People Share The Best Examples Of 'It's Possible To Make Zero Mistakes And Still Lose'
The 1966 sci-fi classic Star Trek has always held some hidden gems. One in particular sparks a conversation around a regular fact of life: sometimes we do everything right and still lose.
In one scene, Captain Jean Luc Picard requests Commander Data to help him on the bridge of the spaceship. Data tries to suggest that Picard choose someone else as his first in command.
"I have not been able to isolate the problem, sir. I might make a mistake."
Picard took a few steps toward him, closing the distance between them, and gives him an order.
Before leaving, Picard turned to Data and said:
"It is possible to commit no mistakes and still lose."
"That is not a weakness. That is life."
This statement was an encouragement to not let fear or self-doubt get in the way of action and the pursuit of what must be done in the way of your own self. Failure is just a part of life.
This scene sparked Redditor NeonDragon76 to ask:
"Picard said, 'It is possible to commit no mistakes and still lose,' what is your real life example of this?"
We compiled some of the moments where no matter our efforts, life got in the way.
In a relationship that just wasn't meant to be.
"Being the best partner you can be in a relationship and having them fall out of love or cheat on you."
"Relationships are very much like that. Stories always make them seem directly attainable - you do the right thing, and the person will fall in love with you, you keep doing the right thing and they'll stay with you forever. But in reality... like, if someone doesn't want to date you, and then you rescue them from a burning building, they still won't want to date you."
"Learned the hard way that you can be as good a partner as possible - still doesn't matter if the problem is one you have no control over to fix..."
"Yup. I spend three years as my ex's emotional punching bag and therapist before I realized how f**ked up it was and left."
- ManySpectrumWeaseldisappointed star trek GIFGiphy
They didn't go first.
"I’ve lost many board games and card games simply because I didn’t go first."
"I remember my cousin bringing out mancala and was so excited to play it. After two games I realized the first player would always win if you played correctly and asked her if I could play first since I was new and proceeded to win every game then told her the strategy. She was dejected at the time, but I like to think she went on to beat other people with it after that."
Not getting the job.
"Not getting a job offer from the interview."
"Sometimes you didn’t do anything wrong. Sometimes the other candidates were just better."
"Sometimes, you were just as good, but they simply had to make a choice because of the limited amount of vacancies."
Not getting bonuses for something out of their control.
"My team at work getting absolutely reamed out and having year-end bonuses denied to us because of a major outage on one of our systems... The outage was caused by a bug that we were among the first in the world to experience and the vendor hadn't even published an advisory yet much less released the patch to fix it."
"There was literally nothing we could have done to avoid it."
"Wonder how many people are going to quit over that bullsh*t."
- Montzterrrangry star trek GIFGiphy
"When despite doing everything your boss tells you, you still get fired."
"Or when you outperform everyone else on your team for years and are due for a promotion but instead your boss's freshly hired 20 years younger girlfriend gets the promotion."
"I literally quit two days after."
Irritable Bowel Syndrome.
"Sometimes you can be very careful to avoid all your triggers, and still end up stuck in the bathroom for a few hours."
"Yes, and then spending those cursed toilet hours going back over the last day or two trying to work out what you did differently despite knowing you intentionally only eat the same things for this exact reason."
- NeonDragon76Angry Star Trek GIFGiphy
Getting into professional sports.
"Someone can do absolutely everything right. They can work harder than anybody else. Play to the highest level that their talent allows, and they still will not make it professionally."
"No matter the amount of effort I put in, I simply will never throw a 100 MPH fastball."
"I think a lotta people forget that genetics is a very important component of athletic performance. I could train every single day and be absolutely jacked and would still get destroyed in any game of basketball because I'm 5’3."
Relationships with our parents.
"My brother was always that kind of son who made everything he wasn't supposed to do. I tried to be the best daughter I could and support my mom in everything she needed. Now my brother has a really good relationship with her and I barely talk with her."
"Right. I feel your pain deeply. My brother did the same kind of thing, my dad was problematic so I had to be strong for mom. Do you think we didn’t test their love? Lost son syndrome? What is it?"
Working in the medical field.
"I worked as a paramedic for 15 years. You can do everything right but if it’s not going to happen it’s just not going to happen."
"I was an EMT for 3 years and left to become a flight attendant. When it's your time, it's your time, and there isn't much we can do."
- tommygunz007Star Trek Reaction GIFGiphy
The Candidate Who Stuck Around
"A coworker told me once that I was picked for my job on a sort of coin toss. Both I and the other candidate were equally qualified and nothing we did really made one better than the other. They took a chance on me because I seemed less likely to jump after a year or two like most people who applied for that job were doing to do."
"Funny thing was, that was exactly my intention when I got the job but I've ended up staying way longer."
Blessing In Disguise
"Also a chance the job was never really available in the first place. Some companies require a job get posted publicly and external candidates be interviewed even when an internal candidate is already selected. Or maybe the nephew of the boss needed a job but they have to interview people. I’ve been involved in a handful of interviews where I’ve strongly preferred a candidate that lost out for reasons beyond their control."
"Also, sometimes not getting the job is a blessing. A coworker/buddy and I wound up going after the same position at a new company. I nailed the interview and honestly I had experience and skills beyond that of my friend so I thought I had it in the bag. They took my buddy. Confidence took a hit, but fast forward about 6 months and buddy hates it there. They start furloughing employees and he quits shortly after that. Meanwhile I got a promotion and set me on a path that led to considerably more money somewhere else. Never can tell how things turn out sometimes, but don’t let job rejections get you down. It’s their loss they didn’t take you 😉"
"Driving comes to mind. A lot of collisions involve one person doing everything they should be and another being an idiot. Although you followed all of the rules of the road you still lost by getting rear ended by someone on their phone."
"I've been spending two years and 20K in college debt to become a personal trainer. I'm supposed to graduate this spring."
"Then my back got ruined in a car crash last month. The prognosis being 'ongoing pain management.'"
"Screw me, right? 'Cause it's not like I'm trying to escape my current life situation or anything. /s"
"My brother was always that kind of son who made everything he wasn't supposed to do. I tried to be the best daughter I could and support my mom in everything she needed. Now my brother has a really good relationship with her and I barely talk with her."
When You Can't Compete
"Old job hunting saying: you can have the perfect interview and they can still hire their nephew."
Luck Of The Draw
"Life is like poker in a way. Your outcomes are a result of your decisions and luck. Sometimes you can make all the right decisions and still have a bad outcome or lose. Also, some people start with better hands."
"Conversely the opposite can happen where you make poor decisions and win."
"However making good decisions (no mistakes) puts you in a better position to have a good outcomes."
Sometimes it may feel that we have everything under control and then life throws us a curve ball.
As Picard said, it's not weakness, it just is the way it is. It's how we move on from those moments and find other ways of continuing that show our strength.
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Reddit user Zealousideal-Ad3609 asked: 'Divorcees of Reddit, when did you know your marriage was over?'
In 2022, a reported 2,132,853 couples in the United States vowed to remain together until death.
But as of that same year, 41% of first marriages were ending in divorce.
And if a person walked down the aisle again?
Well, 60% of second marriages ended in divorce and a whopping 73% of third marriages didn't last.
The five leading factors cited in divorces in 2022 were:
- lack of commitment - 75%
- infidelity - 59.6%
- too much conflict - 57.5%
- married too young - 45.1%
- money problems - 36.1%
So how do couples get from "happily ever after" to "get thee from my sight"? And when did they know it was time to call it quits?
Reddit user Zealousideal-Ad3609 asked:
"Divorcees of Reddit, when did you know your marriage was over?"
Like a True Crime Plot
"When I found the text messages of him telling her he loved her and joking about my life insurance money."
"I've watched too many true crime shows."
"I told my husband that I'm not getting a life insurance policy on my a** for a long time cause I don't want to have to side eye him every day."
Winners Never Cheat And...
"He told me he'd had an affair."
"Initially he begged me to stay together, to work things out, but within two weeks he had cold feet again and had even met up with his affair partner so... Yeah."
"At one point, my ex-husband had told me he wanted a divorce. I didn't see him for like 2 weeks but then met up with him to sign unrelated paperwork."
"I noticed he had a tan and asked him if he'd been having a fun time, but he said no that he'd been miserable and that he must've gotten too much sun hanging out with some friends in their garden. Later that morning he told me he wanted to work things out and not get divorced etc..."
"I found out much later the reason he was tanned was because after he told me he wanted a divorce, he'd chased his affair partner to Crete and been on holidays with her, going snorkeling etc... and sending photos of his holiday back to his parents."
"Meanwhile I'd asked my mum to visit me because I was mourning my relationship and thinking I was getting divorced. We did eventually, but months later after he finally told me about his affair."
"Cheaters gonna lie and manipulate."
...Cheaters Never Win
"My ex was having an affair and I didn't know it yet. One night we got into a big argument and raised the issue of divorce for the first time. We talked for hours before going to bed."
"The next day he and the kids went out of town for the weekend (the fight was over the fact that he had scheduled a weekend vacation without consulting me and I couldn't go because of work). Three days later he was home and we sat down and he cried begged me to stay, saying he didn't want to raise our kids without me and he loved me."
"I found out later that he had met with his affair partner and her kids at the beach and they all had a nice little weekend vacation together. He swore our kids (5 and 9 years old at the time) to secrecy."
"Of everything he did, that's what made me the most angry."
"We're now divorced and co-parenting, he's in a toxic on-again off-again relationship with his affair partner, and he's told me multiple times that he regrets everything."
"Meanwhile I'm enjoying living on my own and hanging with my friends, my kids, and my dog."
"When I learned my wife was sleeping with my brother."
"Took him in so he wouldn't be homeless (booze) and when he got a job as a systems administrator at 125K she suddenly decided she wanted to be with him rather than lowly me."
"I ended up meeting the love of my life and we've been together for 18 years now."
"She ended up dumping my brother after she finished her Masters degree."
"They are both alone and (I hope) unhappy."
"I gave up and faced reality when we had our one couple's counseling appointment."
"Therapist asked on a scale of 1 to 10 how much we wanted to save the marriage. I said 10 and he said 0."
"But it turns out I didn’t want to save it either because I realized he didn’t like me all that much, and that’s not a healthy life."
"This sounds oddly similar to our marriage therapy session where she asked that same question and he looked bored and then halfway through got up and left."
"She told me, 'I can certainly help you try to save your marriage here, but I can’t do much when he clearly already has one foot out the door'.”
"I started seeing her on my own to help process what was likely the end and it was."
"But it has been over eight years and it was for the best."
Fight, Fight, Fight
"Most conversations turned into an argument."
"Then they became more distant."
"Resentment had well and truly set in."
Say One Thing, Then...
"When we sat down as a couple and agreed we could not afford a new car then two days later he bought the new car he agreed we couldn’t afford."
"I came home from work that night ready to argue with him and suddenly realized he knew I would get angry and that was the price he was willing to pay to have the car."
"It took a few months to get the money to move out but my marriage was over that night."
"I was engaged to a man like that. We had decided one thing for our future, so I had gotten a job in the area we were going to move to so I would graduate and go right there, with a job."
"Then he did something completely different and when I asked what I was supposed to do, he told me I’d figure it out."
"I waited for him to get to where he was going, which was thousands of miles away, then sent the ring to his mother, certified and insured, and never talked to him again."
"I figured it out all right. Grateful to have been given clear warning and the space to wash that man right out of my hair."
"One time I was driving in my car and talking to myself (which I did all the time because I had no one else to talk to). I glanced to my right and my (ex) husband was sitting in the passenger seat."
"He left me alone so much (busy gambling and when he was home, he was glued to his phone/computer) that I was so used to being by myself and ignored so completely that I forgot he was in the car."
"Anyways, I was sort of embarrassed he heard me talking to myself so I said 'oh sorry, I forgot you were here'.”
"He didn’t even reply… so I said his name and he eventually looked up from his phone and said 'did you say something?'."
"I realized how much of my life I was going through completely alone (except for my dog). More things led to the divorce but I realized how being lonely was different than being alone and how much better life got."
"Mine was along these lines too. There was actually much more, but this one conversation was really the final nail in the coffin/veil finally dropped completely, so to speak."
"I had gone back to school and wasn't doing well in a STEM class, and it was really making me reconsider my path. I wasn't sure what to do."
"We were in bed for the evening and I tried to talk to him about it and my plans to speak with my advisor to potentially switch majors. He was just glued to his phone and I barely got a grunt in response."
"I just couldn't help but think how much it sucked—this was my partner for life? That was the level of support I could expect, especially when I was considering something that would ultimately change the entire course of my life/career?"
"It was awful."
"He also barely said more than 'good job' when I got accepted into a great school. He tried to convince me to go to a much smaller, unknown school instead even though it had literally no impact on him either way."
"Later told me he was jealous and couldn't handle the progress I was making."
In Sickness and—Well...
"After suffering from serious bouts with Crohn's disease for a couple years, in the worst part an episode that lasted 3 months where I dropped from 190 lbs down to 137lbs (I am 6 feet 4 inches tall, and normal weight is about 220lbs)."
"I overheard my (now ex) wife in another room telling her friend that 'she didn't sign up for this' and had no intent of helping me any longer. If I didn't die soon, she'd have to divorce me."
"She'd yell at me for being too loud in the bathroom and waking her up during the night, and repeatedly for being 'lazy' even though I was able to keep my job (she didn't work) through it all and support her and our children."
"Since the divorce, I've had 0 Crohn's flare ups, got back to my normal weight plus a little extra, eat and drink anything I choose, and take 0 medication. It's been over 13 years now, and no relapse."
"I was suffering these recurring bouts of abdominal pain and in and out of the hospital for about two years, including having an appendectomy."
"I was finally diagnosed with Crohn’s and started testing for the meds they wanted to put me on and found out I had latent TB, which required it’s own lengthy treatment."
"I was weak and miserable and lost my job."
"One evening some friends from out of town wanted to get together but just as we arrived at the meeting place, the pain started and I could feel myself struggling to focus, ears ringing, I felt faint."
"I told my then husband what was happening and I asked him to help me find a place to sit down and he just stared at me oddly. I reached for him saying something like ‘please hold me I think I’m going to faint’ and he stepped back to let me collapse on the sidewalk."
"I was so embarrassed, and so devastated. I wouldn’t do that to a stranger, let alone my partner."
"That was it for me."
When Someone Shows You Who They Are...
"We had problems before this night, but I kept trying counseling and other things hoping it would work out."
"But our youngest was little, maybe not even 2 yet? She had a history of seizures, so we were 'used' to them, but it was still scary."
"It’s the middle of the night and I’m walking back and forth in the living room with her because she had a really high temp, it was 104-something. I was trying to figure out if I wanted to take her to the ER or not as I remember her being really lethargic as well."
"My ex (her dad) stood their screaming at me about what a wh*re I was, what a piece of sh*t I was, how I ruined his life, etc..."
"I remember asking him something like 'what if your daughter came to you and said her partner was talking to her like this, what would you do?'."
"He looked at me and said something like 'well if she deserves it' and shrugged his shoulders."
"I don’t even remember what set him off that night, what I 'did' to upset him. I just remember holding our youngest and over his shoulder I saw my daughter (the oldest and from a previous relationship) sitting at the top of the stairs watching this."
"She was probably around 11….and I just decided I was done. I told myself I was going to make it through the holidays and her birthday."
"We had a good holiday and her birthday was the same sh*t, different day. The attention wasn’t focused on him, so he was a jerk."
"I KNEW I was making the right decision. I waited until the clock hit midnight and I said, 'I want a divorce' and never looked back."
Divorce rates in the United States have dropped every year since 1980.
The rate had spiked with the rise in feminism and LGBTQ+ equality in the 1970s.
Women were no longer forced to stay in toxic marriages. LGBTQ+ people were able to live more openly instead of conforming to a heterosexual marriage.
A contributing factor to the drop since is fewer people are getting married before they're ready. Gen X and Millennials are waiting longer before taking that step. Gen Z is on track to have one of the lowest marriage rates.
Gray divorces—those of people over 60—are the only divorce rates still on the rise. The cost of healthcare, longterm care and longer lifespans are all factors in gray divorces.
Parents play an important and unparalleled role in the lives of their kids. But even this special relationship has its limits. There are certain parts of many kids’ lives that, for one reason or another, they choose to keep completely separate from their relationships with their parents. These secrets can be anything from harmless little guilty pleasures to absolutely scandalous and horrifying behaviors. Don’t believe me? Here are 50 stories of secrets that will make any parent stop and wonder what their kids are really up to when they’re not around.
You’ve Got A Friend In Mewoman holding kid at the streetPhoto by Sai De Silva on Unsplash
My mother has always wondered why I didn't have too many friends back in high school. The real reason is a secret that I would never want her to know about. It is because, growing up, my family was always broke and I knew that she was struggling financially. So, in order to avoid anyone seeing how we lived, I always refused anytime people from school wanted to do things with me or have get-togethers at my house.
To make matters even worse, I decided during my senior year that I did not want to burden my mother by asking for money when I needed to buy things. As a result, I started working as much as I could outside of school. This gave me even less time to make friends. I would never want my mother to find out about this, and I would never want her to feel guilty or blame herself for my lack of social life as a child.
Always Remember Where You Came From
The secret that I keep hidden from my parents is the truth about my location for the past 25 years. They have no idea where I have been living that entire time, and I want to keep it that way. It’s a long story, but I have now spent more than half of my life going out of my way to make sure that they never suspect the true location of my residence.
No More Pomp And Circumstance
The secret that I keep hidden from my parents is that I knowingly recorded one of my favorite movies over the video tape of my sister's high school graduation. It was the only copy of that ceremony that we had, so we will never be able to look back on that memory again. Luckily, it's been about 18 years since I did this, and no one has noticed yet. Nevertheless, I still feel really bad about it.
An Unwanted Gamble
If my mom ever found out, she’d never forgive herself. The secret that I keep hidden from my parents is the fact that my cousins used to repeatedly take physical advantage of me when I was a kid. Throughout my childhood, my mom would regularly leave me at their house for hours at a time so that she could go to the casino and play her favorite games. If she knew what had taken place while she was away on those casino trips, she’d be horrified.
Handling Things On Your Own
The secret that I keep hidden from my parents is the fact that I was falsely accused of violently attacking someone when I was 17 years old. I am legally considered an adult in Texas, so the authorities didn’t have to tell them. A detective actually confiscated my cell phone for an entire school day to verify the veracity of the text messages proving that the encounter was consensual.
The whole thing was a really scary experience and a really weird time in my life. I had to deal with the fallout at school, as well as the challenges of not telling my parents about it.
Moving Onpersons hand on white surfacePhoto by Ruthson Zimmerman on Unsplash
The secret that I keep from my parents is that I’m not straight. Me and opposite gender fiancé don’t consider it cheating as long as whatever I do is with someone of the same gender, and as long as we inform each other prior. I hate my parents and can’t wait to leave. I don’t trust them to take my feelings seriously if I come clean to them about this secret.
The only reason I’m getting mentally healthier nowadays is that my therapist and fiancé have worked hard to help me learn that some things can’t be fixed and need to be thrown away, in this case, my relationship with my parents. My doctor is very excited about me becoming mentally stable enough to care for myself so that I can pursue university in a place where they are not around.
There’s just one thing that makes me want to stay—and breaks my heart. My 11-year-old sister trusts me more than she trusts them, and one time she cried asking me not to leave because she didn’t want to be left there alone with our parents. She’s been showing very obvious symptoms of anxiety and depression due to being bullied at school for the past few months. I want to help her, but my mom keeps getting in the way.
When I say anything about the situation to her, she quickly shuts me by saying “She probably did something wrong and that’s why she’s scared". I can’t do anything because I’m not her legal guardian, so I’ve been trying to teach her grounding techniques. I tell her the things that work for me other than my meds.
Money Makes The World Go Round
The secret that I choose to keep hidden from my parents is that I make a lot more money than I let on. My parents have always been and always will be the "I took care of you all your life, time for you to pay it back" type of parents. Except as far as they’re concerned, there is no end to this "debt" that I allegedly owe them. So, I just hide money from them so that they can't take advantage of me.
Swiper, No Swiping!
The secret that I keep hidden from my parents is that I once swiped some money from them in order to buy a bunch of illicit substances that they would never approve of me using. I regret it to this day. It was a horrible thing for me to do. My lazy self should have just listened to their good advice and gotten a job instead of getting myself into that kind of bad behavior.
Blame Canada For This One!
The secret that I have always kept hidden from my parents is that, for my entire childhood, I used to frequently watch South Park on TV when they thought I was sleeping at night. Not only would they have been angry at me for staying up past my bedtime, but this was also a show that my parents considered inappropriate and would never have knowingly allowed me to watch.
I guess this explains why I was always tired as a kid!
Thrown In The Slammer
My mother has no idea that I have been locked up twice—but that’s not the worst part. One of those times, I was in there with my father. He has been just as adamant as I have been in refusing to tell her about what happened. I don’t plan on ever letting her find out that we were there. I don’t think she would be too happy about it if she found out...
An Untarnished Academic Record?man in black jacket sitting on chairPhoto by christopher catbagan on Unsplash
The secret that I keep hidden from my parents is the fact that I became extremely depressed during my first year of university and nearly failed out of school because I couldn't handle the pressure. In their eyes, I am a model student and the farthest thing possible from someone who would have ever come close to failing academically. Little do they know…
A Family Man
The secret that I keep hidden from my parents is that I recently got someone pregnant and I'm pretty sure she kept the baby. She never told me officially, so I honestly don’t even know if I have a child. If my parents found out about this, they would be horrified. It would totally go against all of their deeply-held values, not to mention it would shatter their impression of me as a person.
The secret that I keep hidden from my parents is that my sister is a lesbian. She openly admits it to everyone she knows, except for our family. She eventually opened up to me about it, but both my parents and our older brother still know nothing about it. Since then, she and I have become a lot closer to one another than we were when we were growing up.
Does Not Compute
When I was around 14 years old, I once overheard my parents arguing with one another. My mom was yelling at my dad about some inappropriate adult searches that she had found on their computer’s internet history. But I knew the dark truth It was really me that was going on the computer in their room without permission and watching adult videos. But I chose to keep that a secret and say nothing as they argued.
Needless to say, my silence meant that my mom blamed my dad for the searches. He kept adamantly denying it, and she kept calling him a liar. As a result of this whole ordeal, he had to sleep in the guest bedroom for an entire month after that fight. The secret truth was never revealed, and hopefully, it never will be…
Not Very Sweet Emotion
They knew I had a nervous breakdown during my freshman year of high school and they knew that I went through a very dark phase at the age of 15. However, they didn’t know the heartbreaking reason why. I was attacked and taken advantage of as a kid, and I wanted to take my own life for many years afterward as a result of the incident.
Nothing Of Substancewoman in blue denim jacketPhoto by Naomi Suzuki on Unsplash
My parents have no idea that I have ever used a single bad substance. In reality, the first time I ever got high, it was right under their noses. I was with one of my best friends. We were at my house and my parents were at home. I made sure we stayed mostly upstairs and we tried our best to be quiet. Things were going fine until I started seeing colors all around us.
I started to hallucinate and I thought the colors were fighting each other. At a certain point, I just started laying there on my bed because I was no longer enjoying the experience. I literally felt like I couldn’t move. Everything felt numb. She kept trying to do intimate stuff with me and I kept saying I wasn’t interested. I ended up not knowing whether it was real life or not anymore.
My parents would kill me if they ever found out that I had done that, especially in their own home. I hated having to act like everything was just okay and normal afterward while I was still feeling physically and emotionally confused. They spent years trying to instill in me that playing around with substances was a bad idea, and I went against their wishes. I feel awful about it and can never let them find out.
Following Doctor’s Orders, In Private
The secret that I keep hidden from my parents is that I have been diagnosed with bipolar disorder. I always suspected that I suffered from some kind of mental health struggle, and I now know this to be the case thanks to a doctor I have secretly been seeing. As far as my parents know, there is nothing wrong with my mental or emotional health whatsoever.
For The Love Of All That Is Holy!
My parents are very devout members of a strict religious sect, and they raised me to be the same way. Members of this sect believe that their church is the only true church on Earth, and so it is very important to members that all their loved ones remain believers. My secret from my parents is that I no longer believe that their religion is true. They think I still go to church and believe, but nothing could be farther from the truth.
Keeping Up Appearances
The secret that I have always kept hidden from my parents is that I spent several years living as a barely functioning and depressed alcoholic during my college days. My life was really out of control back then, but I always managed to keep it together just enough to still be capable of putting on a facade for my parents. They never suspected a thing.
This Is Pretty Dark...
The secret that I keep hidden from my parents is that I don't actually love them. I care about them in the same way that I care for a hurt stranger, but I won't be crying when they pass except for over the stress of handling the funeral arrangements and finding a place for their kid and animals to live in their absence. I know this sounds harsh, but that’s the way I truly feel.
Some explanation is probably needed. Let’s start with the fact that my parents have done some pretty heartless things towards me over the years. They ran up a whole bunch of debts in my name and never helped me out with trying to pay them all off. That is just one example of their reckless and inconsiderate behavior towards me over the years.
Another example is that I was homeless twice in my mid-20s, but they absolutely refused to let me stay with them. At the age of 18, I still didn't have a driver’s license because I was never allowed to borrow their car. Eventually, I saved up and paid for my own lessons. Not that I could afford a car anyway until a few years later.
At the age of 20, I had a job interview at a well-paying company. I asked my parents if they could drive me for an hour to get there or let me drive. They agreed, but then the day of the interview, they never showed up. They also completely wrecked my confidence and self-esteem when I lived with them from the ages of 16 to 22, when they went off on outings almost every weekend while leaving me behind to watch their other kid and their animals.
There is also a lot more to the story that I would prefer not to talk about publicly. Of course, their other kid is technically related to me and would be considered my sibling by most people, but we do not have a good relationship or really much of any relationship to be completely honest. I know that it’s not his fault, but for my own mental health, I can’t bear to associate with anyone who reminds me of my awful parents.
How Much Is That Secret In The Window?a bathroom with a window and a yellow towelPhoto by Shaylyn on Unsplash
The secret that I have kept hidden from my parents for a very long time is that I used to frequently sneak out of the house from our second story bathroom window to go nightclubbing with my friends after the two of them had both gone to bed at night. This little secret of mine made some of my greatest high school memories possible.
The Suspension Of His Disbelief
My dad doesn't know that I was suspended from school for an entire semester back in college due to my low grades. He always thought of me as a terrific student and not at all as someone who would spend a lot of time partying and neglecting my studies. I didn’t have the heart to tell him that this happened to me, but it really did.
No Tech Support Needed
The secret that I have kept hidden from my parents is that I actually did know why my laptop wasn't working when I told them that it had suddenly broken and that I needed a new one. I had spilled a fair bit of Jack Daniel's on it during a night of partying, and it has not been working properly ever since. But as far as my parents know, it just failed to turn on one day and there is no logical explanation as to why.
A Lot To Deal With
The secret that I hide from my parents is that I've been struggling with depression, crippling loneliness, abandonment issues, and social pressure ever since I was six years old. I've come dangerously close to nearly ending my life on many occasions. I've been managing my life better as of late, but I have kept all of this hidden from my parents regardless. I don’t want them to ever know.
Passing The Bar
The secret that I keep hidden from my parents is that I’m not going to finish my degree and I’ve already paid off all my student loan debts. My degree was pointless and I don’t do well in school anyway due to my ADHD. My dad constantly asks me when I’m going to finish and stop bartending. I just keep saying I’ll be finishing soon.
I hate disappointing my parents because my father always gets very proud of my sister and me with all of our accomplishments. But truth be told, I’m quite content with the $60k a year that I make bartending right now. My degree would only have pulled in about $35k as a starting salary. I really like my current job and don’t feel that I’m missing out on anything, even though it’s so different than the vision that my parents always had for me.
I’m planning on keeping my true intentions a secret from them for as long as I possibly can.
Playing With A Full Deckarranged blue grocery cartsPhoto by Fabio Bracht on Unsplash
The secret that I keep hidden from my parents is that when I was at Walmart with my mom one time, I swiped two of those big cartons full of Pokémon Cards. I took the cards and stuffed them all into my back pocket. I planned the whole operation more than a week before. It was completely premeditated. I was the best and craftiest thief in the world at the age of nine.
But my parents had no idea, and they still don’t to this day…
Brothers In Arms
I kept the truth of how I got the giant, noticeable scar on my forearm a secret from my parents and others for close to 15 years. In order to understand the real story, you first need to know that I had an old metal bed frame and one of the posts had snapped off, leaving a pretty good sharp point that was dangerous but also pretty avoidable.
When I was about 16, I got very intoxicated with my older brother one time and we got into a huge fight. He tried to hit me, and in the process of the fight, he accidentally slashed my arm with a sharp blade while I was trying to avoid a punch. We both started freaking out when we saw the damage and the huge bloody gash that we had left on my arm. We rushed to the hospital and I was given 21 stitches for it.
When we got home, we realized that we would both get into huge trouble if our parents found out that we had been drinking. But we had to be able to give some kind of explanation for the giant scar on my arm that had never been there before. So, in the end, we told my mom, grandma, and pretty much all other concerned parties that I had merely fallen next to the bed and accidentally sliced my arm across the open part of the metal post.
And none of them ever doubted that story for a minute!
This Is The Worst Trip I’ve Ever Been On
The secret that I have always kept hidden from my parents is that I had actually planned on ending my life during a school trip overseas back in the day. I was really having a bad time on the trip and it made me feel incredibly depressed. My head became filled with such bad thoughts, and I wanted nothing but for them to go away.
I didn’t go through with what I was planning, as you can tell. But I seriously considered it, and that fact alone still shakes me to my core to think about. In the end, the only thing that stopped me was that I didn’t want to ruin the trip for everyone else. That’s how close I came. I couldn’t imagine ever telling my parents that this happened.
I Know What You’ve Been Up To...
The secret that I keep hidden from my parents is that I once found my dad’s stash of illicit substances hidden in his room. I feel like I don't even know him anymore. I never want him or my mother to know that I found this. I’m still a minor and I still live with them. I just don’t want them to think that I violated their privacy or found out about something that I wasn’t meant to see.
Such A Sad Situation
The secret that I keep hidden from my parents is that I was taken advantage of in our home for years when I was a child by the person that they know I hate the most. If they knew about this, they might finally understand why I hate this person so much. This is also the person that they would probably least suspect of ever doing a thing like that.
I doubt my parents would even believe me if I ever told them about what happened. In fact, my mom once actually walked into the room during one of the times that this was actively happening to me but she did not pick up on what was going on. She held a full, nonchalant conversation with us while it was going on right under her nose.
I was horrified because I was very obviously in danger and yet she was totally oblivious. I didn’t know what to do about it, and I’ve never brought it up to her ever since.
To Tell, Or Not To Tell?grayscale photo of woman doing silent hand signPhoto by Kristina Flour on Unsplash
The secret that I keep from my parents is that I fully know that my mother is cheating on my father. He doesn’t know that it’s happening, at least not to my knowledge, and she doesn’t have any idea that I know what she’s up to. I honestly have no idea what I should do with this information, but for the time being, I cannot bring myself to let either of them know that I know about it.
The Green, Green Grass Of Home
The secret that I keep hidden from my parents is that I sold weed in high school. This may seem like nothing compared to some of the other stories that people have shared here, but it is still something that would cause a whole lot of shock and disappointment with my family if they ever found out about it. Thankfully, it’s all in the past now, so hopefully, I will never have to say anything.
Stepping On The Wrong Toes
The secret that I keep from my parents is that, as a teen, I used to constantly fantasize about ending the life of my verbally and physically abusive stepfather and then ending my own life right after. He treated my mom like garbage and one day he actually punched me in the face for not washing my dirty dishes. This blow left a permanent gash above my eyebrow.
I was really depressed and wanted to end my life anyway, so I thought that I might as well take that jerk with me if I was going to have to go. I always tried to talk myself into finding some way to do it, but I could never actually bring myself to go through with it. The closest that I ever came to doing something was when he was asleep on the couch and my mom was off at work.
I grabbed a knife from the kitchen and just stood over him for a few minutes, contemplating whether I should do it or not. Of course, I never did. Thankfully, he and my mom separated less than a year after that incident. He is now out of our lives completely. My depression has been minimized tremendously since that. And no one ever needs to know how bad things were in my head before.
Seriously though, screw that guy!
Big Plans For The Future
The secret that I keep hidden from my parents is that I have a secret plan to take my own life many years from now. I've crafted the plan carefully, and it is specifically designed so that I can focus one year on spending time with each of the people that I love. I'm scared to tell them about it because I don't want them to get stressed out about it. But at the same time, I just can't mentally take life anymore and I can't cope with living like this for 20 or so more years.
Living On The Edge
The secret that I keep from my parents is that I lived with my girlfriend for more than a year and a half prior to us being married. We lived in a house less than 45 minutes away from where my parents lived, yet they had no idea that we were there. My parents are very conservative both socially and religiously, and they would have likely not attended our wedding had they known about this.
Getting The Job Donecomputer cablesPhoto by Randall Bruder on Unsplash
My parents have no idea that I left my job with the cable company to sell cars and write up oil changes for almost a year. I was emotionally burnt out from all the nonsense of the corporate world and I just couldn't take it anymore. So, without telling my parents, I tried switching careers. It didn't really pan out as I had hoped, but it did get me away from that trash heap of a company and allowed me to figure out what I actually wanted to do with my life and where to go from there.
A Strong, Independent Woman
It may seem weird to some people, but I prefer to keep it secret. My parents don’t know that I work out regularly. Pretty hard and heavy, too. My mom thinks that muscles on girls are gross, and for the years that she knew I worked out she treated me like I was gross too. It was heartbreaking for me. So now I pretend that I lost all interest in lifting weights and that I'm much happier this way.
The true fact is that I gave it up for about two months and couldn't stand life without it. It's sad that I can't keep my own mother in the loop about my most loved passion, but I've accepted it as just the way things are. In the grand scheme of things, this is far from the worst secret I could have had from my parents!
Food For Thought
The secret that I keep hidden from my parents is that I have a pretty serious eating disorder. I’ve had it since I was just 11 years old, and I even went to the hospital for it. I am keeping it under control more now than I used to thanks to the help of the doctors at the hospital. But my parents still have no idea that anything is wrong with me.
A Work Of Art
When I was in my early teens, we didn't yet have a computer or the internet at my house, but we did have Cinemax and my friend Doug introduced me to the late-night movies that were shown on the weekends. The secret that I hid from my parents was that, as a teenager who read comics and was not fully aware of the female anatomy, I would try to draw pictures of my favorite characters from those movies without their clothes on. Well, my mom found out…but it didn’t really go how I thought it would.
I used to hide the drawings either inside my comic books or in between my mattress and my box spring. I never considered the possibility that my mom would one day change my sheets. When she did, she discovered my secret. She told me that she was disappointed with me for drawing the pictures, but she was also impressed with the artwork.
So, she put the drawings into her special “hope chest” with all of my other stuff that she was proud of. I was embarrassed then, but now in my 30s, it's just nice to know that my mom cared that much about me and the things that I did. I bet not everyone could say that about their parents. Especially not after they discovered your secrets!
Three Square Meals A Day
My secret from my parents is that I sometimes grab lunch or dinner on the way home from class, and I don't tell them about it. If I did tell them, I would probably just get yelled at for "wasting money when we have perfectly good food at home". My mom's cooking is great, but sometimes I just want to grab some pizza! Is that such a horrible thing to want? I enjoy variety from time to time!
Recently, this whole situation has gotten even more intense since my mom has gotten into some kind of obscure health diet plan that she's forcing everyone to take part in. It’s a bit ridiculous, but I don’t mind humoring her.
Little Brother Is Watching Youperson looking in the middle of two beige cushionsPhoto by Cristina Gottardi on Unsplash
I know an awful lot of things that my parents don’t realize I know. That is thanks to the fact that I overhear all of their private conversations every single night. I have horrible sleeping patterns, and people always assume that I’m asleep when I’m not. This is because when I lay down for too long, my mouth opens and, when I close my eyes, it looks like I’m sleeping.
Because of this, I know that my dad is cheating on my mom. I’ve been hearing him calling another woman every single night while he thought I was asleep and unable to hear. I also happen to know that my mom steals money from my dad on the regular, as well as from me and my brother. She also badmouths my dad a lot of the time and complains about the fact that I'm not good at dealing with conflict.
She also thinks I'm too sensitive. Many nights, I can hear them arguing behind closed doors, and then, in the morning, they just act like everything is great and like nothing ever happened. But I know that that’s not true. I’ve also secretly heard them badmouth me and my brothers, and talk about wanting a divorce. And it still gets so much worse...
I’ve heard them express the fact that they both don’t want me or my brother. They also both don’t want our pet cats. They openly admit that they hate each other, and they love pointing out sensitive things that will anger each other. They also hit one another from time to time. Night after night, I learn more and more secrets about how awful they really are. And I never let on that I know any of it.
It all started messing with my head a lot for the past couple of years. Slowly, it affected my personality and had even changed my reputation in school a lot. My friends told me that I wasn’t the same anymore. Apparently, I used to be totally carefree, let them borrow all my things whenever they asked, followed them around, wanted to be near them all the time, and would hug them a lot.
After my personality change, they told me they noticed that I was no longer hugging them at all. They said it felt like I was distancing myself from them. My grades got horrible and I always asked them to leave me alone whenever they tried to spend time with me. I’ve lost a lot of friends and teachers who used to talk to me and care about me.
I would open up to them, but in my community, we have a policy of not bringing our problems at home into school. It upsets me a lot and the only thing that I ever have to distract me from all of this is when I get to spend time with my older brother. We usually watch a little bit of football together, which I consider to be my favorite sport.
My older brother loves football and rabbles all the latest news to me whenever we hang out. I love it. I feel like I can trust him with my secrets, more than I could ever trust my best friend, mom, dad, or teachers. We share a lot in common. But even he doesn’t know about the mom and dad situation. I don’t have the heart to tell him about it.
But at the same time, he’s the only one who listens to me. Whether I’m angry, sad, upset, disappointed, happy, or any other emotion, he will always be happy to listen. Any topic goes, from video games, to sports, to movies, to books, to some new fact I heard about some obscure topics of science, to some random fun fact I learned about history. Anything you can imagine.
Needless to say, you can add the true state of my emotions to the long list of secrets that I now have from my parents, thanks to my late night accidental spying habit.
We Hope They Get Well Soon
The secret that I keep hidden from my parents is that I really want to become a dental surgeon. This might not sound like anything controversial, but to my parents, it would be the end of the world. That is because they really want me to go into some crackpot, unscientific, antivax "holistic" naturopathic medicine business that fits with what they believe in.
Don’t ask me why, but they are convinced that modern medicine and science are a hoax and, as a result, they don’t trust regular doctors at all. I'm completely afraid that if I tell them about my true career intentions, they will refuse to pay for my college and dental school expenses. If my worst fears come true, they might even disown me over this.
A Tragic Experience
From the age of ten until I was 14, I was “best friends” with a man who had said he was also 14. In reality, he had been saying that for three years on the internet. It was very far from true. He emotionally manipulated me to stay at home, talk to him online all day, and to falsely tell my parents that I was writing. I actually do write in my free time, so my parents never doubted the excuse.
My parents completely drank up the lies and I was never free from this person’s manipulation. When holidays came around, I wouldn’t go out with my friends. I would stay at home and talk to him all day. Eventually, he began to pressure me to send him naughty pictures of myself. I finally broke down and gave in when he threatened to find me and beat me up.
He knew where I went to school and where I lived. After that, he stopped talking to me for a few months because I was “too fat and needed to lose some weight". I was a tubby child, but I felt disgusting and started to hate myself after he said that. I fell into an eating disorder and almost lost my life. I was sent into therapy a year or so later to help recover from the disorder.
I’m recovered from anorexia now, but my therapist was trying to figure out the root cause for it back in May. My mum was in the room with me, and I finally broke down and told them everything. I had kept it a secret from her for my entire adult life, but I couldn’t hold back anymore. We immediately went to the authorities, but I’ve never heard from the guy since and we were unable to track him down.
It still scares me to think about him. Even all these years later, it still feels like a fresh wound every time I think about it. Thankfully, though, I can honestly say that I’m doing better than ever now. I can balance my writing with my social life and everything is going great for me! I regret having kept this secret from my parents for so long. They probably could have saved me a lot of pain if they had known what I was dealing with.
I would never be able to live it down if they knew. The secret that I keep from my parents is that I’ve been writing explicit fan fiction since I was 16 years old. I have no idea what they think I have been giggling about for the last 10 years whenever I’m on my laptop, but I’m glad they don’t know the truth. Some of it is pretty darn explicit and embarrassing.
She’s A Real Pain In The Teeth
I have a secret that I keep from my parents. My mom has no idea that she is the reason why my dental health is terrible. My teeth are a disaster due to stress-induced teeth grinding. She knows nothing about this, and cannot do anything about it either. She is also a major part of the reason as to why I have notable social anxiety and other psychological problems.
She's bound to find out sooner or later I am sure. I do not live with her anymore for these reasons, among others.
Pen Palsperson holding black android smartphonePhoto by Jonas Leupe on Unsplash
When I was 12 years old, I secretly saw some emails on my mom's iPod touch. The emails were very suggestive and were between my mother and another man. I never told my dad that I saw those emails. I wish I did, because it turned out that she was cheating on him. This is the first time I've ever mentioned it to anyone. It feels good to get it off my chest.
Wanted On The Telephone
The secret that I kept from my parents is that I was working as an operator for an adult phone line back in university. I told everyone I know that I was working the phones for our local department store. One day, my dad innocently asked me whether they were hiring, as he thought he might want to give my alleged job a try. Nope. We were not...
Mind Over Matter
The secret that I keep hidden from my parents is that I was heavily addicted to painkillers and other mind-altering substances for the entire time that I was away at university. I think that this information would devastate them if they ever found out, and I can’t imagine ever telling them about it. As far as they know, my time away from home was nothing more than a perfect, storybook college experience.
Back when I was in the seventh grade, I started to get into watching adult videos and my favorite kind, for some reason, was guy-on-guy stuff even though I’m a girl. Anyways, I didn’t know how anything but YouTube worked back then, so I ended up downloading and saving something like three explicit gay videos on my phone.
Needless to say, I did not tell my mom about this secret interest of mine. But I had an Android phone so when I deleted the videos, the titles were still in my phone and could be viewed in my download history. For some reason, my mom took my phone from me one day and went through it. She then sat me down and asked me about the video titles she had found on it.
Now, I’m not necessarily proud of what happened next. I’m a very good liar. But in this particular situation, I didn’t have to do much lying. That was because as soon as I started crying and saying that I didn’t do it, she immediately believed me and blamed the whole thing on my stepdad. She said that she’d had a suspicion that he was gay throughout their whole relationship and all that.
After that, she never confronted him and just continued to stay with him even though she thought he was gay. Unintended side effect? That was when I realized that my mom was a golddigger. But regardless, my secret remained intact.
I’m Not Who You Think I Am
Sneaking out, bad grades…my secret is a bit different. I routinely pay random escorts to show up to family events as my “girlfriend” so that my parents will stop telling their friends to try and hook me up with their daughters. Every time we have a gathering, a paid date shows up with me to meet everyone, and then they always claim to have to leave early. I pay by the hour. It gets the job done, and my parents have no idea that I’m happily single all the while.
Romance isn't easy and, sometimes, leads to regret.
A lot of times, those regrets are about something you said to or told your ex.
Sometimes, it's regret about the relationship altogether. Other times, it's regretting saying something that led to a breakup. And others it's regretting saying something when you should've just said nothing and left.
Whatever the case, we all have those regrets. Redditors certainly do, and they are ready to share what they regret saying to their ex.
It all started when Redditor Quintowne asked:
"What do you regret telling your ex?"
"Saying anything after finding out he cheated. Shoulda just left silently tbh"
"I wish I had done this, too. Looking back, it would have been not only more satisfying but also reduced the trauma in general."
"Well over it now, but man, I wish I had just disappeared."
"I found out my ex was cheating 4 hours into a 5 hour drive to a theme park when she gave me her phone to text her mum back."
She threatened to leave me there unless I got back with her so I wish I just hadn’t said anything until we got home."
She still denied it despite overwhelming evidence and blamed me for all of it."
I literally showed her a text of her say to him that “thanks for letting me take you to the Xmas party as my boyfriend..." Her response to me was basically “lalalalalalala” every time I tried to talk or that I was taking it out of context."
This was a party she had said a ton of times that you weren’t allowed to take a partner with you."
It was the most awkward day of my life, and once she had gotten over the part where she wanted to leave me there, she kept me there until 10pm until I said I would take her back after falsely “accusing her.""
"We only left because security in the car park said they would tow her car if she didn’t leave. Then we drove 5 hours back with work the next day so I only had an hour or two sleep."
"I dumped her a** once I got it in a text that she admitted it and somehow her friends and family still took her side saying she wouldn’t ever do that."
"She then stalked me for 2 years."
"Yeah my first relationship was a wild ride for years."
"I really wish I had just ghosted her and left without explanation."
Money For Nothing
"The combination to my wall safe. She took about $40,000 in gold and silver."
"Then I had to take her back and get her to trust me before she gave it back (which was a little over 3 more months). Then I had to dump her again. And then she broke all the windows in my house. But she got arrested since it was on camera. She spent 12 days in jail and had to do 100 hours of community service. As soon as it was done, she tried to set me house on fire. She ended up in jail for 3 years for attempted arson. And last I heard, she met a guy, got dumped, and tried to burn down the bar he owned. She’s in prison now. Not sure how long. Don’t care. I moved out of state. Hope she doesn’t find me."
Did You Know...?
"Opening up about anything. Turns out whenever I said anything to her, she would spread it to her friends and other lover."
"Mine as well, terrible people."
"“Sure we can get a joint bank account.”"
"Man I don’t even have a joint bank account with my wife :-D haha. That’s levels of crazy trust."
"I regret asking “will you marry me?” more."
""We both made mistakes", she said when she left me."
""We did. You, lied and cheated on me. I, married you.""
""I forgive you" (after the first time she cheated). - It was dumb, dumb, dumb - just f**king stupid - as in I should not be allowed out of the house without adult supervision stupid. Did I mention it was dumb? And that I was a f**king idiot?"
– Deleted User
"Lmao it’s okay. Love makes us dumb, blind and basically incapable of functioning. We learn tho :)"
What's In A Name?
"I wish I'd never met him."
"She told me that I was angry."
"I told her that I stopped being angry months before."
"She asked if I wasn’t angry, what was I?"
"I told her that I was bored."
"We’d been separated for 6 months at that point and I was waiting for her to deal with some of her issues so we could actually move towards divorce. A year later nothing has changed and I’m still bored, but recognise that it wasn’t a helpful thing to say."
"The opposite of love isnt hate, its apathy."
A Heavy Loss
"“I’ll store my sh*t here for now and will pick it up later.”"
"...crazy ex sells my pristine childhood collection of consoles/videogames and a bunch of sh*t after we breakup."
"Old games and consoles!? And they were pristine!? Dude, you gotta sell her organs at that point."
Went On For Too Long
"I have a pretty weird one."
"I dated someone from out of country until COVID. But the thing is - we didn't really break up. She just tried to lure me to move to where she was.. during a pandemic... when I was newly unemployed.. and without health insurance in the US. Even with that, I said I would - and then I just didn't hear from her for months."
"I finally get an email response in mid summer indicating that she loved me and misses me, and her life is miserable and that she left Colorado for NC. I respond back. Crickets afterwards."
"We were "reddit friends", meaning we followed one another back then. A post comes up that November 2020 asking a mail related question, because her and her SO moved in together and were not getting mail for several weeks."
"My mistake was that I reached out to her and I told her exactly what I thought about what she did. That it wasn't wrong to break up with me, but it was wrong to not break up with me, keep me hanging, and then not tell me that she really just met someone else."
"What followed after that was several months of shoddy communication. She completely tried to gaslight me. But in actuality - she was creating a fake life story to cover up the fact that she basically just left me for someone else. In the end, she said some pretty nasty things to me, I said some pretty nasty things to her, and we haven't spoken since. But I could've avoided several months of emotional discomfort if I just let it be."
"She's now married to the guy she swore was just a figment of my imagination."
"If someone is going to lie to you like that, gaslight you, throw your feelings in the trash so callously - they don't deserve your time in any capacity."
I Can Hear You!
"That I am hard of hearing. The AH would use it to gaslight me by claiming I didn't hear him or his tone of voice accurately. His speaking voice was loud and he yelled a lot - I WISH I couldn't hear him."
Talk about gaslighting!
Do you have any regrets to share? Let us know in the comments below.
🎵 Money makes the world go around...🎶
For most of the world it's a necessity, but how we acquire it can lead to some interesting situations.
Sure, we can go to work for 40+ hours a week, but that's not the only way to increase our cash flow. We can contract out our services, work a gig job or just stumble upon an earning opportunity.
Reddit user Tier1CSGO asked:
"What is the dumbest way you've ever made money?"
"Sold my urine on job site to guys who knew they were going to be tested."
Polly Want a Story?
"Reading books to my neighbour's parrot."
"He was depressed and needed company, apparently."
"I was 10, I enjoyed that work very much."
"I read a lot on my own, but I was terrible at reading out loud, and I had a stutter."
"The parrot was lonely and plucking his feathers and I was told that the only way I could save him was to read to him every day."
"I suspect anything to keep him company would have worked, but I took my reading job very seriously. It helped us both."
"Forgot to submit my self-assessment tax return for a year I owed £0 tax."
"Got fined £100."
"Appealed it, was successful, got paid £100.10 back."
"I got a job as a 'fantasy model with long flowing hair' where I modelled for covers of B grade American fantasy novels. Paid OKish, not well."
"I also signed away my rights like an idiot so I occasionally turn up riding a horse, or casting a spell. Also once turned up on a book cover with 'a lady' and my girlfriend went 'Who the f'k is that‽‽'."
"Photoshop my dear. Photoshop."
"I tried to read one of the books and it started 'He was not traditionally handsome'. Ouch."
"About 10 years ago I downloaded one of those Clash of Clans style app games. This was before the 'pay to win' model had arisen so I played the game for about a year and was actually pretty good at it and managed to get into one of the top clans."
"After a year or so though the pay to win model began to rear its ugly head and ruin the game. I saw the writing on the wall and decided it was time to hang it up."
"Now I had never spent a dime on this game but I knew that a lot of the big spenders would sell their accounts when they quit in an attempt to recoup some of their losses. I knew my account wasn’t at that level but I figured it was worth a try."
"I figured if I could get even $10 I would be happy. I was in no rush to sell it though so I figured I would start very unrealistically high and then slowly go down on my list price."
"I ended up listing it on a third party site starting at $500. Within 12 hours I had a guy 'counter offer' at $350."
"I was blown away. I wasn’t about to negotiate with that and jumped all over it."
"To this day I still can’t believe that I had fun playing a free game for a year and then sold my account for $350."
Doesn't Add Up
"Tutoring a kid in math who was far smarter in math than his mother thought. He didn't do the homework because he wanted to play video games."
"He aced all the test and quizzes but homework was 50% of the grade so he was getting a C in math. Mother basically paid me $20 an hour to make sure he did his homework, which he finished in about 5 min."
"We then played video games for the next 55 minutes and whenever the mother would check on us I would say something 'mathematical' then he would say something 'mathematical' and I would say 'exactly, now you've got it'."
"I felt bad taking the money from the mom, but as a poor college kid, $20 is $20."
"Answered an ad on Craigslist. A dude shaved my head, and filmed it. Paid me $600."
"Craigslist had some bizarre ads back in the day. I answered an ad to do some weird stuff too."
"A guy wanted me to pee in a diaper and give it to him."
"So we’d meet up. I’d get in his car. Put on a diaper, pee in it, take it off, give it to him, and he’d pay me $100."
Pound for Pound
"In the 90's I had some money spare and the British Government was attempting to stop the £ falling below a certain level against the US$."
"On the radio in the mornings, day after day, serious expert were saying it couldn't hold out against the markets."
"I converted all my cash into US$. Two weeks later I converted it all back into £'s and made £10,000. I literally did nothing except change some currency."
Miscommunication = $$$
"I was a contractor for a while doing IT. I think I was making around $50k at the time. Hourly pay, but worked out to about $50k annually."
"They wanted to renew my contract and I told my contract company I should get 10 more. I thought I was worth another $10k annually."
"They went and talked to the company and came back and said they got me 9. As in $9 more an hour and if that was OK."
"Yep, that’s about $19k more annually. It was also around Y2K time so overtime was always there too."
"I once crashed my truck on the freeway (due to a faulty road, I got a big payout, don't worry guys) and when I was all shaken and like holy crap and pulling over into the grass on the side of the road, I stepped out of the truck on shaky legs, and there was just... a 20 dollar bill."
"Crisp and new. Just sitting there."
"I thought I must have imagined it, but I took it as a good sign, and then insurance inexcusably overpaid what my truck was worth and I got a much better truck for free and 20 bucks."
"Dumb. Effective, but dumb."
Whistle While You Work
"I worked at a recording studio and one of the engineers was working on a radio commercial. The spot called for a bit of dialogue between a voiceover talent and a bird whistling."
"The client figured we could just use sfx for the bird responses, but nothing was working. The engineer left the session for a bit to get some air and he told me what was going on."
"Not to brag, but I’m a pretty good whistler. I started mimicking what the bird 'should' sound like, and his eyes went wide. He dragged me into the session to present what I did."
"I ended up being hired on the spot. I whistled for one commercial, which happened to be a union gig. So, I signed a contract that basically let me join for the day."
"I got about 800 bucks for the day, but also received residual checks for a couple more years after that. Whistling earned me about $3k in the end."
"My offer letter was wrong. I asked for a one time sign on bonus since I was leaving my match at my previous job. HR agreed but then instead of doing it as a bonus they added it to my salary."
"I didn’t say anything."
"2 years later during an audit they caught it. The ceo finds out and says 'well even with his raise last year he still is worth it'."
"Never had to pay it back since it was an hr screw up and I’m good at my job."
"Shoveling snow. Yeah, I know how it sounds, but I was at my grandma's house and she had this shovel that was curved so if you held it right, the snow would curl up and move just like a snowplow."
"I was like 6 or 7 years old. I thought was so cool so I just went around her block clearing the sidewalks having a blast cause it's just like the big snowplows."
"Before I know it, people are coming out of the houses and giving me money."
"Some dude hit my friend with his car while we were crossing the sidewalk in front of a 7-11."
"We were 12ish at the time and my friend wasn't hurt except for a bruise that came later."
"He gave us each $20 to not say anything about it."
"We bought SO much candy."
The United States is described as being in a gig economy.
People are temps, contractors or subcontractors instead of employees.
Some efforts to make a living wage are better ideas than others.
But "dumb" might be a bit harsh if it pays the bills.
What's the most unusual way you've made money?