Top Stories

People Break Down The Cruelest Thing A Family Member Has Ever Said To Them

People Break Down The Cruelest Thing A Family Member Has Ever Said To Them
Oberholster Venita from Pixabay

In a perfect world, family has your back harder than anyone else.

In the real world, it can sometimes be your family that cuts deeper than anyone else. Intentional or not, the people closest to you have the ability to seriously super suck.

No, you're not the only one who has dealt with a mom who just, for the life of themselves, can't NOT be critical. Or a dad who just always seemed chronically underwhelmed by you.

One Reddit user asked:

What is the most cruel thing a family member has said to you? Who?

You know what they say; sticks and stones may break your bones but words can ... leave you deeply scarred and in need of therapy. Whoever said they couldn't hurt you was a lying liarpants.

Too Young To Have Problems

sad carry on GIF by MasterChef JuniorGiphy

"As a child (13) i was diagnosed with kidney cancer."

"The news hit me pretty hard because, as a kid that had lost family to cancer, I knew how serious it was. My diagnosis threw me into horrid depression."

"The mother of my step father (so step grandma) laughed at me when the news got to her because "You're too young to have problems so just get over it."

"My mother was flabbergasted. She already hated the woman. Probably a factor in us cutting her completely out of our life once my step father passed - he had already been in the hospital for 2 years at that point and he hated watching the two of them (my mother and his mother) fight."

"My mother sparred telling him for the sake of peace. He died without ever knowing what his mom said. I'm still in and out of remission, currently doing good."

- metalicoe

Glad you're doing much better now! That's a relief.

"Like You Ruined Mine"

"When I (a married adult) told my father I was expecting a baby he said: "Get an abortion, a kid will ruin your life, like you ruined mine." Broke my heart. My kids are the two best things that have ever happened to me and my husband."

"They are adults now and I cannot for the life of me ever understand how a parent could feel the way my father feels, much less understand why he would say such a vile thing."

"It says more about him than me. His loss."

- Veganmon

It says sooo much more about him than you. Vile, indeed.

Not The Call OP Was Expecting

"Toxic childhood, my mother had no parenting skills."

"When I was 15 she assaulted me pretty terribly for asking if she would buy groceries because I hadn't eaten in a few days. I moved out the next day and couch surfed for a long time."

"After putting myself through university and getting an advanced honors degree, she called me... to tell me that I'm stuck up and think I'm better than my family."

"I'm doing well now. I have a lovely wife who loves me, a good job even through the pandemic, and I haven't spoken to my family in a long time, which is for the best."

"Still struggling through that for sure (guilt, anger, etc.), but doing alright with it."

- AwkwardCranberry7

The projection!

You know that's projection, right?

It says nothing about you – and a lot about her.

Too Ugly, Too Dark

"My mom wouldn't ever let me go to parties with her and my dad when I was a kid. She brings my sister and little brother though because they have light skin (we're from Asia)."

"One day I dressed up and got ready because everyone else did. And then she asked me "Why are you getting ready?" and I asked why "Aren't we going to a party?". She stared at me and told me "No... you're too ugly" in our language."

"I'm 21 now and our relationship has never been the same since. I aged well though thankfully but it still stings whenever I remember it."

"I also remember our most recent fight - I was mad that my sister who graduated college more than 5 years ago now still gets allowance while I, still in school, with full units, with a full scholarship, am working for my own bills and allowance."

"None of my siblings had to work while they're studying. Now she even gets my savings and gets mad at me whenever I ask for it back."

"I know my life's sucky right now but after I'm done with school, I'm planning on going no-contact with everyone and will build my own life and hopefully find people who truly love me."

"Sorry for the rant. It's nice to let out a little sometimes when I can."

- artmxs

No need to apologize – this is a safe space, after all.

Not Exactly Worried About A Rapist's Review

cat illustration GIFGiphy

"I'm a pale woman with dark body hair. My mother saw that I hadn't shaved my legs in a while and said: "You need to shave that hair off, what happens if you get attacked and they rush you to emergency and the doctors have to see that hair?"
- grindelvvald


Pretty sure the doctors won't care a bit – and that your hair would be the last thing on your mind.

Beat Me Stupid

"My dad told me if I didn't change my attitude my future husband would beat me stupid. I'm actually married to a very smart and kind man. My father is, and always has been, a piece of sh*t."

"Me always being strong was what made my father hate me even more. He was abusive and would hit us. So this was a common thing he would say to break me down."

- postylowkeyokey

Another abuser projecting their nonsense on the people around them. Hope you've gotten far, far away from that – and that you're happier now!

Too Stupid, Naïve and Immature

"When I was in middle school I applied for a college training type program. They help you apply, gain knowledge etc while you're still in school."

"On the way to the interview my dad told me he was wasting his money, gas and time on something so ridiculous, because I was too stupid, naïve and immature to ever be accepted into this program, let alone graduate hs or make it to college."

"I spent that entire ride bawling my eyes out, aced that interview, and had my first two years of college paid for. F*ck you dad."

- GothSpite

You did it! The best success is revenge, as they say.

What Do You Even Contribute? 

"I (23f) got a notice in the mail saying that my insurance company was lowering my rates on car and rental policies. I told my mom (53) and she said, "rental? What do you even contribute to the house?"

"I'm 23 years old, I'm a medical biller and make a decent salary for someone who has two years experience but not enough to move out yet."

"When my dad passed away at age 49 from cancer five years ago, I helped my mom a lot by helping her settle my dad's will, help her make financial decisions, cook, clean, signed us up for medical insurance, help my older brother (26) with his and her taxes I also helped him apply for school financial aid. I was a teenager."

"I took time off of work take care of her after two major surgeries because my brother didn't feel "comfortable". I would drive him to places too. We use to share a car and I paid for over $100 a month for gas and he would only give me $20."

"I snapped at my mom because I know if I didn't step up my older brother wouldn't even do anything. I told her everything I did and still do for this family. I don't mind that they rely on me to help them but I'm not going to set myself on fire to keep them warm anymore."

"My mom did apologize and she didn't realize how much I did for her and my older brother. I accept the apology but those words still sting my heart."

- Calypos_Luna

Naturally. The best apology is changed behavior. Hopefully her behavior changed.

I Left For A Reason

"I tracked down my estranged mother a couple years ago after she had been gone from my life since I was 5. When she figured out who I was, her response was: "I don't have a daughter. I left for a reason."

"Then she hung up the phone and I just stood there in my living room trying not to cry. It hurt, but I made it 34 years without her and I have every intention of continuing to do so."

- feralhippie

This is a very good point. You did it before and you're doing it now. You are stong – and certainly do not need that sort of energy in your life one bit.

She Took My Hand And Said... 

"When I was 9 I adored my older sister (8 years older than me). I just wanted to be like her in every way."

"One day I did something (probably an annoying little sister thing) and she took my hand, led me to my room and told me, "You don't understand how powerful the word hate is yet but you one day will and you should know I hate you. 100% hate you."

"She said it so matter of factly and just walked out. It broke my heart. Changed me from that day forward."

- KaEcold

What?! She said this to a child?! Why?

Hopefully you've steered clear of her in your adulthood.

After Mom Died

"After my mother died, my first cousin's wife told me that I was no longer a member of the family because I was adopted (as an infant, FYI) and the death of my mother severed my membership in the family. I was 41 when she said this to me."

"For an adopted child—at least for me, fear of rejection is an early childhood trauma you can't escape. I had WONDERFUL adoptive parents."

"When she said that to me I half expected them to rise from the grave to defend me. They loved me, I am secure in that. But the knowledge that she felt that way and nobody else shut her down still hurts."

- CartoonistSpecific75

Understandably! We're sorry you had to deal with such pain.

Family, blood family, is unfortunately not guaranteed to be your biggest support. That's why it's important to remember that you can choose your family. And that's freedom.

Want to "know" more?

Sign up for the Knowable newsletter here.

Never miss another big, odd, funny, or heartbreaking moment again.

The Weirdest Animal Facts People Know

Reddit user FunChemical3182 asked: 'What is the weirdest animal fact you know?'

Michael Jerrard on Unsplash

People accumulate facts throughout life on a wide variety of subjects.

Some are mundane while others are weird, wild or wonderful.

One subject a lot of people focus on is animals. Most people have a favorite animal that fascinates them that they want to know all about.

Keep reading...Show less

Content Warning: Mental Health, Suicide, Domestic Violence

We all know that we technically can't make anyone else do anything, and we certainly can't "fix" other people. Other people will only change or do something if they choose to; the only person we can really control is ourselves.

But some people really love to try, often to hilarious and terrible results.

Already cringing, Redditor Dapper_Algae6280 asked:

"People who entered a relationship thinking 'I can fix them,' how did that go?"

Time for an Upgrade

"There is a weird thing that happens when you 'fix' someone. They tend to think if you liked them broken, then they deserve better than you now that they are better than they were."

- TheRealLifePotato

"As horrible as it sounds, to have a happy, emotionally healthy relationship you need two happy, emotionally healthy people. If you want to be in that sort of relationship, you need to fix yourself first."

- inactiveuser247

"This right here. After three sh*tty relationships in a row, I realized this is a me problem. I took a few years off from dating to reflect and really learn to see red flags and understand myself so I wouldn't make that mistake again."

- MikoSkyns

No More Spark

"My now ex had PTSD, depression, and a variety of other issues she claimed. After two and a half years of dating (being my first and only relationship), she became more social, less suicidal, and overall happier as a person."

"She decided to cheat on me with someone else due to 'lack of communication' and us 'no longer having a spark". The irony."

"For context, we were 17 at the time, in high school, and I worked full-time hours with initiatives to hang out, which were refused. Red flags everywhere."

- elteragxo

"Your situation is eerily similar to mine, what the f**k?"

"I met a girl with mental and emotional issues and decided to fix them through a healthy relationship. She recovered and found someone else because 'the spark was gone.'"

- Aimlessdrifter8778

Misery Loves Company

"Now we are both broken."

- Brave-Butterscotch76

"The same thing happened to my sister-in-law. She married a very negative and miserable guy while saying 'he will get better' or 'we’re working on it,' and now she’s a very negative and miserable person."

- Moreofyoulessofme

Getting to Watch a Partner Grow

"At first we were only f**king. I don't know if I ever thought I could fix her, but I did fall in love with this beautiful lady with severe anxiety, depression, and trust issues after being in a domestically violent relationship."

"We were f**k buddies for about six months and I got a glimpse of her issues but I still went ahead and asked her to be my girlfriend The heart wants what it wants."

"We dated for a year and a half (two years since meeting), and I actually got to see her at her worst a few times, but I was finally able to get her therapy with a great psychiatrist and treatment, this is when I asked her to move in with me. We've been living together for six years."

"Four years ago, she had the worst breakdown I've seen. She went full-on paranoid, wall-scratching nervous, she was even doubting me and my motives to be there. It was a very difficult week, and she left the house and went to her mom's house in the middle of the night."

"Eventually, her therapist was able to get a hold of her and get her back to her senses. Her doctor then suggested that I also should go to a counselor or at the very least we should do couples therapy so we had strong bases for our relationship and we did."

"I now look back and won't change her for anything in the world, she has grown so much, and she glows right now. I now see her smile and it's glorious. She's achieved a great position too and it's amazing just to see how much happier she looks."

- Spiritual-Narwhal666

Not a Match

"I fixed what I wanted to fix, but that still didn't make us right for each other. In the end, I think she's in a much happier place than she could have been, so I think it was worth the time invested."

"We were wrong for each other, but at least we both came out better positioned to receive the happiness that would come to us later."

- MrWeb20

In Their Nature

"A couple of months into the relationship, I fixed him."

"After some irritation, he stopped peeing on the carpet. Now, my cat still brings mice, but I guess, that's just his nature."

- mobileJay77

The Importance of Boundaries

"I don't know if I would say that I 'fixed' her (and I wasn’t trying to), but I definitely taught my last ex the importance of being able to set boundaries and to stop going out of her way to please people who consistently hurt her."

"Eventually this would lead to us breaking up, but I have no regrets. I have issues of my own that were wearing her down and she did what she had to. Same rules apply. We’re both better off because of it."

- TylerTexas10

Happily Ever After

"She fixed herself and I fixed myself with each other's support, and we are living happily ever after, it seems, with ongoing work on ourselves and our relationship."

- DonPronote

An Uncommon Ending

"I didn’t fix them. But I tried my hardest to be patient and supportive while they fixed themself. Sometimes I was better at support than other times. Sometimes they were better at fixing than other times."

"It ended up being worth the patience. Things have been great with us for years now. I know this isn’t the normal outcome though, and I feel incredibly lucky."

- I_Invented_Frysauce

A Little Help from Our Friends

"Usually I'm the one people try to fix.. I think the repeated attempts definitely helped me. Now my current partner gets to enjoy the previous hard work."

"...I think I just got tired of hurting the people who love me and fixed myself, though."

- addrien

All Their Idea

"You can't fix anyone. You can only fix yourself, but if you really want to try and fix someone, you have to make it seem like it's their idea."

- BuhrZap

A Helping Hand

"I don't think you can fix anyone. You can only help them fix themselves, which is very different."

"If someone is actively trying to fix themselves, and you can actually be the person to support them through it, then it can work, but it could also not work."

"I do think there should be a distinction between the two. I mean, trying to fix someone is a bad idea, but if you like someone and are willing to support them in their journey to fix themselves, it's probably not the worst idea in the world."

- brooksie1131

Lesson Learned

"It went so well that they managed to cure me of the desire to 'fix' anybody."

"I’ll toss you a life preserver if you’re trying to save yourself. But I’m not jumping in the water with anyone so they can drown me on their way out."

"People who need to hit rock bottom in order to better themselves will use you to soften their landing if you let them."

- GlobalPermit5428

Best Friends Forever

"It went well but it didn’t work out."

"So we kind of fixed each other we were both at very weird points in our lives and we only dated for about one and a half years. We didn’t need a romantic partner but we did need a friend in each other."

"We’re both in better places now and the best of friends. We both want each other to be part of our lives just not as lovers."

"All and all, I say we got the best outcomes in our lives."


So Worth the Investment

"He was an Uber driver with only a high school diploma."

"I married him anyways and bankrolled his education because he was fun as f**k to be around, was the smartest person I’ve ever met, and loves me like I’m the only woman on Earth."

"Now, he’s a computer engineer and we are landlords together and have bought investment properties. We are very happy together."

"Partners work together to create success. I think selfish people ask, 'what’s in it for me?' Marriage is about selflessness."

"I’m glad I sacrificed for his education. His mind would be wasted otherwise and he’s a genius."

- BabyElephantWalks

In most of these cases, the situation went poorly after a Redditor tried to change someone, and for good reason. If that person isn't ready or doesn't want to be fixed, it's only going to damage the relationship.

There's also something to be said about unconditional love. If you don't want to date the person exactly as who they are right now, why are you even trying to date them?

If you or someone you know is struggling, you can contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 988.

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

Guy at the gym
Anastase Maragos/Unsplash

Tough guys put on a facade that indicates to others that they always know what's going on.

But their confidence doesn't always match their intellect, which is probably why they cover their insecurities by walking around and trying to show everyone who's really the boss.

If that's the case, they should keep their mouths shut because not everything that comes out of their mouth needs to be heard.

Yet, it can be amusing to everyone else.

Curious to hear examples of these, Redditor PrototypeShadowBlitz asked:

"Reddit, what is the stupidest thing you've heard from the 'alpha male' community?"

You might find these guys at a bar.

The Dude Must Be Hungry

"Had a run in once with a group of young lads about something in a bar and one of them said we are top of the food chain bro and you will be the prey."

– insertitherenow

"'Whatever, mall ninja" -proper response."

– TheEighthLord

If The Shoe Fits

"That they were an alpha male."

– I_Have_A_Name37654

"The use of 'Alpha Male,' unironically is every indication that you're dealing with a child's understanding of manhood."

– 88Dubs

Brat Pack

"Me and my bros are all alpha males."

– SonOfDadOfSam

"I was skiing one time and rode the lift with a guy that said, 'I don't feel no pain. I live with 5 roommates and none of us feel any pain.' Okay, bud. That's a really interesting coincidence."

– NicPizzaLatte

They sure thrive on making sexist comments.

Contagious Femininity

"A coworker said, 'I don't spend too much time with my girlfriend because I'll become too feminine.'"

– Lazy_Natural6154


– aliebabadegrote

Sexist Categorization

"I have been called a beta for saying that my wife makes more money than I do. She works in a more lucrative field and is more educated than I am, so it makes perfect sense that she makes more than I do."

"So I came back, and this post has really blown up. There's just a few things I want to clarify."

"1- I have only ever been called a beta online."

"2- I work full-time in project management. I have a master's degree. I have a 6 figure salary."

"3- My wife has a PhD and works in finance. She also has a 6 figure salary, it's just a higher salary than my own."

"4- I'm sorry to anyone who might feel as though my original post misled them."

– ExaminationDouble240

It's Teamwork

"A real man would be proud of his wife for achieving success, and not fall for that sort of insecure bullsh*t."

"It's not a contest, that's the real joke here. Good on you for seeing the big picture."

– Mrbeardoesthethings

Do these roles about parenting sound familiar?

Childish Things Are Too Girly

"Real men don't take their kids trick or treating is one that I heard recently."

– constructionguy89

"Related. Guys who brag about not changing diapers, not playing 'girly' games, etc. Essentially guys who brag that their only contribution to fatherhood is money and masculine things like fishing or football. Even then some of them brag about not paying a lot of child support to prove they didn't let the system take advantage of them."

"I can't imagine a life so empty my only accomplishment worth bragging about was being a terrible parent."

– Green7000

This Woman's Work

"I was told that taking care of my kids is woman's work. Apparently it's concerning that I try to spend so much of my free time with them. Oddly enough the meatheads at my grappling club think it's sweet I occasionally have my daughters' hair clips on and nails painted."

– MrFunktasticc

People discussed rules in the bedroom.

Never Submissive

"That a man is turned off when their wife/girlfriend seduces them, because if she wants sex and shows it she is a sl*t, also making the man the submissive one…"

– kamalaophelia

Stifling Emotions

"Not the whole community, but was cuddling with a guy once and could tell he was trying not to get emotional over something that was bothering him. He said, quite literally, 'it's not alpha male behaviour.' I told him that I liked that he showed emotions sometimes, and he looked disgusted by the fact that I pointed it out."

– LambLifts

In high school, a classmate who was on the football team said I was a "sissy" for listening to classical music.

The other classmates laughed at me, which was hardly surprising since all of the guys on our unbeatable football team were considered stars on campus.

This kind of mockery was a typical day for me.

I can laugh at their idiotic comments now but back then, I don't know why I ever let them get under my skin.

Man standing behind large flowers
Quinn Buffing on Unsplash

We've all done things, or in some cases, regularly do things that others might consider weird.

Even so, we often feel no shame or embarrassment and embrace how unusual these habits are, and take our friends teasing or laughing at us for doing so in stride.

Sometimes, however, we might not like to advertise some of our unusual habits or actions and make every effort to keep them a well-guarded secret.

As raised eyebrows are much easier to take than blatant judgment from friends and peers.

Redditor Key_Nectarine_1969 was curious to hear all the weird things people have done which they still keep under lock and key, leading them to ask:

"What’s the weirdest thing you’ve done that you could only tell people anonymously?"

The Devil [Dogs] Is In The Detail...

"All throughout middle school, there was someone who tucked unwrapped Hostess Devil Dogs into the toilet paper dispensers in the bathrooms, so that when you pulled some toilet paper out, the devil dog would fall out into your hand."

"We had to have an assembly about it."

"That person... Was me."- bejeweled_sky

Seemed Like A Good Idea At The Time

"Was drunk at an escape room with coworkers."

"It was an extreme one where you are handcuffed the entire time."

"I decided in my drunken state that it would be bada** to dislocated my thumb and slip off the cuffs like the movies."

"It wasn't."

"We got kicked out, my coworkers were weirded out and I had to go to the hospital."

"I quit a few weeks later."

"White collar wasn't for me."- Grotesque-penguin

The Bread Of Heaven

"Stole over 1,000 wafers from church because I really liked the communion wafers & didn’t know where else to get them."

"I felt really blessed & cursed for a long time."- hALLIEcinate

catholic the exorcist GIFGiphy

Retracing Steps...

"Once I got off the subway in NYC and I was super early for an appointment."

"So I picked a random guy and just followed him on foot for like 30 minutes, pretending I was like a private detective or something."

"Always kept about a half block behind."

"He turned this way and that, and eventually went into a building I had lived in 9 years earlier."

"It was weird, and so was I."- OKsurewhynotyep

Hygeine Be Damned...

"I found a dead rat in a field when i was younger and kissed it bc I wanted to say goodbye."- qeleia

exercise push up GIFGiphy

Bad Decisions Have A Way Of Getting Back To You...

"We got super drunk and ate a ton of spicy food in New Orleans."

"Back at the B&B, the food started to come out the back side."

"I was sitting on the toilet sh*tting bricks of fire."

"At that moment, the booze decided to hang a u-turn."

"The trash can was out of reach and I couldn't risk standing up from the toilet for even 5 seconds."

"The closest receptacle was the bathtub."

"I managed to turn in such a way that I could keep shi*ting in the toilet while projectile vomiting into the tub."

"Both ended up clogged, and there was no plunger."

"I had to call the owner to explain that I had destroyed both their toilet and their tub simultaneously."- HoopOnPoop

Things Best Left To Professionals...

"My partner is weirdly prone to cysts."

"I had to drain a 3 inch cyst on her back (thankfully she had a dr's appt the next week), then multiple other little cysts on her legs and chest."

"I never told her to her face but that first giant cyst literally haunted me, the amount of pus and blood I saw....good heavens."- SleepyBiologist

uruguay spot GIF by sargentoPezGiphy

At Least A Lesson Was Learned...

"When I was walking to school one morning, I saw a kid (7-8 yo?) kicking a dog."

"I ran over & kicked the kid and asked him how it felt."

"He ran off and no one saw."

"Still not sorry."- sneezyailurophile

All Creatures Deserve Love

"I was extremely socially isolated as a child and tried to make friends with the coyotes who lived in the woods by our home."

'I caught one in a snare and fed and kept her."

"I wanted a friend."- letthetreeburn

That's What Friends Are For...

"My wife and her best friend pick me up from a frat party black out drunk."

"Then they helped me take a sh*t on the toilet, wiped my a** and then gave me a shower and put me to bed naked."

"Don’t remember any of it."- nc3100

Party Love GIF by Chris CiminoGiphy

Not The Right Kind Of Manure...

"One time I went outside at like 2AM and put the garden hose nozzle into my butthole and sprayed some water into it, then farted it out onto the lawn."

"Basically gave myself an enema with a garden hose."

"I did this because I was bored."

"My neighbour saw me and told my dad (lived at home at the time)."- WaspsInMyGoatse

A Little Fantasy Now And Then...

"When I was younger I joined an international dating site that I figured was a scam."

"Put a black square as my picture and gave myself a fake name, and then looked through their users."

"And after about 10 minutes I had like a 100 messages."

"Most of them were messages telling me how handsome I was or how these women fell in love with me at first site."

"Now I knew it was a scam but when ever I felt down or got rejected for a while I would pop back on the site and read a few messages."

'Yeah it’s kinda cringy and probably pathetic but it made me feel better."

"I would just turn off that logical part of my brain that knew it was a scam for awhile and just pretend I was this popular and desirable guy."

"And it honestly got me through the day sometimes."- Demonking3343

dating app GIFGiphy

If anyone says they've never done anything they're ashamed, or at the very least less-than-proud of, in all likelihood, they are lying.

Or, more likely, they understandably want to pretend that it never happened.

Which might be a little easier than harboring a secret.