Though sexism remains prevalent today, these vintage magazine articles and ads take the cake when it comes to shaming women into behaving certain ways or buying a product. It's hard to believe that these were completely accepted as the norm, and makes you question some of the subtle and not-so-subtle messages in today's content. Enjoy!
Let us begin with some dating tips, published in Parade magazine way back in 1938. Tips from things like "don't have emotions" to "don't sit in awkward positions" leave us wondering can women do anything right? There's a certain quality of, how you say, blatant sexism throughout, and readers of this magazine must have been left with the idea that everything about their dating lives revolves around trying to change themselves for men. Take a peek at some of the most outrageous ones below!
Yeah, because every woman is just dying to cry on a date. And every man is made of stone when it comes to emotions.
I mean, I guess this could be a safety issue, sure, but why, exactly, are we assuming that anyone would just twist the rearview mirror toward them while someone was driving? Besides, most cars have those little flip down mirrors for the passenger anyway.
What even is an awkward position? If you're going to tell women that they shouldn't be sitting in hundreds of different ways, at least don't be shy about explaining what those ways are! Come on, here! If you're going to be sexist, be specific.
Smile, ladies! Ain't nothing better or more re-assuring than knowing that a woman's main objective in a date is to make a man think she's having a grand ol' time, and concern herself with appearing happy. Makes me want to...
I mean, sure, maybe you shouldn't borrow people's personal handkerchiefs and stain them with your lipstick. Yeah, I get that. But what's with all this "make-up in private" junk? Ooooh wait, I get it! Women are just supposed to appear perfect and made up already, not show any sign that they are fallible humans... gosh, how was I so nave? Must be the woman in me.
Oh yeah. If you're dancing with a guy, definitely not an appropriate time to talk. A man needs to have the time to think his own private man thoughts and not listen to the sound of your lady-blabbering. You know what? I think we should take this one step further women should just never talk unless they're asked to. Eh? Anyone in?
Herman H. Rubin's Sex Harmony and Eugenics, published in 1934, claimed that a woman's "false modesty" could ruin a marriage.
If you don't have a spicy sex life, you're to blame for your partner cheating!
To stay married, be good in bed: "A woman may forgive almost any fault in a man, provided only that he is a perfect lover ... In order to be a good husband, learn to become a good lover. The wife on her part should disabuse her mind from any puritanical or prudish ideas, and understand that by cooperating fully with her husband to secure their mutual maximum of joy, she increases immeasurably her own happiness, and insures her status as a loving and well-loved wife."
This was obviously horrible advice for everyone involved. Yet, it's a persistent trope woman doesn't have enough sex with her husband, so he just has to cheat on her because of course he can't help it. Not only does this place the blame on women, but it also makes men seem like dumb idiots who can't think or act rationally, and that's just not true.
Obviously this is just a hunch, but maybe the man that wrote this was trying to get himself off the hook for something?
You know why? Because women are all reverse vampires. That's right instead of sucking your blood, if you touch theirs, you'll almost always die. According to The Curse: A Cultural History of Menstruation, men in the 19th century were terrified about women's periods, and it was said that having sex with a woman during menstruation was not only "corrupt", but it caused a whole gamut of diseases. By the 1930s, it was also believed that for a woman to have sex during her period would make them fall ill and bleed more heavily. If anyone out there is still confused you can have sex during menstruation! Many women have said it's even more enjoyable because a) free lube, and b) the post-orgasm contractions can help relieve cramps.
There are quite a few problems with the ad, but let's start with the most obvious "Every husband wants his wife to be feminine." Huh. Last time I checked, that wasn't necessarily true. Last time I checked, you could also be feminine without spraying a bunch of product up your twat. Not to mention, the vagina is self-cleaning, and although it's perfectly okay to clean it gently, many products can throw off the balance and cause bacterial infections.
Yet, many women were absolutely convinced that in order to make themselves appealing to men, they needed to douche regularly. And it's all thanks to advertisements like this one, with lines like this one: "Demure deodorizes... so pleasantly, you know you're the woman your husband wants you to be."
According to The Science of a New Life, a book published by John Cowan in 1869, "Girls who have followed masturbating habits … show usually strong indications of it in the failure of their glandular development. Such persons are apt to be flat-breasted, or, as we term it, flat-chested."
Leave it to the Victorians to make false connections between masturbation and breast size.
There's absolutely no valid research to back this up, yet somehow, it was published widely and actually used as a way to shame women away from masturbation. As if there wasn't already a heavy dose of stigma surrounding that anyway. Let's be honest, there still kind of is.
Men aren't supposed to be shown love in public! Ew! They have their man thoughts to think. How dare you touch his ear. How dare you smile at him. Do you even know how to be a woman?
Okay, yeah, I get it. This is an important tip to keep in mind for anyone. It's best not to talk about all the fun you had with other people on other dates with the waiter at the restaurant where you apparently go on all your dates. Why isn't this just being marketed as a general rule for both parties?
Woman: Hey, can I tell you about my new gown?
Man: If you must.
Woman: Well, I actually got my mother's old gown and refurbished it for myself. In the shoulders I
Man: I was being sarcastic.
Man: I'm going to tell you about the minute details of my day now. Get ready to nod and smile.
Man: I feel flattered that you're so interested in me. Also why aren't you smiling more?
Woman: Too busy worrying about my possibly awkward sitting position.
Don't you dare even think about having autonomy over your own drinking habits and what you choose to consume. Do as a man expects you to, and you'll be happy forever.
I'm not really sure what to say about this one. There are so many random tips (read: threats) wrapped into one. Don't talk to other men. Don't pass out from too much liquor. You know, if I had to follow all the rules that this woman did, I'd for sure be pounding 'em back, in an attempt to forget where I was. I don't blame her.
Yas, kween! You rock that awkward sitting position but don't expect any men to love you.
Okay, so now I think we're getting to the point in the article where I can introduce creepy underwear advice from men! It turns out, the last century (and more) was full of so much creepy underwear advice for women, it's hard to choose a place to start. But, here's one that really stands out among the rest...
Dr. William Josephus Robinson shared some fantastically creepy underwear advice for women:
"The underwear should be spotlessly clean goes without saying, but every woman should wear the best quality underwear that she can afford. And the color should be preferably pink. And lace and ruffles, I am sorry to say, add to the attractiveness of underwear, and are liked by the average man."
Pink. Lace. Ruffles. It actually sounds like he's describing children's underwear, no? Anyway, needless to say whether your underwear matches this description or not, Dr. William Josephus Robinson needs to get with it.
Okay, so you know how before I suggested that women just never talk?
Turns out, Edward Podolsky was really behind this idea, too! In his 1943 book, Sex Today in Wedded Life, he dishes out some very salient advice on how to be a good wife: stop your lady chitter chatter and get to listening to your man about his real man problems.
Dont bother your husband with petty troubles and complaints when he comes home from work. Be a good listener.
Let him tell you his troubles; yours will seem trivial in comparison.
Remember your most important job is to build up and maintain his ego (which gets bruised plenty in business).
Morale is a womans business. Let him relax before dinner. Discuss family problems after the inner man has been satisfied.
Ahh, doesn't that just have such a great little sexist ring to it?
I feel extremely bad for whoever was married to Thomas D. Horton.
According to his book, entitled What Men Don't Like About Women, (wow, what a killer title, eh? Really just conveys a sense of respect and understanding), he tells women:
"Do not show your face until 30 minutes after your man wakes up. Immediately after waking, what a man wants most is not to see or hear his beloved for at least fifteen minutes — preferably a half hour. If more women knew this simple fact, their love life would be happier."
Considering the fact that married people generally live in the same house together, this seems fairly unavoidable. Also, you know, there's that whole thing about this advice being incredibly sexist. I'm really curious to know how he worked this out with his wife (or if he even had a wife). This man sounds incorrigible.
Ahh, yes, the old "tampon makes you lose your virginity" myth.
As little as a couple of decades ago, there used to be such a stigma against tampons (for this very reason) that many ads warned against using them.
However, there are a couple of bizarre things about this myth. First, it's just not true. Making women believe that they can only use pads is cruel punishment for people that already have to bleed out of their vaginas once a month. Second, it doubles down on the stigma for women who have lost their virginity. For many women, there's a sense of complete shame when it comes to losing your virginity, wrapped up in puritan ideas that equate sex with morality. News flash: having sex with people does not make you a bad person.
Sure, it's important to maintain a good body odour for yourself and those around you, which can usually be managed with regular hygiene. However, it was expected of women (and still is, to some degree) that they should smell like a rose garden 'round the clock, which just simply isn't true. On top of that, the rule didn't apply to just wearing perfume no, that would be far too easy! Ad companies targeted women for just about every part of their bodies.
We already covered douching the vagina, but here's an ad that specifically told women that their hair needed to smell good for when their man decided to take a lil' whiff (after 30 minutes of hiding away from him in the morning time or after dinner, when you're allowed to talk). The ominous tone of this ad is enough to leave many people running out to by the newest in "hair perfume".
So, picture this: you've just come out of the Depression. You've been living your worst life for years, and you're finally thinking, Okay, this might get better. You've lost a bunch of weight, due to the fact that you were literally starving.
This ad was released during and after the Depression, and tried to target already-suffering women who had lost weight during that time. Ironized yeast products promised skinny women weight, by which they meant larger hips and breasts, and targeted with language akin to saying:
"Men won't like you if you look like that and obviously that's all you should be concerned about, even though you just went through the Depression and you maybe almost starved to death. Anyway, buy our product to make yourself gain weight so you can start refocusing your attention on the things that really matter - impressing guys!"
Don't have small boobs. Don't have big boobs. Can a woman ever win? Apparently not! This ad for a 19th century device called the "Bust Reducer" promised to shrink women's breasts. Ads of this type have two jobs one, to convince the customer that something is wrong with them; two, to convince them that you have the solution.
This ad not only convinces women that their proportions are definitely wrong, but that they need to fix them with potentially harmful, restrictive devices. Yuck.
"Maybe men respect them but, believe me, they don't admire dishpan hands!"
According to this 1930s ad (and many more), having hands that show signs of wear from the everyday duties of life, like washing dishes, was enough to threaten a marriage. Dishes? You better do 'em. But you should also feel guilty about the way your hands are going to look after, because they're definitely going to be the straw that breaks the camels back in your love life.
Keeping your hands moisturized is an important part of many peoples' routine, but why can't you just sell moisturizer and let people decide when they want to use it, instead of telling people that if they don't buy your product, their marriage is at stake?
Even up until the 1970s, women were being targeted for dreaded "dishpan hands". An ad for Palmolive showed a woman dipping her hands in the dish water, because their soap was supposed to be a beauty treatment at the same time.
In case you can't read the fine print in this ad, here it is:
Shes a girl in a million! Pretty and smart. Dances divinely. Can even cook. But shes ruining her chances by having gap-osis. That is, gaps where her skirt buttons.
Gaps. Where. Her. Skirt. Buttons.
Get ready to ad one of the biggest threats to any woman's dignity (not to mention romantic potential) to the list gap-osis. A made up term for a made up problem that will certainly ruin your life. So you better buy this product now if you want to save yourself. And you better save yourself so you can meet your ultimate goal in life finding a husband.
Just look at that man choking on his sandwich in disgust at this woman's button gaps. Look at all those arrows coming from his eyes, right toward her dreaded gaps. He can barely look past her dreaded button gaps to judge everything else about the way she looks, the way her hair smells, or the smoothness of her hands. That man better get right the heck out of that devil-picnic right now before he gets roped into listening to that woman talk about herself.
When it comes to guilting women into using their products, Lysol took it to a whole new level. Back in the day, Lysol wasn't just a cleaning product. It was marketed to women as a vaginal douche, as a solution for "vaginal odour."
In an interesting turn of events, the product was used by many women as a contraceptive spermicide. Of course, it was horribly unsafe for women to use, because spraying chemicals (especially toxic ones that should only be used as a cleaning agent) up your vagina is obviously bad for you. However, for many women, it was an underground secret that Lysol could be used as a contraceptive. In the days when abortions were illegal, and regular forms of contraceptive were either outlawed or extremely stigmatized, this was seen as a secret trick. I should probably take a moment to say that Lysol is not actually a good contraceptive it doesn't have a great chance of working. However, Lysol began to understand that women were using their product this way, so started marketing it that way, using coded language. In the above ad, you'll note that it refers to "organic matter", which is in reference to sperm.
Thanks for reading!
We often find ourselves having to guess how to make things work and make things fit--in our lives, but also just in our possessions. Will these pants fit me? These shoes?
Will this screw fit my table? Will this charger fit my phone?
If everything was somehow standard, wouldn't it all be so much easier?
Here were some of those answers.
No More Vanity Sizes
Sizes for clothing.
Especially for shoes. How hard would it be to just list the sizes in centimeters (or inches if you're American)?
WHY DO WE USE STANDARD MEASUREMENTS FOR OUR CLOTHES, BUT THEY ARE DIFFERENT SIZES IN DIFFERENT BRANDS???
Calvin Klein's men's slacks: 32'' waist
Bar III men's slacks: 32'' waist
Perry Ellis slacks: 32'' waist
THEY ARE ALL DIFFERENT WAIST SIZES. WHYY?!?!?!?!
Ah Yes, Three Chilis
There's a standard for chili heat levels (the Scoville scale), but food manufacturers never use it. Instead, they use a varying number of chili icons which mean nothing at all.
It's always fun going to like a Thai restaurant in Canada and trying to figure out whether the chili icon means Thai spicy or Canadian spicy.
Ah Yes, This Could Kill Me
Household electrical voltages and sockets.
Interestingly enough, there was an attempt: since 1986, there is an international standard socket, IEC 60906-1. However, only South Africa has implemented it so far.
And it is unlikely it will ever be implemented in other countries, as the EU is even advising against it since 2017:
REFIT found that "the harmonisation of plug and socket outlet systems in Europe, by introducing changes in national wiring legislations (would have) important transitional periods (above 75 years)", and that the cost to "replace the old socket-outlets (and the corresponding plugs of the appliances being used)" was estimated at 100 billion Euro, "generating a huge environmental impact, producing some 700 000 tons of electrical waste". REFIT does not recommend harmonising the plugs and socket-outlet systems in Europe.
Can we just get a little consistency here? Please?!
After working in a grocery store, can diameters should only come in a maybe 4 sizes. And they should all stack.
But they don't. They never do.
I feel your pain. I hate those narrow jars and cans that are slightly narrower than 3 wires of the shelf so they tip over if you don't place them perfectly.
A Computer Mouse, Not A Little Baby Mouse
Modern rechargable batteries.
We spent years with standard size batteries. We are now stuck with proprietary batteries which aren't designed to be user replaceable and often dictate the life of the device.
Yes absolutely. I found this fact especially annoying when looking for a mouse. Most of the more expensive mice come with rechargeable batteries, and it seems that modern tech reviewers are claiming this is better than some standard double A.
All Standard, Yet None Standard
I worked in a hardware store long enough to learn that apparently everything is standardized.
"I need window screens."
Okay, what are your dimensions?
"It's a standard size window."
"I'm looking for a replacement ceiling fan."
Okay, do you want small blades, large blades? A modest 30" span or a robust 56"?
"Just standard size."
"Do you think this large, bulky, cumbersome commodity will fit in my vehicle?"
I don't know. How big your truck?
"It's a standard one."
protip: it's a sedan. it's always a sedan.
Welp, Here's Your Problem
Based on years of helping my Dad in his shop, doing bodywork on vehicles - fastenings. Bolts, screws. rivets, clips... the sheer amount of specialized fastenings and required tools is insane. Even the variety of types in single vehicles is excessive.
Not to mention many of them are so cheaply made that there is no reusing them.
So Many Sign Languages
Not necessarily something that should be standardised because it would affect many cultures negatively, but I've always wondered what it would be like if every country just spoke one language. Sign language should probably be standardised, but re-learning sign language for people who use it may be difficult and time-consuming
Perhaps We Need To Rethink Policing
Police responses to missing persons across the nation, and the information requirements for police reports to be filled out with specific and complete information at the first point of contact by the person reporting the missing person, regardless of the age, status, or suspected reason for disappearing.
Police should NEVER be allowed to decide a case isn't valid at the first point of contact.
A Recipe For A Lint Fire
The laundry exhaust receptacle in homes should be centered exactly eighteen inches (45.7cm) from the floor with eighteen inches (or 45.7 cm) of clearance on both sides.
The exhaust duct of a clothes dryer should be in the middle of the back of the machine, and centered eighteen inches/45.7 cm from the floor. The dryer should have adjustable feet to allow for slight errors in measurement.
Once this is done, a laundry dryer can be pushed into the wall and we won't need to craft a length of ducting to connect the two.
Just a little bit of sameness and consistency could really go a long way here.
Some things ought not be tried again.
Sure, they made sense the first time. It may have held charm, at least some sense of purpose on the second go around. But eventually, surely, an essential truth became clear: never again.
Reddit is apparently crawling with people carrying around that permanent grudge towards some thing they've done in the past.
Lucky for us, we can learn from their mistakes.
senorllama57 asked, "What is something you will never do again?"
There were, of course, plenty of people who discussed horrible jobs they've held in the past. They may have had little choice at the time, but now that it's all in the past they feel free to share how they really felt.
The Customer Always Seems To Be Wrong
"Work retail. I think every kid fresh out of high school should work a retail job for a year. It builds character." -- ProfessionalTheme415
"How did you get out!?! Lol. It's like a black hole where I work. Everyone that tries to leave comes back." -- threebillion6
A Lot Going On
"Work in a nursing home. The sights, screams and pleas Will haunt me forever." -- M_Lamora
"Honestly working in a nursing home was one of the most weird jobs I ever had. I've never been threatened so many times in my life. I once had a memory care resident ask me if I would help her jump a caregiver."
One After Another
"Work in a call center." -- Evilsmurfkiller
"Sucked the soul right out of me within a year." -- Bandana-mal
"I was at one for 2 and half years and it was not until I left I realized I had work-related depression. I was overeating, not eating, sleep deprived, slept all the time, I had such rage that would come out at times...
"I did not care what happened to me, I left because they were gonna fire me over something dumb because they just fire people for being there long. I left over a year ago, and I have not been this happy to wake up every day in years, my life is so much better now." -- UnusualLight0
Others discussed past struggles they've encountered within the romantic realm. Unfortunately, these lessons came with plenty of emotional struggle.
"Get married. It'll be 19 years this August and my marriage is my marriage. I reserve the right to have a girlfriend at some point if she passes away before I do, but she's the one and only wife, end of story."
"Ignore red flags when talking to someone I want to date. I've done it twice now, and both times sucked" -- YareYareYandere
"Listen to your gut. If something feels off, you're probably not imagining it." -- SurealGod
Don't Forget About You
"Okay first off I'm sorry if this might sound cringe :D . . . That would be hmm become too attached/codependent on a person. Whether it may be of a lover, friend, or just acquaintance."
"Idk if it's coincidence but they either end up gone one day or become total di**s when you least expect it and I'm forced to cut ties."
And some people chose to recall the things they were so certain would be fun and enjoyable, but turned out to be so not.
A Bad Ratio
"I made a super elaborate meal once. It was ... okay. Certainly not worth the effort involved." -- Astramancer_
"Take an hour to make something, only takes 15 minutes to eat. It's bullsh**." -- SurealGod
Hours and Hours
"Times Square on New Years' Eve. It was fun once, never need to do it again." -- AnswerGuy301
"I was going to answer the same thing. It seemed like it would be so much fun but now that I know what it entails — never again" -- hi_its_me
"I have never been and never understood the attraction of waiting for hours and hours in the shivering weather." -- amrodd
Think of Grease Splatters
"Prepare steaks when drunk" -- Kiaulunne
"Not for your reason, but same here. Cooked one at 2am after half a bottle of rum. Quickly ate and passed out after. Woke up around 8am dying for water and realised I left the gas stove on... So glad nothing burned down..." -- schofield101
"I will never get drunk again. Tipsy, buzzed, sure. Thats fine."
"But when I was in front of that toilet for an hour, being so weak I couldn't even sit up, having people constantly come in to check on me, worrying that I might have alcohol poisoning, that is exactly not a fun time"
So take some notes! Or maybe there were some true horrors you went through that this list seems to be lacking.
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You know what they say, “the road to hell is paved with good intentions". Because the people who have our best interests in mind typically have good intentions when they give us advice, but there's a chance that that advice can go horribly wrong.
Try not to follow the bad advice given here, because you don't want to get the results that these guys did.
The workplace can bring a cornucopia of terrible advice. Don’t follow these unless you want to get fired.
Bad jobs are usually not worth it.
Stick with a job no matter how bad it is. I stayed with a terrible job working retail, dealing with horrible customers and sexual harassment. I was told I wouldn't find anything better.
"No, no, you misunderstand. I said you wouldn't find anything better at making you feel like complete garbage."
This gets really creepy really fast.frustrated workplace GIFGiphy
"After you put in a job application, you need to call them at least once a day every day until they hire you."
Note: this did not get me hired. It got me called out by the HR person I was calling and forbidden to ever contact their facility again.
I work for a law firm that employees over 1500 people in the home office alone. Once I received a call from the building security saying, "Insert Name is here to speak with the owner." Well we are run by a committee so that's odd. Found out they just applied for a job and wanted to talk directly to the person that would potentially hire them. Told him the firm will contact them to schedule an interview. They refused to leave without "talking to the owner." Had security escort them out of the building.
This is absolutely not true.
"Sleep is for people who do not want success" great words from my uncle, it almost killed me.
Now I may be oversleeping.
Interpersonal relationships are also a big breeding ground for terrible advice. Don’t listen to any of these.
My father always tought me and my brother that "having friends is bad and in the end they will never be there for you" so everytime I told my father about my friends he would get kinda mad and give me the advice to stop talking to them.
Now I am afraid of people and have several trust issues, thanks dad.
This won’t end well.A Christmas Story GIF by filmeditorGiphy
In the fifth grade my teacher was talking about bullying, then she said "if anyone tries to bully you just agree with them." So the next time I got bullied I agreed with the bully and they bullied me more.
Dude one time I saw an anti bullying video that told the victims to just BE NICE TO THE BULLY. Like the bully was hurling insults and the victim was smiling and complimenting him. My first thought was about how much I hated the mere thought that this would work. My second thought was of how the people who came up with that method had clearly never been bullied.
When I met my now wife at the age of 19, one of my coworkers said that it's very important to start at the bottom with presents and work your way up, she still has the socks I gave her on our first anniversary on the wall over our bed as a reminder...
I'm still trying to teach my boyfriend about good presents and bad presents. Biscuits from the supermarket = bad present. Cheap unbranded laptop battery from China as my only present = bad present (and only lasted 2 months). Anything off my 7-page wishlist = good present. It's literally a list of things I want to receive as presents.
Can tell you from experience that this is a bad idea.
Had a falling out with some friends. My husband recommended I reach out to an old friend who ghosted me suddenly in a manner that induced some pretty severe abandonment trauma. Went for it anyways because "it's been so long, surely they changed". Am now experiencing the same things as last time.
When you follow bad advice, it can lead to mistakes that you just can’t come back from.
Buying a house is tricky.for sale dancing GIF by Lisa VertudachesGiphy
"Buy a home now before the prices go up!" -my FIL in 2006.
We bought in 2007 and paid $259,500 for our 1,300 sq ft house (we really couldn't afford it and had an 80/20 so we had 8% interest for one loan and 6% on the other) and in 2008 it was worth $97,000 so refinancing wasn't even an option. We watched all of our neighbors walk away or get foreclosed on but we kept paying our bills and as of this very moment our house is worth $462,000. I'm so happy we stuck it out, we both worked our @sses off and the house will be paid off in 2 years.
It worked out for us, it's a horrible idea. Especially since 1300 sq ft houses are $460+k
My heartbreaks for future generations, I honestly don't know how people are going to afford housing in the future.
It’s there for a reason.
"Never apply for any government assistance."
Cue years of suffering trying to work full-time with a painful disability. Quit a particularly terrible job, and wanted to apply for food aid until I could find another gig; a friend with lots of DHS experience recommended I apply for Social Security "just to get in the system." Turns out my disability was bad enough to get accepted the first time, which I wasn't expecting. Really could've used that support, oh, the 30+ previous years of my life.
Credit is important to have.
I was told to not get a credit card until after college. I was super fortunate to have my college paid for so I had no loans, car paid in cash, no credit card or anything to start building credit. Found myself out in the world at 22 years old with a credit score of 0.
So while a lot of this bad advice came from trusted people, oftentimes they were too misinformed to give that advice in the first place. Don't trust the word of one person--do your research, and make decisions for yourself.
It'll be way better in the long run
Every once in awhile, somebody comes along, enters your life, and catapults themselves to that awful, unique position at the top of your list of the worst people you have ever met.
Sometimes, the person's blindingly terrible behavior and overall essence is actually impressive. We ask ourselves, "how could a person like this actually exist on purpose?"
Alas, they do. And you have to deal with them. Or, if your lucky, you can carve out some distance.
Redditors shared descriptions of the worst people they've ever had the misfortune to meet. Some have escaped the relationship. Some are are still stuck in the clutches.
LoneStar202 asked, "Who is the worst person you have ever met?"
Some chose to talk about the acquaintances they simply couldn't help but encounter. External circumstances beyond their control made the stars align in the worst way possible.
Keeping the Peace
"There was this guy who used to come into the McDonald's where I did security overnight (yes, that's a job), and he was the biggest ahole I've ever met in my life."
"Ginger, 5'6 or so, named Colby, had a perpetual scowl on his face, looked for any reason to start a fight with anyone. He and his friend would come in when it's super busy, not order, and then yell at the staff that he paid and wasn't given a receipt in the hopes that they'd give him free food rather than deal with him."
"I kicked him out for six months on two separate occasions for coming in drunk and throwing things, drinking beer in the restaurant, starting fights, you name it. Only got in my face once and I never had to fight him, but I'm much bigger than him and the law is on my side."
"Not that I would necessarily have won. I'm big and strong, but I have no idea how to fight and he did. I called his bluffs because I was pretty sure he wouldn't attack me and he didn't."
"Funny, I just realized I've finally forgotten his last name. Not that I'd mention it. He might be less of a @ss now and he's no longer my business."
You Know 'Em
"I work with a real life, archetypal, Karen. She's two-faced, mean, anti-vax, and just generally the whole nine. The first interaction I ever had with her she had to make fun of me behind my back for being a dude with earrings."
"Recently kicked up a stink by making an 'anonymous' email address and emailing our HR department saying people were discriminating against folks not getting the covid vaccine.
"Luckily she's burned too many bridges for anyone to really take her crazy anymore but man is she frustrating to deal with."
Others discussed the family members that, for obvious reasons, they were forced to put up with for years and years. But even family isn't enough to keep a person like that around.
Marrying Into It
"It sounds cliche, but my ex-MIL. What made her the worst is that she was a covert POS."
"We always lived about 1k miles from them, so I didn't pick up on it for far, far too long, but goddamn, I've never met anyone with as much unacknowledged hate and cruelty in their heart."
A Thing of the Past
"My father. Cheater, never paid child support, verbally abusive to my mother, sister and I. Just all around bad dude."
"Haven't talked to him in about 15 years and am 100% ok with that."
So Many Problems
"My brother. He's like a cross between Kramer (Seinfeld, 'my newest thing' and mannerisms) and Frank from Its Always Sunny (illegal activity and completely illogical 'logic')."
"He's ripped me off for thousands of dollars (getting close to 5 figures). Constantly stealing anything he can, but claims 'borrowed' if caught with it. Been to jail 3 times and is currently on house arrest after over a year of probation violations. "
"The epitome of 'easier to say sorry than ask permission' (but the apologies are hollow) and 'what's yours is mine and what's mine is mine.' No consideration for anyone or anything. Manages to break virtually anything he touches. Hasn't had a job in over 1.5 years, but has been trying to fraudulently collect unemployment."
"Constantly thinks everyone is out to get him and people are stalking the camper he lives in (has security cameras that he watches frequently and often 'patrols' the area). Tries to break into locked doors and safe, and pulls the 'why don't you believe/trust me' line."
"I'm just scratching the surface here. He'd use your clippers/razor to shave his family jewels and not clean up the mess (something he's done multiple times)."
Finally, there were the stories of classmates. Whether it was high school, college, or even graduate school, there were enough people there all in one place that one or two rotten people were never far away.
"Guy from my high school was a wannabe thug. He ended up going to juvi junior year. After a year of juvi. He became a true criminal. Broke into people's homes. Stole from stores and got heavy into drugs."
"Then he eventually died after robbing the wrong store at gunpoint. The owner came out the back and shot him with a shotgun."
Wait for the Twist
"My gf's college classmate. Narcistic. Thought of himself as very important so he came into the church where we were graduating, on his HORSE. He damaged a 1000 or something-year-old church floor in Leiden. He thinks he didn't do anything wrong."
"And the weird thing is, we were graduating LAW SCHOOL"
Ride Like Lightning, Crash Like Thunder
"I had a classmate who wanted to become a stock broker and a millionaire. He said more than once, with absolute pride, 'When I'm rich I wont donate a single penny to the poor!' I asked him why and he said 'I have my own problems, and the poor being poor is not one of them.' "
"He opened his own business when he was 23 and was pretty successful, but suddenly a fire burned the place down while he was in it and he suffered from third degree burns all over his body."
"He later confessed setting the fire himself and was found guilty on insurance fraud. He's only 24 now and his professional life is basically over."
A Sudden Shift
"A teacher I once had. Didn't know me. Never spoke to me much."
"One day just randomly snapped at me. Yelling at me telling me that I had no future, that all the awards I got were to go to waste, that I the article I published which I spent hours working on and submitted didn't matter. That even though I was 14 and had many great achievements, I would end up just like that said teacher."
"Worst person I have ever encountered. Did collateral damage to my life as now I am a high school student with no more ambition. Wanna be a journalist? Wanna be a writer? A lawyer? Not anymore buddy."
Hopefully, you don't have too many of these people in your own life. But, let's face it, there's one or two people on your mind right now.
Here's hoping you managed to let go and get away.
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