Humans are not always hard-wired to accept the lessons they can learn softly. Humans may need to have a seriously difficult learning experience to recognize a life lesson.
We call this learning the "hard way."
Whereas if you'd just listened to someone's advice beforehand, you may have avoided making this mistake—but on the other hand, the issue being dealt with would certainly not leave as great an impression upon you.
Redditor TheNewSuspect asked:
"What life lesson did you learn the hard way?"
Here were some of those answers.
Don't Force Them To Stay
"If someone doesn't want to stay in your life, they're not going to stay in your life. Whether you want them in your life or not."-i-will-be-dead
"And doesn't matter if you try and change or 'prove' yourself in way(s) to keep that other person in your life. Some people are going to do what they want to do regardless."-vroelens
What Is Credit?
"Always think of a credit card as spending money. Never think of it as 'I'll worry about it later.'"
"I've always paid off every one of my credit card bills. I had a friend who paid off just the bare minimum each month for years."
"I had a coworker who would withdraw money against his credit card to pay off his other credit card. Then he got a third credit card to pay off the second. Then he had 3 maxed credit cards and was freaking out."-G8kpr
With The Taste Of My Lips
"It took a long time reflecting on where my friendship went sour, but in the end, there were negative feelings all over the place."
"We'd hang out and just end up arguing or fighting over something small. Went on for years, I told myself that they're toxic for me, but that it was still possible that I was toxic for them."
"Then a realization hit, it didn't matter who was toxic to whom, you're both unhappy, it's time to step away for both parties sanity. It was hard, but I wish them well, I just don't ever want to be put in emotional sinkhole anymore"-Youve_been_Loganated
It seems like you wish you could take back this mistake that made you learn, but then, you wouldn't be who you are now without it.
Passion Or Lash-On
"Being smart doesn't make up for work ethic - the real world isn't anything like school (primary or higher ed)."
"Not everyone has a dream job. Some people, maybe even most, do jobs they tolerate so they can enjoy themselves outside of work."
"I think society talks too much about your job being your passion, or doing something you really love - work is work, we do it because we have to."-BumblingUnicorn
Turning Saints Into The Sea
"I was jealous. But I didn't want to be 'that guy.' You know, the one who was too suspicious of his girlfriend because she was outgoing and had a lot of friends, some male."
"I held back and never said anything when she was out late with friends. I didn't want to be 'that guy.' Welp, she got pregnant. I sure thought it was mine. I was in the delivery room with her and paid for everything."
"I asked her to marry me but she said no because she didn't want to marry until things were 'back to normal.' As time went by I was sure I was the Dad, until the baby was over two years old."
"Even though I paid for almost all the baby's things and kept her most of the time at my house, my girlfriend filed for medical assistance. She didn't know they would do a DNA test to see if I was the real father."
"They did, and I wasn't. She never even tried to deny it after that. It was a huge blow to me and my family. I was right all the time about not trusting her. It wasn't me being unreasonable, it was reality and I ignored it."
"It got worse after that because I left her life and she just told everyone I didn't want to see the baby anymore. Everybody thought I was the scum of the earth."
"It ended good for me though. I met the love of my life just a few months later, we moved out of state and we've been VERY happily married over 10 years."-paulvs88
Flag! Flag! Flag!
"-Don't dismiss the red flags in a relationship, you will regret it later on. Not everyone can be helped or 'saved;' it's not your job to heal every single person, and you can't let that tear you apart."
"-If a person does not communicate with you or put any effort into the relationship, they don't care about you and you deserve better. You will KNOW when someone truly cares for you."
"-If you're not into someone, be honest and tell them!! Otherwise they will keep on bugging you! I guess most of life's greatest lessons are learned the hard way."-Lulu18_H
It's Been Me All Along
"That I thought everyone were a**hole idiots because I was in fact an a**hole idiot and viewed the world through the lens of my own anger and toxicity. I was the toxic one."
"By now all the apologies have been made, some relationships restored, and some relationships solidified by my changes, some relationships ended permanently, and I respect their choice to end communication with me."
"All I can do now is take my meds, not drink or do drugs, and be honest about how I'm feeling with those close to me so they know what to expect. It took me a very long time to forgive myself. It took me a decade and a half to learn how to do that."-Gonergonegone
And when it comes to these lessons—better late than never, right?
Here's Lookin' At You, Kid
"Don't worry about what random people think, only about the people important to your lives a.k.a friends and family. If they are real friends and family they will support you and tell when you're being a real dick."
"The dude on the street why care I mean who is he to you? Do you know him? No. So why concern yourself with what he might think, he probably doesn't care or notice."-tottallynotmike
The Strangest Superstitions People Actually Observe | George Takei’s Oh MyyyThe world can be a superstitious place. If you've ever knocked on wood or thrown salt over your shoulder then you've run into one or two throughout your life...
Ah, Unrequited Affection
"Never try to be friends with someone you are in unrequited love with. Better to move on with your life and let them with theirs than pine everytime they have a new hookup, partner, are doing something you wish you were doing with them."
"There is also another similar that suggests never trying to be friends with someone when you both desire each other mentally and physically but, for whatever reason, can't act upon those feelings."
"This is something I have tried a few times over the years and my considered opinion is that it is possible if they live 11,000 miles away, a lot harder if within walking distance and therefore not having them in your life is possibly the safest answer for you both."-Eckieflump
Are You An Over Sharer?
"That there are some things that we probably should keep to ourselves. At least in my case, I tend to overshare when I'm too excited, sad, or angry."
"On many occasions I overexaggerated and ended up either making a fool of myself or taking very dramatic and definitive choices that I would later regret."
"It's good to express yourself freely, but sometimes it's good to just take a breath and not act impulsively."-paloxox666
Just Being You
"There will always be someone worse off than you and someone better off than you."
"You are not special. You're just you. Trying to act special and compete with others is a hole you will never reach the bottom of."-Rubricae98
Open Minded Is The Key To Innovation
"Be OPEN-MINDED to ideas, even if you don't like them at first glance. Right and wrong are sometimes very relative, if you're close-minded you'll miss A LOT of wonderful, life changing experience."
"Or you even risk making horrible decisions that you will regret. Being open-minded will also help you learn unimaginable truths sometimes."-Happier12345
To Be A Relationship Guy
"How to be a husband and partner. I genuinely didn't feel I needed to change at all. I though, 'she picked me so I'll just keep being me.'"
"What I needed to do was become a bit more like my wife (hardworking and neat) and constantly remind myself that she needs to get measurable value out of the relationship (tasks completed, work done. not just fun, laughs and sex)."
"I'm still working on this but it should have taken so many years to learn this."-daveescaped
Too Hungry For Life To Pass
"Learned that marrying at early twenties was not the best idea. Missed traveling, expanding the network of people, learning new stuff, finding myself."
"I learned that at that age, despite 'being sure that I knew it all', I did in fact knew nothing. The best was yet to come later in life."
"That is 'my' lesson. Do not get triggered, challenged and in need to justify your personal circumstance. 👍"-redditoruser3021
No Good Deed Will I Do Again
"Not everyone wants your help. A bit of backstory me and my boyfriend ended up breaking up over a fight I had had with his parents who were very very poor and for some reason decided to have a litter of puppies."
"They could barely afford to feed their dogs that they had but for some reason decided to have these puppies instead of getting the girl dog fixed."
"His dad however took it like I had basically called them poor and I was being a snob and went on this 20 minute ran about how I didn't know what I was talking about and what not when wanted to get the puppies there shots."
"I had the right connections and it would have been completely free for them but but he was not interested in my help and his wife nor my boyfriend or his brother didn't have enough of a spine to back me up even though his mom was the one that originally asked for help with the puppies."-twomanycats1
If you are able to--the time to take stock of these lessons is now, after reading this article, than when you're in a tough situation and have to start making choices.
Hopefully these folks' mistakes can help you avoid making a mistake in the future.
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It's called "learning the hard way" for a reason.
Once you learn something the hard way it's impossible to forget it. It sticks in your brain due to the trauma that came along with learning the difficult lesson. Hopefully it didn't leave a lasting impact and have consequences on the rest of your life, but who knows?
Sometimes, a lesson well learned comes at a great cost.
When you're having a problem with a coworker, whoever presents their story to management first almost always comes out on top.
Often the case with law enforcement as well.
As a toddler I wouldn't stop trying to lick electric plugs. My mom was so exhausted of preventing me from touching the plugs she just stopped doing it. I managed to lick a plug. Never ever tried it again.
When I was around 10 years old I licked a cable once to see what would happen...worst idea ever. My tongue felt numb and I also felt some sort of burning sensation at the same time for at least 30 minutes.
Of Course What Really Matters Is The Blame
When I first started a job where I had real responsibility, I learned the importance of having written evidence. I was "leading" a project and needed approval for a $50,000 purchase (still above my pay grade at this time). The timing was tight and needed to give the okay within a few hours. I got a verbal "Of course that is okay, hurry and finish it!" from my boss. Well it turns out my boss's boss did not like it.
So my boss denied the fact he gave me the go ahead. My company proceeded to drag their feet to pay the $50,000 bill and I got cursed at by the contracting company and my boss's boss because my boss threw me under the bus. I have since learned to get written approval for everything even if it sets the project behind. I also learned most people in the professional world will do whatever they need to do to shift the blame.
The Fight Is Within
Never get in a fight with an inanimate object. It will not get hurt but you will. I've known too many people that kicked/punched something and broken themselves. Walls don't complain.
Yup. Went to school with a guy who got mad and kicked a fish tank. That resulted in a severed Achilles's tendon and a looong time on crutches.
CYA (cover your *butt*) at work. Being the new person sucks at an office, and insisting on proper treatment can feel like a mistake but it's so worthwhile.
Started working at an office with very little in written expectations, processes, or training. Red flags were everywhere, but I was a newbie in the field and really needed a job, so I missed some red flags and ignored others.
One thing that I absolutely got right (by accident) was a hardcore CYA program. I wrote down everything during training (thinking I would train the next person better). I wrote down everything I was asked to do (trying to keep organized and not miss any assignment or task). I kept a copy of all of this on my google calendar/google docs.
After I left, I found out my boss was blaming me for a number of misses that were demonstrably not my fault. I ended up having to sue, and thank god I had a record to back me up.
I was about 11 years old and I wanted a warm hard boiled egg. I took the egg out of the refrigerator, peeled it, put the egg in the microwave for about 10 seconds. Took the egg out and bit into it. It exploded when I took the first bite. I had a huge blister on my lip for a few days. Not so bright.
Not to be stupid with water guns. I was on holiday with my family and I was about 13 and my dad had bought two water guns that worked by you pulling it back as it suctioned the water up, I (being a dumb idiot) decided to suction my lip and it pinged back and cut my lip open. Had to go to hospital abroad and get stitches
Get Me On Out
Not to get involved in office politics and to NEVER trust HR. I thought I was good friends with the HR woman, she would come in my office and tell me all about her personal life...even cried to me a few times. She would say things like "If it weren't for you I wouldn't be able to come in everyday". We were friends on social media. So in turn, I felt comfortable to talk about my own problems, especially with my boss. She talked about hers constantly so I didn't feel like it would come back to bite me. Well... as you're expecting, it did.
I got pulled into my bosses office with her right there taking notes as he talked to me for two hours about my performance and then said "I know she's a very nice person, but everything you tell her comes right back to me. So if there's anything you'd like to say you can say it now that were both in here... and just so you know, we're not trapping you"... I literally just sat there and took it and just okay'd everything and did not say a word.
She's avoided me like the plague since and I deleted her on all social media. As you can imagine, I'm currently looking for a new position.
Too Many Fallacies
Everyone is willing to take advantage of you. As a student in college a while back I worked as a contractor for a startup and I didn't have a written contract. I worked my butt off for 3 months while they kept delaying my pay. At the end the owner refused to pay me and stated I could "go eff myself". Tried to get a lawyer but they said since I didn't have a contract it would be extremely difficult. Just had to file a labor complaint.
The lesson here is always getting something on paper :(