Image by Robin Higgins from Pixabay

We humans are not the best at applying reason-driven cost-benefit analysis in real time. Instead, an event suddenly takes place and we're pulled deeper and deeper into an emotional response.

The consequences of that tendency can be large, and various.

Rather than assess, say, the entire context of an argument with some stranger at the DMV, sizing up whether the exchange is worth it at all, we burrow in with a voice that gets louder and fists tha clench tighter.

That can feel satisfying, even necessary in the moment. But when the dust settles and logical thinking returns--far too late to be of use--we realize what a wasted of stress and energy it was.

A recent Reddit thread asked people to share their most memorable examples of these ill-advised moments. Hopefully, reading this will help you avoid sliding into one in the future.

lizzetter asked, "'If it costs you your peace, it's too expensive.' When has that advice held true for you?"

Sitting Duck

"Ever fight over a parking spot and win, and then realize as you're walking away from the car that it will be left unattended for who knows how long?" -- DougFordSucksFightMe

"I've never understood people getting so worked up over a parking spot unless it's in the city or something like that where parking spots are rare and you may have to walk an hour to get where you need to go" -- ParkityParkPark

The Bottomless Supply of Trolls 

"Winning arguments on Reddit. Nine times out of ten I just let it go, because otherwise I will literally spend all day on a pointless argument with someone who doesn't even have a face." -- Alex_Duos

"For me, it's all about the stubbornness to entertainment ratio. If I'm going to be arguing online with some other a**hole, I damn sure better be enjoying myself, or else it's just not worth it." -- Smegma_On_Demand

Sometimes Ya Just Want Something Nice 

"I had a 20 year old Saturn that I intended to drive until the wheels fell off. Well even though COVID has meant I basically never leave the house, I bought a new car in 2020."

"I've put about 1500 miles on it so far, and that's it. But the thing is, even though I rarely drive it, when I DO drive it I'm no longer asking myself the question "Is today the day the wheels fall off?" every time I leave town."

"Some may argue buying a new car I've hardly driven is a stupid move. I say I'd rather be stupid and happy than smart and miserable."

-- m31td0wn

Not Worth Zombification 

"Work-life balance in my job. Nothing is ever on fire, nothing has to be dealt with at 11 at night or on the weekends regardless of who's sending a Slack at those times."

"I protect my evenings and weekends with a ferocity."

-- Fearless_Lab


"My husband's family has money. When we were first starting out, we were encouraged to ask his grandparents for help, but we didn't want to. When we bought our first home, they were 'offended' that we got a mortgage from a bank instead of using 'family money.'"

"Twenty years later, we are happy in our own little bubble. We have no stake in any family drama, and we only visit when we feel like it. We don't owe anybody a damn thing, and even though it sometimes sucks to be the poor relations, the peace of mind is priceless."

-- yer__mom_isloveley


"I used to carry around a lot of hate."

"I had a few people that I relished the idea of provoking into a fight so I could do serious harm."

"It took a while, but eventually I learned what it was doing to me, and realized that they probably didn't give me a second thought. They were getting free real estate in my head."

-- ApolloThunder

Two Solutions: Generosity, or Buying More Fries 

"When my girlfriend swore up and down the drive thru that she wasn't hungry and didn't want anything, then snacks on my animal fries the whole way home."

"Being hangry enough to brake check the whole thing on to the floor wasn't worth the fallout. One of my ugliest moments as an adult and should have just taken the fry tax."

-- InevitablyEngine

Like the Trolls, They'll Keep Coming

"Bad customers. I've learned over the years to turn away difficult clients/jobs. Some people won't be happy, regardless what you give them. I don't need that anxiety no more." -- 12vElectronics

"I'll have to learn to do this better. I cut a some clients a few years ago and things dramatically improved. They were talking up too much time for the reward. Others have now crept into the system though. I'll have to start a cull again. The 80/20 rule springs to mind." -- StingerMcGee

Enough Is Enough 

"My relationship with my brother. I grew up with the 'blood is thicker than water' mentality, but he treated me in ways that made me feel worthless. I haven't spoken to him in about five years."

"He can think whatever he wants about me, but I don't need to hear it."

-- PlasticineRobot

It's a Third of Your Life

"Work environment."

"This past year I resigned from a job (one in my field) that was literally causing me to have full-blown panic attacks from stress for a job that pays less. I feel like a weight has been lifted off my chest. No job is worth being unhappy."

-- Iamjackslama

Extrinsic Motivation

"Playing a high level sport. Played baseball since I was a kid, very good at it, started to get scouted by universities and even some Pro teams."

"Eventually I got a scholarship for it to go to a school in the states (from Canada) as I got older though I realized I didn't love it, just enjoyed being good at it and seeing my parents happy."

"When I got to university it was a total struggle, I'm not one to need motivation to practice or workout but I hated my team, hated my coaching staff, didn't like the school either but kept going because I didn't want to disappoint anyone."

"Fast forward to Covid with no baseball and all this free time on my hands to pursue other passions and fun things I couldn't while always playing baseball. Now because of the pandemic I've realized there's so much more than just trying to make others happy."

-- awkarfnar

Carrying More Than Your Share

"Taking care of other people/ friends mental health constantly. I didn't mind venting but I definitely let people vent to me too much and the worry kept me up at night."

"Thankfully my friends don't do it as much anymore and it's much calmer"

-- Idiotic_oliver

The Weight of Ethics

"Working jobs where the company's activities were detrimental to society, the environment, or both."

"Yeah, evil jobs may pay better, but I sleep better knowing what I do improves the world in some tiny way."

-- Nonsenseinabag


"Deciding what to keep and what to get rid of. I've been downsizing quite a bit over the last few months in favour of minimalist living and I honestly feel so much better after getting rid of so much stuff."

"I've already gotten rid of close to 50% of my things and it is like a huge weight has been lifted. Why the hell did I have so much useless crap?"


Cost-Benefit Analysis, Explained

"I wanted to wear a top hat at my wedding. I like hats, and when else am I gonna wear a top hat?"

"But my wife was adamantly against it. She is about a head shorter than me, and all of my family is taller than her, and a top hat would make it even more apparent."

"So I didn't wear a top hat. Any benefit I'd get from it would have been outweighed by annoying her, and I decided it wasn't worth it."

"But there were compromises. It was my idea to get a bouncy castle in, which was a very popular addition on the day!"

-- lankymjc


"Past failed relationships. When the ex tried to reconnect after three years and a break up text that said 'We're done.' I spent so long wondering what I did wrong and it took a while to realize it wasn't my fault at all but theirs for trying to control things."

"They sent an email but the only thing I saw was the title and it just sits unread in my inbox. I don't need to reopen that past when my present and future are going great."

-- Ellysian14

So What's It For?

"Home insurance and home warranty."

"I pay for a service. When I call to make a claim and use the service it is denied, 100% of the time. So then I have to spend a week arguing about why it shouldn't be denied, or why I should get my money back. Not worth it."

-- Whooplaah

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Sometimes the things that come out of peoples' mouths are truly astounding. It makes you wonder, where did things go wrong? Why are they like this? As Forrest Gump once said, “stupid is as stupid does".

Here are a few of the most jaw-dropping lay stupid things that have been said by actual human beings. Not aliens trying to figure out how humans communicate--ACTUAL human beings. Thanks, Reddit.

U/cperr310 asked: What's the dumbest thing you or someone you know has said?

First up, what better people to hear ridiculous claims from than children? Here are some people that even teachers couldn’t help.

Well, that’s awkward.

I was in 5th grade like 20 years ago, and I am a male which is important later. My school changed an extra girls locker room into a computer lab. When my class got to go check it out, I say "wow, it looks so different!".

Everyone looks at me like I'm a creep. What I meant to say was "wow it looks so different that the boys locker room!" I still think about this when trying to fall asleep more often than I'm comfortable with.

Xeeke No it’s not.

War Guy GIF Giphy

In my Spanish class where they were talking about Spanish countries

"What about Syria...isn't Syria Spanish?"

Worst part... NOBODY called her out on it to the point I was questioning myself. The professor had good English but it wasn't her first language and she dodged her question saying she's only going over countries in south america. I had to literally write myself a note that she literally asked that question. Then I got paired up with her like 10 minutes later for a group activity and I still wasn't over this question lol


Fake but also real but also demonic?

A kid in high school tried to convince me that men had an extra rib and that the earth is only a few thousand years old. Same kid said that ouija boards were full of magnets and gears which made them fake, yet they were simultaneously completely real and needed to be burned on sight to prevent demonic possession.


But sometimes it’s the parents of children who say the dumb stuff.

Back in 2014 I still vividly remember we were eating dinner, and my brother is chewing with his mouth open while my sister is talking. My dad, still thinking about her talking but talking to my brother said "Talk with your mouth closed." and my sister just went silent immediately.


Stupid can turn into ignorant really quickly. Here are a few examples of the not-so-harmless kind of dumb statements.​

Fun fact: they don’t use the US Constitution in New Zealand. Who knew?

angela rye guns GIF by Third Rail with OZY Giphy

After the church shooting in New Zealand, they banned guns. My coworker said that they can't do that since it violates the second amendment. We live in California.


Everyone knows New Zealand is the state below New Canada.


Uhhhhh that’s racist af.

Not to me but my husband.

He had to take an uber home from the Naval Base in San Diego (car was getting fixed) and the guy who picked my husband up was from Pakistan and they had small talk, telling him how he moved over here etc, dude was pretty cool.

My dumbass half sister whom we were staying with for a bit told him straight to his face, "Oh since you're military he probably wanted to like... murder you."

...What a f*cking ignorant, racist thing to say.


Just gonna leave this one here....

"And then I see the disinfectant where it knocks it out in a minute. And is there a way we can do something like that, by injection inside, because you see it gets in the lungs, so it would be interesting to check that out."


Well that’s a new one.

A trans friend got "You're registered as a man here, so I need to hear a male voice to complete the verification of your acount."

Not the first time the cable company pulled this 'female' account 'female' voice / 'male' account 'male' voice crap. But that one time was on a whole other level.


But most of the time, dumb statements are harmless, and make for a good story down the line.​

I wouldn’t be able to keep a straight face either.

alvin and the chipmunks GIF by 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment Giphy

A few questions I've heard come to mind, I'm not sure which is the best/worst.

A few years ago my mom, in her 60s at the time, asked me if chipmunks grow up to be squirrels. Have you ever tried to keep a straight face while explaining to the grown-ass woman who was responsible for keeping you alive for ~18 years that chipmunks and squirrels are different animals?

In high school during a Spanish class as student asked "Do Spanish-speaking people think in Spanish?" After being told yes, her follow-up question was "Are they born speaking Spanish?" The teacher kept a straight face explaining that foreign language speakers learn their language the same as the student learned English, but there were a lot of other students laughing and brutally mocking her.


Ah yes, the two types of guitars.

Dumbest thing I ever asked was, "do you prefer playing electric or air guitar?" I really meant to say acoustic, like my dad's.


Air guitar. I don't know how to play the acoustic or electric guitars, but I never get a wrong note on the air guitar.


Did you change your birthday?

At the bank.

Teller: Is your phone number still 123-4567?

Me: Yes

T: Is your address still 123 Easy st?

M: Yes

T: Is your birthday still 01/01/2000?

M: laughing I sure as hell hope so


I can't even make fun of these. One time I asked my husband where the Newport Ferry sailed to.

Newport, obviously.

I think we all have slip-ups in our brains sometimes. It's part of being human, and hey, they stay alive as inside jokes for generations to come