The internet isn't always a toxic place full of unkindness that draws its strength from the cloak of anonymity. Sometimes it's a crowd-sourced trove of helpful information about highly specialized subjects.
Sure, research happens on the internet. But other information abounds, too. More general, anecdotal life advice crops up every now and then.
And some people really take that guidance to heart. They apply anonymous strangers' guiding words and experiences to their real life issues. Of course, sometimes the guidance turns out to be ill-advised.
But many are filled with gratitude after acting on internet guidance. One Reddit thread collected the satisfied anecdotes of life-changing internet advice.
omgitsthefranchise asked, "People who made a huge life decision based on Reddit advice, how did it go?"
A Helpful Push to Seek Help
"I sought therapy for my ED (eating disorder) years ago on advice from r/loseit and I'm feeling pretty great!"
"Wayyy healthier mentally and I eat normally now."
"Thanks Reddit for telling me it wasn't normal to cry about whether or not to drink a glass of water."
Just Good Old Fashioned Practical Info
"It's not as huge as some of the others here, but I bought my car based on advice from Reddit. I don't know anything about cars, but I had a budget and I knew what I wanted out of the car."
"Some nice folks on Reddit gave me a few options and some feedback on some Craigslist posts I found, and I got a really nice used Honda Accord that I love."
Nothing to Regret, at Least
"Maybe not a HUGE life decision, but I followed advice on the dating subreddit and took the first step to asking a girl out. Turns out I can't read signals and she was not interested at all."
"At least I did something though?"
"Saw some advice along the lines of 'If you're trying to meet new people say yes to things you might not usually say yes to.' I had just moved to a new city for school and a guy asked me to form a study group with him, so I said yes."
"Then he asked me out to lunch, I didn't know him that well and normally would have said no but you know where this is going, I said yes to that too."
"We ended up hanging out more and became good friends over the rest of year. Now we live together and have been dating for 5 years, all because I agreed to go eat a sandwich with him. Cant imagine my life without him."
"We still go eat at that sandwich shop sometimes and reminisce."
From Beer and Pizza to Full Time
"I started writing erotica five years ago for beer and pizza money after seeing someone talking about it on an AskReddit thread. I've been writing full time, though no more erotica, since early 2015."
"That thread gave me the kick I needed to start doing writing that made money and helped me transition to doing it full time."
For Those Newbie Blind Spots
"In moving to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, one Redditor told to me watch out for the 'Pittsburgh Left'-- this is basically when a person makes a really fast left turn against oncoming traffic."
"Truly solid advice. I'm still alive today after 3 years here. That said, I truly loathe this place -- especially its drivers."
The Beginning of a New Life
"5 years ago I had the courage to click on a link explaining the truth about Jehovah Witnesses. I was able to realize I was raised in a cult, left, and started my life."
"Publicly quit the religion, was announced excommunicated, lost all my friends, most of my family (4 of us left at same time tho!) But it was the best decision of my life and completely changed everything. From my city, job, sexuality, politics, and view of the world."
"So yeah, I always joke that Reddit kinda saved my life."
Entertaining New Ideas
" I started a job dogsitting on the side through a dogsitting website after I saw people on Reddit talking about how great it is and posting videos of the dogs they had taken care of."
"I love dogs and was looking for extra money (and I had some experience), so I signed up and ended up making thousands of dollars over the few years I was active on the site! But the best part was spending time with tons of adorable dogs, meeting new people, and making great memories."
"I wouldn't have known about it if I didn't stumble across the opportunity on Reddit, so it was a surprising and 100% positive experience."
"I was planning on buying an engagement ring with a precious gemstone. I had picked out the stone and setting from a big name internet website. I turned to reddit and asked for advice and opinions in a couple jewelery and engagement ring subs."
"I was contacted by numerous redditors. I was informed that the gem was garbage, the color was not uniform, the cuts on the stone were horrid and it was all overpriced. I actually was referred to a online gem site. I picked out a really quality sky blue sapphire."
"A fellow redditor was able to custom fabricate the exact ring my now fiance wanted. This was the most expensive thing I've ever bought (outside of a car) and I was so thankful for the advice of this community."
Accepting the Truth
"I left my dead bedroom marriage after reading posts on that sub."
"The best advice I saw was 'There's always going to be an excuse not to leave. First it's because you live together. Then it's because you're married. Then it's because you have kids. You just become more and more intertwined until you feel like you literally can't leave. There's never a right time, but that doesn't mean it's not the right choice.'"
"It was exactly what I needed to read to leave my marriage. Best decision I've ever made."
Strangers' Words of Affirmation
"Maybe not a huge decision but the the support I've received from Reddit for my art has been astounding and life changing for me. I'm still working on getting prints made to sell( virus has made things a bit difficult) but the fact that people want to buy my work is mind blowing."
"I've never been good at anything in my life and without Reddit, I would still think I'm not really good at anything."
The Push to Share
"It went really well! Someone recommended opening up to people and so far I'm really happy that I've chosen to do so!"
"While this definitely doesn't apply to everyone, people seem to be happier to help each other than others might think. It's helped me take a much less cynical view of the world and has helped me feel more like we're in this together"
Some Judgement, More Concrete Advice
"I quit a toxic job during this bad economy and totally panicked and looked to reddit. Some told me that was stupid because we were hitting a recession and some were very supportive. But most gave me great tips for looking for a new job and I took their advice."
"2 weeks later I was offered 2 jobs and a week later I picked one. And I'm happy."
Someone Who Had the Details
"I did AmeriCorps because of a comment. I messaged the user and they were the tipping point in my decision to volunteer for a position that was a 19 hour away drive. It worked out great because one of my sites liked me enough to hire me full time."
"Now, it's mostly online but it's still going great."
The Discovery of Tone
"Not really advice but more the interactions."
"I use to be quite judgement online and quick to insult. Simple interactions with some decent people made me realise that I was acting poorly. I would like to think I'm more polite now."
"Applying this in my real life as well, it's hard breaking habits but it's getting a lot better and it's made my life easier, less conflicts and more results."
Communication Growing Pains
"I've been married for 20 years and together with my husband for 25. With info from relationship advice and the Ask Men section, I've learned over the long whiles a better way to communicate with my husband."
"Nothing big, it is just that I've learned to read his cues better and how to change how I react to things that used to enrage me. I am now very clear on why things upset me instead of assuming he already knows, for example."
A Life-Saving List
"The time reddit got me out of depression, some person gave my 10 things to do and I did them and I have to admit I might now be here unscathed without them."
"If that person sees this thank you, really helped me out and now I get to be the one helping others out of their problems in life."
Help to See What was Always There
"Uhh I found out I'm transgender, it answered a few questions and raised so many more" -- dictatortahtz
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There are just some actions we never grow out of.
When it's time to grow up... grow up.
Let's discuss the signs and scenarios we should know about.
Redditor Grouchy-Trip9582 wanted the grown ups reading to listen up and act their age.They asked:
"What is a childish behaviour adults do that makes you cringe?"
Why do some children behave better than adults? It makes no sense. Let's hear some explaining.
Simple AnswerOh No You Didnt GIF by happydogGiphy
"Getting mad when someone tells them 'No.'"
"At the bakery where I work, we offer free cookies to kids under 12 as long as they have a parent with them. As you can imagine, we run out quickly. I've seen a couple of adults scream and cry after telling them we've run out of cookies, like I've just run over their puppy or something. The kids usually just shrug it off and walk away."
"Yelling at their children on the subway basically having a tantrum as the actual child silently stares or spaces out."
"It’s the most upsetting reaction for me to see when a kid is being yelled at, honestly. Because most of the time you just know it’s such a common happening and they’re so used to it this is the way they cope."
"I know I’m not a perfect parent and I lose my temper here and there but I truly hope I don’t get to this point or where others see me as this type of parent. I think a lot of those parents, though, are also victims who haven’t figured out how to end the cycle of abuse/poor treatment. It is how they were raised so it is all they know and that is also sad. Trauma creating more trauma. :( "
"Getting mad at or demeaning cashiers/fast food workers."
"I wouldn't even call this 'childish' behavior, because kids generally don't even do this. It is only done by overly-entitled adults with superiority complexes and impulse control."
Oh Ma...uh GIFGiphy
"My mother sticks her fingers in her ears and goes 'lalalala' whenever someone is proving her wrong. All the time. Consistently."
Oh, I've lost track of how many times I've met these people. How are these adults?
SorrySorry Lebron James GIF by UninterruptedGiphy
"The inability to apologize/admit when they are wrong... I just think it's so strange. Like... No one expects you to be perfect."
"Blame others instead of taking responsibility for their actions."
"When people refuse to take accountability it is literally the worst. Even something as simple as, 'My God, you’re right. I’m so sorry I’m not sure what I was thinking.' Can really do so much to repair and mend relationships with others."
"This is not childish, this is manipulation."
"I was at Sports Authority for the final clearance sale. They had three weeks left until their doors closed for good so there were only about four employees left on staff and they had all completely run out of f**ks to give. Well this one lady pushes her way to the front of the line saying 'I had to wait so long to get help out there I shouldn’t have to wait in line.'"
"The woman at the register ignores her and continues to check out a different customer. Impatient lady tosses her things on the counter so the employee pushes them to the side and says 'I can help the next person in line' naturally impatient lady loses it completely, yelling at the employee; you know the drill 'speak to your manager, customer is always right, call corporate, I’m a busy woman with places to go' entitled person's greatest hits."
"The manager walks over to defuse the situation impatient lady starts yelling and the guy behind her in line (whom she cut in front of) steps in to explain she tried to jump the line and the cashier was just helping those who had already been waiting."
"The cashier looks at her manager with a ‘what are you gonna do? Fire me?’ Face. The manager looks at impatient lady and says 'you can either wait in line like everybody else or you can leave' she looked for a second like she was going to explode but just stormed out. It was amazing watching retail workers be able to say the things you know they wanted to say to every difficult customer."
"Having a screaming match like kids on playground."
"Some of my neighbours are like this, having huge screaming matches in the parking lot of their building or out on their balcony. It's like they want the world to witness their argument, which makes it feel extremely performative. Like they're not arguing because of a real disagreement, they're arguing for the benefit of their audience. I can't even raise my voice in public, so this mentality is very alien to me."
Go AwayPhaedra Parks Bye Felicia GIFGiphy
"My mom’s piece of crap boyfriend flipping over a table and storming out of a restaurant because they wouldn’t give him a discount for some bulls**t reason he made up. He was always asking to talk to the manager to get discounts and free stuff. Usually he’d get it too because those people aren’t paid enough to deal with angry morons like him. He died a few years ago fortunately."
Did y'all read carefully? Grow up.
On occasion, all of us look in a mirror and wish there was something about our physical characteristics that was different.
Being a few inches taller, having a different hair color, maybe a smaller nose.
But then, as we continue to stare at our reflection, we might suddenly realize there are some things about ourselves which we don't mind at all.
In fact, we might even be proud of our eye color, the shape of our ears, or having an enviable jawline.
For most people, finding their best attribute might not be so difficult to determine, owing to slim pickings.
But for those blessed with good genetics, choosing their best physical trait might be a bit more difficult.
Redditor askredditiscool was curious to hear what people with enviable genetics considered their best physical quality, leading them to ask:
"People who have 'won the genetic lottery' what qualities do you have?"
Come and get me!
"I'm not allergic to mosquito spit."
"So they bite me and I feel the pin prick, but I never get that red swollen itchy-as-hell welt."
"I also apparently taste bad enough to them that they will go for anyone else in the area before me."
"Ticks, on the other hand, will hunt me for f*cking miles."- open_door_policy
Million Dollar Smile
"No wisdom teeth!"
"The trade off is the ticking time bomb that is my cancer genetic..."- Opin88
"My teeth are nearly perfect."
"Whenever I switch dentists, they are a bit stunned at the first appointment."
"My husband hates me for it."- BilobaBabyHappy Dance GIF by benjamin lemoineGiphy
"I can actually lick my elbow."- Soulerous
"At age 72 I've fallen several times in the last few year, low blood pressure, and have never broken a bone in my life."- Duegatti
"O mio babbino Caro..."
"Perfect pitch."- HeliomobAnna Kendrick Movie GIF by Pitch PerfectGiphy
Pure blood indeed!
"Not a single blood related person who had or has cancer for at least 3 generations."
"Meaning parents, grand parents and grand grand parents and all their children and children's children."
"Or any other inheritable disease."- yohoho_99
Sleeping Beauty ain't got nothing on me...
"I inherited the Sleep Button gene from my grandfather."
"When I want to fall asleep, I just... do ...in a matter of minutes."
"I haven't struggled with falling asleep/waking up more than ten times in my entire lifetime."
"I can't nap for sh*t."- VertebrateCrossing
I got time...
"Not sure yet but like I may live a really long time."
"People on my mom's side just have exceptional lifespans."
"My great grandma got in a bad fire at age 45 and had third-degree burns everywhere."
"No one thought she'd recover or live very long."
"Out of pure spite for the husband she has been separated with for 23 years, she lived till she was 96."
"This was in India and she was upper lower-class."
"Meaning the healthcare was sh*tty."
"My great great grandpa lived till he was around 116."
"He maintained his capability and independence till the very end."
"In his last few years, he started to lose his eyesight and hearing but he still cooked his own food, bathed himself, did the house chores, etc."
"My grandpa is at 78 right now and he'll hopefully remain in good health."- a-lovelyy-ladyyOld Lady Dancing GIF by MattielGiphy
Some people are just born lucky.
True, it's what's inside that counts.
Which doesn't mean we don't still wish we had perfect teeth every now and then...
Self-awareness is a strong and admirable quality which far too few people have.
Particularly as those who are truly self-aware are often willing and able to admit when they're wrong, or if there is something about their personality which could, and probably should, be changed.
Truth be told, it doesn't take a great deal of self-awareness to realize and acknowledge your less than admirable traits.
More than likely, these are the things about ourselves that we've likely hoped we might change for a very long time.
Redditor sound-hub was eager to hear people share their least admirable qualities, leading them to ask:
"What's one bad trait about you?"
Give people some closure!
"I never finish the things that I"- BadAndNationwide
I just can't stop
"Having an addictive personality."
"If there's an activity or substance that triggers dopamine release, I'll probably take it to an extreme."- DeathSpiral321
I don't want to get out of bed..
"My laziness will be the death of me."- A_R_K_SKevin James Eating GIF by TV LandGiphy
I can't, I'll never be able to...
"Pessimism and lack of confidence."- Iamnothuman77
"I lack confidence."
"I constantly try to get reassurance or double checks on my decisions before making them."
"It has helped me to avoid making certain mistakes but I feel like if I was more confident in myself, I'd be better off."- HumbleOwl
I don't need the help, so stop asking!
"I’m too prideful."
"I don’t ask for help when I need it and make myself miserable powering through a sh*tty task or situation."
"It’s a problem."
"I’m trying to break myself of it."- like5or6
"I got no patience.. non.. nada."- shine_hunterWaiting Patiently GIF by General HospitalGiphy
Do you think they'll like it? Oh I hope they do...
"I’m too much of a people pleaser."- Positive-Help6449
I'd rather not say...
"I don’t talk."- TheCowOfArdonia
"I use sarcasm too often."- The_StankyBootMaggie Smith Sarcasm GIF by Downton AbbeyGiphy
It's brave to admit the things about yourself that could be improved.
But it's important that this is how you feel, and not how others perceive you.
Only then should you even begin to think about changing any part of yourself.
It's hard not to look back in life on some things we wish we handled them differently.
Some of these are relatively minor, like wishing we chose a different hotel on a vacation, or being a bit more friendly to certain people in middle school.
But sometimes, we look back on decisions we made, and wonder if our lives might be different had we not made certain decisions, or behaved in a certain way.
Redditor lillyrosebennet was curious to hear what the Reddit community regrets most in their lives, leading them to ask:
"What do you regret?"
Who care's what other people think?
"Putting my self worth into the hands of others."- scaryboilednoodles
Oh, what could have been...
"Not realizing this beautiful girl in high school was flirting with me."- South_Ad8256
Take your life and education seriously
"Not going to class nearly enough my freshman year of college."
"I dug myself a HUGE hole because I thought it was a better idea to drink on weeknights, play Starcraft, and hang out bullsh*tting in people's dorm rooms until 4am than actually attend lectures and do work."- DaisyCutter312
"Not taking my life seriously at a younger age."- ogue-Jedi
Learning more about others
"Not talking more to my grandma about her life."
"She's passed not long ago and even though I was there at least once a month in the last year, which is not so little regarding the distance, I just wish I had asked more about how she was like, when she was my age."
"She wrote a memoir and she has lots of diaries, but I think she started writing them later on."
"I was just so scared of making her relive her trauma."
"But I really miss her and I wish we could've had more time to talk."- MyCatIsUpsiideDown
There's a reason it didn't work
Going back to exes that treat me poorly just because it’s comfortable."
"It’s not my job to fix people or save morons from their own stupidity."
"It’s like I always think I can fix it when it’s clear they’re just toxic and incapable of healthy relationships."
"Then I feel even worse when it falls apart the second time."- SupportMoist
It's not so difficult to listen
"Not communicating enough in my relationship."
"My overthinking ruined it some more."- Ok_Moose235
Caring for my body
"Smoking cigarettes."- rowfeh
Missing the chance to make things right.
"The last words I said to my dad when I was 9, was 'I hate you'."
"It was over a stupid little misunderstanding."
"He passed away the next morning, and I will never forgive myself for that."- DismalSplit5792
Finding more lucrative employment.
"Getting a degree in a 'helping field' (therapy/social work) rather than getting one that pays well and helping others from that comfortable position."
"It's very difficult providing assistance and guidance for others when you can't afford to go to the doctor, the dentist, or even your own therapist, let alone ever afford a vacation or anything meaningful."- HiCommaJoel
It's hard not to have those "coulda, woulda, shoulda" moments in life.
But even if some things can't be changed or undone, it's important to remember that improving one's life can't be done looking back.
Instead, we have to learn from our past mistakes, to make wiser decisions moving forward.