People Divulge The Basic Skills They Assumed Everyone Had But Turns Out They Really Don't
Jason Leung on Unsplash

Many people complain about adulting because they weren't properly taught how to be responsible.

You, know, like paying the bills, filing for taxes, or just getting by on a day-to-day basis without relying on parents.

But people not knowing some very basic skills in life like, say, using a vacuum cleaner or operating a washing machine is on a whole other level.

Curious to hear about certain expectations, Redditor Gaelic_Gladiator_64 asked:

"What is a basic skill that you grew up thinking everyone had until you saw others do it so horribly?"

When dealing with people, it turns out some people are lacking in social graces.


"Being polite/having manners."

– Marcella111001

Getting A Point Across

"Explaining things. If I explain something and someone tells me they don't understand, I explain it again, but frame or phrase it differently."

"I will never understand why so many people think just saying the exact same words again in a more exasperated/condescending tone is at all effective."


Some people are clueless when looking at the various equipment in front of them.

Reading Instructions

"Following an instruction manual. I heard people say 'I don't know how to build an IKEA cupboard.' Neither do I, that's why they ship it with instructions."

– madInTheBox

How To Clean Dirty Clothes

"Using a washing machine and dryer."

– SamuraiJack815

The Neglected Step

"Laundry, especially emptying the dryer lint. So many places I’ve stayed had 'bad driers' that were packed full of lint! How these people did not start a fire is amazing."

– babybaloneyfriend

Being Self-Reliant

"So thankful for my dad, who grew up dirt-poor but had really made something of himself by the time I was in middle school."

"He ingrained in us that no matter how well we succeeded financially in life, we always needed to know how to do things ourselves, even if just not to get scammed by folks we’d hire to do things for us. As long as I’m physically able, I’d rather DIY just for the learning experience. Except major plumbing and electrical. I’m not that egotistical. Haha."

– ThatSpot0701

How To Clean The Floor


– ThatGuyWithThatFace_

"The best tip I can impart for mopping floors is to use two buckets. One with hot water and the other with hot water and cleaning product. Use the hot clean water to rinse the mop before drinking (dunking) it in the bucket with cleaning product."

"That way you can dump and refill the hot water as it gets filthy without losing cleaning product and without smearing the dirt back on the floor."

– arjo_reich

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Some people are seriously apprehensive about learning how to use certain electronic equipment.

Intimidating Equipment

"I had a friend who grew up with maids. He was 18 and gay and his family kicked him out. So he got this tiny little run down studio apartment in Los Feliz. He was super proud of it, and invited me to see it. He was using candles to light it when I got there (maybe to save money? Maybe to hide the blemishes?) and had left an ashtray on the floor, which I accidentally kicked and got (cold) ashes all over his carpet."

"He freaked the f'k out. 'What do I do? How am I going to clean that?!'”

“'With a vacuum?' I replied, confused as to why this was a mystery."

"He didn’t have one, so he went to ask the building manager if there was one he could borrow; which there was."

"He pulls this standard upright vacuum into the middle of the room and then stares at it. After a few seconds wondering what he was doing I asked 'do you not know how to use a vacuum?'”

“No, you have to understand, we always had maids, I never even made a bed before last week.”

"So I plug it in, turn it on, and take it a couple times back and forth across part of the carpet."

"Then like a child with the Fisher-Price popper vacuum he went to work. He was over the moon excited. 25 years later it’s a favorite memory of that person."

– moistpup


"It's still pretty amazing watching how some people use their phones and computers. Like you could give some leeway in the 90s and earlier, computers back then were fairly complicated for a lot of functions."

"But after 30+ years of design refinements to make them about as easy to use as possible, plenty of people, including younger people, interact with them as if they're afraid it will get mad at them personally if they mess up."

– iuytrefdgh436yujhe2

When Everything Is Available At Your Fingertips

"Being able and willing to figure stuff out. A lot of basic skills aren't that complicated. And in this day, if it is complicated, the internet almost certainly has dozens, hundreds, or more, tutorials."

"Quitting because 'I don't know how' should not be the answer. I wish more were taught to figure things out, or seek the help/answers to get it done."

– naphomci

When it comes to hygiene, some people just stink.

Getting The Stank Eye

"This is a big problem."

"My parents didn't teach me good hygiene. I stank all the time and it's not something people will tell you about. They will complain to people around you."

"My wife taught me better hygiene and it has changed my life. I'm doing much better professionally and random strangers are no longer mean to me seemingly for no reason."

"I wish there was a good resource I could refer my stinky friends to so they could learn about it."


The Talk With The Manager

"A new woman had started at our company. She stank, and her manager found out when co-workers were doing the middle school mean girl sh*t to her."

"Manager stepped in and took the woman aside to discuss. Turns out that this woman's parents told her never to wash her vagina but failed to explain that she still needed to wash the vulva and area around there."

"She also put a stop to the gossip and whispering. One of the best managers I ever worked with."

– SJExit4

A Rejected Solution

"When I was in management, we had a lady that smelled horrifically like dirty crotch. I spoke to a few others in management and another woman there who was friends with the stinky lady, we got together and figured out she had no way of washing her clothes. So we got together and not only got her a washer and dryer, but picked it up for her and delivered it."

"She still refused to use it because she was, she admitted, too lazy to do so. Everyone was pissed."

– jenguinaf

How To Address The Problem

"As a co-worker and as a 'lead' i've let people know they have an odor and other coworkers have mentioned it. Both thanked me."

"There were reasons for them smelling and I'm just gonna say this; Don't talk about people behind their backs. Have the decency to sit down with them and say, 'Hey, i know no one wants to hear this, but I'd rather you be a little upset with me for saying it than for me to keep my mouth shut.' Say something to that tune and they won't be AS defensive. Cuz yeah, no one wants to be told they stink."

– CaRiSsA504

Result Of Bad Parenting

"As a foster parent, it doesn't surprise me at all. Poor hygeine is so common with the children we host. Bad parenting is never teaching your child to do basic things like washing, wiping your butt, brushing your teeth, or even just using soap in the shower. That kind of teaching requires some basic level of parents caring about their kids and taking some 5-10 minutes to just talk to their kids."

"There are so many bad parents out there, and that is so unfortunate."

– Nix-geek

I know there are some people who don't understand how to use Google maps. That just boggles my mind.

"How do you get there?" "Where is it?" "What train gets me there?" are all questions I've gotten from time to time when planning to meet up with them.

Seriously, go to any app that involves the use of a map, and a path opens up like magic.

I don't know if it's laziness to avoid relying on an app when they can get a verbal answer or if they are so intimidated by technology.

It's time to learn, because it's never too late.

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