People Share Unwritten Rules They Learned About The Hard Way

Experience is the best teacher and there are some things you simply don't learn in school.

Reddit user icygamer6 asked "What are some unwritten rules you learned about the hard way?"

Here are some lessons maybe we all can learn from.

Popularity Contest

The more popular you are the more s* you can get away with in school/life.

Love Doesn't Equal Success

Sometimes you can love someone and they can love you. And it can be real and deep and the best thing in your goddamn lives.

And it can still not work out.


Nobody gives a sh!# about your passion. People only care about the value you create for them.

Safety First

Always watch your drink.

Big Fish, Small Pond

I was always a smart kid in school. Passed pretty well then went off to college and realized I'm not even close to being among the brightest there.

Apathetic Cosmos

The universe isn't out to get you. The universe isn't trying to help you. The universe doesn't give a sh!#.

Emotional Validation

Anxiety is a normal emotional reaction to danger.

Sadness is a normal emotional reaction to loss.

Anger is a normal reaction to having been trespassed against.

Criticizing people for overreacting doesn't help resolve awkward situations. Just assume the person has experienced something out of the ordinary and leave it alone.

6-Foot Toddlers

Adults are just big children.


If you find a secret/semi hidden toilet at your work site, or really anywhere you frequent in your life you tell no one about it ever. Don't post pictures on Reddit don't tell your spouse, don't tell your children or grandchildren. You take that secret toilet location to your grave.

Conditionally Unconditional

All love is conditional... you just don't know it until you've stopped meeting those conditions.

Just Do It

You can't live off your potential forever, and you can't brag about stuff you haven't actually accomplished yet. Eventually you have to start doing things.

Actually doing things is about 80% of what it takes to be successful. A good chunk of the other 20% is luck, and sometimes all the effort in the world isn't going to change that.

Kobayashi Maru

You could be doing nothing wrong and still be dealt the worst hand. I mean it works in reverse too I guess. I suppose you could be doing everything wrong but get dealt an amazing hand.

_"It is possible to commit no mistakes and still lose. That is not a weakness. That is life." ~ _Captain Jean-Luc Picard, Star Trek: The Next Generation

Last Words

Never say goodbye in anger.

I left for San Diego on an honor choir trip in college when I was 21. I argued with my dad the whole way down the hill into town because I was just being an a**hole and I forgot my choir dress so we were running late.

Once we were in San Diego and about fifteen minutes before getting off the bus to go to our performance, I called my house to check in and I asked to speak to him. He had died the previous night in his sleep. His heart just stopped.

It was and is still to this day, the worst day of my life.


Life isn't fair and thank goodness - imagine the horror of knowing that every bad thing that happened to you happened because you deserved it.

Misery Loves Company

You having a bad day doesn't mean that you have to ruin other people's days.

All By Myself

If you keep 'putting off' people in your life, they will leave you.

Personnel Matters

HR isn't there to protect the employees, it's there to protect the company.

It seems like such an obvious thing now but naive, fresh out of college me had no idea that this was how the world worked. I foolishly reported my boss who had been bullying me pretty badly to HR. Spoiler alert: it didn't help, it made things exponentially worse.

Toilet Tools

Buy a plunger before you need a plunger.

Staying In Touch

When you move away you're the one who ends up being responsible for keeping the relationships you leave behind alive.

Basically people will continue to live in their bubble and unless they're lifelong friends/family chances are they won't reach out to you. It sucks, but you're always the one who has to make the effort to travel back and see them. There becomes this double standard where they say you need to visit more but they make no effort to come to you.

Complimentary Procedures

When you tell somebody that they "look good today," it's important to realize that the more astonished you appear, the less of a compliment it becomes.

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