How you approach life's many trials and tribulations can say a lot about who you are. However, many of us don't necessarily learn some lessons so easily.

Life is complicated. It's messy. Few, if any things, go according to plan. On top of that, sometimes the way we handle our relationships or our obligations might not be the most healthy one.

You live, you learn... or so the saying goes.

People shared their stories after Redditor ryanblumenow asked the online community,

"What did you learn at great personal cost?"

"I broke three..."

"Never trust a ladder set up by someone else. I broke three of my lumbar vertebrae. Thankfully I recovered fully, but damn was that scary. I also bit through my lower lip. I have a nice scar as a memento."


This is terrifying. Glad you're still alive–that you healed is miraculous!

"Even if you work your hardest..."

"Even if you work your hardest, do everything right, and are a great employee… you may still be seen as expendable."


This is true. Your company will never be loyal to you. Don't bend over backwards. Do your job–don't sell your soul.

"That you need to be careful..."

"That you need to be careful what you put up with as it teaches people how to treat you. I lost a lot of 'friends' once I started to set boundaries."


This is very true. I can relate: I definitely lost a few so-called "friends" the second I began standing up for myself.

"This goes for all relationships..."

"Don't listen to what people say, but what they do. This goes for all relationships, both professional and personal."


Amen to that. It's a cliche, but actions absolutely do speak louder than words.

"Family can be just as toxic..."

"Family can be just as toxic for you as anyone else. Sometimes it's best to cut them out."


Ain't that the truth.

Are we trading toxic family stories now?

"If someone gets upset..."

"If someone gets upset at you for trying to establish boundaries with them, it's not you being mean or unreasonable, it's them not caring about your happiness."


This is spot on. Don't trust people who violate your boundaries. Your gut won't lie to you, not about this.

"You can't convince them."

"You cannot, even subtly, force someone to love you. You can't convince them. They either do or they don't, and it's on you to decide what to do with that unchangeable position in mind."


I feel like many people go through their 20s without learning this.

Not that I know anything about this... or anything like that.

"Just because you try to be a good friend..."

"That people aren't always your friend. Gaslighting is real. Just because you try to be a good person doesn't mean good things will happen to you."


Very true. Be very careful about what you put out there. Not everyone has good intentions, though this is not in anyway meant to imply that the world is terrible.

It isn't. Just be judicious.

"You can accomplish..."

"You can accomplish anything you set your mind to. Doesn't mean you should. Everything will cost more than you anticipate in ways you can't imagine."


That's a poetic way to put it! Spot on. Everything costs something, even your success.

"Be patient..."

"That you don't have to run off and get married. A marriage that only lasted one year cost me more than $10K. Life is not a race and you don't need to be married by a certain point or at all for that matter."

"Be patient, make yourself available, gravitate to those who understand you the most."



Awful. It sounds like you have peace of mind now, however, which is priceless.

Don't be so hard on yourself, by the way. We all learn at our own pace.

Here's a tip before we go: Your education is never complete. Life always something to teach you, so just accept it, be open to it, and go in grace.

Have some suggestions of your own? Feel free to tell us more in the comments below!

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