We think we know the people in our lives, but it is hard to really know someone. Everyone has secrets, and sometimes learning those secrets can completely change the way we look at them.

Reddit user u/Tiffanie96xx asked:

"What single incident, completely changed your opinion on someone that you had know for years?"

Some responses edited for content, clarity, or profanity.

10. Bridesmaids

Happened recently actually. I'm getting married in less than 3 months and I was supposed to have a get together with my bridesmaids (4 life long friends and my older sister). My sister is a very unreliable, mildly selfish, drama-filled person. My friends are all reliable, amazing people that have been there for me my entire life. The get together (that was basically replacing my bridal shower since I wasn't going to have a shower) ended up consisting of my sister showing up on time and excited and one of my friends that showed up for the end of the event. The other three's excuses: 1 - "I don't feel good" (her Snapchat showed her out drinking hours later). 2 - "I decided not to come into town". 3 - "I woke up late and decided to hang out with my other friends".

I'm hard on myself so I feel a little petty...but this is my wedding. I haven't spoken to the other 3 since then because I can't bring myself to say anything to them other than how utterly disappointed I still am.


9. People Can Change

Just found out my mom’s about to get her three month chip from AA. I’d given up hope that she’d ever want to quit drinking about twenty years ago.


8. Brohunk

I had a friend who was a frat brohunk. You know the type: party hardy, slept with lots of women, athletic, huge male ego. Nice, though. Like the kind of loyal friend who would give you the shirt off his back if you were cold.

One say, he says he's found his true love, and gonna get married. I am dubious. He really marries her. Has a kid, too. A daughter. "Haha," I think. "God has a sense of humor." For years, I see this kid grow up. When she was about 5-6, she started hanging around our kid, who was the same age. I found her a liitle mousy and timid. She was kind of a static background for a bit. Like a "recurring character" in a sitcom.

One summer day, her parents asked if we'd watch her for two weeks while they took care of some family issues. Yeah, sure, bro. She's no trouble. I think she was 7 around this time.
A few days into staying with us, she gets sick. Some kind of stomach bug. Nothing big, but she is on the couch, mild fever, and a little scared. But the dogs kept her warm. My partner and I stayed with her in shifts. At one point, she gets up to throw up. She doesn't make it to the bathroom, and just throws up on the kitchen floor. You have kids, it happens.

So my spouse and I clean her up and make sure she's okay, and the kid is bawling. She keeps apologizing, and we're like, "it's okay. Really. You didnt mean to. The floor is washable vinyl. You have extra clothes. Vomiting is your body trying to get rid of the virus." She gets even more hysterical. "What's wrong?" my partner finally asks.

"Why are you so nice to me??"

"Uh... because you're sick and we like you. You know, decent human beings take care of one another."

She just lost it. "I wish you were my parents..."
My partner and I were stunned. During the rest of her stay, she just did this verbal dump on us about her home life. It was awful. I mean, not surprising, really, but the change was suddenly this kid bawling in our living room went from a background character to "holy sh*t, this is a real person. She really needs us."

From that day forward, we sort of adopted her. Her parents were grateful... sorta ... in their own way. They aren't bad people, but they probably shouldn't have had a kid. She stayed with us a lot, we took her to the school stuff her parents found boring, planned her birthdays, and made sure she got her shots, doctor visits, and the usual stuff.

Eventually she grew up to be a fine young woman. She's living on her own now, and my partner and I miss her as much as our own kid.


7. Not Good Enough

I had a friend throughout my entire childhood. We were in Boy Scouts together, church, school, everything. When I was 13 we moved all but next door from him, it was awesome. However, when we were turning 16, one of his family members died, leaving him about 4 grand, specifically for his first vehicle. To anyone else, that would have been a true gift.

To him, it was dog sh*t. I remember vividly him telling his dad (in front of me, who drove a used old Buick Regal) that he'd never be caught DEAD in a POS like the Dodge Neon his dad had all but bought for him. He demanded that money be a down payment on something much nicer.

So first day of senior year rolls around and he makes sure to buy the spot next to mine, driving a maybe 3 year old Acura TL. If that's not a kicker, as of today he's driving a brand new car his dad makes payments on....he's 27.


6. Nobody Messes With His People

I had a boss who was a notorious asshole. Like get-in-your-face and chew you out kind of asshole. He was loud and obnoxious and, honestly, frightening. Nothing was ever good enough. He'd nag you about every last detail. He was the senior partner for my particular practice group and, by far, the most intimidating person I'd ever come across. I dreaded coming to work to have to deal with his non-stop hostility.

After I'd worked for him for about a year, there was a firm wide party. One of the female associates in my group was sexually harassed by another partner of a different practice group. She went to HR and nothing happened.

My boss (the asshole) found out and discretely pressed her for details. He wasn't f*cking having that sh*t. He went on a rampage ending with the lecherous partner quietly leaving the firm. She told me that at one point he said, "Nobody f*cks with my people."

I started thinking about him differently and then noticed something else. My practice group (that he chose) was about half made up of people of color and women, while every other practice group was 90% white males.

My practice group got regular promotions and a real career track while other practice group worked like slaves to make the partner look good but never got anything for it. When someone on our team screwed up he would ream them out mercilessly when it was internal but in front of the client he claimed the mistake as his own. When someone on our team did well he never gave them praise directly but made damn sure they got the credit. Turns out he was an unbelievably surly asshole but a stand up guy and one of the best bosses I've ever had.

Edit:You guys seem to like John so here's a few more stories about the b*stard.

He would come after you about anything. He yelled at people for not sitting up straight when they were working. He once yelled at me because my socks were too "dramatic". But he could take it too. I remember being at a meeting where he was laying out his plan and theory of the case and one of the senior associates cut him off and said, "that's bullsh*t, John" and then offered his own take.

John sat there visibly fuming and then nodded and agreed and took off in a new direction incorporating the associate's points. I was still junior and remember thinking, "wait, we can do that?"

He would drill us on what seemed like stupid sh*t. Like when we dealt with clients we had to stand until he sat. We all had to put our briefcases down at the same time. Each person had to memorize their area. Not know it, memorize it. He would freak the hell out if you didn't know some fact off the top of your head. The result was that client meetings worked like a law firm version of the borg. No one ever said "um" or "we'll get back to you".

We were like a living encyclopedia that worked in perfect harmony and clients were both impressed and terrified. We had the same routine with opposing counsel which would bring some negotiations to an end in out favor before they could get the license plate of the machine that rolled over them.

One of my favorite memories was when I was a 4th year and we went to trial on a case that we'd been working on since I got there. It was the biggest case in our area of law in history. While discovery went on for 4 years, the trial was only 3 weeks so John wanted to nail it. He got a tailor to make all of our suits out of the same fabric. Combined with the borg thing, opposing counsel almost peed themselves on the first day. Watching him eviscerate witnesses was a genuine pleasure.
His scissors went missing one day. He stalked office to office bellowing, "did you take my f*cking scissors!" He even busted into a conference room where a negotiation was going on and accused them of taking his scissors. I still have those scissors.

Those of us who didn't quit in the first year or ask to be transferred were fiercely loyal to John. Other groups would talk sh*t about how he was a psycho and we didn't exactly defend him but made clear you don't talk about him like that around us.

At his funeral, there were those who described him as a "bulldog" and "tenacious" and "relentless". And then there were his former associates who all agreed they owed their entire career to the son of a bitch and, occasionally, wish we we were back being yelled at because we drank our coffee too loudly.


5. Gee, I Can't Imagine

"What does he have to be depressed about, he doesn't have a job, he doesn't do anything." Said to my mom by her sister while I was in a mental hospital. She relayed it to me later but I kinda wish she hadn't. Really made me question my relationship with my aunt.


4. That Escalated Quickly


My mom's got control issues. I didn't really realize something was off until I got to college and started seeing a therapist.

So I determined, with the help of therapy, to set and enforce reasonable boundaries. It didn't go well.

One time, my sister and I came to my parents' house from college to visit. We were going to leave Saturday evening, but she wanted my adult sister to stay until Sunday evening to clean her room... which was clean. But my parents predicted they'd be moving sometime that year, so that's the justification for forcing us to stay - mom wanted her to pack everything right there and then.

I told her we were going to leave anyway, and that we were both adults and could do that. She blew up on me. I didn't buckle, so she left, and then came back trying to physically harm me. I'm much stronger and faster, and she couldn't even land a punch. I was able to remain stationary and deflect every attempt to the side. When she realized she couldn't hurt me, she called the police.

"Please come quick, my son is attacking my daughter and I and I'm so afraid and I don't know what he'll do..." etc.

Well, knowing my mom was how she was, I had expected trouble from the initial blowup. She didn't know that I'd had my camera rolling in my pocket the whole time. The story she fed the police was obviously a lie from the audio. I told her as much while she was still on the line with dispatch. The look of shock on her face was priceless. She began screaming to dispatch then about how something must be wrong with me because I was so calm.

So yeah. I always knew I couldn't really trust my mom, but I never expected her to deliberately lie in a way that could have f*cked up a significant portion of my life or put me in jail. That definitely changed the way I looked at her.


3. Support Should Go Both Ways

Actually just happened this week. A good friend of mine is a graphic designer and I've always been very supportive of his projects and commissions. I always express excitement and give him props for the designs he creates.

I'm an artist, but I just like to paint and make music and do all sorts of little projects of my own. I've never done it for money, I've always just done it bc there's something inside me that feels a passion and a need to express and create. I've rarely sold anything, and a lot of things like my animations aren't really things I can sell. I just enjoy the process of creating. Anyways..

So I finished a painting last week and someone was showing a lot of interest in buying it. I asked my friend what I should ask for it. Instead of being supportive, he started degrading and belittling me. He laughed at the fact that someone wanted to buy it, and went on and on about how it's a rip off to ask 200$ for a painting that will just hang on a wall. "I would NEVER pay over 100 for that" he said. "At least with me I can ask for those prices bc they are for businesses and businesses make money and they need design work."

Instead of letting him hurt my feelings, I just felt bad for him. It was obvious that his words were coming from a place of unhappiness and insecurity. The need for him to compare himself to me and make himself feel bigger than me was obvious that it was coming from inside him and did not reflect on me. To be honest and not to boast, but it's one of my favorite paintings I've done and I'm very proud of my work. Until this week, I've only ever given my art away to friends and to people who show interest and show me that they really enjoy what I've created. I like to give things away when I'm feeling a good energy from someone. So to make money off of it was something foreign to me, but made me feel good.

I realized in that moment that he is actually pretty toxic for me. I started looking back on similar things he's done and how he's responded that way to many things I've done.

The music I've showed him, he just kind of chuckles at and dismisses. I made 5 songs that I sent to my friends just to see what they thought. All the the other people listened and responded well. I'm no Mozart, but it's fun to do and to share it with those close to me means a lot to me. He never once listened to them. And he let me know that he never listened to them. It just showed me that he is not a supportive friend and he is a very insecure person. Nothing against insecure people, we all have our insecurities, but when they manifest in negative ways then it's just toxic.

I mailed that painting yesterday for 300$. I'm very proud of myself and I'm really glad that the buyer is so happy with their purchase. I learned that my friend isn't really a friend and all the support has always been one sided. I'm getting older fast and my social life is shrinking so I now understand the importance of understanding who is actually bringing you up and who is only putting you down. It's all love though, just gonna keep a little distance for now. I hope he can find the inner happiness that he obviously is needing.


2. Surprisingly Cool, Mom

My mother was very LDS. On the 4th of July one year some friends and I took a bunch of mushrooms. My friends tripped out and called their girlfriends to pick them up. I called my dad since he was the more relaxed parent when it came to that. He told me that he couldn't help me and I'm gonna have to wait it out.

So I called my mom.. she picks me up furious, asking how drunk am I and I hit her with "Penny, Andy, and I ate a bunch of mushrooms." She instantly was in a better mood. Asking me if my friends were really with me or if I was just trippin. I asked if she would buy me cigarettes since I left all my stuff in my car.

She made me go into the gas station with her and I started to freak out. I yelled YOU CANT KEEP ME HERE and stormed out. As soon as I got fresh air I felt fine (as fine as I could lol).

My mom was in tears laughing so hard. She let me smoke in her car too. She said everyone should experience it. My mom was cool about it.


1. Dude, WTF?!

My best friend openly wondered why I became a "chubby chaser" in my forties.

I explained that she happened to be the only employee at the company dinner who remembered the waiter's name. Before I could explain the waiter rule to him, he cut me off with "Every pig remembers the name of the farmer who keeps their trough full."



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