As a society, we're pretty good at looking the other way when we feel unable or unwilling to help. Here, we try to get real about some of society's biggest "elephants in the room." If you want to help with any of these issues but don't know where to start, try reading more about it, bring it up as a discussion with a friend (or repost this article!), and look at related volunteer or donation opportunities that directly work against the negative impact. Thanks to everyone for contributing their elephants.
1. Much of the stuff we buy and use on a daily basis is made by modern day slaves, child workers, and/or in sweatshops.
The True Cost takes this issue on. It was very uncomfortable to watch - it feels like any clothing purchase will make me complicit in a horribly unfair labor system.
In particular, it opened my eyes to the poor conditions that led to tragedies like the savar building collapse, which killed over 1000 sweatshop workers.
2. How horrible the education system is, and how is hasn't changed at all in a very long time.
It's entrenched in its crappy ways, and it keeps getting worse. On top of that, special education! We just shove every student with a disability in a room together and tell them they're a "distraction" to everyone else, then give the assignments several grades lower than the one they're in. Don't forget that apparently all disabilities are the same, so the students with autism like me need to given someone to read their test to them out loud. It's a BS "hope the problem goes away" policy with no regard for the students it actually affects. That's not even mentioning that these students are almost always bullied simply for being in it. (Hurr durr, you ride a shorter bus etc.) Being told that being disabled means you can't use normal people classrooms feels a bit too similar to segregation for my tastes when you think about it.
3. Bacteria's growing resistance to antibiotics.
It really angers me that GPs are caving in to patients demands for antibiotics for things like the flu. The influenza virus is just that, a virus, antibiotics don't do anything to combat it. And yet the amount of people that say they are going to go get some antibiotics for their flu baffles me. I wish GPs had more guts to say "no, antibiotics are for bacterial infections, not viruses like your flu. Take some cough syrup, keep up with your fluids and rest up".
4. The ever-growing heroin addiction problem in the United States.
This personally, deeply affected my life. I've lost many friends to this problem. Even a partner. I still haven't recovered from that loss.
As you can imagine I've spent a great deal of time thinking of possible solutions, and without a doubt I truly believe the best option is to give it away for free in clinics across America.
Please let me explain.
There are 3 major problems revolving around this issue:
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1) People become addicted to opioids or opiates
2) People can get a cheap opiate off of the street
3) The addiction either destroys peoples livelihood, or it kills them
I want to preface this solution by clarifying, though the 12 step program works for some people, it actually very rarely sees success. Heroin addiction is a societal disease, not solely a personal one.
Part 1: Making Heroin Worthless
Giving Heroin away for free will de-incentivize dealers from pushing H, or other opiates. Dealers can not compete with free. This will get H off the streets and prevent dealers from offering "try before you buy" trials, which are a major cause of the outbreak on the street. Why would they put all that work into getting a kid hooked if he can just go pick it up for free at the local clinic? If you can't kill the snake by biting off its head, starve it out.
Part 2: Making Heroin Safe
There are several dangers involved with drug addiction. Sexual assault, violence, and theft can all stem from an attempt to get a fix. STDs can easily be transmitted by sexual favors (offered in return for drugs), or by dirty needles. Laced drugs can cause reactions unexpected and often times fatal. Overdose is often by accident when the user is misinformed about the potency of the drug, and they go into respiratory failure. By offering clean needles, pure drugs, and first aid on stand by, we can get people out of the dangerous element, administer non-lethal doses, prevent life-threatening STDs, and prevent death by overdose in the case that an overdose does occur.
Part 3: Making Heroin a facet, not an identity
There is term known as "functional addict". It means that, though the user is addicted to H, they do not allow their life to revolve around their addiction. Functional addicts have the lowest mortality rate because they are very clinical about the administration of the drug, and are less likely to go to extreme lengths to receive a fix. They also tend to have the best personal life. Holding jobs, going to school, and maintaining relationships. Unfortunately, this is a very small percentage of all addicts.
Beyond the chemical addiction of Herion, there is another reward system at play for those who allow their addiction to consume their lives. It's known as "The Hunt". It's a process in which someone (usually with little or no money) gets an urge to use, so they hunt down a dealer who has some available. Next they fight, work, or steal just enough money to pay for their fix. Then they wait for their dealer to arrive. Finally they administer their drug in a personal way known as "The Ritual". They do the same ritual every time they use. The next day they wake up, and do the same thing over again, and again, and again.
Heroin addiction is so much more than a chemical addiction. It's a lifestyle. The first thing any NA meeting will tell you when you're quitting is don't visit, talk to, or go to any of the places, people, or things associated with your hunt or ritual.
It has been shown in the lab that if provided with the proper stimuli, rats will not become addicted to Heroin if their lives are positive enough. However, under severe stress rats will become very addicted. You can watch the TED Talk here:
So how does this solution allow people to become functional addicts or even sober? The first thing it does is disassociate heroin with something personal or meaningful. It cures the urge, without creating a behavioral habit. This allows the user to distance themselves from the drug, and dampens the idea that the drug is an intimate friend. More importantly, it allows the user to spend the energy on school, work, or relationships that they would otherwise be spending on the hunt. This allows them to build a better life for themselves, decreasing their dependence on their drug for self-worth or meaning. Everyone may not become sober, but anyone can become a functioning addict.
Now there may still be people out there who live only for the high, but remember that this will not be the case for everyone. Regardless of how many people this converts to sobriety, it's an opportunity to give people, and especially teenagers, their lives back.
On the issue of big-pharma's involvement. This solution unfortunately does not touch that. The only way to stop opiate addiction altogether is to stop pharma's monopoly on painkillers by investing in, and lobbying for alternative, non-addictive painkilling methods.
Every single day I wish this had been available for those I love. The Hunt is what destroys the person and their relationships. Not the addiction alone.
Thank you for reading.
5. The amount of college students that will never be able to pay off their student debt.
The sucky thing is, the subsidized government loans were supposed to help college be more accessible, but really they just (Continued)
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they just enabled universities to overcharge by hundreds of thousands. Stop subsidizing, and many people won't be able to attend university because of the massive prices. Then universities will be forced to lower their prices to have a "customer" base. People get upset because the government isn't helping the needy, but helping the needy is what created that problem in the first place. A rock an a hard place.
6. The lack of support for the individual living with mental illness is reprehensible.
In addition to poor mental health services, there is a huge the lack of support for parents of adult children who are non compliant or so ill that they do not recognize the absolute necessity for medication and therapy.
The legal hoops parents are required to jump through to protect their adult children from themselves is daunting, exhausting and in many cases destroys families.
The individuals that suffer from complex mental health problems, their loved ones and in many cases the general public suffer. It is a public health crisis that needs to be addressed.
And from another contributor...
I have bipolar and it's been a huge struggle the past few months and years with the depression aspect of it. Meds take weeks to work and switching them makes you ill. It's hard to get an appointment with a new psychiatrist or your psychiatrist. Friends don't want to deal with you so they ignore you. No one knows how to help. Mental illness has such a stigma that you don't know where to reach out. You go to doctors, school resources, support groups, everything but nothing helps so you feel hopeless and heartbroken. You feel worthless and unloved and broken.
I went to the ER a couple of months ago because I had such an urge to commit suicide, I needed help.
I didn't want to go there because I knew I wouldn't get help but there was nowhere else for me to go. I honestly felt like if I was alone I would have hurt myself. It was the weekend so I couldn't get into my psychiatrist. I was put in a back room with a clearly unlocked cabinet of needles and meds and other things. No one checked on me for two hours. I understand that there's not much to do but even just one nurse there to sit with me or reassure me that I did the right thing by coming in would have helped. The doctors didn't give me any medication to help at all. I tried to get committed and they wouldn't let me. They told me to just hold off until my next psychiatric appointment (6 weeks later) I was treated like I didn't matter and sent home to an empty house. It was an awful way to deal with my situation.
It's the most hopeless and lonely feeling in the world when the one group of professionals that are suppose to understand push you to the side like you're an inconvenience to them. I still can't fathom how those medical professionals could leave a suicidal patient alone when they tried to reach out for help.
Then I got home and begged a couple of "friends" to stay with me but all they wanted to to was go to parties and drink that night. Idk what it was that kept me going but I'm still trying. It hurts and I feel like no one would really care if I was gone besides my parents. I could never do that to them, that's the main reason I'm still trying despite such little help. No one cares until you kill yourself.
I'm sorry this ended up turning into a vent. This is something I hate about healthcare and I don't want anyone else to go through situations like this.
No one likes talking about it before it happens, no one likes talking about it while someone is on their death bed, and no one likes it after that person has died. It's funny because when someone does die we rarely say they died, we say passed on, moved on, etc. while I'm sure we say things like "My phone is dying" or "It's dead quiet in here" more often than we realize.
Some years ago, my friend Steve's sister-in-law was dying of cancer. Everyone knew about it, everyone walked on tiptoe around her. Steve went to visit them, and sat down with his SIL in private and said, "You should make plans right now for what you want to happen when you die." (Steve's job is in finances, he's very straightforward and to the point).
His SIL looked at him and said: (Continued)
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"Thank you so much. You're the only person who's said 'die' or 'death' to me. Everyone else pretends like it's not happening." In a weird sort of way, it was a relief to her to have someone not walk on eggshells around her and actually acknowledge the inevitable: that she was dying.
8. Drug addiction & sex work
Treating addicts like criminals could not be more counterintuitive. Same with sex work. It NEEDS to be decriminalized. Most sex workers are doing it out of desperation, and they effectively become incapable of contacting the police because they're the first ones to be arrested and jailed if they do. It's horrifying.
9. For profit prisons.
I got sent to county jail (not prison) a decade ago for thirty days. I was charged $75.00 a day and was required to pay it off before they would even consider letting me off probation. $2,250.00 for one month, on top of all other fines, fees, and "service/handling charges." Not to mention, the incentive to throw people in prison and keep them there is created when it's for profit. In America, we have a system that is so corrupt, its goal is to put more people in prison and keep them there for as long as possible in order to try and make as much money off them as possible. That means that people are treated horribly (we're people!) and the thought of trying to make it a place where people can get the help they need to reintegrate into the world and become a healthy, functioning member of society, is slim to none. Because they WANT you to reoffend.
lupinedisco & anonymous
10. The growing political divide in the U.S.
Neither side wants to humanize the other, everyone feels the growing tension, and nothing's being done about it.
11. Giving away/hoarding personal data.
Literally everyone and their grandma trusts an anonymous corporate behemoth with their most intimate thoughts and messages on a daily basis (google, hotmail, facebook, etc) as if it were a completely normal part of life, and nothing bad could ever come from it.
12. In Canada, we forget our Indigenous people
Specifically here in Canada, the government is busy patting themselves on the back for planning to put a Black woman on some of our money because she was a champion for civil rights here.
Meanwhile, we continue to screw Indigenous people over and several decades ago they even went as far as to strip Indigenous women here of their Indigenous rights if they married white men.
My point is, for all of Canada's greatness we still (Continued)
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treat the Indigenous peoples like crap. Especially up North where illiteracy, suicide rates, substance abuse and other problems are much worse than in the rest of the population of this country.
The government here will pat itself on the back for letting in over 20,000 Syrian refugees (which is great, they should be doing that!) but meanwhile there are Indigenous communities who don't even have proper or clean drinking water.
My great-great grandfather, Chief Dan George questioned all of this 50 years ago during his now famous speech, "Lament for Confederation."
14. The suicide epidemic.
Suicide has been slowly but surely climbing the "biggest cause of death" list, and is bolstered by the disproportionate number of veterans who take their own lives every day, as well as young adults who have lost a sense of social solidarity in their community. No one wants to breach the subject of mental health, especially considering the cultural stigma against admitting/treating mental health problems in the USA.
15. The way we treat pedophilia.
Pedophilia is seen as one of the most horrific crimes out there, but we're not helping anyone by perpetuating the stigma around this mental illness. Yes, pedophilia is a proven mental disorder. It has to do with a cross-wiring in the brain that makes it so that instead of triggering a nurturing part of your brain when you see youth, it triggers the sexual part. Most pedophiles don't act on these impulses, but in the same way adults sometimes mistake people's affection for interest, it can be difficult for people with pedophilic minds to not read into a child's affection as interest. But here's the real problem. We treat pedophilia as a huge crime not just a crime to act on it, but a crime to have the disorder. So if a person with pedophilic thoughts goes to a therapist and says, "please help me. I know what I'm thinking is wrong and I need to figure out ways to help myself not act on this." that therapist is legally obligated to report that person to the police, and next thing you know that person is seen as a criminal, just for trying to get help so he/she won't commit a crime. How messed up is that?!
We need to create a way to help people who have pedophilic thoughts to find help, otherwise we're just going to have more people who are too ashamed to get help, committing crimes they know are wrong.
16. Human rights violations in North Korea.
People treat it as a joke to distract themselves from the fact that their leaders, nations, and themselves are complicit in the suffering of millions.
17. Casual racism that isn't considered "wrong" yet.
Yes, I know racism is wrong in any context, but casual racism/antisemitism against Jewish and Asian people is pretty rampant and accepted.
18. We waste more food every year than is necessary to solve world hunger.
Every. Single. Year.
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19. We can't keep living like this
The American economy is predicated on a level of consumption that, if adopted globally, would deplete the world's resources in no time. No amount of humanitarian aid or neoliberal development will offset the exploitation of developing nations required to sustain our lifestyle, or this contradiction within 'western' values of universal human rights. If we want to save the environment and help the global poor, Americans need to severely reduce consumption. Most people seem convinced that we have an overpopulation problem, but we have an overconsumption problem.
20. The flint, Michigan water crisis. People know about it, but nothing is getting done.
21. Robots are coming for us
Most human labor will become obsolete in the next 30 years. Our society's values are not compatible with a world where robots and AI do most of the labor.
So many corporations/governments/movements latch onto LGBTQ rights as a marketing or political strategy to try to promote a product or an agenda and appeal to the "trendiness" of being queer-friendly, and progressive people. It's sad, really, that being accepting has to be a trend or a political strategy (ie: let's say we're gay-friendly and they'll never notice the horrible stuff we're doing!), rather than a given.
23. Racism in children's media
For example, did you know that most animated kids shows will have the "evil" character a shade darker than the good guys? Scar (The Lion King), Ursula (The Little Mermaid), Dr. Doom (Fantastic Four), and so many other shows will make a "bad" character a shade darker than the rest of the characters. Sure, this seems like a small thing, but studies have shown that when shown dolls of varying shades of skin and asked to choose "the bad one" most kids will pick the doll with the darkest skin. That's as young as 3 years old. Just imagine how ingrained it is in our heads by the time we reach adulthood, and we aren't even conscious of it.
When you go on a job interview, the last thing you probably never think about is asking a question.
But we should also be prepared and ready to ask the right questions to have a leg up on the competition.
"What is THE best question to ask on a job interview?"
A company's history or information about a past employee were suggested subjects appropriate for questioning.
"When you were interviewing here, what would you have liked to know before you joined?"
"This worked for me. I asked my interviewer a question about how she had personally dealt with a company policy she had just explained. She bragged about her stellar adherence to the policy. I nodded my approval. I got the job."
A Previous Employee
"One that has always gone over well for me:"
"What were some qualities that the previous employee in this role brought to the job that you would like to see carried forward?"
"Another good thing to do is research the company you are interviewing with and you can ask things about what they may be involved in or you could drop that while reading about the company, you wondered this."
Hypothetical questions were suggested as helpful examples of inquiry.
Indicators Of How Companies Treat Employees
"A question that landed me a job once was: 'If I asked your direct reports about your management style, what do you think they'd tell me?' Stumped a hiring manager and he emailed me personally to tell me about it, no one ever asked him that question but got the job.
"In my current interviews I'm asking 'what did your company do for its employees during [the virus] to improve their day to day, work life balance, etc.' and I ask 'Is there anything your company adopted during [the virus] that they plan to keep post [the virus]?"
"These questions give a lot of insight into whether a company treated their employees well."
Past Performance & Adjustments
"If we were currently sitting in my 1 year review, what would I have done in this year for you to say I excelled in my role?"
"If I could snap my finger right now and change anything about your job or the company, what would it be and why?"
The following questions about a prospective company may not be answered from initial digging on their website.
Measure Of Success & Career Trajectories
"How is success measured in this role?"
"What are some possible career trajectories within the company that could stem from this position?"
Being A Solution
"Ask them what is the biggest problem you can solve for them in your first six months with the company. Similar to 'don't think of a purple hippo,' this forces them to imagine you succeeding in the position."
"What do you like best about working here?"
Simply The Best
"Who is your best employee and why is he/she the best?"
"You will then face 2 situations mostly:"
"panicking CEO who can't answer you 'Bob who works 17 hours a day for a slice of bread' so the fear in their faces must be a big nono for you"
"entusiast CEO who actually follow their business and can tell you who is an added value for the company and why."
My experiences with job interviews are different than others seeking work in office environments.
Having had a years-long career as a dancer, my "interview" was the dance audition, where hopefuls dance in small groups of people at a time after learning a routine and then awaiting their fate after the panel evaluates their performances.
The question I may or may not have asked in such a scenario earlier in my career was: "Did I make the cut?"
I did not make the cut. And I learned never to ask that again.
I have a few wealthy friends and I've seen a thing or two that has made my eyes pop out of my head. Let's just say that the priorities of a wealthy person and a dude who has never broken six figures are entirely different. But that doesn't compare to working for the fabulously rich. A friend of mine was a nanny for a super rich family for several years and described the lavish trips she took with them (and how picky and out of touch they were, too).
People told us their own stories after Redditor NeighborhoodTrolley asked the online community,
"People who cater to the super rich: What things have you seen?"
"It is so wide..."
"My dad's client bought a whole block of houses to build theirs. It is so wide that they installed a moving walkway like the ones at airports."
"A friend did some work..."
"A friend did some work on Sylvester Stallone's home. Apparently, there's a ton of statues and art of himself, some of which are naked and very well endowed."
Guess what, guys? It's not a joke! Those statues are weird.
Here you go: You're welcome.
"A friend from high school..."
"A friend from high school worked a few years as a deckhand on yachts in the Mediterranean and he said he once jumped in to get a customer's bag and got tipped €4000.
"Was a boyfriend of a girl from an obscenely rich family. The sister used to have the nanny (who was sleeping with the husband, but that's another story) fly to Paris in their G550 to buy the newest Hermès bag so she could show it off a few days before it went on sale in the U.S."
I did know a rich girl who would do something similar: She would fly to Paris for Fashion Week to get cute new outfits before they ever ended up in the United States.
"I used to work for a company that modified aircraft for really rich people. I'm talking 747s, not Gulfstreams.
This company had made several aircraft for this one customer, who I was told had purchased a new one solely because his spiritual advisor had told him that one of his current planes was bad luck. He still let his wife use it for her personal travel.
To me, one of the most exquisite features of these planes wasn't the gold-plated everything, or rare wood veneers, it was the silk carpet. That stuff costs over $1,000 per square foot and feels like walking on a bed of angel feathers harvested in the most inhumane way possible. Granted, these guys don't deck out the whole plane, just their personal areas (the aft third is usually reserved for staff and such and is more like a fancy economy class), but yeah… silk carpet."
"A woman who owned..."
"A woman who owned a small private jet business told me one time someone paid them to fly their dog (by itself) to NY for about $45,000 for some training. No other passengers."
The service that dog received must have been stupendous... but that's also so wasteful, I just can't get over it!
"I became personal friends..."
"I became personal friends with my boss and his wife; super nice people. The wife turned out to be an heiress and would buy me whatever I mentioned, like in passing during a conversation. I learned gifts were how she was raised to show love.
I've trained myself to only talk about things I already own unless I find something useful she might like and suggest it for her."
"Have the money to support their eccentricity.
One guy I cook for wanted his house built so that his bedroom was right above the cow barn, with a retractable spot in the floor so he could fall asleep listening to (and smelling, I presume) the cows."
Smelling the cows?
Are we certain he ever smelled a cow? Because I've been on a farm and I have and it's a terrible smell.
Would not recommend.
"I am an art student..."
"I am an art student working as a gardener. We work in one of the wealthiest areas in my country. Some customers are really eager to show me their collection of artworks that they have hanging on their walls once they find out that I study it.
I remember one time standing in a bathroom, with my dirty gardening clothes and there was a Picasso above the toilet."
"Once saw him..."
"I used to 'work' for an Arab billionaire's son, a Daddy's money guy, terrible garbage human being.
Once saw him spend $16 000 on a wallet, was a fancy one with little gold spikes on it and stuff. He had shoes with gold on them.
I remember one year for his birthday he received like 30+ cakes, big fancy cakes and he told us to leave them on the floor in the hallway outside his room.
We walked by those cakes every day for two weeks waiting for instruction, after the two weeks we were told to throw them away."
Anyway... might as well ask: Any of you rich people out there looking for a poor friend?
Need a houseboy?
Or just someone whose bills you can pay?
I'm totes available.
Have some stories of your own? Feel free to tell us all about them in the comments below!
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Oh the matters of the heart are just never going to be easy. Love seems to be a never ending mess. I've dated a lot and can attest that the percentage of bad to good is 70/30. And that may be generous math.
I've heard about people fighting on dates, setting fire to the restaurant, discovering hidden identities and dramas I thought only ever occurred on daytime television.
I use to believe the biggest fear about dating was that the other person may turn out to be a serial killer, but they at least tend to show you a respectable time before they strike.
Oof. Let's see who has been left scarred by the hunt.
Redditor u/givemeyourfreefood wanted everyone to share the stories that almost made them re-think searching for love, by asking:
What's the worst date you ever had?
I remember the worst date I ever had. My biggest regret is that I stayed for the entire thing. I should've left as soon as I realized this was not going well, which was basically at hello. But he was paying so I drank, a lot. I'll keep names and dates to myself to protect the innocent.
0/10Big Brother Reaction GIF by Big Brother After DarkGiphy
"Went to brewery, date said I had hairy arms and that meant I was horny, said "you look really awful in this light" and then tried to dig out of that hole by saying in his native language that was a term of endearment long term couples said to each other. 0/10 did not date again."
"My wife wanted to plan our 13th wedding anniversary. I was excited because usually, I plan it. She bought us some new disc golf discs and after a quick supper, we went to play. We hadn't played in forever. We were laughing and I had a great time. She served me with divorce papers and told me that the date was a test to see if she still had feelings for me. I also learned that she was having an affair that started well before our anniversary."
Two Hours from Home
"Not necessarily a date but a person I was dating invited me to his parent's house for the afternoon. He wanted to introduce me to them and show me the house he grew up in. I thought it was super sweet and had no problems going. He was also in the middle of moving and needed to pick up a few things, so it really didn't seem that unusual."
"Yeah, we got there and it was awful. His entire family was there. They traveled from hours away too. This was not just meeting the parents, it was meeting the ENTIRE family. Even worse? At some point, this idiot told his parents that he had proposed. We had been dating TWO months. I spent the entire afternoon dumbfounded and just playing along."
"We were two hours from home and I had no cell service, no way to leave at all. We ended up spending the afternoon brainstorming wedding ideas and planning an Alaskan honeymoon that his parents planned to gift us. His brother even called to say congratulations! We drove back to his apartment in silence. When we got there, I got in my car and left, didn't even bother grabbing my stuff. Weirdest experience ever. I have no idea how he broke it to his parents that we weren't getting married."
You're Cut Off!
"Got set up on a blind date once between mutual friends. She shows up to the restaurant already a little tipsy, orders multiple appetizers and only takes like one or two bites from each one. Then she proceeds to order 3 or 4 more drinks and is visibly drunk at this point. She gets up and says she's going to the bathroom and staggers off. About 15-20 minutes go by so I try to call her several times but no answer."
"Finally I decide to pay the check and just leave. About 2 hours later I'm sitting at home and I get a call from an unknown number. It's the police department. She was picked up on a DUI on her way home after she ditched me and gave the cops my number to see if I could go bail her out!"
Sorry?Bbc Three Idk GIF by BBCGiphy
"Well, I gave this answer on a different topic, but it ties in with this. We were out on a date, we had been seeing each other for a while, close to a year maybe. She gets a phone call. Suddenly she looks destroyed. Her fiancé had just died in a motorcycle accident."
What in the world? I mean how can we ever expect to pair off with the dating pool being inundated with liars and nut jobs? I'm going to delete my apps.
Girl, Bye.Sassy Beyonce GIFGiphy
"Had a girl openly flirt with the bartender in front of me. She says she wasn't. But handing him her own phone and asking for his contact info in front of her date seems like it to me."
"Came out from a movie, late at night, and date's Camaro was stolen. Apparently, he called his WIFE (that I did not know he had) and let her know where he was and what happened. She showed up and realized he was on a date! She started chasing ME around the parking lot telling me she was going to kill me. Saved by the cops who showed up just in time to take the auto theft report."
"Met a girl at a country bar one night in my 20s. We were both pretty drunk but hit it off pretty good. Ended up getting her number and we agreed we'd go on a real date. Fast forward to the date, she gets in my vehicle and... she looks almost identical to my mom. I was mortified. I was polite and we went for lunch where I found out she also had a boyfriend she "wasn't sure if she was into". Never talked to her again."
"When I was in college many years ago, before the advancement of cell phones and social media, I was chatting with a girl I met on a BBS who lived on Long Island, NY. I was 18 at the time, but lied and said I was 22 because she said she was 25. We spent a few weeks emailing each other, as well as calling each other."
"We even exchanged pics. When we finally met up, things blew up. Turns out we both lied about our ages: She was really 33, and lied because she thought she looked younger. She admitted she sent a college photo to me. We still had dinner together, but it was awkward as hell. We never spoke again."
DoublesKill Me Now Season 1 GIF by FriendsGiphy
"It was a double date. She was more interested talking to the other girl throughout the whole thing. Found out later from the other guy that his girl cheated on him with my date."
Ummm... I think I'm just going to stay single. That is a handful of crazy. Why can't people just be honest? I swear the search for love warps people's brains. Be careful out there people.
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As much as we'd like to assume spirits, ghosts, and paranormal happenings are relegated to movies and books, plenty of real-life stories abound.
Inexplicable sightings, things heard, and cold pockets of air are encountered by plenty of people all the time.
It's up to you if you want to believe them. But it's hard to argue with the conviction of the contributors to a recent Reddit thread.
Redditor ihadanightmarewithu asked:
"What is the scariest / paranormal story you have ever experienced?"
Many people talked about the things that caught their eye once upon a time.
Two Places At Once
"I was staying with a group of friends rock climbing in Spain. Really creepy air bnb, lots of strange things happened while we were staying there. The creepiest was one morning we were getting ready for the day, packing food and generally getting our things together, and I went upstairs to grab something."
"As I was heading back downstairs I walked past my friend's boyfriend on the landing and saw him turn and go into his and my friend's room; I think I asked him something but he didn't reply. I thought 'rude' and headed downstairs."
"Walked into the kitchen and he was there sorting food out with my friend."
"Everyone swore he'd been downstairs the whole time, plus there was only one staircase and it would have been impossible for him to overtake me and get to the kitchen before me without me noticing. I went back upstairs and checked their room and there was no one up there but me."
"I've never experienced anything creepy or inexplicable before we stayed in that air bnb and I'd say I'm v. sceptical about supernatural/paranormal stuff but multiple things happened on that trip that spooked me."
"A floating head."
"I was putting beef in the slow cooker because I wanted it done for morning, it was late at night. I reached up to grab some seasonings, and heard creaking. I told my kids to get in bed."
"I see something out of my peripheral vision and there was no body but a head of a bald, pale man floating 3 1/2 maybe 4 feet off the ground in the middle of the floor. It's face kept looking as if it was sad, or like it was begging. It locked eyes with me....I froze."
"I had a darker wall, with a coat rack with my husbands work jackets so it stood out like a store thumb. I looked away thinking it was my imagination but when I looked back it was still there so I ran out the back door because I'd have to pass it to get upstairs with my husband and kids."
"I ended up calling him on my phone to come walk me in. I was wide awake, not sleepy, not out of it, on no medication. I have no reason to see that ever."
Presences, Seen and Felt
"When I was a kid my mom took my sister and I on vacation. I only remember this happening one night while we were there but the hotel we stayed at was pretty much all flats with one bedroom. I slept in the bed with my mom and my sister was on the pull out sofa. I can't remember if I was trying to go to sleep or woke up in the night to this but I just know everyone else was asleep."
"It was really dark with just a little light from the street outside coming in on the sides of the curtains. On each side of the bed stood a black silhouette and it felt like they were all staring right at me acknowledging their presence. I didn't feel threatened or afraid of them at all and turned on the bedside light and not surprisingly nobody was there."
"I turned the light back off and there they were still in the same positions. I just looked at them for a while but must have eventually fell asleep. The only other detail of that experience I remember is waking up the next day and mentioning it at breakfast and my sister saying she felt like she was being watched the whole night. I have no explanation for it but it's a memory that has stuck with me over many years now."
"One time I was going home in my car and saw a guy that appeared to have no arms no hair and a longa** neck in a JUST a hoodie no pants no underwear trying to climb a tree in the woods with their legs and idk know if that's paranormal but it was such a fu**ing weird experience that I think it qualifies"
For others, it was all about the things they heard.
"This is something I've never been able to rationalize."
"For months after my dad died, we were getting landline calls where no one would answer on the other end. This was in 2002, so, while robo callers were a thing, it definitely wasn't as prevalent as it is today, but we did assume they were probably wrong numbers or something. (We didn't have any phones that displayed caller id at the time.)"
"Well, one time, after getting yet another call with only silence on the other end, I jokingly said, 'Dad, if that's you, call my cell phone.' "
"I want to preface this by saying I rarely ever got calls on my cell phone, and never spam calls in those days. I was 18 with an unlisted number that only my family and a few friends had."
"Just a few minutes later, my phone rang with a number I'd never seen before. With what I'd just said fresh in my mind, I kind of freaked out and didn't answer. I was on my way out to go somewhere with my mom, so when we got in the car, I told her what happened. We made the decision to call the number back."
"It never rang, but there was activity at the other end: muffled static and the sound of numbers being dialed slowly. It was the weirdest thing. Both my mom and I said hello, but no one ever answered."
"Has anyone ever had something like that happen to them when dialing a number? I've never had it happen before or since."
And the Crying Stopped
"About 10 years ago (I'd have been 24) I was still living with my parents. My bedroom was in the basement. One night, around 3am I was woken up to the sounds of a young child crying. It sounded like it was coming from just outside my window. I couldn't just look out the window because it was covered in ivy, so I quickly hopped out of bed to go help the kid."
"As I got closer to my bedroom door I could hear the crying was actually on the other side of the door. I opened the door. No one is there and the crying stopped. Spooked, I immediately jumped back in bed and the crying started again."
"Later that day at dinner, my family was sitting around the table and I brought up my experience I had. One of my sisters told a story about how when she was a kid she'd always leave her room at night to go sleep with my parents because she'd see a little girl walking out of her closet."
"As she left her room and got to my parents' door waiting to be let in because the door was locked she'd see the little girl walking up the stairs that were right there. After her telling this story my youngest sister looked scared and asked, 'the little girl, is she wearing a pink nightgown with shoulder-length brunette hair?' "
"Now my other sister was scared because that is exactly who she saw. My youngest sister told how she had similar experiences with that little girl coming out of the closet at night or walking up the stairs at night."
"I'm convinced that something happened either in that house before we moved in or on that land that my parents' house was built on."
Crying From Afar
"Not my story but my moms, apparently when I was just a baby I was always a calm sleeper and once when my mom was having a friend over downstairs they could hear a baby crying so they naturally went to check on me and I was still calmly asleep..."
"...but every time they went back downstairs they could hear some more crying, but apparently the crying was somehow off in a different way as well, one day when mom and dad were downstairs watching tv while I was sleeping upstairs, they heard crying and finally pinpointed the thing that was off..."
"...apparently it came from the opposite side of the house compared to my room and that room had the latch to the attic. Creepy stuff, but I'm not that surprised. This place is totally haunted in my book, I once heard my mom call me downstairs while I was home alone."
Finally, some people interacted directly with the spirits.
Advice From Beyond
"So once while I was home alone, my neighbor knocked on my door. This was when we still lived in Oklahoma, and I was homeschooled. He was bit younger then me but we still played Halo together. I was thirteen at the time."
"I let him in and we had a conversation about what I thought the afterlife would be like, and this was really odd for him. We talked for a few minutes before he decided to leave. When my parents got home they told me he had a heart attack at school and died."
One Time Only
"I once felt a hand on my face when I was sleeping. I had the covers covering my entire face and felt something push down lightly and then a bit harder."
"I was absolutely terrified and when I finally mustered up the courage to look, nothing was there. It never happened again but there have been a few times where something similar has happened."
A Very Helpful Ghost
"I was staying in the Banff Springs Hotel in 95 for a snowboard trip and I was leaving the room and forgot my jacket."
"When I remembered right at the door, I turned around to grab it from the bed where I left it and it was being held 2' above the bed like it was being being pinched by fingers."
"The moment I turned around it dropped to the bed."
"That blew my mind!"
"My GF's sister at the time was working concierge and she said there was a bell hop ghost and gave the paper story...lol It wasn't threating at all, but was crazy to see!"
Here's hoping you manage to sleep well despite all these spooky stories!
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