No good deed goes unpunished. And many good deeds are not a great idea. We all harbor a God/Hero complex whether we acknowledge it or not. Over the course of life we think we have the right to step and save another from and all situations, because we know better, at the time.
But we really need to take a few steps back more often than not, because six times out of ten we seem to just cause more chaos. And "whoops, I'm sorry" doesn't make anybody feel better.
Even with the best of intentions we need to be sure of what we're doing. Is this surprise what they really need? Or want? Is this a momentary good idea? Just some thoughts.
Redditor u/MhmmmMoist wanted to discuss the times everyone's heart was in the right place but their brain was not to be found, by asking:
What's the worst thing someone has done for you with 'good intentions'?
I tell you what is not a good idea, thinking you know people's marriages better than they do. Everyone thinks they can make the love story of others better, but you have to be in the relationship to know how to properly effect it. Let's learn...
In the back...Julio Cesar Rome GIF by Luis RicardoGiphy
"My "friend" kept asking me to hangout with her and a mutual friend that I no longer talked to. After turning her offer down multiple times, she made it her place to tell me everything that the mutual friend had been saying behind my back for years."
"At my friend's wedding some of their parent's friends who they didn't really want to invite took it upon themselves to go to the table that had all the presents, remove all the envelopes attached to each individual present and neatly put them all together at the corner of the table. My friends realized they did this during the wedding so that would have been crap. The couple thought they were doing something really nice but my friends had no idea who gave what as a gift. The bride was not happy."
"When I was 16, someone I was friends with bought me a baby turtle for my birthday. Now it's 23 years later and I don't remember the name of the person who did it, but I do know that I've hauled the turtle and his 6ft indoor tank set up and his portable outdoor pond summer residence through six house moves, and paid someone to look after him for a year when I was living overseas. I love him, but I would never have voluntarily bought a pet that lives for 60 years."
"see the light"
"When I was 16, I was was out to very few people, one of them a person I considered a best friend. One day, she invited me to ride horses at her boyfriend's farm, so we ditched class and went. When we got there, his KKK grand wizard grandfather sat me down and proceeded to tell me the Lord told him that I'm gay and he was going to bring me back to God. I spent a few hours confessing my sins to Jesus and pretending to "see the light," then never talked to her again."
Meow me NotMichelle Pfeiffer Batman GIFGiphy
"Bought me a cat for my birthday. Here is a present you have to spend money on and take care of for a decade. Don't do this. Please."
Never just give pets to people. Or plants. Please never give me a plant, I'll forget it's there. And I'll buy my own pets please. That's a presumptuous thought.
GoneBig Cat Bad Idea GIF by NETFLIXGiphy
"Ripped a family member out of my life because they thought it was what was best for me. Really it was because it was what made their life more comfortable."
3 months in 2016...
"For a period of 3 months in 2016 I worked a 40+ hour week graveyard shift job while living at home, which my parents offered to let me do in order to save money. My mom would regularly break into my room regardless if I'd caught any sleep or not and yell at me to help her with tasks around the house because she "wasn't doing me any favors by allowing me to be lazy" and because "I was young and could handle it." I wound up getting the flu and not recovering for 3 weeks because I was so unhealthy from all the sleep deprivation. Thinking about her still makes me angry this many years later."
People Who Work In Remote Places Share Creepiest Things They've Witnessed | George Takei’s Oh Myyy
"My ex-roommate bought the guy I was "dating" online a bus ticket after he told me he had a warrant out for his arrest and needed someplace to go. Unbeknownst to me, she had found his contact information, had also been chatting with him, and decided he could stay with us, but didn't tell me until AFTER he was on the bus. And then she made me pay her back for the bus ticket."
Sax it Up!
"As a middle school sax player in the school band about to go on our very first band trip to perform concerts for other schools in the next province, I was incredibly excited. My mum decided to surprise me the day before we left on the trip, so she put a towel on the bottom of the bathtub, laid my sax on it, and filled the tub with water. She left it to soak, and then polished it to gleaming perfection."
"She was SO PROUD when I got home from school to show me this shiny, sparkling, beautifully clean saxophone. That no longer worked. Every single pad had to be replaced. Which couldn't be done where we lived, so it had to be sent out. I had to borrow the school's 1970s era sax which was beat to sh*t and looked as bad as it sounded. My mum felt so bad. And had to spend a bunch of money fixing my sax."
"Persuaded me to go work with them at a very, very toxic company. The only thing I was not micromanaged on was my bathroom breaks."
"My mom insisted we paint the baby's nursery. I thought it was fine, but nope, we have to go pick out paint, because baby girl can't have a blue room. She paints half the room, gets paint all over my wood trim (Dear God - it stripped the finish to take it off) then didn't even finish the room. I had to finish painting it myself, the baby was 5 weeks old."
"My grandparents kidnapping me and raising me in a cult (that they started) completely cut off from the "evil and worldly" outside world."
"Push me in the deep end of the pool. My dad & uncle learnt to swim by being pushed into the deep end of a pool. So they thought that this would work with me. nope... Here I stand, a 31 Year old male who's scared of water. I can't take baths (I shower) can't go into gyms which have pools, never been near to the sea/ocean. And have anxiety crossing bridges over large bodies of water."
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"My mom threw away my anti-depressants because she doesn't believe in mental health issues."
"My friend/roommate and his girlfriend were kind enough to throw me a surprise party. I don't really celebrate my birthday and I REALLY don't like being the center of attention. I appreciate the intention and the effort they put in to it, but it's a little frustrating to have stated that I don't want to celebrate and have someone do it anyway."
"My friend's wife has spent half the time I've known her trying to set me up with her friends because she thinks I'm a catch lmao, out of respect and because she's trying to do something nice I've gone out with most of the people she's fixed me up with but it doesn't go anywhere and she obviously doesn't stop being friends with them so at like bday parties for their kids or celebrations for things I'll show up and have to see these girls I've gone out with all in one place and you know they've all talked, truly horrendous."
An Ill Thought
"Gave me food poisoning. Chicken wasn't cooked thoroughly. But it was covered in sauce and cheese, so I had no idea. I ate about 2/3rds of my dinner, then was immediately sick. Like the worst sickness I ever experienced. It was freaking painful."
In his memory...
"Serious here. My 17 year old son was a geek. He was the captain of his high school robotics team. He passed away. We asked that in his memory, people donate to his robotics team as that is what he loved most in life. My mother chose to spend $3000 rebuilding her backyard flower garden in memory of him. That one irked me a little."
ResetCalculating Oh No GIF by MOODMANGiphy
'Clean' my graphical calculator after borrowing it to do one calculation. By deleting every program I've written on it by doing a hard reset."
"Knowing I couldn't have dogs at my house, nor financially support myself let alone a dog, my now ex boyfriend got me a 4 week old puppy for Christmas in 2019. Needless to say it got re-homed a little less than a year later after spending most it's time in an outdoor run kennel at my grandma's. I know he meant well and thought I'd love it. But please for the love of God don't get people pets as presents. If they want a pet they will get one themselves."
"This one is not "bad" per se but the result was a mini disaster. We hosted a secret Santa among a small group of friends one year and one of the girls decided to send me a copy of Queer Eye guidebook or something. Turns out my mom got hold the package first and she opened it. I was not out to any family at that point."
Here is a thought... mind your business. That can be the best intention with best outcome. Help when it's really called for. Just a thought.
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Sometimes it's good to be a good person. Actually it's always good to be a good person but it's not often easy. If only we all could be the people we are when we're feeling the most generous of spirit. They say doing for others without asking for something in return is an act that that makes the world go round, or at the very least, reminds others there is still good in the world. And Lord do we need that reminder now. Times are rough.... help out where you can. It'll do us all good.Redditor u/ONLYFORASKREDDIT999 wanted to hear from everyone out there about those times they decided to do a little something special by asking.... What is the nicest thing you have ever done for a stranger?
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When I was 14 I saved a mentally ill man's life on the bus while going to school. Apparently he was 45 years old but he had the mind of a 5 year old.
Anyway, we were on the bus and it stopped unexpectedly and he hit his head on a the corner of a step. I immediately jumped to him as the blood was gushing from his head and he was screaming.
I applied pressure on his with with my t-shirt while I told another passenger to call an ambulance. I held his head on my lap while trying to comfort him. I remember his fearful eyes to this day. He was so scared, just like a child.
Luckily the hospital wasn't that far from where we were and they saved him.
One thing that comes to mind is something I did for an exchange student at my college. I was a freshman or sophomore, but it was the day of graduation for seniors. This student had their sister and mother come to our Midwest town to see the ceremony. The student had lived in the dorms (like I did. Most exchange students do that even if they are older) so he wanted to bring his family to eat at the dining hall to show them where he had been eating the semester/year.
They were denied entry for silly reasons that the dining center has which, basically, sums up to you have to go to our student union to pay for meals ahead of time and you cannot just pay cash. The language barrier was present and it was more complicated by the fact the worker was saying things like "you normally could pay through the student union" except now they couldn't because it was the last day everything was open. Anyway, I had guest meals left over and I used them on the family. They were very kind, introduced themselves, and thanked me profusely.
I felt really good about it and ever since then I have tried to do kind things for people. First it started to show people that people from the US aren't a**holes, but then I realized we all have so much kindness to give. I always hate saying good things I do because I never want to seem like I'm tooting my own horn or whatever, but the anonymity of the Internet is helpful and I love reading everyone else's responses.
A distant neighbor suffers from dementia. Was walking my dog near midnight and met him walking down the middle of the road. Asked if he was ok and he said he didn't know where he was. Told him and he said I live there. Escorted him home to find his front door wide open. Had a quick check to make sure it was ok and got him to lock the door when I left. Passed info onto the carers to be told his family know he wanders. Crazy.
Pay it ForwardDrive Through Music Video GIF by HansonGiphy
I love to pay for the car behind me at drive-thru's.
Then they order 1000 chicken nuggets.
I had a customer that would call Tech Support just to talk to me. She was an older lady and obviously lonely. She would have me setup her remote control or something random just to keep me on the phone. We were timed on our calls, so I would all her back over and over so that it didn't mess up my call time or my coworkers.
At another job I had, Mrs. Penny would come play the slots. After getting her change one day, she started waving me down when she was there, and would tell me that the machines next to her were too dirty to play and that they needed cleaning. We would sit there talking while she played and I 'cleaned' machines for her. She would also slip me a $10 or something, pinching my butt while sticking the bill in my pocket. She was a really sweet old lady with some crazy stories about her life.
When in Vegas....
Once in while in Vegas, I was down in the dungeon arcade at the Excalibur. I won something like 50K tickets on a Monopoly game. I was giving away stacks of them to every little kid who walked by. Not life changing, perhaps, but the kids were all pretty happy about it.
A single mom I didn't know was locked out of her apartment by accident--and she didn't have her phone with her. So, I let her use my phone to try to contact our rental management company. After unsuccessfully trying to contact the management company, I then drove her to the management company's office, waited while she got a spare key, and they drove her back to the apartment complex.
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Probably pales in comparison to some here but nothing makes me feel warm and fuzzy inside like getting something from a high shelf for an elderly shopper.
Not me, but rather something a stranger did for me. last year I was snowkiting (like kiteboarding but instead of water it's a frozen lake) with my father. in the afternoon I went in for lunch but my dad stayed out. after about only 10 minutes or so I look out at the lake and can't see my dad. After calling him multiple times he called me and told me he had crashed really bad about 2 kilometers off the shore. I couldn't run out there in time so I went up to some random guy with a snowmobile and asked him if he could drive me out.
He did and got to my dad first and started asking him a bunch of questions about his pain and his arm. I soon learned he was a local fireman and knew how to make my dad as comfortable as possible. he took my dad and me back. My father had a severely dislocated and broken shoulder as well as multiple arm breaks. without that random guy that would have been a much worse day.
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I helped a woman who had a broken leg and crutches she was trying to push her shopping cart back to her car and was having difficulties so I pushed her cart for her plus I helped stabilize a girl who had a seizure on the bus I have epilepsy so I knew what was happening.
Miss Laney....cat GIF by sheepfilmsGiphy
She'll never know what I did, but:
When Miss Laney, our elderly neighbor across the street from where I grew up died, I found a loving home for her beloved black & white cat, Tompkins. (I think I was nearly as fond of that cat as she was.)
Tompkins was her sole companion. So it was especially urgent to provide for him, knowing how important he was to Miss Laney.
A Place to Cry.
Got a hotel room for a lady and her kid that I came across at a gas station. The cops were there and a tow truck, apparently they'd been sleeping in the car in the parking lot and the owners wanted them gone, but the lady was crying saying they had nowhere else to go, it was her and a little toddler. I got her a reservation at a cheap hotel close by for a couple nights, I was a broke teenager at the time so I couldn't give any more than that.
dog by his side the whole time.....
There was a local homeless man and his dog that used to walk by my job. Every so often I'd stop and give him a ride to the store/gas station. While talking to him I found out he was a veteran and he couldn't get his vet benefits due to his homelessness. So I set up a tent in the yard and helped him file for his benefits and he used my address.
He lived in that tent with his dog for 4 weeks then after he got his check we found him a small home to rent and I bought him all the stuff he needed for his kitchen,bath,bedroom etc. He lived there for 3 months before his mental health issues kicked in and he went back to living on the streets.... dog by his side the whole time.
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Adult adoption. She woke up from a coma at 25 with no family and the mind of an 8 year old. My daughter now and doing well. Working on statistics and world history now. I have hopes for her to go to a good college in a few years. She smiles often is kind to elders and children has a love for electronic repair.
Scared of fireworks and groups of people but these things take time. Likely some latent PTSD but I'm not so want to diagnose anything. Time can heal a lot of wounds. Just came back from a shopping spree mooning over a stack of dresses right now.
I was standing in line at the grocer's customer service desk behind a young man. He was turning in $100 that he had just found. Someone had left the money in the automated checkout machine after getting cash back, but they must have forgotten it. I heard him saying he could really use the money at the moment, but if he had forgotten that kind of cash he hoped someone would also turn it in.
I skipped going up to the customer service desk and followed the kid out to the car park, praised him for his honesty and gave him $500 because I could afford it. I've never before or since witnessed that level of honesty from someone who clearly needed even that small sum, so it was worth doing.
I had dinner with a homeless man.
This was when I was a broke college student. While sitting at the laundromat a guy came in and tried to sell each person this kind of strange red jacket. He wasn't pushy, just offered, was told no thanks, and went on to the next person. After running out people he sat down quietly in the corner, it was cold and rainy outside so I think he just wanted to warm up.
I was wrapping up my laundry so as I headed out I asked if he needed something to eat. He was a bit reluctant but admitted he hadn't had much to eat that day.
I hadn't had dinner so I asked if he wanted to get a burger. We went to a Burger King, I paid for the meals and spent a half hour talking, mostly about nothing in particular.
He appreciated the food, but he seemed pretty surprised that I sat down to eat with him. People had given him some things but I don't think anyone really spoke with him much. Maybe it gave him a little bit of dignity he didn't normally get.
Worked in a restaurant and had a table that ran their tab up to $250. In the US, 20% is typically what happy customers tip if their overall experience was enjoyable. These folks left cash on the table and took off. When I opened the check presenter I realized they left $400 composed of 4 x $100 bills, all new bills kinda stuck together.
Figured they only meant to leave $300 so I ran out and found them, informed them of their error, gave em back $100 and thanks them for their tip.
They came back the next day to sit in my section and tipped me 20% which I took as their way of saying thanks.
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Not quite a stranger, but very close.
I had a co-worker who I didn't really know at all, but one day he was really upset because his mother was in the hospital and probably dying and he had no way to get to her in time. So I drove him 800 miles each way.
I pass musical instruments on to kids who want to learn. I play several different things professionally, so frequently when I upgrade I need to clear some space. Rather than selling the old model, I try to pair it up with a kid who wants to learn. It's so much easier to learn on a real instrument than the dreck that is marketed toward beginners and parents.
And now I've made it such a part of what I do, I actually get donations from people of instruments they no longer play. It's sort of become a thing.
Basics.unh hug GIF by University of New HampshireGiphy
A few years back, when I was a student, I was behind someone in a queue for the checkouts. They had some basic groceries, nothing fancy. Their card got declined and they tried another but it didn't work. They had to take a few things out of their shopping to afford it.
The awkwardness was tangible in the air and I felt bad someone couldn't afford the basics so I tapped my card on the reader. I think I only had about £50 left for a month myself so I had hesitated at first but I knew I'd get by. People made a big deal about how generous and kind an act it was which was quite embarrassing to be honest.
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Your road of good intentions will lead where such roads always lead. No matter how pure and good your intent, something is waiting around the corner to basically smack you across the face.
At least, that's how it feels. No matter how many good deeds you do, you can never really catch any sort of break. It makes you want to go back inside forever.
Here were some of the answers: