit them down, or even write a letter getting out all of your thoughts. Mail it to them or give it to them in person. Whatever your preferred method is, do what you are comfortable with. Don’t expect anything in return. If you don’t hear from them, don’t be surprised. Remember, you were prepared for the worst, so expect the worse and plan for what could happen.

Focused African American woman talking with man in cafe

Their reaction to your letter or sit down talk could go many ways. If they are furious and blame you, calling you worthless or repeating the same abuse that was done to you as a child, then this is your chance to rise above it. Remember, trauma will repeat until you break the cycle. So let this moment be that breaking point and let it go. Stand up to the abuser and show them that you can and will succeed. They call you worthless, so do something positive with your life so you are successful. You are incredibly powerful.

Another reaction they could have is a positive one and realize what they’ve done wrong and provide you with the closure you need to move on. Don’t plan on getting closure, but if it happens, consider yourself grateful. This could be the start of a better relationship between you two.

Whatever happens when you tell your abuser the truth of how their actions made you feel as a child, be prepared, take action, and be strong. You can do this and end the cycle once and for all. They no longer have control over you.

Mountaineer at the summit

Let me know how this works for you. Have a great day!

Additional Info

Confronting an abuser is tough, but I managed to do it. This person was my mother. I didn’t think I could do it, but I did. I was fully prepared for her response, which was to criticize me further, blame all her problems on me, and continue the cycle. At that point, I got out how I truly felt, and while it was difficult, I wasn’t expecting anything in return.

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