When you Are Wrongly Accused: 5 Things to Do - Theresa Boedeker (2023)

Let’s just assume you are being accused, wrongly, and the accusation does not ring of truth. Here are 5 things you can do.

One thing that really bugs me is when my husband yells across the house, “Why did you move my shoes?”

Move his shoes? Does he think I sometimes sneak out of bed at 2:00 AM and move his shoes to a different location within our house with the express purpose of sending him on a shoe scavenger hunt? The goal being to place them in an unlikely spot, but ultimately a place he will eventually find if he wanders and searches enough. Like maybe tucked next to the guest room toilet. Perhaps on a shelf in the pantry. Or maybe behind the potted plant so only the toes are sticking out.

Some people may hear this comment as, “Where are my shoes.” And this is how my husband is saying it. But I hear an accusation. I feel I am being questioned and accused of something I didn’t do.

Even if it is only for moving his shoes.

And then there are other times, where I am accused of bigger things.

Times where I have been attacked, misjudged, and false conclusions have been made about me.

Sometimes I am guilty, and other times I am not.

It’s part of life and dealing with humans. I’ve done it to others, and they have done it to me. And it isn’t pleasant.

When we are at fault we can apologize and make amends.

What can we do when we are wrongly accused? Either directly or indirectly? When someone we know is telling us we are a bad person, exhibiting bad behavior that we are not responsible for, have ruined something way beyond our control, or have a pattern of wrong deeds and we feel it simply is not true.

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Determine these two questions: time and motivation.

Before you start responding to their accusations, you want to ask yourself a few questions.

  1. Is it worth your time to address this comment?

Sometimes it is, and sometimes it is not. Only you can determine this. But we don’t want to waste our time with people we will not see again. On unimportant items. Or on trying to change someone’s mind or opinion that likely we will never change.

If someone is accusing you of putting the spoons in the wrong space in the silverware drawer. Maybe let it go. It doesn’t really matter. Remember the adage, choose your battles wisely.

Maybe your uncle is baiting you into a political argument. The chances of either of you changing each other’s mind is slim, so move onto the topic of the weather. Refuse to take the bait.

  1. What is the person’s motivation in accusing you?

Sometimes we are falsely accused out of ignorance, by accident, or because they only know part of the story and are trying to guess the rest.

Other times the accusation is done more deliberately. Their goal is to accuse, throw off balance, deflect the focus of them self, shame, manipulate, or scapegoat.

They may be responding in anger, jealousy, guilt, or any other feeling.

If someone is accusing you of ruining the whole vacation, or that because of you they cannot succeed at work, their motivation is not to have a rational discussion. More likely, they are trying to not take responsibility for anything they can control, and instead are blaming you for their portion of the equation. You will waste your time responding to these accusations and their motivation is not to solve anything.

It is important to gauge the person’s motivation (or intentions) because it helps determine how to respond to the person.

If we respond the same way to both motivations (an accidental or deliberate accusation), we will get frustrated and waste a lot of energy and time.

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How Jesus dealt with false accusations.

Jesus looked at the motivation behind his conversations with others.

Some people asked for healing, others wanted answers to questions, and some were looking for help.

Others came to trap him, manipulate him, or to make themselves look good. Often these were the religious leaders.

The first category he helped and listened to.

The second category he didn’t.

When the religious leaders accused him of healing on the Sabbath (a common complaint of theirs) he deflected their questions or turned the questions back to them because he knew their intentions and saw their motivations. He knew their ears were unwilling to listen or learn. He knew they were trying to make themselves look good and him look bad. He knew their accusations were saying more about their heart than his.

Not once did he spend time arguing with them. Defending himself. Trying to show them his position and outline why he was right. Nor did he keep listening to them, with the hopes they would eventually listen to him and respect him.

He also did not apologize for something he did not do. Agree to their assessment. Nor was he afraid of their words. He knew the truth. Knew their words were lies.

He knew the conversation would go nowhere and often quietly left in the middle of their schemes.

Our first response when we are falsely accused is to fight back. Defend our self. Try and explain our position.

But often this just blows things open.

Jesus often answered their questions with his own question. And then left the scene.

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Why we take the accusations personally.

We can learn a lot from Jesus and how he responded to false accusations.

Key point = he did not engage.

He saw their motivation and that their mind was made up. He saw the fruitlessness of talking with them while they were angry and in an accusatory mood. He knew it would not have been a conversation that included listening and learning.

I wish I had learned his trick years ago. Or as a therapist has said, “Don’t take it personally.”

But I do. I have a hard time NOT taking it personally or separating myself from their comment and accusation.

Partly because I hold myself to a certain standard and I want to be seen and thought of as a certain way.

That’s why the shoe comment makes me cringe.

I know I am helpful and would not deliberately hide people’s shoes in the middle of the night. It bothers me to think I may be seen this way. I want to defend myself and convince the person that I am not a shoe hiding person. That their image of me is false.

Partly because I am placing their view and opinion of me as more important than God’s view and opinion of me.

I’m guessing Jesus did not have this problem. He was secure in God’s opinion and view of him and didn’t take things people said so personally. The human court had no sway over him. What did it matter what others thought? He and his father knew the truth and that was more important than what others thought.

Not only do I take comments personally, I often tie them to my worth. If I am seen as a shoe hiding person, that must affect my value and lovability to others and God. When in fact, nothing affects our value to God. He alone determines our worth. Not people accusing us of things.

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Some helpful tips to keep in mind.

I don’t have all the answers, but here are somethings that work for me.

First evaluate the intent or motivation behind the comment. If it rings of truth and the person desires to address it in love and truth, listen and make steps to solve the problem.

Apologize and repent if you are at fault and then walk in God’s freedom.

If it seems the person accusing you has no interest in you as a person, or interest in your side of the story, it may be time to walk away. If their intent is only to judge and condemn and not be a friend who is trying to help you, then this is not a conversation to engage in.

If you end up having the conversation and you go away confused, not listened to, and unsure of what just happened, just know it was not a healthy give and take conversation. This person assumed they already know the reason, circumstances, or solution to your problems and didn’t feel the need to ask any questions or really listen. This conversation was more for their benefit than yours.

Crazy making conversations often have little truth in them, but they are the ones that can do the most damage. When you are wrongly accused, do the following:

  1. Don’t tie the accusations to your image, lovability, or worth.

Let it go and don’t take it personally. You don’t have to pick the accusation up and put it on for size if it is not true. Strive to please God more than people.

  1. Stop engaging with the person on the topic.

Tying to defend yourself, give your side, and helping them see the truth rarely works.

Stop wasting time, energy, and sleep over things you cannot control. One thing we cannot control is what others think of us.

Let them have their own opinion. It matters more what God thinks, than what they think.

  1. Seek wisdom.

Take comfort knowing God sees, knows, and loves you. Share your problem and the accusations with God (David did this in Psalms). He will give you encouragement, grace, and help. And if it is true, he will convict you.

You may also want to talk to a wise friend and get their take.

  1. Compare their viewpoint with God’s viewpoint.

They may say you are a horrible person. God sees you differently. He sees you as a flawed and sinful human that is forgiven and in the process of being redeemed. You may lie, but God doesn’t see you as only a liar. Remember that our enemy wants us to have a distorted view of ourselves and be defeated and feel condemned by God. When we feel like this, he rejoices.

  1. Laugh at the ridiculousness of the accusation.

Maybe they are accusing you of turning the whole family against them. Humor can put things into perspective. Try to laugh at this comment because it implies you have the power to control all your family member’s thoughts about this one person. Which no one can do. It’s impossible to change anyone’s opinion, so how could you change all 32 family member’s opinions?

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Step back and look with different eyes.

When we can step back and look at the accusations hurled at us with eyes that are not so concerned with appearing almost perfect. When we can let others have opinions different from us, even if they are false and about us. When we stop tying our image to the words of others and their opinions, we are on the way to not being derailed by the accusations of others.

When we don’t take the comments personally, we can actually evaluate the words and better see the motive behind them. Often times the accusations have a lot more to do with them and the state of their heart, than it does us.

We always have the choice to disengage and not pursue the conversation.

And yes, I’m preaching to myself loud and clear.

I am going to start letting the comments from my husband, about where I moved his shoes to, not bother me so much. I am going to take a few deep breaths and just let it go.

Then I’m going to tell him they are in the pantry. Third shelf from the top, next to the canned corn.

And when he looks there, because he will, and he says they are not there, I’ll tell him that someone must have moved them after I did.

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Remember: God does not accuse us like other humans do. He convicts us.


Join the Discussion: What helps you when you are wrongly accused?

When you Are Wrongly Accused: 5 Things to Do - Theresa Boedeker (8)

I am excited to introduce you to a new book: Faith Talk. Put together by Heather Heart fromCandidly Christian. It is written by a number of contributing authors answering these two questions: 1. Why do you believe in Jesus, and 2. Why is faith important to you? Each chapter will help you see how the gospel is at work in your life.

As a contributor to the book, I wrote about how my foundational beliefs about God have changed through the years. How I don’t have to earn God’s love, but that he freely gives it.

Last week’s winner who commented was Lisa Blair.

Someone who comments on this post will also receive a free copy of Faith Talk.

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May link up at Maree Dee (#Grace & Truth), Anita Ojeda (#inspirememonday), InstaEncouagements ((IE Link-Up), and Jeanne Takenaka (#tellhisstory).

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More encouragement:

Kindness and Compassion Please!Why Our Worth Fluctuates More Than a Stock Market CommodityStop Apologizing for Your Appearance
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Theresa Boedeker, a lover of life and its graces, writes and podcasts about this crazy and messy adventure called life. She tries to laugh often and out loud. Visit TheresaBoedeker.com to receive encouragement, join the laughter, and unwrap the gift of life.

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Latest posts by Theresa Boedeker (see all)

  • How Knowing Your Husband Can Impact Him for Good - March 24, 2022
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  • Is God Really Good All the Time? - February 24, 2022


How to respond when someone accuses you of something you didn t do? ›

How to Defend Yourself Against False Accusations
  1. Stay Calm. ...
  2. Hire an Attorney to Help You Fight Back. ...
  3. Gather Evidence. ...
  4. Challenge the Accuser's Credibility. ...
  5. Find Your Own Witnesses and Present Evidence of Your Side of the Story. ...
  6. Develop a Strategy in Criminal Defense Cases.
Aug 8, 2022

How would an innocent person react when accused? ›

When falsely accused of wrongdoing, people usually feel enraged and express their anger about the unfair treatment. A new study suggests people who express their angry feelings openly are often seen as guilty.

What is the punishment for falsely accusing someone? ›

A conviction for giving false information would be a misdemeanor with up to six months in jail, a $1,000 fine, or both. However, if the false information was offered in an effort to evade arrest, additional felony charges could be possible.

What do you do when a child falsely accuses you? ›

Hire an attorney experienced in the area of False Child Abuse Allegation Defense. This is a very serious matter. It is imperative that you are represented by a lawyer who has a history of handling similar cases and can safeguard your interests.

How do you prove innocence when falsely accused? ›

7 Types of Evidence that Can Be Used to Prove Innocence in South Carolina
  1. Witness Testimony. Witness testimony can be used to prove innocence in two ways. ...
  2. Phone Records. ...
  3. Employment, Bank Account, or Other Records. ...
  4. Surveillance Camera Footage. ...
  5. Phone Photos or Videos. ...
  6. Other Records. ...
  7. DNA Evidence.
Aug 25, 2022

What is it called when someone accuses you of something without proof? ›

Falsely accusing someone of a crime without evidence (sometimes called “false reporting“) can itself be a serious criminal offense. Nevertheless, false accusations are not uncommon, especially with crimes such as: rape, domestic violence, assault, and.

Why do liars get angry when confronted? ›

"When a liar becomes hostile or defensive, he is attempting to turn the tables on you," says Glass. The liar will get hostile because he is angry that you've discovered his lies, which may result in a lot of pointing.

How do you prove you aren't lying? ›

Provide evidence of what happened.

The best way to prove to someone that you are not lying is to offer the person evidence that directly contradicts the claim. If you can think of any way to demonstrate your truthfulness, do so by backing up your statements with credible proof.

What are the signs of a guilty person? ›

Signs of Guilt
  • Being sensitive to the effects of every action.
  • Overwhelmed by possibly making the “wrong” decision.
  • Low self-esteem.
  • Putting others before yourself until it's detrimental.
  • Avoiding your full range of emotions.
Dec 16, 2022

Can someone be prosecuted for false accusations? ›

A person who deliberately makes a false allegation of a crime in the knowledge that there is a risk that the police will conduct an investigation would have committed one of the relevant offences and is liable to be prosecuted subject to public interest considerations.

What if someone falsely accuses you of a crime? ›

Your first step should be to retain an experienced criminal defense attorney who has handled cases where the accused faced similar criminal charges as yours. The importance of hiring a lawyer immediately—even if you are still just a suspect—cannot be emphasized enough.

How do you prove your child is being coached? ›

There are only three (3) ways you can prove in court your child has been coached, so please take heed: One parent admits in her/his deposition or at hearing/trial, or to CPS, or another mandated reporter, s/he coached the child to exact revenge against the other.

How do you deal with constant accusations? ›

10 ways to manage false accusations in a relationship
  1. Take a step back.
  2. Don't take it personally.
  3. Understand your partner's attachment style.
  4. Connect with your feelings and emotions.
  5. Non-violent communication.
  6. Try to reframe things from their viewpoint.
  7. Establish boundaries.
  8. Check-in with family and friends.
Apr 28, 2022

How do you deal with false accusations in Family Court? ›

If a false allegation is made against you in Court, it's very important not to react in the moment. Keep calm, and turn to your legal counsel for guidance. Flying off the handle will be the reaction that your former partner is hoping for.

What is the proof of innocence? ›

The presumption of innocence until proven guilty means that the burden of proof is always on the government to satisfy you that [defendant] is guilty of the crime with which [he/she] is charged beyond a reasonable doubt.

Who decides a accused person is guilty or innocent? ›

The judge decides whether the accused person is guilty or innocent on the basis of evidence presented and in accordance with the law. If the accused is convicted, then the judge pronounces the sentence.

What type of evidence tends to show innocence of the accused? ›

Exculpatory evidence is evidence in a criminal trial that tends to show that the defendant is not guilty.

What are gaslighting accusations? ›

It is a covert type of emotional abuse in which the bully or abuser misleads the target, creating a false narrative and making them question their judgments and reality.1 Ultimately, the victim of gaslighting starts to feel unsure about their perceptions of the world and even wonder if they are losing their sanity.

What is it called when someone accuses you of lying? ›

Gaslighters — people who try to control others through manipulation — will often accuse you of behaviors that they are engaged in themselves. This is a classic manipulation tactic.

What do you call someone who accuses you of something? ›

A person who accuses is called an accuser (especially when the accusation involves a crime).

What words do liars use? ›

Liars often overemphasize their truthfulness by adding words or phrases to a statement that are meant to make them sound more convincing.
4. Overemphasizing their trustworthiness: "To be honest."
  • "To be honest"
  • "To tell you the truth"
  • "Believe me"
  • "Let me be clear"
  • "The fact is"
Oct 10, 2018

Do liars avoid answering questions? ›

Liars and truth-tellers both have pauses in their speech, but good liars avoid answering questions, scientists say. DESPITE WHAT YOU MIGHT think, it is almost impossible to tell a liar from the way they talk, according a new study.

What are the four types of liars? ›

An Illustrated Guide to the 4 Types of Liars
  • Deceitful.
  • Duplicitous.
  • Delusional.
  • Demoralized.

What are the 5 signs that someone is lying? ›

  • A Change in Speech Patterns. One telltale sign someone may not be telling the whole truth is irregular speech. ...
  • The Use of Non-Congruent Gestures. ...
  • Not Saying Enough. ...
  • Saying Too Much. ...
  • An Unusual Rise or Fall in Vocal Tone. ...
  • Direction of Their Eyes. ...
  • Covering Their Mouth or Eyes. ...
  • Excessive Fidgeting.

What is the best way to prove someone is lying? ›

While not an exhaustive list, these verbal and non-verbal signs of deception are more common than some of the others we've seen.
  • Premise. ...
  • Verbal Indicators. ...
  • No Response/Non-Responsive. ...
  • Delayed Response. ...
  • Repeating the Question. ...
  • No Denial. ...
  • Overly Specific/Overly Vague. ...
  • Protest Statements.

How to make someone believe you when you are telling the truth? ›

8 Ways to Make People Believe What You Tell Them
  1. Tell the truth. ...
  2. Tell the whole truth. ...
  3. Don't over-context the truth. ...
  4. Freely confess ignorance. ...
  5. First, listen. ...
  6. It's not the words, it's the intent. ...
  7. Use commonsense anchors. ...
  8. Use the language of the other person.
Jul 26, 2013

What organ does guilt affect? ›

Guilt, Fishkin says, is associated with activity in the prefrontal cortex, the logical-thinking part of the brain. Guilt can also trigger activity in the limbic system. (That's why it can feel so anxiety-provoking.)

What is the body language of a guilty person? ›

Often a person feeling guilt will instinctively hold his head with one or even both hands. The hands often are covering the eyes, because he would rather not see other people while feeling guilt. The posture here is similar to a “woe is me” type of feeling. It is like the person is trying to ask “What have I done?”

What are the three types of guilt? ›

There are three basic kinds of guilt: (1) natural guilt, or remorse over something you did or failed to do; (2) free-floating, or toxic, guilt—the underlying sense of not being a good person; and (3) existential guilt, the negative feeling that arises out of the injustice you perceive in the world, and out of your own ...

What is considered mental abuse from a coach? ›

Researchers suggest emotional abuse by coaches can include belittling, humiliating, shouting, scapegoating, rejecting, isolating, threatening and ignoring. These forms of abuse can be subtle and hidden in accepted coaching practice.

How do you prove child manipulation? ›

6 Ways To Prove Parental Alienation With Evidence Before You Lose Your Child Forever
  1. Document Disparaging Remarks. ...
  2. Preserve Social Media Evidence. ...
  3. Request an Attorney Ad Litem or Guardian Ad Litem. ...
  4. Depose Your Ex.

How do you deny something you did? ›

How to politely decline
  1. I'm sorry, but we had to refuse your request to move to another department.
  2. I'm sorry but I can't help you, I have something planned out for tomorrow.
  3. No, I'm afraid I can't do that for you. ...
  4. As I said, I'm afraid I can't help you at the moment.

How common are false allegations of domestic violence? ›

Among men who experience female-perpetrated violence, 56% said their female partners actually did make false accusations that he physically or sexually abused her, compared to less than one percent in the general population. Why would people falsely accuse their partner of domestic violence?

Can you sue social services for false allegations? ›

You could be able to make a claim irrespective of whether the abuse or negligence that you have suffered happened recently or a long time ago when you were a child. Similarly, you can also claim if you have been wrongly accused by Social Services.

Can I find out who reported me to social services? ›

To protect their confidentiality we can't provide details which may give away the identity of the person who made the report.

What is it called when someone accuses you of doing something that they're doing? ›

Gaslighters — people who try to control others through manipulation — will often accuse you of behaviors that they are engaged in themselves. This is a classic manipulation tactic.

What do you say when someone accuses you of lying? ›

I 'd like to know what you're hoping to achieve by accusing me of lying”, “The truth is, I really don't know why you didn't ask me first before coming to the conclusion that I was lying”, ” I still don't understand what made you come up with that idea” or, “I really wonder what it is I've done to you for you to have ...

What do you call someone who accuses you of things they do? ›

Check this idiom: The pot calling the kettle black. From Wikipedia: The phrase "The pot calling the kettle black" is an idiom used to claim that a person is guilty of the very thing of which they accuse another.

What are the 4 types of denial? ›

To summarize, denial of fact says that the offense in question never happened, denial of impact trivializes the consequences of the inappropriate behavior, denial of responsibility attempts to justify or excuse the behavior, and denial of hope shows that the person is unwilling to take active steps to make things ...

What are some examples of denial? ›

Examples of Denial

Some examples: Someone denies that they have an alcohol or substance use disorder because they can still function and go to work each day. After the unexpected death of a loved one, a person might refuse to accept the reality of the death and deny that anything has happened.

What do you call someone who refuses to accept the truth? ›

de·​ni·​al·​ist di-ˈnī(-ə)l-ist. dē- plural denialists. : a person who denies the existence, truth, or validity of something despite proof or strong evidence that it is real, true, or valid : someone who practices denialism.

Do narcissist accuse you of what they do? ›

Narcissists are often fond of accusing another of the very things or attitudes they are culpable of. While such false accusations are often done in your absence (e.g. to your boss at your place of work, or with friends). Narcissists are also bold enough to accuse you of a trait they know they are culpable of.

What does it mean when you accuse someone of something you do? ›

: to charge with a fault or offense : blame. He accused her of being disloyal. : to charge with an offense judicially or by a public process. He was accused of murder. intransitive verb.

How do you prove someone is lying on you? ›

While not an exhaustive list, these verbal and non-verbal signs of deception are more common than some of the others we've seen.
  1. Premise. ...
  2. Verbal Indicators. ...
  3. No Response/Non-Responsive. ...
  4. Delayed Response. ...
  5. Repeating the Question. ...
  6. No Denial. ...
  7. Overly Specific/Overly Vague. ...
  8. Protest Statements.

How do you treat someone who lied to you? ›

Just make certain you are honest and direct with the person who lied. Don't go to others with the lie when you know it's better handled privately between you and the liar. There are many times when reporting a lie is the right thing to do, both ethically and practically.

How do you treat someone who lies to you? ›

Let them know that you value them for who they really are. When you notice the person lying, don't engage them. You can question what they're saying, which may encourage them to stop the lie at that point. You can also let them know that you don't want to continue the conversation when they're being dishonest.

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