What is "normal" anyway?
Does something being "normal" mean that it's right or healthy? Or safe? Or even makes sense?
Reddit user Buttercuppy44 asked:
... and you know what... a lot of this kinda hit in that uncomfortable way that makes you re-think things. So let's talk about it and maybe change some habits.
Humans Need SleepTired Jet Lag GIFGiphy
"Bragging about getting less than 6 hours of sleep." - sumtinfunny
"It honestly scares me when I hear people brag about getting next to no sleep and I know that they drive to get around."
"There have been studies that driving tired can be just as dangerous as driving drunk, and all it takes is one time nodding off at the wheel for someone to get killed." - danger-daze
"This really aggravates me.. I dated a girl in high school would force herself to INTENTIONALLY stay awake, then put black makeup on under her eyes and act fake-tired to give off the impression of not being able to sleep."
"It genuinely irritates me when people say and do things like that when in reality they're sleeping like babies and there's people with actual sicknesses like insomnia and depression who don't sleep at night." - bongripsnkickflips
"Admittedly this was me years ago until I realized what an idiot I was being and that also no one cared. No one was gonna give me a medal for gaming all night and then telling the office the next day." - KatanaDV20
Sick DaysI Feel Sick GIFGiphy
"Coming to work sick. People tend to get praised for that, but they are in fact just endangering others to get sick as well and in the end it costs the company more as if they just stayed home." - derEggard
"This always gets to me. Two kinds of people stand out at work:"
"Those that take a sick day off for a light headache or just outright skive, causing more work for others constantly - who obviously take the piss, and I mean obviously."
"Then there are the people who come into work on death's door, potentially spreading what they have when they should be home resting, which makes other people sick who take time off or make other people sick..."
"If you're sick, go home! If you're not sick, go to work!" - Yayzeus
"I used to work in a grocery store that did service awards every year. One year a Bakery worker was awarded for never taking a sick day on his 25 year career."
"I cannot believe the man had never been sick in 25 years - and he's the one preparing the baked goods." - goldanred
A Badge Of HonorStressed Paper GIF by Two Mortgage GuysGiphy
"Overworking really has become a badge of honor. Probably because sometimes it's rewarded."
"I've seen people get praise for working late from their leaders. Things like, "Hey I see the people who stay late" when someone leaves hours after close."
"What if their time management just sucks? What if they're just catching up as a personal preference and it's not hard nor necessary? And heaven forbid, what if the person leaving on time wants to be with family or live life beyond work?" - dayron669
"I've seen people still wear it like a badge of honor even when it's NOT encouraged!"
"Those people drive me a bit nuts, if I'm honest, and I've made a point of telling them that it's neither healthy nor a good way to get 'noticed' (I'm going the networking route instead to get recognition within the company which is genuinely paying off)."
"The reward for doing more work is more work - not a pay rise. I wish people would understand this." - XCinnamonBun
Enough With The AdsComedy Central Advertising GIF by South ParkGiphy
"Ads on stuff you've paid for."
"It's bad enough on TV, but now some companies are talking about doing ads on video games! Whoever thought TV-ads on full priced games is a good idea, should take a shower in white phosphorus." - DinkaHakumai
"My ISP started putting unskippable ads at the start of recorded shows because everyone was obviously skipping them. This should 100% be illegal." - microwavedave27
"And the ads at the pump. Can I not get gas without commercials?" - bonafidebunnyeyed
"They even have floating advertisements on some beaches in Florida. These companies won't chill."
"Man imagine relaxing on a beautiful beach at sunset and some a**hole's got a bright movie screen playing ads across the horizon..." - a-strange-glow
Marriage Isn't Jailmarried with children ed oneill GIFGiphy
"Married couples disliking one another. Normalizing abusive and toxic elements in marriage is lame, bro." - user deleted
"I cant stand when people post sh*tty marriages on social media as a joke. Oh, my husband ignores me and only talks to our dog so funny. So lame.." - SpaceAlienCowGirl
"This. I'm straight as an arrow and I prefer seeing gay relationships in media because 9 times out of 10 they're healthy, functional, and it's obvious that the ones in a said relationship truly care and appreciate each other."
"Meanwhile almost every straight relationship just makes me question love in its entirety." - Insanebrain247
"I really hate the trope of husband and wife hate each other or when someone gets married everyone make jokes about how terrible marriage is."
"It shouldn't be like that. I feel like it's normalizing it so much to the point that people get married and almost expect to hate each other" - HermitToadSage
"Yep! I hate this stereotype that marriages almost always consist of two people with secret deep-rooted hate for one another."
"It's made into this thing we laugh about and see so much of in movies & stuff that people accept it in their own marriage & just stay together unhappy and subjecting their kids to so much!"
"It's not normal at all. If you married the wrong person for you, get a freaking divorce and move on. Stop staying in miserable marriages." - jadedjade94
Your OpinionSassy Swipe GIF by Real Prosperity, Inc.Giphy
"Having an opinion on everything. It's okay to look at something on the internet and think to yourself 'I don't have to care about this.' " - SymphonicStorm
"This is amazing advice."
"On some issues that affect me directly, I have a strong opinion - but for most things, I just don't. I always respond with something so neutral that the only people who get offended by it are people who are looking for a reason to get offended."
"The best thing to say against someone who is trying to get offended is: 'I don't know enough about [subject] to have a strong opinion.' " - AceP_
"My dad recently asked me what I thought about Critical Race Theory. I told him I hadn't heard any clear enough definition of it such that I could have an opinion (though I knew exactly whose interpretation of it he was going on lol), and asked him what he thought it meant."
"He took a beat to ponder, then changed the subject." - akgeekgrrl
VacayTamar Braxton Love GIF by WE tvGiphy
"Working while on vacation. You go on vacation to relax and enjoy yourself, not to try to fill out spreadsheets and deal with work stuff in your hotel room." - earhere
"We just need TWO DAYS for our wedding tomorrow and a relax day Monday - and my fiancé is having a meltdown trying to get things prepared for not being there."
"It breaks my heart. He works 6 days a week and if he takes a day off he is dealing with a week worth of mistakes the other workers have made or fixing things they slacked off on. He gets 4 phone calls and loads of text messages every time he tries to relax."
"The worst part, he isn't a doctor or runs an emergency service company or anything. He's the manager of a f*cking shoe store!"
"Like it's not life or death. Leave the guy alone. It's f*cking shoes." - malice816
Down With HomeworkStudying College Life GIFGiphy
"I don't think homework should be a thing. As an adult, you are not supposed to work on your free time. Neither should kids."
"As an adult, doing more hours of work after work is seen as a sign that you're being overworked. The same should apply to children." - keeperofheads
"She would get so overwhelmed she'd run out of time and just shove assignments under her bed. Luckily, my youngest is now in high school and rarely has homework."
"All that excessive homework sets kids up to take jobs that have them take work home as adults. It's seriously problem in the US" - SixxTheSandman
"At the risk of undermining the efforts of students reading this, there is no evidence that regular homework is of any benefit."
"I talked to an acquaintance who is an educational researcher and she said there's squat evidence. The only time it helps is if there is a remedial necessity. And then only for limited periods."
"She said if you, say, were deficient in the math work being presented, then the best outcome was reached with a program of about a month. To upskill to the level being taught so that you "get" that section, ensuring the fundamentals up to that point were met."
"Then carry on as regular. Rinse and repeat if further issues arose."
"Not incessant hours every night. Homework should be of a remedial reactive nature. Fight me!!!" - hastingsnikcox
Wine MomsDrink Drink Drink Drinking GIF by Cat & NatGiphy
"No, you don't NEED to bring wine to your daughters soccer game. It's not quirky. It's awful."
"Wine mom stuff on social media only strengthens it and makes it more popular." - DarthVerona
"I didn't realize how much alcoholism slips under the radar because of wine mom stuff until I quit drinking. It's everywhere." - blankspacefood
"Ugh, the whole "mommy juice" thing makes me cringe. If parenting is honestly that difficult and stressful for you, you're doing it wrong." - suchlovelylilacs
"My SIL does this all the time and she thinks she's being cool af. Recently it's come to light that's she's an alcoholic." - OtherComparison
That's Not Romance. That's Cheatingthe notebook love GIFGiphy
"Cheating. Sooo many 'love stories', or just any sort of romance movie released these days have cheating involved."
"It's always branded as this romantic thing to do. 'Oooo look at this dark and brooding handsome guy. Time to sleep with him and forget about my 2 year relationship!' or some sh*t like that."
"It's not romantic, it's cheating. And it's just wrong, and it should not be normalized." - VolcanicIron
"Example: The Office Jim and Pam."
"Pam had a boyfriend! Granted not a great one one, but that doesn't warrant cheating at all." - Aleasaurus
"I always hate the movies where the girl is seeing two guys at once (and it's not something they're all aware of and agreed to) cause she 'just can't decide.' "
"Then at the end she's like 'I choose you!' and then the guys supposed to be grateful even though she was seeing another dude the whole time" - Jack1715
Just Try Hardertry harder episode 12 GIF by The BachelorGiphy
"That anything is possible if you try hard enough."
"Don't get me wrong - a lot is possible, but not eeeeeverything. There are factors beyond ourselves that determine our success. The best we can do is to give our best, and be happy that we've done so." - amarsupialmongoose
"No, that's not always true, and that's okay." - Jwalla83
"I recognize the importance of that attitude on young kids: don't limit yourselves. But the truth is that there have only been 46 US Presidents and fewer than 1000 humans have gone to space." - Snoo74401
"My son talked about being an astronaut on and off, but as he approached his teens, I finally leveled with him. I told him there was no way he was going to be an astronaut because he doesn't have perfect vision, so can't be a pilot in the armed forces to then get set on the very rarified path to get there."
"I also noted that if he was interested in space, there was a ton of stuff he could do and pointed out how the various rovers and probes and the like were doing far more these days than actual astronauts. There's so much potential for him to explore in the field that he can actually have a chance to do rather than waste his efforts striving towards something that is impossible."
"You don't want to discourage kids from dreaming or exploring their potential, but there's still a point where you need to balance that with a dose of reality. My five year old is never going to be a dragon anymore than my fourteen year old will be an astronaut, but I expect she'll figure that out on her own at some point before it becomes an issue. ;)" - TheFyrebird
"Telling people they can do anything if they just try harder is good in spirit, but absolutely toxic in effect. People learn to beat themselves up for not succeeding." - Fluid_reference
Now that we've read all the way through, I'm going to go get a mug of hot cocoa and stare pensively off into the distance while I think about all the ways I'm pretty sure some of this stuff has sabotaged my life.
Hmm. Time to process some things.
The key to any successful relationship is communication.
The ability to be open and receptive to what a significant other has to say, as well as the ability to be able to convey something weighing on one's mind, can be healing.
But depending on the circumstance, some things are better left unsaid.
Curious to hear examples of what those might be, Redditor FamiliarFarmer8356 asked:
"What's something you wish you could tell your partner without upsetting them?"
If there is conflict, there is a way to discuss and address the issue in a civil and respectful manner.
Things Just Happen
"Every bad thing that happens doesn't require someone to be blamed for it. And that someone doesn't always have to be me."
A Cornerstone Of A Successful Union
"One of the cornerstones of a good marriage, is knowing how to argue. I’d actually say that before a couple get married, they should check how their potential partner behaves in an argument. What are they like when they get angry. It’s important because no two individuals are going to agree all the time. And on those occasions, it’s important to remember not to belittle the other. Deal with the issue at hand. And especially, don’t argue in front of the kids. You have no idea how much lasting damage this causes."
"All married couples should learn the art of battle as they should learn the art of making love. Good battle is objective and honest - never vicious or cruel. Good battle is healthy and constructive, and brings to a marriage the principles of equal partnership."
It's Not That Deep
"please stop complaining about everything."
"If you keep seeking out reasons to be miserable, you will find them."
"I'm tired of being dragged down with you."
There's no need to get defensive when there's something to discuss.
It's Not About You
"That some days I’m just tired from class and work and just want some me time, it’s not that I hate you my social battery is just running out."
"Her first reaction to something adverse doesn't have to be anger."
In The Words Of A Pirate
"In the wise words of captain Jack Sparrow sometimes:"
'the problem is not the problem, the problem is your attitude toward the problem.'
It Takes Two To Tango
"That I wish she’d be more independent so she didn’t need my help for everything outside the house."
"That it’s a little disturbing how aggressively he drives when he’s grumpy… heavy on both gas and brakes, zooming in and out of traffic, swearing at people who make mistakes… very unlike him."
Sometimes the truth hurts when talking about members of the family.
A Real Assessment
"That her mother is not a good person."
"I told my husband that it's not that his family is nosy and overbearing, it's that I hate watching him cave and negotiate as if they have a right to behave like this, and I really hate when I'm the bad guy for wanting reasonable limits."
"It got worse, then it got better, FYI."
"His parents are greedy, selfish people and treat him like an atm."
There's definitely a fine line between withholding your thoughts to protect the person you love and being brutally honest.
If coming clean isn't going to resolve an issue, then it might be better to suck it up and deal with whatever frustrations you have about the other person.
It's up to you, but make sure the delivery doesn't come from a place of rage if you do decided to be totally transparent about your negative thoughts.
Every family has a black sheep or every family in its entirety are black sheep.
What is a "black sheep" anyway?
It used to mean a person who brought shame or embarrassment to a family, but it's more often used now to mean the member who is just very different from everyone else—sometimes in a good way.
Redditor Frozen_yoghurt123 asked:
"Who is the 'black sheep' of your family?"
I'm the black sheep or at least I'd like to think so.
"Probably my dad's cousin, who went to prison for murdering his lover's husband."
DW_555Oh My Wow GIFGiphy
"My Dad. He is the only one of 6 siblings who wasn't a huge f**k up. And yet, before my Grandma died she stated that he was her 'biggest disappointment.' He is estranged from his surviving siblings... not by his choice. It honestly blows my mind."
"Toxicity is often a group mindset thing; people don't want you to leave because they are dysfunctionally co-dependent on each other and need each other to justify their own shortcomings in life. A lot of the 'family loyalty' stuff is typically shouted loudest by those who are the least good idea to stay loyal towards."
"My great uncle who stole my great grandfathers identity, stole a couple million dollars, and ran off. No one even knew he was alive until my great grandfathers funeral in 2009. No one has seen him since. My grandma started to cry because she honestly thought he was dead."
"Everyone else just kind of nodded on his direction and went on with the rest of the funeral. I just remember being very confused because I was 9 and I had never met this guy who my dad pulled me aside and told me he was my great uncle. It was a few years later that I got the full story."
"According to my mean aunt, the 'matriarch' in her own mind, it's my twin brother because "he doesn't care about family now that he's a doctor." (He's a resident. Chief resident. He works ridiculous hours and spends the rest of the time recovering from work.)"
"According to my ex-MIL (who still counts because she's Son's grandma), it's me, for divorcing her son."
"According to everyone else, it's Mean Aunt. The rest of us are warm and caring and compassionate. We have our moments; all of us have been accidentally thoughtless or done something selfish once in a while, but we're not deliberately mean and snarky all the time."
"My immediate family are the black sheep of the entire family."
DarthDreganJohn Stamos Cheers GIF by GrandfatheredGiphy
Sounds like everyone has a little black sheep in them.
"By now, my brother for cutting off everyone because he prefers his rude, selfish, paranoid, narcissist wife over all of us."
"My wife is the black sheep of her family in the sense that she's the only one who isn't a rude, selfish, paranoid narcissist."
Lvcivs2311Joe Dirt Brother GIFGiphy
"Me. My granddaddy told me 'I’ve only had the sheriff knock on my door two times in my 80 years, and both times he was looking for you! 'I did some dumb sh*t, caused a little trouble, burned a few bridges but always managed to stay out of jail. Partly because my sister has kept an attorney on retainer for me since I was 16."
"My younger brother (2nd of 4) is a compulsive liar and it got him in a lot of little trouble as a teen, then he told his wife he graduated a big college when we're not even sure if he got his GED because he failed to graduate HS, went to some GED school and eventually just stopped going."
"IF he graduated college, he never mentioned he was going in the 4+ years it takes nor mention graduation or have a diploma. He's not a bad dude, but now family time is super awkward when he and his wife are talking about 'their' college team."
The NOT good girl...
"My aunt's daughter. She’s been in jail for drugs, stolen money from my aunt and other family members to use on drugs and physically abused my aunt. My aunt has tried getting her help, but nothing has worked. She’s just not a good person, and everyone in my family, except my aunt, doesn’t want anything to do with her. I haven’t seen her in 8 years now, and I’m happy about that."
"A former nun - my great aunt - left the religious life and got married. She called herself 'the black sheep of the family' because her habit was black."
Back2BachExcited Julie Andrews GIF by The Rodgers & Hammerstein OrganizationGiphy
Well the black sheep sound like the most interesting family members.
Sex is great, but there are more ways than one to accomplish that euphoric feeling without sex.
There are so many small, ordinary aspects of life that can just send a person and we come across them daily.
A good steak.
A home repair.
The things that make you say...
"I tingle all over."
Redditor OldAboba asked:
"What is the best non-sexual physical feeling you’ve ever felt?"
Adele. Adele live. She sends me.
FloatingRelaxed Exit Strategy GIF by Hannah Bronfman Giphy
"I got a professional full body (everything but my man parts) massage a few years back for the first and so far only time at a spa after the recommendation from a coworker. I felt like I was floating on a cloud for the next few days."
Through your nose...
"Sneezing when you're sick. Then you get that about 20 second feeling of breathing through your nose again and you like ahh that's what I aspire to at the moment."
"Or the very last sneeze of your illness. During a fire drill in high school, I was ambling out after fighting a head old for a few days. The alarm was killing my head which was already throbbing from the sinus pressure."
"I was nearing the field, well away from my classmates, when I cough/sneezed out a huge, green loogie - cleared it about three feet, no icky trail - and by the time I was walking back to the building I was feeling pretty much back to normal. No more head cold after that. Never had something like that ever happen again where there was such an abrupt end to the head cold."
"Right after a migraine goes away. It's almost a spiritual experience."
"This was going to be my answer. I was in the ER one time for a really bad migraine. They gave me what they called a 'migraine cocktail.' When they pushed it through the IV I could feel the cold liquid make its way through my body, up to my head. Once it hit my brain, the migraine was gone. It was pure ecstasy. Even better was that cocktail had Benadryl in it so I fell asleep not long after and slept so good."
"That stretch til you shake when you wake up."
"I once stretched too hard in the morning and got the worst calf cramp ever... it looked like a prune and I thought I would die from the pain. Couldn't stretch in bed for months afterwards out of fear it would happen again."
"When you move over 50, it turns into that stretch til you put your back into a muscle spasm that lasts days."
The ItchScratching Feel Good GIF by 60 Second DocsGiphy
"I had a cast and splint on both my legs for 2 months. When they cut it off, they scratched my legs for me and the itch was just top notch! Yeah."
Itching an itch can change a life.
YUM!Emma Stone High Quality GIFGiphy
"When you're starving all day and devour a bomb a** meal."
Sleep for Life
"When you’ve been up for 20 hours+ and finally get into bed and you just know it’ll be the best sleep of your life."
"But man, after 36+ hours, the body sort of aches and it's hard to fall asleep despite being completely exhausted. Then the restless legs kick in... ugh. I do agree that a 20hr-ish stint is amazing to cuddle into, especially if you don't have to get up at any specific time the next day."
"Makes it better when you’ve been sleep deprived for weeks and know you have NO PLANS tomorrow and can sleep as much as you need."
"When you're absolutely busting for a pee and you can finally go!"
"Apparently there’s a thing called a 'pee-gasm' that people (usually women) have that causes an orgasmic feeling when you pee after holding it for a while! I’ve definitely experienced this and I’ve intentionally waited a while so I could have that good feeling... lol."
I Can Hear!!
"The feeling of water leaving your ear after being there all day."
"I had some impacted earwax for a week in one ear, and when it finally got removed it was the best feeling in the world. Initially it was like having a tv or radio in my ear that only had static, but then I could hear. Good god, I could hear. It was amazing."
"Oh man, and it’s WARM from being in your head, and the warmth makes the sensation of leaving even better."
A Good Restdog puppy GIFGiphy
"Sleeping in a warm blanket in winters."
"Or sleeping in a cold blanket in summer."
I am enthralled by all of those things.
People need to stop throwing out unwanted advice.
And when it is requested, think before you speak.
People with mental disorders don't need everyone telling them they have a fix like "exercise" or "herbal supplements."
Redditor Gold-Ad-2827 asked:
"People with mental disorders: What do you hate being told the most?"
I hated being told to just smile. You smile and go away.
Duhseth meyers GIF by Late Night with Seth MeyersGiphy
"It's all in your head. Where else would it?! My colon?"
"Everybody goes through that."
"This saying makes my blood boil. Or the 'I was that age once too ya know' yeah no sh*t you were that age once. And just because you were that age once doesn’t mean we have the same experience."
"They try to minimize it."
"You're worried? Just stop."
"You're sad? Just don't be."
"You're compulsively binge eating? Eat less."
"Thanks for that stellar advice."
"Or even better, 'Just do it!' As if ADHD paralysis can be stopped with a can-do attitude."
"I get so frustrated when people treat the idea of 'holistic medicine' as some kind of woo. How does it escape so many people that the body works holistically? Even a lot of doctors seem to ignore this. It's very frustrating when you have 2 or 3 or 4 illnesses that are all affecting each other, and your 'physical health' is held distinct from your mental health, and nothing anyone is doing to treat you works because no one's looking at the whole system."
"I just got a lecture from a psychiatrist I am seeing about nutrition, and he apologized to me for doing so but I told him, 'No, I appreciate it. Do it for all your patients.' because it told me he's trying to look at the whole picture and actually fix what's wrong. It gave me faith in him."
RelaxCalm Down Golden Girls GIF by TV LandGiphy
"You need to calm down."
"Never is the history of calm down has calm down ever caused anyone to calm down."
Calm down. I hate that one. You calm down.
TipsSeason 23 Reaction GIF by Law & OrderGiphy
"When they try to give me tips on what to do, like bruh as if I didn't already try that."
"You don't look sad. No crap... that's so I can avoid having this conversation. Also depression isn't 'being sad' like people think."
"God, I hate this. It's because saying 'I'm depressed' has been standard for people expressing that they're slightly unhappy about something dumb like not getting enough croutons on their salad or some crap. Now that's just what everyone assumes you mean when you say you have depression."
"'Stop being lazy.'"
“'Lazy' is when you don’t want to do anything at all. 'Executive disfunction' is when you can do everything at all, but that one easy quick thing that you do want to do just makes you and your brain freeze completely days ahead. I’m tired of people not understand that even when I explain and look at me like I’m bullshitting instead."
Ways to Cope
"Maybe you should try praying harder. I did, He prescribed medication."
"Praying is a way to cope for a lot of people, I think. That's totally fine, but insisting on praying in lieu of getting real help or actually addressing the issue is when it is not only unhelpful, but dangerously detrimental."
"Religious people will bypass everyone’s cultures, identity, views, and feelings just to be right and make a point. it’s disgusting. I read somewhere that real so called Christianity is all wrong. The real faith is from the Aramaic history and all the meanings were misinterpreted and the stories and all were made up by Catholics wanting to control their people. Yuck."
'contamination'Disgusted Season 6 GIF by Brooklyn Nine-NineGiphy
"As someone with OCD with a lot of attention to 'contamination', having someone try to explain contradictions in why I'm doing something that is technically unclean when I wouldn't do something that is technically clean due to OCD. There are a few doorknobs that I will not touch no matter how much you clean them in front of me and I know it makes no sense, if it made sense I wouldn't have OCD i'd just be cleanly."
Stop trying to be an armchair therapist. Be empathetic to people first.