The ability to speak two languages should be celebrated. Think twice before you judge someone who speaks any broken language, we know the people in these stories will.
Here are 30 stories from people who didn't realize someone could understand what they were saying.
The Underground Doctor
My grandparents were Romanian Jews living in Europe during WWII. Post-war they fled to America via Italy, and lived in Italy for several years. Now, they largely spoke Romanian, but my grandpa could understand Italian as well. My grandma had a variety of serious health issues throughout her life and at this point (they were probably in their twenties) she had to be taken to an Italian doctor. Thinking they spoke only Romanian, the doctor told his nurse (about my grandma) 'she's a Jew, let her die'. Well my grandpa understood this and was able to seek out a more underground doctor to save my grandmas life. She lived into her 80s.
Not me but my moms friend. Her and her aunt were on a bus. A very sickly looking woman sat in front of them. They just started talking between themselves and said something along the lines of 'that lady looks like death'. She turned around and in Polish said 'I have cancer'.
I speak french, but not fluently, although I am a french/american citizen. At my first girlfriends house for the first time eating dinner with them. We go upstairs afterwards and her little sister (2 grades below us) comes in as we are selecting a movie to watch. Well they are Canadian and speak french at home a lot. The girl comes in and starts talking about how I am cute and so forth to her sister. Then her sister banters back about how she agrees and then turns to me and asks me in french if I agree. I responded in french that I appreciated it. Cue bashful run up to her room. I lived off that high all year.
Excuse Me I Speak German
I was touring some old dungeons in Germany. It was just me and my family, and an older German couple. They were kinda dissing my country the whole time, thinking we couldn't understand them. We got to a room where they locked people by their feet and the German man said to his wife and the tour guide in German 'This is where you should go if you can't speak German'. I turned to him and in perfect German replied 'then it's a good thing I can speak German'. The look on his face was priceless.
I was waiting in line with my sister to take a boat tour in California and ahead of us was a group of 5-6 German-speaking people. The wait to board the boat was long and they got to talking. At first, it was about how nice the weather was, and then it turned to how annoying Americans can be, especially fat, dumb, tourist Americans. They cracked a couple of jokes having to do with American stereotypes. While this was happening, the line started moving and people started boarding the boat. But the group was too wrapped up in their own jokes to realize it. So I finally turned around to them, and in fluent German asked if they were part of the tour and if they were getting on the boat. They stopped dead in their joking tracks and said yes. So I replied that they had better get a move on, because the dumb, fat, American tourist standing right behind them wanted to get on the boat too. They all looked really embarrassed.
Only If You Don't Ask
Happened to me actually, really funny in hindsight. I was in Poland for a holiday with 2 friends. We went outside a bar to smoke, and I said to my friend (in Dutch): 'Those girls over there are really hot, should we ask them to join us?' One of the girls turned around, and said in almost perfect Dutch: 'You won't find out, if you don't ask.' Que my friends laughing and me standing there flabbergasted.
Working at a front desk with two co-workers who were related. They are speaking Spanish and one of them is talking about how she thinks I'm weird/act too professional all the time. She then asks 'where is the stapler?' in Spanish. I picked up the stapler and without looking at her I extend my arm to pass it. She then asks if I speak Spanish and understood the whole conversation. I told her I speak fluent Italian and took Spanish classes in school. Another story. At the mall eating McDonald's when I was a teenager. Bunch of old Italian guys hanging around the food court and one asks 'how can he eat that?' In Italian, while looking at me. I look up and stare at him. I say 'because I'm really hungry' in Italian. All his buddies started laughing.
You Never Know Who's Listening
I was on a subway car in Toronto when a French couple were chatting about innocuous crap when the husband starts chatting to his wife about what he wants to do to her. It's graphic. He's going into details about moves, holes, smells. She had a toque in her hand, but unknowingly dropped it. So, I saw my chance. I pick up her hat and tell her that she lost it. Both of their faces went white. She just meekly thanked me. I stood up, got off the subway and felt a sense of glee at having ruined their evening.
I'm Mexican but I studied my college degrees in the US. When I was studying abroad in Germany I only spoke English to my German classmates. One time we were waiting for a train at a station and a group of young South American tourists were being loud and just waiting beside us. I could understand every word they're saying (except for some slang) and they suddenly start talking about our group. I don't blame them at all they were just bored at the train station trying to pass time but I smile and look at them. One of the guys looks back and says in Spanish: 'Do you not like what I'm saying a--hole?' I respond in Spanish: 'It's been a long time since someone insulted me in my language' The guy has a speechless look on his face and all his friends look at me. We have a laugh and soon after that both our groups sat together and had a nice time talking, their English was good enough to have small chat with.
Is That Right?
I was in South America, and had made friends with a guy who was living in Paraguay, but was originally from Jordan. He spoke like 5 different languages. I asked him if he could help me out buying a cell phone. So we are shopping around, we stop at one place with 2 middle eastern guys selling cell phones. They say some things in Spanish, then some things in Arabic, and then my friend just says, 'lets go'. I asked him what happened and he said the guys said something in Arabic along the lines of 'ohh we'll screw these guys over' To which my friend responded, in arabic 'is that right? you're gonna screw us over?' I thought it was really funny.
I Don't Understand English
Wasn't me but my dad. We, as good Canadians do, went on a ski vacation to Quebec. While my dad was parking his car a tour bus backed into our van. After seeing the damage, my dad marches on to this tour bus and starts talking with the driver. The driver apologizes profusely to my enraged dad, but when my dad starts asking for his name, employee number, and insurance information, he starts pretending that he doesn't understand English. My dad is fluent in French so without skipping a beat he continues questioning the driver en francais. The driver was super shaken up by this turn of events and his face turned red but surrendered his information in the end.
I (African American teenager) went to a Chinese restaurant and immediately the lady behind the counter looks up, and back at her husband and shouts in mandarin '1 Ape in the door! Go serve it'. Took me a minute to realize I hadn't translated that incorrectly. When the husband asked what I wanted and I responded in Chinese 'this ape doesn't want to give any money to your establishment' and left. Won't ever forget the look of terror, shock, and stupidity that left.
I Flipped Her Off
Canadian - with an English group in a very french town in Northern Quebec. Waitress talked about us, being anglophones, the whole night to her coworkers and the bartender. She was doing it fairly loudly, which I found weird in a bilingual country. When she came around with the bills I put on my best Qubcois accent and said in French 'I hope you aren't expecting a tip from these stupid English people, because you sure as hell aren't getting one' and told the group we were leaving. She chased us out of the restaurant screaming at us in French, I flipped her off and we left.
I Don't Speak English That Well
I'm an American who is fluent in German. This past fall I was studying abroad in Bologna, Italy. I was shopping for food and a German tourist comes up to me and asks if I speak English, I say yes I'm American. He asks 'do you know if I can drink a beer in the street, or are there laws against it?' 'I'm not sure, I drink outside all of the time and have never had an issue but to tell you the truth I don't know if it's illegal.' He says thanks, then turns to his friend and says in German 'I have no idea what she just said.' So then I say, in German 'I can explain it to you in German if you think you'd understand it better.' He was surprised but we laughed and had a good conversation in German after that!
Can't Con Us
Two English teens on holiday in France started calling people wankers, and many other interesting words. I asked them to start respecting people and they turned red. In Prague, I asked a lady something in English and her English was too poor for her to understand. I cannot speak Russian but have learned a bit of it and Czech is pretty close. Her gran was with her and the lady I was talking to said I was an idiot asking stupid questions so I said in rough Russian 'I'm not an idiot, I'm sorry I cannot speak Czech'. She went red too. In Catalunya, on a market, a seller spotted us as tourists immediately and tried to sell us his dried sausages more expensive than to the Catalan person before. I told him in Catalan that it is not fair to ask us French people to pay more.
My grandma could speak Arabic fluently. One time we are out and some women behind us in line are mocking her calling her tacky, making fun of her bad dye job. She turned around and said in Arabic 'I may be tacky, but at least I'm not stupid enough to assume nobody can understand me'. They were so mortified.
I speak fluent Hungarian, and the thing about the language is it's so obscure that Hungarians will always assume when abroad that no one else can understand them. As you can imagine, this can backfire spectacularly- I grew up in the USA, and I've heard marital spats at Walmart that frankly never should have left the living room, serious goodbyes between lovers that were awkward to hear, all sorts of things like that. The best story in this genre though is my mother's, when she and my dad were enjoying their first Christmas together. They were in a small village in Austria in the early 80s, and for Christmas Eve when they went out to dinner there was a man in the restaurant with a dog sitting at the table (like, guy putting food on the plate in front of his dog, dog eating it, etc). My mom proceeded to spend a lot of time telling my dad how disgusting and unsanitary this was of the guy to do etc, and when guy and dog finished their meal he just went up to my parents' table, said 'kellemes karacsonyi unnepeket kivanok,' and left. In Hungarian, this is the polite way of telling a stranger you wish them a Merry Christmas.
I'm not the multilingual in this story, but my friend's mom is from Vietnam, but her dad is from the States and is white. For whatever, reason my friend looks like a typical white brunette girl, but speaks Vietnamese with her mom's side of the family all the time and is fluent. So, one day we got off school. We went to a Catholic high school and walked over to a nail salon a few blocks away to get our nails done. The ladies running the salon were speaking Vietnamese, and according to my friend were talking badly about us the entire time we were there. They were talking about how rich we must be and how, 'These little white girls can probably sleep with whoever they want and get ahead.' I was completely oblivious to this the entire time, but as we were about to pay, my friend told me all the terrible things they were saying, so we didn't tip them. We started to leave and one of the workers said something about how the rich white girls couldn't even afford to tip. My friend turned around and yelled at them in perfect Vietnamese about how if they expect their business to stay open, they shouldn't talk badly about their customers in front of their face. I didn't understand a word of it, but the workers were in utter shock and sheepishly apologized to the both of us.
When I lived in China I went to an international school so would frequently use English with my classmates even though I spoke/understood Chinese. One day, I was walking with a classmate when I overheard these old Chinese ladies talking about how it was obvious we were American because we were so fat. We were both average sized--neither fat nor thin. My friend doesn't understand Chinese so I decided to ignore it since we were just passing by. Later, we were at the fruit stand and the ladies come around looking to buy fruit. I'm standing in front of whatever they were trying to look at and any time they'd try to move around me I'd shift subtly so they couldn't. I hear one of them start huffing about how she can't get by, and in Chinese I respond with 'I'd move but as a fat American it'd do no good'. The ladies just looked at me then started laughing and were like 'Ooh, the fat American has good Chinese!' No shame.
This actually just happened a couple of days ago. I'm an American traveling abroad in the Middle East, and went on a date with an Arab guy. He asked me if I spoke Arabic, but since I'm not comfortable speaking it, I just said no. I can understand most things, though, and can speak if pressed. Dinner was great, we got along well, and then went to smoke shisha at a local cafe. The owner, who was my date's buddy, asked who I was in Arabic. He smiled at me sweetly, squeezed my hand, and told his friend in Arabic, 'An American woman who I'm going to sleep with later'. I kept a stupid, docile smile on my face. When the owner took my order, I told him in Arabic 'and one tea for the American whore who he will not sleep with later'. The look on both of their faces was priceless. Needless to say I ended up taking a cab home.
So. I'm an American, living in the United States, fluent English. I did take Spanish in high school and while I didn't really retain much, I can still take a pretty decent gander if I want to. I work in a landscape supply store and most of my customers happen to be Hispanic. Sometimes, they will talk to each other in Spanish while buying materials and I can kind of get the gist of what they're saying. One time, two guys came in and started discussing what materials they were getting and how much. By the time they came up to me, I had already rung them up for what they had been talking about getting. They were really surprised that I understood them and tried talking to me in Spanish. I had to tell them my Spanish was limited so they tried teaching me a few new words while they finished their transaction. It was a nice time.
The City Of Detroit
I speak Dari, one of the two official language of Afghanistan. On a trip I overheard two Afghans. One was telling the other to be careful, Detroit was more dangerous than Kabul.
It Was Worth It
I was at a party a couple years ago and there were these two really good looking Asian girls. I started chatting one of them up and we seem to be having a good time. Anyways, the party keeps going and we split momentarily (I grabbed myself a beer and her friend came over to talk to her). I hear them speaking in Korean and the one I was talking to was explaining how she thought I was really cute. Her friend starts talking in Korean 'that's not a good idea. Don't go after him. He's not that good looking. He just wants to sleep with you. Blah blah blah' (the usual protecting your friends line, which I have no problems with minus the not good looking part). Now at this point, I'm OK with that and I just try to enjoy the party. However, later on I overhear the same girl again speaking in Korean how much of a lowlife I am and I'm a horrible person with some added vulgar swear words (remember, this person has never met me before today). She was basically describing me as if I was the enemy of all women, how I live in poverty, and trying to label me with as many negative things she could think of. Obviously the girl I was talking to is listening to her friend and is clearly no longer looking at me with interest. Before leaving the party I go over to them and I try asking for her number, which she politely refuses to. I turn to her friend and speak in perfect Korean 'Thanks so much for telling your friend about me. It was really nice getting to know you and I'm glad you know so much about me, even though we've never met before'. Look on her face was worth not getting laid.
The Turkish Jeweler
I speak Turkish. We visit Turkey every summer to see my family, but I don't look Turkish, so people are often shocked when they find out I can speak the language. Last year, I went to the markets. In most tourist-y places, the stallholders will try to sell things at a higher price to foreigners. So, I'm looking at some jewellery in this market and the two stallholders are chatting to a customer. They mention to the customer that everything is 10 lira. After that customer leaves, the stall holder looks at what I'm about to buy and tells me in broken English that its 20 lira. I nod, realizing whats going on and spend a few more minutes looking at everything before telling the stallholder in perfect Turkish 'you should really figure out whether someone knows the language before trying to scam them,' The look on her face was great. Things like that are way too common and I feel bad for the people that don't know whats happening.
Go Back Home To America
I'm Japanese and live in Japan, but I went to college and law school in the States so I'd like to think I speak fluent English. It's always pretty funny when foreigners realize I speak English because there are so many bilinguals in Tokyo that you'd think they'd learn by now. Anyways, I have two stories. First is when I was drinking in a pretty small town in Niigata prefecture. It's not known to get too many foreign visitors except in the winters when ski/snowboard season picks up, but this was in the spring so I was actually quite surprised when I walk in to an izakaya and a foreign couple is sitting at one of the tables. I was alone so they seat me at the counter and I order a couple of yakitori and a sake. As I was waiting I could hear the couple behind talking about how none of the things that came were what they ordered/expected and that its so difficult since none seemed to speak English. Now the Izakaya we were at was like a hole in the wall, no pictures and the menu was handwritten in Japanese so I could understand how difficult it would have been. Anyways, I come over and to their delight I translate the menu for them and help them with their order. I ended up sitting and drinking with them that night and still message each other on facebook! Second time isn't the same type of feel good story. Anyways, I'm in a small city outside the 23 ward which has a pretty prominent language school so there are a lot of foreigners in the area. I used to bartend when I was younger and one of my coworkers from that time had opened a small bbq restaurant in the area so I decided to stop by and congratulate him. There was a couple of American guys, probably in their early 20s just completely trashing this place saying its not authentic and that they did it better in Texas. So after I had finished talking with my ex-coworker I turn around and tell the two American men that if they wanted authentic bbq they should just go back home to America, no one is subjecting you to this restaurant.
The Secret Code
We did this but fortunately it wasn't mean! My husband is American born and raised but grew up speaking German with his family. He wanted our kids to be bilingual so speaks only German with them. My kids and I were at Chincoteague Island in Virginia where a lot of Amish people like to vacation. We were in line at an ice cream parlor behind a group of about 20 Amish, including 7-8 teen girls. My daughter is used to speaking German to me as if it's a secret code, and said, 'Look at what they're wearing, those dresses and bonnets. And look at their hair, so thick and shiny! They all look pretty.' The girls turned en masse and looked at her in surprise, which in turn surprised her, and I told her, 'They clearly understood everything you just said!' She looked embarrassed, then shrugged and answered that she didn't say anything she wouldn't have said to their faces. It was still a new experience for her.
I'm a white American. I speak Spanish almost fluently. So I used to work in retail at the local shopping mall, and I noticed this couple and their grown daughter shopping in my section. The parents didn't speak English and their daughter was acting as their interpreter in the store. So after a while of them being on my radar, I noticed that the daughter was gone, and from the way the parents were talking I gathered that she'd gone to the bathroom. The wife was looking at sweaters and couldn't decide between the green one or the white one, and the husband was ready to leave, but wanted to wait on the daughter to do the transaction at the cash register. He was looking pretty impatient, so I went over and told them (in Spanish) that I spoke Spanish and could help them if they needed it. I then helped the wife pick out her sweater, took them to the register, and conducted the entire transaction in Spanish. They were extremely grateful and really friendly people. The daughter finally returned and tried to apologize, but I told her everything was fine. They left and my manager came over and said she'd seen what I'd done, very surprised. I said, 'I told you I spoke Spanish when I was hired, did you not believe me?' And she said, 'No, I thought you were lying to get the job!' We laughed and I went back to folding sweaters.
I'm Brazilian, but extremely white and I do look like an american when travelling abroad. I speak Portuguese, english, Spanish and I can understand some french. The most memorable moment of understanding what people are saying when they believe you don't, happened to me in Portland (OR) when I lived there. With all that rain, I've became even more white, and I was wearing my Pittsburgh Steelers cap. There was these 2 Brazilian girls speaking Portuguese in front of me in a line of a Blazers game, and they were being extremely rude to everyone, saying that everyone in america was fat, ugly and full of themselves. So, one of them looked at me and said to the other one "bom, esse aqui no gordo nem feio, mas aposto que se acha com esse bon" (well, this one is not fat or ugly, but probably is full of himself with this cap), I just replied "obrigado pelos elogios, e cuidado com o que vocs falam" (thank you for your compliments, and watch what you're saying). They apologized and got out of the line.
Was walking with my Polish friend and all of a sudden we see this gorgeous girl walking through the hallway. I say to my friend, 'Wow, she's beautiful' in Polish to my friend and the girl turns around and responds with 'thank you' in Polish.
People With Disabilities Are People Too
I'm an American but my Dad and his family are from Switzerland so I've had to learn some languages other than English if I want to keep up with my grandparents and cousins conversations. I've got pretty poor with my French but good enough that I can still listen in on other people's conversations. But, I was never expecting to be able to use this skill or surprise anybody's secret conversation since I live in Texas. But lo and behold, one day I was out shopping with a couple friends - one who also speaks French and German. I'm disabled from an accident that deformed my left leg - it's pretty obvious and people do tend to stare but that doesn't mean I'm going to go around covered up in pants all the time. It's too damn hot here! At lunch we overheard a mom talking with her son at the table next to us. The boy was about 7 or 8 years old and was totally fixated on my leg and the leg brace I wear - just typical kid curiosity and I was probably one of the few disabled people he's seen. The little boy was asking his mom what happened, why that girl's leg all messed up, why does she have to wear that brace. The Mom then starts talking badly about Americans and tells the boy I probably lost it in the war while killing a bunch of helpless people. She then goes on about how Americans are unhealthy, dumb, and should stay out of other people's business. My friend had gotten up to go to the restroom and came back and just casually asked how the meal was - in French. I answered her back and the mom looked mortified as it dawned on her I had heard the whole conversation. I wasn't rude but I did take the opportunity to tell the boy - who was legitimately concerned. I explained that I was injured in an accident but I'd be okay. So, I got to surprise someone being a jerk and got to show a little boy that people with disabilities are just regular people, so win-win.
We aren't perfect. There's plenty of things in our pasts that we look back and cringe at.
That being said, sometimes those cringe moments go far past cringe. Sometimes they get to the point of no return awfulness because that's where our human nature took us in this moment.
He's Not Dead<p>When I was 17 my brother walked into a room where I was lying down on my back and stamped on my chest. </p><p>I saw red and stood up and punched him square in the face, unfortunately this was in a doorway in front of a staircase, which he fell down backwards and when he hit the wall at the bottom folded up in such a way I thought I'd killed him. </p><p>He didn't move for what seemed like forever and I was certain he was dead, the world just spinning out around me. </p><p>He wasn't dead, obviously, but knocked out briefly and he never laid a finger on me again, after being the kind of nasty bully who had spent much of my childhood just randomly beating on me for his own enjoyment.</p><p>Those were the longest seconds of my life.</p><p><a href="https://www.reddit.com/user/MrSpindles/" target="_blank">MrSpindles</a></p>
Complete And Total Taking Over<p>I don't know about "haunts" but it makes me cringe. In public school we had this thing in our school called 'Jumpstart for Kids' where you'd go around, often door to door, collecting money for this charity once a year. </p><p>Anyway I was 12 and I liked a boy in highschool and he convinced me to take the envelope and go door to door and collect money... to give to him so he could buy a drum set. </p><p>I walked around collecting from all these sweet people who told me I was so nice for collecting money for underprivileged kids. Fortunately I got caught and my parents made me donate it instead. So embarrassing.</p><p><a href="https://www.reddit.com/user/heather-rch/" target="_blank">heather-rch</a></p>
Scene Of The Crime<p>Provincial Park, pay shower, 12 years old, line-up to get in. Towards the end of my turn in the shower, get the urge to poop. Cannot hold it. Using a sock to smoosh the last of it down the drain, water turns off. Out of quarters. Put a towel over my head, run out of there past the line-up.</p><p> Get back to the camp site, immediately change clothes, shoes, hairstyle, put on a ball cap. Work up the courage to go by the area later on, it is all cordoned off. Hear people angrily discussing how someone took a dump in the shower.</p><p><a href="https://www.reddit.com/user/eskerhobolo/" target="_blank">eskerhobolo</a></p>
When Bullying A Bully Isn't Worth It<p>We had a camper in this large campground at a lake when I was growing up. Tons of families with kids riding bicycles and golf carts up and down the gravel roads through the property. </p><p>There was this one kid that was a few years older than me (I was 10, he was probably 12 or so) who's dad was the security guard and they lived on site and he was the biggest punk in the park. He'd try and wrestle you in the pool, throw rocks at you as you were fishing, ride off on your bike if you left it laying around, bully and hit smaller kids, even girls. </p><p>I was driving the golf cart down a pretty steep, gravel hill one day when I came up on him on his bike, going the same way as me. He never turned around to acknowledge I was there so I got up just to the side of him and turned HARD right into him. We were both going probably 10-15 miles an hour down this hill. </p><p>He took a nasty spill and rolled off the side of the road and wasn't moving. I kept on going, acting like nothing happened. We were completely isolated so no one saw me. I remember him getting taken away in an ambulance and hearing that he'd been hurt pretty bad.</p><p> I immediately felt remorse for what I'd done but never said a word to anyone. He or anyone else never had any idea I did it either. I look back now and think about how much of a financial strain I put on that family, seeing as how they were already living in a camper. That was a really REALLY evil thing I did and it still crosses my mind quite often.</p><p><a href="https://www.reddit.com/user/harp9r/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">harp9r</a></p>
Not Hurting<p>So you know the carnival horses you can sit on outside of grocery stores (back in the 90's). Well I wanted to ride one and this sweet old woman tried to help me get on, slipped, and really really hurt herself falling into the ride. I just remember hearing her scream and I got scared and ran away.<br></p><p>I'm 31 years old and think about that day at least once a week.</p><p><span></span><a href="https://www.reddit.com/user/packhawk2689/" target="_blank">packhawk2689</a></p>
Gotta Get Up, Gotta Get Out<p>Easy. When I was 5, I burned my house down.</p><p>We were living in a small home, me, my sister, mom, dad. I was supposed to be in the bed, but I wanted a toy or <em>something</em> that was under my bed, and I didn't want to wake my parents by turning on my light... soooo I grabbed my dad's cigarette lighter and light the flame under my bed. Needless to say it went up like a match. </p><p>My dad tried to stomp the fire out after I started screaming fire, burning his leg horribly. My room and the source of the fire was blocking EVERY other bedroom from escape, so everyone had to jump out of a window. Funnily enough, I don't remember the world-class a** whipping I must have received for that. I just cringe at the thought that I almost killed all of us being a dumb kid.</p><p><a href="https://www.reddit.com/user/Paradigm_Pizza/" target="_blank">Paradigm_Pizza</a></p>
Escape<p>I was married to an insanely abusive man. After two years I escaped and he killed himself shortly after. Not sure if it was him avoiding charges, or avoiding his deployment but his family decided it was 100% my fault. They told the police I gave him the gun and encouraged him. </p><p>That was investigated and unfounded. What they didn't know was he'd scanned and emailed me his suicide note the wee hours of the morning of. The police didn't find the note. Of course I handed it over when they asked. His family would not believe I wasn't involved or at fault and harassed me for a long time. </p><p>If I got a job and they found out about it they'd call and leave so many complaints I'd get let go. Found out what I drove and had their other kids and their friends follow me. </p><p>I ended up having to leave that town and disappearing to avoid them. But before I did, I printed a copy of his suicide note, found his moms car at her job, and left it on the window shield. That note detailed the abuse his father put him through, his rage at his mother for never leaving him and making himself and his siblings live with the SOB. </p><p>That he never wanted me to blame myself, that this was his way of getting the hell away from them and the damage he caused. I felt pretty bad for awhile. But at the same time.... they literally wouldn't leave me alone and stalked me for 5 years.</p><p><a href="https://www.reddit.com/user/TinyTinasRabidOtter/" target="_blank">TinyTinasRabidOtter</a></p>
If You Give A Pup A Shower<p>Bored in the house one day alone when I was about 10, so decided to give my dog a shower, I genuinely loved my dog, he was my best friend growing up, but for some unknown reason I decided to turn the shower onto hot water only (extremely hot) and started showering him. There was a delay I guess in him reacting because his fur was so thick, which meant I kept it on him for a few seconds.</p><p>suddenly He started yelping like dogs do when in pain, his instincts were to not be aggressive or try to escape but just looked at me scared and confused.</p><p>I panicked smashed on the cold and cooled him down as quick as I could.</p><p>Fortunately he was not 'burnt' or had any ongoing issues, he never even lost trust in me.</p><p>I felt physically sick and ashamed in myself for days after, and obviously it still bothers me 20 years later.</p><p>The good thing to come from it is that I was so disturbed by my action that I have never knowingly inflicted pain on anyone or anything since.</p><p><a href="https://www.reddit.com/user/ChrisLeeHD/" target="_blank">ChrisLeeHD</a></p>
Caught In The Act<p>I was at school and for no reason at all, I eavesdropped a very private and delicate conversation between one of my teachers and her husband. </p><p>Then she opened the door and saw me eavesdropping. It was beyond humiliating and I deserved the scolding afterwards. I was young and stupid obviously, but when I remember the look on her face, I still cringe hard, even if it's been almost 20 years.</p><p><a href="https://www.reddit.com/user/naydeilinsei/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">naydeilinsei</a></p>
Shunned<p>Second grade, I had a classmate (fake name Sasha) who was kinda awkward. Crooked teeth, quiet, not too bright. Didn't really have any friends within the class, though she did have some people she would hang out with at recess. </p><p>In any case, a boy in the grade above us, a friend of my brother's actually, for some reason decided to spread a rumor among all of us that Sasha had lice and to stay away from her. </p><p>I bought it without a second thought, and so did most of us; as far as I know, she wasn't particularly teased, but she was just shunned. No one talked to her. </p><p>She was around till the end of the year and didn't come back for third grade. No clue what happened to her, but I really hope we didn't mess her up too much.</p><p>Next summer, I got the worst case of head lice my pediatrician had ever seen. Karma, my dudes.</p><p><a href="https://www.reddit.com/user/Isabel79540/" target="_blank">Isabel79540</a></p>
I don't miss high school or the people in it. People who seem to have peaked in high school also weird me out. How? Why? I can definitely tell you that life got much more interesting the older I got (my 20s were way more fun than any of my time in high school). If you were to ask me if I have any regrets, I suppose I would say that I wish I had been more assertive and stood up for myself more. Depression has a way of complicating goals like that, though. Let me tell you: It feels nice to be so much healthier than I was then.
After Redditor Sub2735 asked the online community, "What's your biggest regret from high school?" people shared their stories.
"I'm sure the mentality..."<p>Being too shy, I'm sure the mentality that everyone hated me wasn't very good for making friends.</p><p><a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/lv5ytu/what_is_your_biggest_regret_from_high_school/gpad84o?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">aeflare</a></p>
"I'm not sure how it could have gone differently..."<p>Dropping out. I am not sure how it could have gone differently, but I do wish it had. It was expensive to upgrade all that education to get into post-secondary, and I also missed out on a lot of social things.</p><p><a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/lv5ytu/what_is_your_biggest_regret_from_high_school/gpafhng?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">DaughterEarth</a></p>
"I was already pretty cynical..."<p>I was told I had received a full-ride scholarship, so I stopped putting in any effort on other scholarships. When the time came, it wound up being awarded to someone who applied late, got it due to their family's income level, and then dropped out of college after one month. My first two years of college were a financial nightmare as I had to pay my own way on everything (except rent, as I lived at home and commuted across state lines for work and college). If I had $50 at the end of the month, that was a damn good month. I couldn't get student loans and my parents refused to help, so I had worked out a deal with the financial office at college to pay something like $550 a month, which was about 90% of my income.</p><p>I regret not confronting whoever made that decision about the scholarship. I somewhat regret not putting in the effort to get other scholarships at the same time, but I can't blame myself for it either.</p><p>I was already pretty cynical at that point, but that was when I realized just how quickly your back becomes a knife block for someone else's optics.</p><p><a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/lv5ytu/what_is_your_biggest_regret_from_high_school/gpalo5m?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">A_Garbage_Account</a></p>
"I used to daydream..."<p>I used to daydream about going back one day and burning it to the ground, but it's just been demolished by land developers. So I guess that dream's dead.</p><p><a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/lv5ytu/what_is_your_biggest_regret_from_high_school/gpafcpx?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">EducationTangle06</a></p>
I suppose the phrase, "Always follow your dreams"...<p>...doesn't apply in this case.</p>
"Acting like a clown..."<p>Acting like a clown, annoying everyone to the point where no one really stayed in contact with me after, and taking my precious little charter school for granted.</p><p><a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/lv5ytu/what_is_your_biggest_regret_from_high_school/gpae5ak?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">SalFunction12</a></p>
I have a friend who has expressed similar concerns about his time in high school.<p>He ended up spending his college years going to therapy and maturing. His clownish antics were a coping mechanism for a lot of crap going on in his life at the time. He's happier and healthier now and that's what matters.</p>
"To be fair..."<p><span>Dating my best friend. To be fair that's how I found out a lot of people weren't really my friends but getting ghosted afterward really hurt.</span></p><p><a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/lv5ytu/what_is_your_biggest_regret_from_high_school/gpasudw?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">kannacantplay</a></p>
"She got tired..."<p>I took my crush to Daft Punk Alive 2007 instead of my best friend. She wasn't responding all day, and I was with my friend. We were about to leave when she called. She'd been with her boyfriend all day and had forgotten about the concert. I took her. My buddy was disappointed but cool about it.</p><p>She got tired of being on the floor halfway through so we sat in the bleachers. We started walking out before the encore because she wanted to get home sooner.</p><p>Always wanted to take my buddy to a Daft Punk show after that, and was going to, no matter where or how much it cost. But I'll never get the chance.</p><p><a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/lv5ytu/what_is_your_biggest_regret_from_high_school/gpbd6so?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">spanishgrapelaw</a></p>
"Looking back now..."<p>I regret not telling my crushes how I felt about them. Looking back now, I know that those puppy love relationships probably wouldn't have developed into anything long term and I no doubt would've had my heart broken when they inevitably ended but, I can't help but wonder: What if?</p><p>Having cultivated a host of insecurities by the time I got to high school, I was really good at hiding my inner thoughts and feelings - I also probably didn't see myself very clearly. So, I just assumed that there was zero chance of my crushes reciprocating my feelings and never said anything to them about it. I also probably sub-consciously ignored any signs that they were interested in me (again, didn't see myself clearly, was very insecure).</p><p><a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/lv5ytu/what_is_your_biggest_regret_from_high_school/gpazwl2?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">Vegoceraptor</a></p>
"The world is wider..."<p>Not engaging with opportunities available to me and just looking at it like a holding pen just before adulthood.</p><p>It may seem hokey, but join clubs, try out lots of sports, pursue interests, pay attention in class and engage with your peers.</p><p>The world is wider for adolescents than I allowed myself to believe it was at the time.</p><p><a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/lv5ytu/what_is_your_biggest_regret_from_high_school/gpaxnsf?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">Big_Requirement_3540</a></p>
"I already knew I was quitting..."<p>Senior year I had the option of a guaranteed internship and doing half days at school. Turned it down because my parents wanted me to be in band (and I enjoyed it so didn't put up a fight).</p><p>I already knew I was quitting when I went to college. The internship would have been great experience to propel my studies/career.</p><p><a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/lv5ytu/what_is_your_biggest_regret_from_high_school/gpatszd?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">ClubbsMcLubbs</a></p>
High school isn't easy.<p>Nor is it particularly fun for a lot of people. Remember how awful being a teenager was? Remember what it was like to feel like you were at the whim of your hormones all the time? It's an emotional rollercoaster. It's no wonder so many people would rather close the book on high school once it's over (or have some regrets related to their time there).</p><p>Have your own stories? Feel free to share them in the comments below.</p>
When we are on the outside looking in, it can feel so obvious that a relationship is doomed.
When we offer advice to friends, family, or people oversharing at a party, the correct next move often seems wildly obvious: get out of that relationship.
Enough Was Enough<p>"He was mentally ill, possibly with Paranoid Personality Disorder, definitely delusional, maybe schizophrenic. I was accused of all types of things, affairs, being part of plots to 'get' him, even urinating on his toothbrush."</p><p>"I stayed for 3 years after I knew I no longer loved him because I knew he would spiral without someone to look after him. He had destroyed every relationship with his friends and family because they were all also out to 'get' him."</p><p>"I finally told him I would only stay if he got help, which he refused. So I left."</p><p>"I was right about him spiralling. He went from sharehouse to sharehouse as all the other tenants were 'out to get him'. He eventually ended up homeless for a while is now facing 18 different charges so will probably end up in jail."</p><p>-- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/lv3k1j/seriouspeople_who_have_stayed_with_someone_they/gpal6ip?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">damekl</a></p>
An Unfortunately Common Response to Fading Love<p>"She threatened to kill herself and even though I wanted out of the relationship, i didnt want her to be hurt or die. I remember us arguing about something very trivial but she was getting very upset. She walked out mid conversation and came back with cuts all over her legs and thighs."</p><p>"I tried getting help from parents, school counselors, doctors. None helped. So i just tried to manage as much as I can. Eventually she joined the military & moved away and that was the moment I was finally free."</p><p>"Years wasted though."</p><p>-- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/lv3k1j/seriouspeople_who_have_stayed_with_someone_they/gpab7fm?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">corazon_im_hurt</a></p>
A Bare Bones Story<p>"Short version: domestic violence."</p><p>"Long version: I was afraid to leave because I believed he would find me and kill me."</p><p>"Conclusion: He pushed me too far and I ran."</p><p>-- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/lv3k1j/seriouspeople_who_have_stayed_with_someone_they/gpaizjk?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">AliceMorgon</a></p>
Tipping Over the Edge<p>"He was a violent drug addict and I was scared of what he may do if I left. I never truly loved him but our relationship became very codependent very quickly."</p><p>"He cheated on me, took advantage of the fact that I had a car and money, but I still stayed because he was always threatening to kill himself or to kill my cats."</p><p>"Then one night he literally backed me into a corner and tried to punch me in the head so that finally made me open my eyes and realize I had to get out."</p><p>-- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/lv3k1j/seriouspeople_who_have_stayed_with_someone_they/gpb5z6l?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">Theging96666</a></p>
Optics<p>"She's terminally ill, and dying of Cancer, even though she is abusive now, and was before, I can't really leave, the social pressure to be a *good man* plus the cost of divorce and everything else is just too much, at this point it's just easier to wait it out."</p><p>"Plus I really like her family, and if I left her when she was sick...it would pretty much kill that relationship."</p><p>-- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/lv3k1j/seriouspeople_who_have_stayed_with_someone_they/gpbm18j?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">Boise_State_2020</a></p>
Always a Reason to Stay<p>"We were living together at 16, she cheated on me and I told her I wanted her to leave, she begged me not to send her back to her moms house because they have like 8 people in a 2 bedroom house and because she would've had nowhere else to go."</p><p>"I was 16 I didn't know how to handle a girl literally begging me so I let her stay against my better judgement and it created a hurtful cycle of falling in and out of love."</p><p>"Feeling like things could get better and then having my world come crashing down every time I look at her because I think of reading the message of the guy saying he loved watching her get on top of him."</p><p>"A couple of years go by and we're not in love, just tolerating each other at this point and then we got pregnant, stayed together through the pregnancy but the stress was too much for both of us and caused fighting, sleeping apart, more cheating."</p><p>"When the baby was born she had finally turned 18 and we moved away our relationship got much better with each other, we're best friends now and are just trying our best to raise our daughter to be healthy and happy and know she's loved."</p><p>"Neither of us had good childhoods."</p><p>-- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/lv3k1j/seriouspeople_who_have_stayed_with_someone_they/gpa47ed?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">Lapidot-Wav</a></p>
For the In-Laws<p>"I lived with a man I never loved. His mum was also living with us and I loved her more than my own biological mum."</p><p>"She was the nicest, kindest and the most caring soul I have ever met in my life. I left that man when he told me that he knew I was only with him because of his mum. That was 20 years ago but I still miss her every single day."</p><p>-- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/lv3k1j/seriouspeople_who_have_stayed_with_someone_they/gpbz7av?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">Mayfl21</a></p>
A Sudden Shift<p>"I was with my wife for 14 years. For at least half of that, I wasn't happy with the relationship. But I had decided I was ok with it because everything about our life together was acceptable, for lack of a better word."</p><p>"We owned a house, made good money, got along well, shared hobbies, etc. We were basically roommates/best friends who just didn't love each other the way you would normally expect from a married couple."</p><p>"When the pandemic hit, and we were forced to stay home more and spend time with each other EVERY DAY, we started to get a better sense of how well we actually tolerated each other. It didn't go well."</p><p>"She ended up getting really into online gaming and met some other guys and basically cheated on me. In retrospect, it was obvious it would reach that point."</p><p>"But I was content to stay there as long as I could because it was a comfortable life with very little stress and obligation."</p><p>-- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/lv3k1j/seriouspeople_who_have_stayed_with_someone_they/gpaadi2?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">knucklehead923</a></p>
Slow Fade<p>"I was no longer as 'in love' with her. But I still loved her. After years together it could become tricky to figure out exactly what It's just a lull and what is it really going away."</p><p>"I was still living with my best friend. But ended it because once we really realized that I wasn't feeling the same way anymore. I was just hurting her for me to stay since she was still in love."</p><p>-- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/lv3k1j/seriouspeople_who_have_stayed_with_someone_they/gpa6h2s?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">collin3000</a></p>
Wise, But a Little Sad<p>"We have good chemistry and built a life together. After a lot of years, love comes and goes. It is like the seasons."</p><p>"As cold as it can be in the winter, if you put the effort in, the spring will always come back."</p><p>-- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/lv3k1j/seriouspeople_who_have_stayed_with_someone_they/gpa41jl?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">Aizpunr</a></p>
Some people don't take breakups very well. And those that don't can sometimes engage in behavior that others might view as bothersome, unsettling, even toxic.
Others engage in abusive behavior during the relationship, a major red flag that some people might not take seriously until it's too late.
After Redditor XYZ3110 asked the online community, "What's the creepiest thing an ex has done?" people shared their stories.