One thing that connects us all as human beings is the ability to cringe at our past mistakes. These are the ones that you forget about until late at night, when they suddenly creep on you as you're about to fall asleep. But what ghosts of the past are the worst? These Redditors tell all.
u/anfla56 asked: When you're lying in bed at night, do you ever randomly remember some relatively minor social missteps or poorly chosen words you did/said years earlier? And then beat yourself up over it even though it really wasn't a big deal? If so, what happened?
Fourth grade classroom, we were having a face off between students on who could name the capital of whichever state our teacher named. I had been on a roll getting a few correct in a row. Then the teacher says "Kentucky".
With all of the enthusiasm (and seriousness) in the world, I screamed "FRANK FART".
Everyone was dying laughing except for me, at the time. Looking back, it cracks me up that I was so upset about it.
When I walked down the aisle at my wedding, I was so nervous and focused on not tripping, that I did not acknowledge my dad. I didn't realize this until I saw the video my aunt had made for me. You can see my dad lean in to give me a kiss on the cheek but I just keep walking. He kind of shrugs and then goes to sit down. It's been 18 years and this still flashes through my head when I'm trying to fall asleep.
Also, that time I was trying to get to get to the school bus and the sidewalk was icy, so I slipped and fell really hard on my butt. The kids on the bus laughed at me, so I chose to sit there with my head down, wishing I could disappear, while the bus drove away and I walked a mile home (yes, in the snow, uphill, both ways).
In 7th grade, a cute girl asked me to sit next to her. I said my mom won't let me sit next to girls. My mom said no such thing.
If you said CUTE girls you'd have been a total baller. So close.
When I was in the 4th grade, I lived in the middle of nowhere and there was practically no minorities, just white county people. This Mexican family had just moved in and could barely speak any English and I befriended one of the kids my age in school. He came over to my place and we were both joking around about his bad English. Just doing what kids do. I would pretend to speak with his accent and then he would copy and it was silly, stupid and innocent. My mom told me I was being really inconsiderate and how uncool it was to make fun of someone for not being able to speak English. I felt terrible. The next day at school my friend came up to me and started joking with me again but I just shook my head and looked down at my desk in embarrassment. He had no idea what was wrong and I was too young and dumb to be able to explain my behavior to him.
As I grew older I spent probably 20 years thinking about that day and how much of a s**t I was to be friendly one day and then without explaining anything just stop talking to him out of embarrassment. I felt really bad about it for a long time and often laid awake at night thinking about it. I ended up finding him on Facebook about a year ago and we friended each other so I told him how bad I felt about it and apologized. He just laughed it off and said it was no big deal and he was still really thankful to find someone as friendly as me when he didn't know anyone here. He said he figured my mom had said something to me about it and it never bothered him.
I don't know if maybe he was just being nice to me or not, but it was such a relief to hear it. It really felt like a weight had been lifted off of me.
I accidentally mixed up an inside joke with the wrong friend group with disastrous results.
Friend group #1: The "joke" was when someone calls and asks who's all there we would add Darrell to the list of names. Darrell wasn't a real person. The joke wasn't really funny, and made no sense out of context, but I guess that's why it was an inside joke.
Friend group #2: I was hanging out playing some drinking games with a bunch of people that I hadn't hung out with in a while. It was a kind of get together to remember a friend that they had who had recently died in a car accident. I didn't know him that well, but I was always down to party.
Anyway the phone rings, and the person who answered started listing off names. Sorting my cards for another round of Presidents and A--holes I offhandedly said "heh and Darrell!".
It was the typical record scratch moment where everyone stopped and looked at me. Darrell was the name of the friend who had just died.
This happened in 2002 and I still think about it all the time.
I think everyone has been through this at least once.
I was visiting my cousin about 4 months ago and we didn't have the same greeting handshake. So it was like that really weird thing with your hands where you end up in some super awkward handshake. Last night I thought about this like 20 min and blamed myself. Smh that was super unnecessary.
For most of my education, I went to public school and like most kids, I was socially awkward. For High School, I received an academic scholarship to a private Catholic school. it was a really big deal for my family. I didn't know anyone at the new school. Between an odd combination of academics, sports and the tail end of puberty, I became very popular in this new school. I wasn't used to the attention and it definitely got to my teenage head. Nearly all of my social circles became around the new school and not with my old local friends.
I'm in my junior year, I head to a McDonalds for lunch with a few friends from the new school. Working the counter, I see a girl who I used to go to public school with that I used to have a crush on. She just lit up when she saw me, she was so excited, and I ... I was a shitty teenager and I just ignored her. I pretended I didn't recognize her. She looked so deflated when I didn't acknowledge her.
Note this was the 90's. My family moved a few times after that. I settled down in a different part of the country after University. I never made it back to that town. I've relived that a**hole moment for years now. Fast forward to one of those nights when I relive that moment, and I decide to look her up on Facebook to apologize. I find out she died 10 years ago in an auto accident. Since I found out her fate, I feel even more awful about that moment.
At least they were polite.Giphy
Freshman year of high school. It was one of those days before school starts and you meet your teacher and your parents are there. My teacher was handing me a piece of paper and I didn't see the paper so I shook his hand. He said "oh" and my mom said "Ummm?" and I panicked and said "I just wanted to be polite!"
So I still want to die when I think of that.....
When I was in fifth grade, our teacher said a joke in front of the class and everyone laughed including myself. After the laughter died down, a girl looked up at me and said. "You have a really disgusting laugh, ew."
I became so self conscious about laughter since that specific, day, and after years I have trouble actually laughing. My brain kinda made it a habit to just smile or slightly chuckle at something, even if it is really funny.
A deserved friend-dump.
I went through a phase where I scolded people for reading Harry Potter because my parents told me it was evil. Lots of awkward situations because of that.
Oh my god, I can relate to scolding people for stupid sh*t that didn't matter. My parents were ultra-religious and taught me to have a really messed concept of men, sex, love, and relationships.
When I was in middle school, I scolded so many of my friends for having crushes or getting boyfriends. I remember I lost one friend because I told her that it was disrespectful of her to have a boyfriend while also having a crush on Michael Buble. I said some sh*t like her having a crush on Buble while dating someone else was almost as bad as cheating.
I always cringe and facepalm whenever I remember how much of a self-righteous d*ck I was. I totally deserved to be friend-dumped.