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People Who Have Confronted Their Parents About Toxic Behavior Explain What Happened

When the children of toxic parents grow into capable adults, parental control gives way to a new friction. The kid, fully grown, presents a sudden equal force, one with opinions and words and a mouth.

That confrontation, where a child finally speaks up after dealing with a toxic parent for so many months or years, can produce a variety of results.

Successfully reforming a parent's approach over the course of an argument is nearly impossible. But it has been known to happen, and a Reddit thread gives some evidence.

Generally, though, things go POORLY.

A flaw or criticism, even when presented lovingly, is hard to hear about. And that difficulty ramps up when the person delivering the criticism is your own flesh and blood, the very person you raised.

So, most confrontations take the form of a whole constellation of emotions. Anger, denial, blame, and irrelevant counter-criticisms are all common approaches.

i- wanna-see-it-all asked, "People who have confronted their parents about their toxic behavior, how did it go?"

Never Too Old to Gaslight

"Either 'that didn't happen, you're making it up' or 'that didn't happen that way, you're remembering it wrong.' I'm still relearning to trust my own memory because I spent thirty years being constantly gaslighted."

"Now I just go to therapy and keep conversations with my parents nice and light and surface-y. Saves a lot of trouble."

-- seriouslaser

One and Done

"My father had, over the years, developed an 'I call, you come to where I am' set of mind. I was at my parent's house for the weekend from college. I was a senior, and was close to graduating. I had worked hard. My parents weren't able to contribute to higher education."

"I was in the house talking with my mother, and I hear him whistling for me to come to him. I continued my conversation with my mother."

"He whistled again. My mother advised me to go see what he wanted. I told her it wasn't going to hurt him to wait or come in here if he really wants me, and we continued our previous conversation."

"He came stomping into the house, and demanding to know if I heard him. I told him I did. He asked why didn't I come then. I asked him if he expected me to come to him like a dog whenever whistled."

"From the look on his face, I don't think it had ever crossed his mind that he was treating me that way. It was something he never did again."

-- spamgolem

A Trickle Down Theory of Trauma 

"My brother and I sat down with our dad with our grandfather as a mediator to explain the effects of his verbal and emotional abuse through the years. I cried the whole time as I explained that I had almost killed myself earlier that week by driving off a bridge because I couldn't take it."

"His response? 'Well, my father beat me. So really, you're getting the better end of it. It could be soooo much worse. This is just how it goes. You guys are going to do the same thing to your kids too, and they might be the ones to break the cycle, but there's nothing you can do about it.' "

"My brother and I said f*** that and immediately jumped into counseling and dismissed him as a father figure and sought new men we could trust."

-- otterchan

Grasping at Straws

"Just as unsatisfying as you'd expect."

"Cried. Played the victim. Made excuses. The apologized. A week later pretended nothing happened & went off on me for not forgetting everything when she apologized."

"She's very mentally ill."

-- kendiesel937

Varying Degrees of Success

"My mother wasn't really toxic but emotionally distant. When I had a heart to heart with her, she hugged me and we cried together. Our relationship has greatly improved."

"My dad is super toxic. When I tried to have a serious talk with him about the damage he's done he was adamant that he did nothing wrong. He even laughed when I told him that I was suicidal in the past because of him."

-- SomeVelvetSundown

“The Fear Killer of My Life”

"Bio Father: scared the holy sh** out of me most of my life. The day I called him on his abusive, drug addicted, alcohol dependent ways and was able to look him dead in the eye with a 'F***. You' was the most liberating, fear killer of my life."

"Mom, she's struggled with her own mental illnesses most of her life. Those eventually got projected on to me. Morality doesn't come from stone half-a**ed religious belief. Self-medication isn't a healthy coping mechanism. I stood my ground, explained how she was being a goddamned a**hole, and ever since we've been on great terms."

-- TheRevSev

Layers of Toxic

"It's never gone well. Alcoholism is terrifying to confront." -- CantHandleFacts

"It is. They almost always get violent." -- dontniceguyatme

An Established Theme

"They'd rather gaslight their own child than own up to anything." -- RoadFlowerVIP

"I just did. I was screamed at, I'm pretty sure gaslighted? Said I was being dramatic and stupid, immature. Lazy (severely depressed) and snippy (extreme anxiety and ptsd because of said parents) It hasn't been a good day." -- youraverageslytherin

The Brick Wall Kind of Confrontation

"Got angry, swore at me, cursed my existence, the usual toxic parent stuff." -- GarunixReborn

"Well, I haven't talked to my dad in over 3 years, so I'd say it went alright." -- puffmonkey92

"Well, I haven't spoken to my mother in damn near 10 years." -- Satanicbuttmechanic

The Twilight Zone of Arguments

"Horribly. I've tried multiple times and it only results in circulate conversations where it's all turned around on me and I'm left feeling like I'm crazy."

"We'll go from me saying I feel x when you do x and then I'm being told I'm lying about example x because I told a lie 18 years ago."

"The topic changes a thousand times, we wind up yelling at each other, and then my parent will suddenly pretend to understand after all, I'll hear all about how loved I am, then after I leave I realize there was no apology and no resolution to what happened at all."

-- 69schrutebucks

If you or someone you know is struggling, you can contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

To find help outside the United States, the International Association for Suicide Prevention has resources available at

That's One Way to Take It

"He moved to a bunker up north and keeps trying to convince me that we're living in the end times." -- waitforaberrymuffin

"Oh, glad it's nothing too crazy then." -- i-wanna-see-it-all

Toxicity In Multiple Directions

"My mom. She went to rehab got kicked out after a few days for harassing other patients, came home harassed me and then took off. Have blocked her out of my life since."

-- [deleted]

A Disproportionate Response

"Not great. When my dad picked a fight with me over the fact that I moved out (wtf) I told him the reason I moved out of the house was because of his toxic behavior."

"Dad flipped his sh**, said I was an ungrateful selfish spoiled brat with a personality disorder and that I was brain controlling my mother and sister. He was literally screaming and frothing at the mouth. It was terrifying."

"All because an 18 year old with a full time job decided to move out. Yeesh."

"On the plus side, Mom started to realize just how awful he was. They've since divorced and now none of us talk to him aside from occasional holiday cards. It's a huge improvement!"

-- Moldy_slug

Finally Some Good News

"It went better than expected. My mom had a moment of self-realization and had never realized the effect she had on me. She apologized and has since changed her behavior."

-- Cheyenne5555

When the Eight Year Old is More Mature

"My dad was throwing a fit because I called his behaviour nonsense. He didn't let go and was sulking all day. I got tired of his BS and said sorry. I was 8." -- Gmax100

"My dad is just like that; entitled, always takes anger out on whoever the Hell it is closest to him, always plays the victim, etc. We mostly get along well, and always bond over video games, movies, etc., but I'm thankful him & my mother broke up when I was born; there's no way I could handle living with him." -- EloquentScumbag69

Utterly Deflating

"They thought I was joking." -- bbthatguy

"I was honest with them as a teenager. They just laughed at me." -- blizzaga1988

"Same." -- sydude_365

Brutal Honesty

"When I was trying to find a job as a teen, I was chubby. And very unhappy about it."

"My dad used to ask me what jobs I applied to, how much it paid, etc. And then one day he told me, 'When you hand in your application, tell them it may not look like you work hard, but you really do.' "

"I was so crushed, that my dad had such a low opinion of me. I tried to tell him how that made me feel, but he just laughed it off. That was a long time ago and we're still not close. For that comment and many other reasons."

-- whocares023

Hard Work After the Confrontation

"Back when I was around 12 or 13 my mom uses to be in a horrible mood and scream at us for little to no reason. This mostly was caused by stress. I would sometimes wake up with anxiety attacks and nightmares of her."

"Sometimes she got physical about it but usually it was just the "u are a disappointment" etc. At some point I just got so tired of it that I just snapped. We got into a big fight, didn't talk for a few weeks."

"After my father realized what was going on he decided to contact a therapist. We now (22 currently) are fine and have decent relation."

-- UnclesPoopsock

People Break Down The First Thing They Do When Entering A Hotel Room

Reddit user BlundeRuss asked: 'What’s the first thing you do when you get into a hotel room?'

red throw pillow on white couch
Photo by reisetopia on Unsplash

My family went on a lot trips when I was young, and we always stayed in hotel rooms. Around the time my brother and I were old enough to stay in a room by ourselves (our parents would stay in another one, usually across the hall), he also became a bit of a germaphobe.

At the time, I actually believed hotels changed the sheets on the beds daily, so when my brother fretted about the cleanliness of the hotels, I reassured him they were fine. He believed me at first, since I was his big sister, but by the time he was 12, he got suspicious.

During one of our trips, he decided to test this by making a mark on his pillow cover with a pen and turning the pillow cover inside out before we left for sightseeing the next morning. When we returned, he turned the pillow cover back, and his mark was still there, proving that the sheets hadn't been changed. He only had to do this one more time, during our next trip, for me to realize this wasn't a one-off.

Ever since, and even now in adulthood, my brother and I always intentionally spill something on our sheets during our first night in order to get clean sheets, at least for the duration of our stay. This, in fact, is the first thing we do.

I'm not the only person who does something a bit quirky like this when they first enter a hotel rooms. Plenty or Redditors have stories about this and are ready to share.

It all started when Redditor BlundeRuss asked:

"What’s the first thing you do when you get into a hotel room?"

​Preparing For Sights

"Go to the balcony to see if it's going to be public nudity or private nudity during my morning coffee."

– hoffarmy

"I love that this doesn’t change your plans, just prepares your mind. Excellence."

– sewahyelah

Show Me The Truth

"Put my bags up on something and check the mattress. I also bought a UV flashlight but after using it at home I’ve decided that bringing it to a hotel would be unnecessary torture. Nothing is clean when you shine the thing on it. And I mean nothing."

– Fatguy73

Temperature Check

"One of my close friends travels a ton for business. She also loves to sleep in a f**king ice box."

"She has found some resource for how to basically jailbreak hotel thermostats. Each hotel thermostat has a specific key sequence that unlocks the lower temps that the hotel normally doesn’t allow guests to set because, you know, money."

– Sp4ceh0rse

"I do this in every hotel."

– jubilee__

Sweet Relief

"Set bags down."

"Look at room for cleanliness."

"Take a dump."

– PuzzledCitron8728

"I showed up early to a hotel after 12 hours straight of driving. Took forever for them to get me in the room (really it was probably only 30 minutes and they were super accommodating)."

"Anyways, I had been feeling the tyrannical gouging of a sh*t demon trying to claw it's way out for about half an hour beforehand. I ran down the hall, opened the door, threw my bag at something, and was kinda hovering over the toilet just in time. Hadn't put cheek to rim yet and my darling baby began his exit."

"It wasn't until after I looked up that I realized neither door was the self-closing kind and you could see all the way in from the hallway."

– coreylahe

"You’ve unlocked a childhood memory. I stayed in a lot of hotels while growing up and I saw someone in your position once, trail of belongings leading to the toilet. So I went and shut the door for him."

– scarfknitter

Disney Magic

"Find the bible and flip through it. When my sister and I were kids, we went to Disney, and I think she asked why is there always a bible in the drawer, waved it by the spine and 20 bucks fell out. So I always check now."

– TyWiggly

"I found $100 that way. 5 crisp 20's,. I was pretty broke at the time too."

– weisblattsnut

Always Check

"First, I look at the area between the mattress and headboard for any signs of bed bugs, then under the sheets. I’ve never encountered them, but I’ve heard so many horror stories that I’m paranoid about them."

– triceraquake

"As someone who worked in hotels, I always double check the door locks and then inspect for bed bugs."

– Chatterbxer


"Look for cameras. I'm a paranoid f**k."

– Gubble_Buppie

"If anyone wants to see an overweight guy in his mid-40s eat pringles in his underwear while reading Stephen King novels, then they have my flabby white blessing."

– oppernaR

"They sell surprisingly easy to use scanners on Amazon. I found a camera in an air bb bedroom alarm clock, threw a towel over it and got the whole stay for free. Some will detect signals but the best way is there’s a looking glass that’s red and it emits a light and you turn off all the lights and look around the room. Any active camera will shine like a cats eyes when you skim over it."

– Vacation_Kinkycouple

The Things We Find

"I check in odd places to see if anyone stashed drugs or money. You would be surprised at all the sh*t I’ve found over the years!"

– Deathbot-420

"We found an axe under the bed once."

– Punkstarbabe


"Yank the comforter off the bed and throw it in the corner. they rarely wash those things."

– whatever32657

"I discovered this recently while calling home to say good night to everyone. Dried food stuck to the comforter. Threw that bad boy off the bed."

– DuchessofSquee

"I cleaned an air BnB for a little while and I was so disturbed when they told me they didn't wash the comforter because hotels don't.... Like I guess I get it because they're heavy and they're trying to save water on the washes but yuck dude... Cleaning that air Bnb made me NEVER want to book one because of the sh*t the owners wouldn't LET me clean... I don't think I'd ever survive as a maid for a hotel, I could never travel again lol."

– ModestMeeshka

It's A Process

"Make a condom for the TV remote control. Take the ice bag from the ice bucket and put the remote in it. Now I never have to touch the remote."

– dontknowafunnyname2

"I'm sure disinfectant wipes could do the job."

– Pheobe0228

Check For Monsters...People Monsters

"Make sure no one is hiding under the bed or in the bathroom 😂😅"

– HeadInTheClouds916

"I travel a lot for work…and I’m shocked no one else mentioned this. First I check the closet, under the bed, the bathroom for a hiding serial killer…then check the mattress for bedbugs…"

– pdxmikaela

Today I Learned

"Check for cleanliness and then take pictures Traffickcam."

"Traffickcam is an app where you take specific pictures of your room and then upload them to their database. They use these pictures to check on the location of human trafficking victims."

– slappymasterson

"Take a picture of the room and post it on the Trafickcam app so if the room or similar has been used by human traffickers maybe it will help find someone."

– CatsInTrenchCoat

And thanks to those last two stories, I'm a little scared to stay in another hotel.

Two young girls walk away with their arms around one another
Photo by Andrea Tummons

Small acts of kindness that only a few know about can change the world.

You never know.

One smile can change one person's day.

And that person could carry it on.

So doing it ourselves may be the only answer.Redditor sashayingthru wanted to discuss the ways we know the world is still good, so they asked:

"What small act of kindness were you once shown that you will never forget?"

As someone who has waited on many tables, just tip properly.

You'll go to Heaven.


Robin Williams Dancing GIF by 20th Century Fox Home EntertainmentGiphy

"I once walked to a store to buy bags for my vacuum cleaner and I forgot to take my wallet. The shop owner gave me the bags, shook my hand, and told me to bring him to money tomorrow. He put his trust in a total stranger to do the right thing and I did."


In the Rain

"A man in a full business suit with a briefcase handed me an umbrella in a torrential rain storm and wouldn't take no for an answer. I still had to walk through Times Square to get to the train and I'm sure he got soaked going wherever he was going. A couple of weeks later, I gave the umbrella to a lost girl in my neighborhood when it started to rain and she didn't have one. Felt like the universe wanted it to happen."

"I'll never forget that man though."


Leggo my Lego

"When I was maybe 4 or 5 years old, I made friends with another kid in an airport, and he was playing with a couple glued glued-together Lego cars. Me and that kid played for like an hour with those things and when it was time to go our separate ways and board the plane, the kid insisted I keep one of the cars, and while I insisted he should keep them, he said it was proof that we were friends, and to this day roughly 20 years later, I still have that car packed up with my childhood mementos box."

"That friend of mine was a good kid. Hope he’s doin' well."


Don't Cry Tammy

"My husband and I were sitting on our porch holding hands and crying, just feeling overwhelmed because we were waiting to find out whether or not my tumor was cancerous. Our neighbor saw it when he was coming home. About half an hour later he came over with some freshly baked cookies. He didn't even say anything, just smiled, handed them to us, and then went back home."

"Just thinking about that moment has me crying again. From his kindness, not the fear. Tammy the Ti**y Tumor turned out benign!"



Fail Will Ferrell GIF by Paramount PicturesGiphy

"I literally coasted into a gas station out of gas on my motorcycle, then realized I didn't have my wallet. Some lady saw me patting all my pockets and I was upset and offered to fill up my tank. I only let her put $5 in, which on a bike is a lot. But it meant so much to me."


Give people gas as often as possible..

Pay it forward.


happy silent film GIF by Charlie ChaplinGiphy

"My realtor took less commission so that I could get my dream home. It was a rare find in a great neighborhood."


Egged Away

"Years ago my car got egged real badly overnight while parked on the driveway of our duplex. We had to go somewhere the next morning so took the wife’s car. Came back hours later and my car was shining like new on the driveway. The neighbor whose name I didn’t even know at that point had washed it for me while we were away."


Are those still a thing?

"I was in maybe 4th grade and my parents just had my younger sister, so newborn focused. I went to my school lunch, opened my paper bag (are those still a thing?), and unwrapped the foil holding my sandwich. There was nothing inside. It was actually just 2 slices of dry white slice bread and I was sad."

"Literally, my table mates all chipped in various components and made me the most amazing ham and cheese sandwich I’ve ever had. I’ve been chasing that dragon of ham sandwich since but I’m sure it was the response and not the ingredients that I loved."


Thanks guys...

"19 years old, first apartment, first winter, first winter utility bill. I smiled and told my coworker I'd just pay it, skip lunch, and eat cheap Mac and cheese for dinner. It'll be ok. All that month co-workers accidentally got extra chips from the vending machine. A wife packed an extra sandwich. A box of my favorite crackers would be on my desk when I came in. It was still hard but I didn't starve. Thanks, you guys."


Just Tears

Big Brother Omg GIF by Global TVGiphy

"I was on the subway, sitting there crying because I had just ended a relationship. I wasn't making any noise, just tears, but the guy sitting next to me gave me some tissues. I'll never forget that."


Some of the best people ride the subway.

Everyone has tissues.

Creey forest at night
Adrian Infernus/Unsplash

People love horror films because they know the terror depicted on the big screen is pure Hollywood magic and completely fake.

But when it comes to true-life terrors, even the most dedicated horror film aficionados can be left trembling in their boots.

Curious to hear some of the most absolutely hair-raising events from strangers online, Redditor Ok-Bid-1179 asked:

"What’s the scariest 100% true story you’ve heard of?"

These real-life stories may keep you up at night.

Befriending A Murderer

"My uncle was in a bar one night and started talking to this random guy. He described him as 'a really nice guy.'"

"He met him a few other times in the same bar. They drank and talked about random stuff. Soon after, my uncle stopped seeing the guy at the bar."

"Idk how long after, but my uncle got notified that he had jury duty. He showed up and found out what it was for. A serial killer and the killer was his friend from the bar. Derrick Todd Lee."

"My uncle was promptly dismissed from jury duty for obvious reasons."

– I_am_dean

People had sinister stories related to jobs.

Late Night Shift Employee

"I work midnight shift at a gas station and I have for quite awhile at various stations in different areas with varying levels of criminal activity."

"I have regulars, of course. I’m a small-statured woman (as is my partner the other half of the week, and we’ve always been partners) so these regulars often worry about us and keep watch on creepy occurrences when they can."

"I had one man who worked in the metro an hour away who would stop in every morning for his cigarettes. He never smiled or seemed friendly, and as I often do, I tried to think of what I could do that might make him smile one day."

"It took many months but I finally pulled it off by having his cigarettes ready on the counter and already scanned for him to pay for as he walked in. He smiled, and then asked me"

“Do you ever get scared on the night shift? You small girl, is not safe.”

"I said I sometimes did but we could lock the doors and hide if we had to, and that the provincial police (think state troopers, if you’re American) had a station close by and came in often to get their highway vehicles washed. I had a good rapport with those police. He nodded and then told me a story about when he first moved to our country from Eastern Europe with his wife and child back in the late 80’s, early 90’s."

"He fell asleep at work one night at the gas station he worked midnights at. When he woke up, the phone had been ringing for hours and his manager was shaking him violently asking if he was alright. He was fine, he said, what was the problem? He was sorry he fell asleep."

"His manager screamed that it was fine he fell asleep, to look outside. All of their motor oil was missing and the outside of the place was a mess."

"The thieves had come and swiped all the oil and left him be because he slept through the entire thing, and then moved down the road to the next station for an encore. At that station, the clerk was awake and fought back, so the thieves stabbed him to death and left him to bleed out."

"When he finished telling me this, he concluded with."

“If you ever feel sleepy just lock the door and do it, it might save your life”

"I don’t work at that station anymore but I think about that guy all the time and wonder how his grandkids are."

"Here is a link to an article talking about how that poor other clerk’s killers were finally found 25 years later:"

– IgnorethisIamstupid


"There was an incident in Trinidad where some maintenance divers were removing a plug from an oil pipeline and were instantly sucked into it. One was able to escape but the other 4 were trapped for days in a small, oil coated pipe for days with only a small air pocket to breathe in before they died. Thinking about it in detail and imagining what it must have been like for them makes me extremely uncomfortable."

– superficial_user

There's no creepier place than being in the woods. Especially when these sorts of encounters happen.

The Wrong Friends

"When I was 17 I was hanging out with 2 friends and they wanted to go smoke in the woods. I didn't feel like it so I drove them and waited in the car."

"After a while I was getting bored and decided to go meet them but there were 4 paths going off in different directions so I just took the biggest one. After walking for a few minutes in the pitch black forest (before flashlights on phones), I come across this dip in the trail and on the other side is a bench lightly visible due to the moonlight."

"On the the bench is sitting a man and another one in standing in front of him but I can only make out silhouettes. Being sure these are my friends I yell out to them before walking over. If you ever walked the woods at night it's just an uneasy feeling all around so I was cautious to begin with."

"Well it turns out, juste after yelling out to my 'friends,' both silouhettes turn around towards me. Not a word, not a sound, the guy sitting down starts sprinting FULL F'KING SPEED towards me in complete silence. I got the absolute f'k out of there sprinting also the other way and tripping over sh*t because I couldn't see anything."

"I finally get out and lock myself in my car, but I was really worried for my friends. Maybe a minute later I see them both coming out of a completely different path, they also confirmed they never saw me or anyone else. My heart still sinks just thinking about that dude sprinting in silence wtf was that sh*t."

– NoFutureGuy

The Homeless Camp

"Weird....I have a similar story!"

"Years ago I remember sneaking out of my friends house at night to really do nothing but walk around the neighborhood and hide from car headlights. We were young and bored. There was a 'homeless' camp that was down in some woods off the railroad tracks not too far from his house. We had seen the trail and knew what was back there."

"One of the homeless guys that lived there was actually an old friend of my buddies Dad, and he had stopped over a few times and my friends Dad let him shower there and everything. He could have worked if he wanted, but legit told us he just liked living 'off the grid'. Just wanted to give you some backstory on the reason why we thought it would be cool and 'safe' to go check it out at night."

"We were a bit nervous at first thinking what if we get there and his Dads friend isn't we were sneaking up on it. It was a longer walk than we thought. We got kind of close and saw there was a fire going lighting up the woods a bit."

"We start sneaking closer but the trail seemed to continue straight, while the camp set off the trail to the left. We got idk maybe 100 feet from the camp (about 30 meters) and we looked down the trail and saw a faint silhouette of what we thought was a person. The silhouette looked like it was coming from deeper in the woods towards the camp. We froze and ducked slightly to the side of the trail."

"I told my friend that I didn't like it, and we should just sneak the hell out. He said he had the same feeling. As I said, the fire at the camp was just enough to light the area well enough to see. We end up slowly creeping slightly off the trail back to the railroad tracks. We get probably 30-40 or so feet (9-12 meters) and I told him I would rather just hit the trail and just slowly walk back because the bushes and trees and everything were hard to navigate and I would rather be able to see something coming so we could book it out. We played football and were both pretty fast."

"We slide out of the brush and see the silhouette has gotten closer, however moving further from the fire, the light was dimmer, but we could still make out someone or something was standing there moving closer. My first thought was that maybe they saw us duck into the bushes and were coming to check, but it just felt off. My friend and I looked at each other and both mutually and silently decided to pick up the pace. Almost on que, we both looked back and the silhouette was now BOOKING IT TOWARDS US ABSOULTELY SILENT. No noise, just fast movement. We high tail it as fast as we can."

Thankfully, the trail was wide so we weren't bumping into each other or anything. Neither of us looked back until we hit the railroad tracks, then hit the railroad track bridge and were on the other side. I looked back as I was slowing down, past the bridge and didn't see anyone. We got back to his house pretty fast and luckily that was the end of it."

– ZekeMoss18

Life is full of many creepy mysteries.

It's no wonder many films are based on actual events.

The ones that terrify me the most are the home invasion movies like The Strangers.

It may have been Hollywood that dramatized events depicted in the film, but there's no doubt such horrific events that have happened in real life are enough to keep us up at night and on high alert.

fraud themed artwork
@bastardbot/Jon Tyson on Unsplash

Cognitive dissonance is when one learns new information that challenges a deeply held belief that seems to undercut a favorable self-image, that person may feel motivated to somehow resolve the negative feeling that results—to restore cognitive consonance—by ignoring the challenging source.

This isn't the only response to cognitive dissonance, but it's the one most people are familiar with.

This behavior explains people believing something—or following a leader—despite all the contradictory facts. Outsiders look at the situation and are amazed that their adherents can't see the absurdity of the fraud.

But it's a common occurrence.

Just spend some time watching documentaries about cults and you'll see all the proof you need.

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