Danielle MacInnes on Unsplash

Humans are not always hard-wired to accept the lessons they can learn softly. Humans may need to have a seriously difficult learning experience to recognize a life lesson.

We call this learning the "hard way."

Whereas if you'd just listened to someone's advice beforehand, you may have avoided making this mistake—but on the other hand, the issue being dealt with would certainly not leave as great an impression upon you.


Redditor TheNewSuspect asked:

"What life lesson did you learn the hard way?"

Here were some of those answers.



Don't Force Them To Stay

"If someone doesn't want to stay in your life, they're not going to stay in your life. Whether you want them in your life or not."-i-will-be-dead

"And doesn't matter if you try and change or 'prove' yourself in way(s) to keep that other person in your life. Some people are going to do what they want to do regardless."-vroelens

What Is Credit?

"Always think of a credit card as spending money. Never think of it as 'I'll worry about it later.'"

"I've always paid off every one of my credit card bills. I had a friend who paid off just the bare minimum each month for years."

"I had a coworker who would withdraw money against his credit card to pay off his other credit card. Then he got a third credit card to pay off the second. Then he had 3 maxed credit cards and was freaking out."-G8kpr

With The Taste Of My Lips

"It took a long time reflecting on where my friendship went sour, but in the end, there were negative feelings all over the place."

"We'd hang out and just end up arguing or fighting over something small. Went on for years, I told myself that they're toxic for me, but that it was still possible that I was toxic for them."

"Then a realization hit, it didn't matter who was toxic to whom, you're both unhappy, it's time to step away for both parties sanity. It was hard, but I wish them well, I just don't ever want to be put in emotional sinkhole anymore"-Youve_been_Loganated

It seems like you wish you could take back this mistake that made you learn, but then, you wouldn't be who you are now without it.

Passion Or Lash-On

"Being smart doesn't make up for work ethic - the real world isn't anything like school (primary or higher ed)."

"Not everyone has a dream job. Some people, maybe even most, do jobs they tolerate so they can enjoy themselves outside of work."

"I think society talks too much about your job being your passion, or doing something you really love - work is work, we do it because we have to."-BumblingUnicorn

Turning Saints Into The Sea

"I was jealous. But I didn't want to be 'that guy.' You know, the one who was too suspicious of his girlfriend because she was outgoing and had a lot of friends, some male."

"I held back and never said anything when she was out late with friends. I didn't want to be 'that guy.' Welp, she got pregnant. I sure thought it was mine. I was in the delivery room with her and paid for everything."

"I asked her to marry me but she said no because she didn't want to marry until things were 'back to normal.' As time went by I was sure I was the Dad, until the baby was over two years old."

"Even though I paid for almost all the baby's things and kept her most of the time at my house, my girlfriend filed for medical assistance. She didn't know they would do a DNA test to see if I was the real father."

"They did, and I wasn't. She never even tried to deny it after that. It was a huge blow to me and my family. I was right all the time about not trusting her. It wasn't me being unreasonable, it was reality and I ignored it."

"It got worse after that because I left her life and she just told everyone I didn't want to see the baby anymore. Everybody thought I was the scum of the earth."

"It ended good for me though. I met the love of my life just a few months later, we moved out of state and we've been VERY happily married over 10 years."-paulvs88

Flag! Flag! Flag!

"-Don't dismiss the red flags in a relationship, you will regret it later on. Not everyone can be helped or 'saved;' it's not your job to heal every single person, and you can't let that tear you apart."

"-If a person does not communicate with you or put any effort into the relationship, they don't care about you and you deserve better. You will KNOW when someone truly cares for you."

"-If you're not into someone, be honest and tell them!! Otherwise they will keep on bugging you! I guess most of life's greatest lessons are learned the hard way."-Lulu18_H

It's Been Me All Along

"That I thought everyone were a**hole idiots because I was in fact an a**hole idiot and viewed the world through the lens of my own anger and toxicity. I was the toxic one."

"By now all the apologies have been made, some relationships restored, and some relationships solidified by my changes, some relationships ended permanently, and I respect their choice to end communication with me."

"All I can do now is take my meds, not drink or do drugs, and be honest about how I'm feeling with those close to me so they know what to expect. It took me a very long time to forgive myself. It took me a decade and a half to learn how to do that."-Gonergonegone

And when it comes to these lessons—better late than never, right?

Here's Lookin' At You, Kid

"Don't worry about what random people think, only about the people important to your lives a.k.a friends and family. If they are real friends and family they will support you and tell when you're being a real dick."

"The dude on the street why care I mean who is he to you? Do you know him? No. So why concern yourself with what he might think, he probably doesn't care or notice."-tottallynotmike

The Strangest Superstitions People Actually Observe | George Takei’s Oh Myyy

The world can be a superstitious place. If you've ever knocked on wood or thrown salt over your shoulder then you've run into one or two throughout your life...

Ah, Unrequited Affection

"Never try to be friends with someone you are in unrequited love with. Better to move on with your life and let them with theirs than pine everytime they have a new hookup, partner, are doing something you wish you were doing with them."

"There is also another similar that suggests never trying to be friends with someone when you both desire each other mentally and physically but, for whatever reason, can't act upon those feelings."

"This is something I have tried a few times over the years and my considered opinion is that it is possible if they live 11,000 miles away, a lot harder if within walking distance and therefore not having them in your life is possibly the safest answer for you both."-Eckieflump

Are You An Over Sharer?

"That there are some things that we probably should keep to ourselves. At least in my case, I tend to overshare when I'm too excited, sad, or angry."

"On many occasions I overexaggerated and ended up either making a fool of myself or taking very dramatic and definitive choices that I would later regret."

"It's good to express yourself freely, but sometimes it's good to just take a breath and not act impulsively."-paloxox666

Just Being You

"There will always be someone worse off than you and someone better off than you."

"You are not special. You're just you. Trying to act special and compete with others is a hole you will never reach the bottom of."-Rubricae98

Open Minded Is The Key To Innovation

"Be OPEN-MINDED to ideas, even if you don't like them at first glance. Right and wrong are sometimes very relative, if you're close-minded you'll miss A LOT of wonderful, life changing experience."

"Or you even risk making horrible decisions that you will regret. Being open-minded will also help you learn unimaginable truths sometimes."-Happier12345

To Be A Relationship Guy

"How to be a husband and partner. I genuinely didn't feel I needed to change at all. I though, 'she picked me so I'll just keep being me.'"

"What I needed to do was become a bit more like my wife (hardworking and neat) and constantly remind myself that she needs to get measurable value out of the relationship (tasks completed, work done. not just fun, laughs and sex)."

"I'm still working on this but it should have taken so many years to learn this."-daveescaped

Too Hungry For Life To Pass

"Learned that marrying at early twenties was not the best idea. Missed traveling, expanding the network of people, learning new stuff, finding myself."

"I learned that at that age, despite 'being sure that I knew it all', I did in fact knew nothing. The best was yet to come later in life."

"That is 'my' lesson. Do not get triggered, challenged and in need to justify your personal circumstance. 👍"-redditoruser3021

No Good Deed Will I Do Again

"Not everyone wants your help. A bit of backstory me and my boyfriend ended up breaking up over a fight I had had with his parents who were very very poor and for some reason decided to have a litter of puppies."

"They could barely afford to feed their dogs that they had but for some reason decided to have these puppies instead of getting the girl dog fixed."

"His dad however took it like I had basically called them poor and I was being a snob and went on this 20 minute ran about how I didn't know what I was talking about and what not when wanted to get the puppies there shots."

"I had the right connections and it would have been completely free for them but but he was not interested in my help and his wife nor my boyfriend or his brother didn't have enough of a spine to back me up even though his mom was the one that originally asked for help with the puppies."-twomanycats1

If you are able to--the time to take stock of these lessons is now, after reading this article, than when you're in a tough situation and have to start making choices.

Hopefully these folks' mistakes can help you avoid making a mistake in the future.

Want to "know" more?

Sign up for the Knowable newsletter here.

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

Raamin ka/Unsplash

Eavesdropping used to refer to the water dropping from literal eaves on a house. It later became a nickname, "eavesdropper," meaning someone who stood under the eaves to overhear a conversation.

Now, we have eavesdropping, meaning "to listen secretly to what is said in public," and Redditors have heard some pretty f*cked up things in public.

It's often something in passing that seems completely inappropriate even in the right context.

Keep reading... Show less
Photo by Adi Goldstein on Unsplash

Unfortunately, we as people are capable of doing some pretty awful things. Worst of all, we are capable of doing said awful things to each other--to other humans, whose suffering we understand above all else.

The drive behind these things is unclear, variable, and sometimes totally absent. But hurt people hurt people. It's as simple as that, and sometimes, we are the unfortunate receptor of that hurt.

Keep reading... Show less
Jackson Simmer/Unsplash

Confession: I could never make it through Mulan 2. The reason? Mushu.

In the original movie he was voiced by Eddie Murphy, but in Mulan 2 he is voiced by an actor attempting to recreate Eddie Murphy's voice. Yeah, no.

Keep reading... Show less

Men. Why are you so difficult to shop for?

Guys are always like... "anything" or "whatever." It matters guys, make some decisions.

You know you want things, it's ok to admit it.

Now people have had to cobble together a "best of" idea gift list.

That's how many people are lost in trying to shop for y'all.

Redditor bigpimp0 wanted to know the best gift ideas for all the boys, by asking:

"What are good gifts for men?"
Keep reading... Show less