People Break Down Which Things Aren't Technically A Cult But Sure Feel Like One
At one point in our lives, many of us have experienced the sensation of loneliness.
We've tried our best to fit in but seemed to fail at every turn to join an accepting community of like-minded people.
But that doesn't always come easily, but when it does, we go all in without really doing our research because we prefer to hold onto that initial feeling of acceptance.
Unfortunately, not all groups have genuinely good intentions. Because before you know it, you find yourself having been sucked into a cult.
Or maybe something that isn't but feels like one. But what is that exactly?
Thankfully, Redditor MichaelScottssmug put our minds at ease and asked the Reddit beehive:
"What isn’t a cult but feels like a cult?"
Facebook groups can include some very manipulative personalities.
The Dog Owners Group
"Some dog owners groups on facebook are very culty like. Got banned from one group for not crate training my pup. I like her sleeping in my bed as it helps with my anxiety."
"Yep, and they can be completely nutso in either direction. Some of them are all micromanage every moment of your dog’s life, constantly showing dominance so that it knows you’re the alpha. Flip it on its back twice a day and stare directly into its eyes until it looks away in submission. Take away its dinner every now and then and make it watch as you throw it all in the trash, just to keep it from getting too comfortable. If it doesn’t respond to hand signals and commands in six languages, you’ve utterly failed.”
"And others are like 'if you have any rules or boundaries whatsoever with your dog, then you’re basically Cruella DeVille. Your dog’s needs and desires should be prioritized over literally everything and everyone else in your life, including your other pets, your spouse, your children, and yourself. If anyone is allergic to/scared of/just not a big fan of your dog, you should instantly cut them out of your life because your dog should BE your life.'”
"Mommy groups. And even specific groups. Like a cult within a cult."
"Joined a cloth diapering group. I was excommunicated for using Pampers at night."
"Breastfeeding? If you aren’t nursing till 4? Bye!"
The One That Got Away
"My wife just left one. For a while, she found some feeling of belonging when she was feeling lonely at home. However, it wasn't worth the toxicity. Even by social media standards, there were some sh*tty indoctrinated people in there."
Consequences Of Soliciting "Mom Knowledge"
"An acquaintance of mine got called out in the most glorious fashion when she got sucked into the local Facebook mommy group."
"She posted asking for 'mom knowledge' of how to handle a teething baby and got the insane responses you would expect. (Giving the baby hard liquor; puting special crystals around the house; you name it) Her husband caught whiff of the insanity, and instead of waiting to get home that evening, replied to the post, 'Perhaps you could ask your husband, the PEDIATRIC DENTIST. He probably has actual, proven medicine for this situation.'"
"I don't know what he said when he got home that night, but she never publicly posted in the mommy group again - probably to the benefit of their son."
"I have a good friend like this who is always trying to win motherhood. We have similarly aged kids and I’m a pretty laid-back parent for the most part so I make an effort to not compete in any way. She is a great mom, I can’t argue with that. But the more I avoid the competition, the more intense her parenting hacks become. She now has an entire household economy based on pom-poms that her kids have to earn and then pay back for things as simple as going outside or reading a book. Apparently this is supposed to teach them… Some thing. And apparently asking my kids to do chores to earn actual cash is somehow harming their psychology but I couldn’t tell you how or why."
"I agree with this 100%. I'm a lawyer the number of times I've had Mom's come to me about something being discussed in their mom group and how I need to make it right is astonishing. It gets even worse when they bring up how Laura said whatever the issue is is illegal and they need to be compensated for it. It's like I'm sorry but no you aren't entitled to compensation because you are concerned about the perfectly legal fertilizer your neighbor is using on his lawn unless there are actual damages or injuries caused by it. And 'as a mother' isn't a sound legal argument either."
"Those insane pro breastfeeding groups are very cult like in my experience. (Not bashing breastfeeding, I did it myself. But so many women in those groups talk about formula like it’s literal poison)"
"Similarly those crazy free birth types."
Certain auto communities make Redditors feel like they're going nowhere fast.
"Audi ownership (at least in the UK). I had an Audi Q3 as a hire car recently and other Audi drivers were suddenly letting me out at junctions, offering me parking spaces and even stopping to talk to me as if we'd known each other for years. I'm actually serious about this. It was weird."
What The Duck?
"I add Jeep owners to this. They leave ducks on each other's Jeeps??? Why???"
The Duck Discussion
"I only recently found out about the duck thing. I was walking out of the gas station and there's this lady just staring in my jeep, making little apprehensive motions as if she was going to get in. I ask if I can help her and she's saying she wants to leave a duck on the dash but she was afraid my dogs in the back seat might bite."
"She was so determined to give me, a random jeep owner, a duck that she was; standing in the cold, risking dog bites (not really as my boys are friendly goofballs but she didn't know that) and taking the risk that I might perceive this as someone trying to steal my truck/mess with my dogs or any other conclusion I could jump to at the moment."
"Ultimately I took her little Dracula duck and chatted with her for a couple of mins. Nice lady but very eccentric. The entire dash of her jeep was COVERED in rubber ducks. Like a duck army large enough to make her jeep float, no space to spare."
"It still sounds way nicer than "BMW cult" which consists of constant attempt to break as many road rules as possible in certain time."
Some Redditors' cult-like fears hit too close to home.
A Living Nightmare
"My condo association.. No I will not host the ritual at my place again this month, Dave!"
Fixing The HOA
"My wife worked her way up to president of our condo association. She's so anti-HOA that she has basically made it non-functional and doesn't enforce anything. One of our neighbors is also anti-HOA and he got elected as treasurer so now they have a majority vote on the board and overrule the other voting member who is a snobby hateful old lady."
"Thanks all for the kind words, I want to clarify when I said that my wife has made the condo association non-functioning, I'm referring to the petty BS like welcome mat size and thickness that the previous HOA board seemed overly obsessed with. As a result, they ignored a lot of building maintenance and my wife is solely focusing on upgrading and fixing issues that were ignored for years or even decades."
The One To Vote For
"My father made a point of becoming president of any condo association (called Strata where I live). He didn't want power, he just wanted to make sure nobody else abused the position."
"At his previous apartment he was president for 5 or 6 years. He was pretty strict about maintenance. No matter how expensive, if something needed fixing, he levied for it and got it fixed."
"An older member (it was kind of a retirement home) really didn't like that. He wanted to pay as little as possible until he sold his unit. So when a roof levy came through, he went to every resident who was super old and kind of confused. He spun elaborate tales of corruption and got a couple dozen proxy votes in his pocket. He then used those proxy votes to vote himself in as president and vote my dad out."
"My father sold his unit less than 30 days later. He knew the guy was going to run the place into the ground and wanted out."
"Less than a year later the whole apartment complex was sold off to a developer who was going to level it. Apparently the roof maintenance they decided not to do caused big problems they couldn't afford to fix."
I'm admittedly a hardcore fan of Disney, but let's be real. There are some weird, obsessed fanatics who are literally mad for the mouse, and I'm not even close to that level of mania.
Especially when it comes to merchandise. When I used to work at a Disney park, there would periodically be limited edition merchandise for sale to commemorate a specific event or anniversary. Annual pass holders would line up before the park opens to make sure they can snatch as many of these coveted items are allowed per purchaser so they can sell them on eBay for a king's ransom.
Disney pins are what many of these crazed fans are after, and they show up in line wearing lanyards decorated with their rare collection of pins for bragging rights.
I have no idea what they do for a living since they were always at the parks. Probably living off their eBay money.
I love Disney, but there are definitely others in the cultish community that put my level of passion to shame.
Our pets are part of the family.
Any person who doesn't get that is not someone I can know.
They are there through it all.
They help with the good, the bad and the ugly.
So when it comes to choosing between a pet and a person... the answer can make things awkward.
Redditor sugar-soad wanted to know how everyone would choose between a lover and a fur baby, so they asked:
"People who were made to choose between your pet or your partner, how did your ex react when you chose your pet?"
One of my exes wanted me to return my dog to the pound.
Notice I said... EX?
The lovecat dog GIFGiphy
"It really baffles me how some people don't understand how much a pet can mean to someone, I remember one of my dogs dying overnight before a school day at secondary school and my teacher mouthed off to the class about me taking a day off for a pet's death."
"This was a long time ago but I just started dating this person and I was told they hated my dog, it was a bit of a shock but I was like no biggie just get to know my dog and you will fall in love with him."
"So the next time, we had a doggie date and HE TRIED TO KICK MY DOG. I literally grabbed my dog and turned around and walked away. And that was that!!!"
"This is my favorite story from when I worked in a shelter. A guy came in to surrender his cat, with the reason that his girlfriend didn't like her. He starts filling out the paperwork, but partway through he just stops and says, 'Screw this. I'm just going to break up with her instead.' He picks up the cat and walks out the door, presumably to leave his GF. I hope he stuck to it and he and his cat got a happy ending."
"Not directly relevant, but we once took in a dog, whose human was asked to make this choice. Beautiful weimaraner. The guy brought the dog out to our house (on a hill in the woods with acres to roam - dogs absolutely love it out here - and we spent some time walking around letting the dog get used to the place and meet our other furry residents."
"We could tell it was really hard on both of them when he left."
"The next day he kicked the woman out, and came back for the dog. Happy ending all around, I'd say."
MomentosDog What GIF by Best Friends Animal SocietyGiphy
"Not my story but my friend. His GF forced him to choose between her or dog but that dog was remaining memento from his deceased mother and of course he instantly dumped his GF. His GF went from facefull with expectations to beet red full of shame and anger and smashed his house windows when she left his house."
Never asked for someone to make choice between a person and a pet.
Living LongerCats Reaction GIF by TikTok MENAGiphy
"I remember him saying my diabetic cat needed to go so he could get a dog. We weren't even living together. I looked him dead in the eyes and said. 'My cat will outlive this relationship' considering she was really sick at the time he said it was unlikely and stormed off. We broke up 6 years ago and my cat is still going strong."
"I have an elderly rat (going on four years, which is quite the feat for a rat). I’ve raised him since he was a baby with his brother, who passed away two winters ago. When we moved in with my in-laws over the summer, they didn’t want me to bring my rat. I straight up told my partner that I’ll live somewhere else for awhile (we’d been living together for almost three years at that point) because my rat is my responsibility."
"He’s very old, and that I was going to see him through to the end. They were a little upset and accused me of choosing the rat over them, but I explained that he’s an animal that relies on us. It worked out, I convinced my in-laws to let me bring him, and we’re all still kickin. He’s on his last days and I’m glad I’m here with him. He’ll be buried with his brother when it’s time."
"She acted like she'd never even considered I'd choose the cat over her. I don't think that thought had ever entered her mind. Then she went into a big spiel about how I'm a loser, I'm missing out, there's only one of her, etc etc. Yeah, I knew all that when I put my foot down over her idiotic jealousy of the cat liking me more than her."
"The cat is now 16 and still with me, happy in her senior years. There's been other women since her, ones that treated me a lot better than she did. It was a total win for both the cat and myself."
"Not me but my sister choose our cat over her boyfriend of 4 months. He was furious when she dumped him and called her an idiot for picking a 'dirty fleabag' over him. Cat was not a dirty fleabag, he just hated pets and wanted to try to control my sister. I was relieved when she dumped him. I never got good vibes from him."
BYEWhite Dog GIFGiphy
"My ex asked me if she thought my dog liked me or her more and I said me. She got genuinely mad and told me I am supposed to just lie to her, didn't last long."
Pets will always win.
Have you ever had to make a similar choice? Let us know in the comments below.
As adults, whenever you see teenagers being boisterous or rough-housing others, we tend to roll our eyes and move, chalking it up to youth.
I don't know about you, but when I was younger, in high school, I felt invincible and acted accordingly with my classmates without a care in the world.
But there is such a thing as going too far, and even teens who know better, generally know when they've overstepped a boundary.
Curious to hear of those instances, Redditor Silent-Zebra asked strangers online to reflect back on their youth.
"What's something that a friend/classmate did in high school that was seen as funny at the time, but you now realise was actually not ok?"
The cruelty of these students showed no bounds.
Why An Elevator Was Installed
"Had a kid in my year who'd had a surgery that left a nerve bundle in his neck exposed. If pressed it would paralyse him. From memory it was for spina bifida and for some ungodly reason he told everyone."
"Certain boys took great pleasure in going down stairs behind him and pressing it which completely paralysed him for a few seconds and he'd fall like a brick. Usually onto whoever was in front of him."
"So dangerous. There were a fair few teeth knocked out because of this, his and other people's."
"It happened so much that in his 3rd year the school installed an elevator and you had to have a special key to use it. He got the only permanent issue key at that time."
"Kids are a**holes."
Teachers Are People Too
"In the 6th grade, I had a friend who was a troublemaker and a class-clown. I’ve always hated going to my math class because my teacher was a cranky old lady who’d yell at you for the smallest things. Me being an 11-year old, I actually had the worst anxiety just knowing I could be the next person yelled at in front of the class. The one thing that helped get through the year was that friend cause I knew he’d always make jokes and have me almost in tears cause they were that funny."
"One day, when my teacher walked out to use the bathroom, that friend went over to her desk, picked up the mug she was drinking out of, and spat out the biggest loogie into it. We all saw it and just waited for her to come back. 10 mins later, as she was just normally teaching, she picks up her mug and chugs it down. Everybody just starts laughing and giggling, including me, but nobody said anything when she questioned it. It was horrible but I wasn’t about to be the kid who snitched."
"Later on during the school year, I guess we had a day where it didn’t start at the normal 7:30am but instead 10:30am, but I didn’t know so I showed up really early. A bunch of kids didn’t get the memo so we were all just placed in the cafeteria until school actually started. Around 9ish, my math teacher noticed I was sitting out in the cold and invited me to her class where it was warm. When I got there, she let me work on my missed homework and even let me eat breakfast in her class. She asked me about home life, school life, if I had any friends, etc. she made me feel welcome. She then told me about her life, about her only son, about her husband who passed away from cancer 20 years back. She was very sweet."
"This was like back in 2008, and I think she was like 70 years old. I don’t even know if she’s still alive after all these years. But I wish I could go back and stop my 'friend' from doing what he did. :("
Imprisoning The Teacher
"Our religion teacher went into the cupboard for supplies, she was quite strict and not liked but now I’m an adult I realise it doesn’t excuse what happened next. The class clown snuck up and locked her in the cupboard. We all thought it was hilarious at the time and we all left the class. She was in there for the rest of the class until another teacher found her in there crying an hour later. She took 2 weeks off after that"
Adults later realized the severity of some bad behavior back in the day.
"Few messed up kids in my primary school lit a teachers car on fire, just because she gave one of them failing grade on midterm. It wasn't one of the mean teachers, she was mostly nice to students. Cops got involved but don't think they got punished accordingly, i know one of them was in and out of juvie already, and were all around 13- 14yr old, one was even in nazi sh*t. I know later on those kids got all tangled in dealing and robberies, probably all went to jail at some point."
"In our school there was a teacher who had a mole, so of course the kids decided her nickname would now be 'mole.' She must have felt really hurt, as she eventually had the mole removed, leaving a little dent where it used to be. Did everyone then stop calling her names? Nope. They started calling her 'hole' instead."
"this was in elementary: my dad bought a brand new bike for me and i rode it to the park and these older kids came up to me and asked if one of them could take it for a test drive. i said ok and about 10 seconds in, i see the guy riding my bike being pushed off and my bike being stolen right in front of me. the older kids 'helped' me look for my stolen bike but growing up I realized that they plotted this whole thing and yeah i basically gave my brand new bike away."
Nobody got hurt, but it doesn't mean certain actions don't sting.
Future Indication Of Trouble
"Living in the Netherlands. Classmate was showing on his phone a whole online shop he claimed to have with all kinds of drugs and weapons. We thought it was funny because we didn't take it too serious. He dropped out of school early and turned out to be a big drug dealer. Well we could have known I guess."
The Drama Department Wasn't Involved
"A kid faked her own kidnapping. It was all fun and games until the police started chasing her 'kidnappers' van."
"Pantsing somebody in front of everybody. Is that even allowed anymore? That was soooo commonplace as a kid.- Wearing a mirror on your shoes to look up skirts. Even teachers thought it was funny that students occasionally did that."
It's all fun and games until someone gets hurt.
But by the time the pain has been inflicted, it's too late as some emotional scars can take years to heal.
As someone who has been both a bully as well as a victim, I can tell you, I still live with regret and trauma from past actions in grade school.
Just gonna leave this here: Monitor your kids, folks.
Aside from picking up a family member who is finally going home or going to experience the birth of a child, most trips to the hospital aren't usually ones to look forward to.
When you're a patient being admitted, chances are, an accident or a bad decision has led you there.
With medical professionals witnessing a garden variety of cases, there must be some cases that surely stuck out in their minds.
"What is the strangest reason you ended up in a hospital?"
There were things you just don't see coming.
Must've Been Quite The Cough
"I coughed and broke 2 ribs."
"Noticed at some point in my early 20s that fluid leaked out of my belly button."
"Thought it might be a pimple or a small cyst and waited it out, but it was still leaking like two weeks after."
"Went to my GP and he examined it, stuck a q tip in my belly button, smelled it and was like 'in my XY year long career I've maybe seen two or three cases of this in adults... Usually this is diagnosed in infants and it gets fixed then....'"
"What he diagnosed was a 'urachal fistula' a tract between belly button and the... yep, bladder..."
"I had pee dripping out of my belly button... nice."
"He called one of the chief surgeons he knew and is befriended with and got me an exam at the hospital the next day."
"The chief surgeon and multiple residents examed me - they were unsure because this usually doesn't occur in adults. In the end we agreed on surgery, because whatever it is, it needs to be fixed."
"And in the end, it indeed was a urachal fistula..."
"Not a life threatening condition in and of itself, but a risk to nasty infections and a higher risk of cancer long term - also pee dripping out of your belly button, duuhh.."
"Had to have surgery a few years later again, because the fistula reformed (known risk) but since then I haven't had any problems. :)"
"I dropped a ceramic chef’s knife and it bounced off the counter and stabbed me in the stomach. It took longer to convince the medical staff and social worker (I am a disabled veteran) that my SO didn’t stab me, than it took to close the wound."
Things happen, but these could've been preventable.
"I got the tip of a Q-Tip stuck in my ear and my roommate at the time went to pull it out with a pair of tweezers and hit a nerve or messed with my equilibrium or something and I passed out. She freaked out and called 911 and I woke up in the ER. Was absolutely fine until a couple weeks later when I got a $2k bill for an ambulance ride that was literally down the block."
"Lacerated scrotum after getting it stuck in a PEZ dispenser."
Playing Stupid Games
"Was chasing chickens for no apparent reason and caught my shoulder on a piece of sheet metal. 38 stitches."
"Cut my wrist on the cutter thing on a box of Saran Wrap. They had a counselor come and make sure I wasn’t suicidal. 'No. I was wrapping ham.'”
The body works in mysterious ways.
When The Body Fails
"Had a ct scan… 1 hour later the guy called and told me to go the hospital now. Rock up to the ER with a swelling in my neck, pushing on my jugular vein, vomiting, headaches, severe pain in collar bone neck area. After days of blood test and blood cultures I got a diagnosis of some rare as f'k severe illness called 'Lemierre’s syndrome caused by the anaerobic bacterium, fusobacterium necrophorum' and I also had necrotizing fasciitis in my neck from the really bad case of tonsillitis I had 2 weeks prior that spread beyond the infected site. Got straight into the ER, practically no wait in the ER .I ended up with septic shock, Blood pressure was super low. 70/60. never felt a thirst like it. Got 5L of fluids within the first couple hours( mind you I’m only 47kg) I couldn’t pass urine, ended up with a catheter. Stayed in hospital for 5 days and left with a PICC line in my arm. Had 4 weeks of intravenous antibiotics 24 hours a day, had to carry and sleep with a little bag to hold my antibiotics. Had a nurse visit me every day for 4 weeks. Worst part about it is I didn’t even want to go to the hospital and I thought I’d be fine to just sleep it off. If you feel so sick you feel like you’re slowly dying you probably are."
"Saw Mel Gibson's Apocalypto in the theatre. Movie stressed me out soon much i fainted or had a seizure. The date I was with apperently freaked out and she started screaming that Im not breathing. Two solid guys carried me out. Ambulance was called... my date was a doctor lol"
No wonder why medical dramas on TV have no shortage of ideas when it comes to featuring bizarre cases involving patients.
They're most likely inspired by real-life hospital situations.
Kudos to all the medical staff who've seen it all and still manage not to pass out like yours truly, who gets very light-headed at the sight of blood from a pricked finger.
Yes, I had blood drawn from finger when I was a kid and I passed out.
I eventually woke up in a hospital bed with a bandage wrapped around my head after I apparently fell off the chair and landed on my forehead.
That's one way I was kind of admitted to the hospital. Not a strange reason at all. Just a a really embarrassing one.
The dating scene can be really tough, and obviously one of the most difficult elements is going to be the breaking up period.
For this reason, some Redditors shared the advice they would give to someone who had only just begun to date one of their ex partners.
Redditor drifterdodger asked:
"What advice would you give the person dating your ex?"
Last But Certainly Not Least
"Which one? For most, I would just say I hope it works out better for you than it did me, but for one of them, I'd tell you to treat her like a princess because she deserves the best."
Mistakes Were Made
"Treat him well because he will treat you better than you have ever known. Make him laugh because he’ll make you laugh like you’ve never known."
"Let him hold the door open for you, he really wants to. Hold him back when he holds you and don’t let go."
"Don’t make the mistakes I did."
“She’s wonderful, you’re the luckiest man alive. Treat her with all the love and respect she deserves. Make her feel safe, secure, loved, and desired."
"Take it from me, don’t project. Work on yourself if necessary so that you don’t pass that on to her and hurt her in any way. And if you do hurt her, talk to her, communicate, talk about it, and don’t keep it all in."
"Just be kind and loving, put yourself out there, and fight alongside her, not with her."
Fun in the Kitchen
"She’s a great cook, so if you’re a foodie, then inquire about all sorts of exotic stuff you want to try. She’ll probably make it for you."
"Understand that when she says she hopes you have fun hanging out with your friends, she is actually furious that you decided to be with them instead of her, no matter how many consecutive nights you’ve spent together."
"This will then lead to her imagining several ridiculous and unrealistic scenarios of what you are 'actually doing,' which will then likely lead to her having a panic attack, and you will then need to leave whatever you are doing that night to go to her house and try to calm her down."
"So yeah, aside from that minor issue, she’s great."
Rating: Zero Stars
"Flee. Get away, far away. Change your number, name, appearance, possibly gender."
Would Not Recommend
"Check her phone once in a while. She’s cheated on you with pretty much every guy she’s ever met, and with every one of her exes, regularly."
Textbook Ex Material
"As narcissists will, she will make you feel important. Once you are hooked, then she will manipulate you to bend your will. You will never live up to her expectations, so you will be seen as not a priority."
"Lastly, the sex is meh and I always thought she felt dirty by doing it, so that’s why we stopped."
Healing Time May Vary
"She needs to fix herself. She never gave herself time to heal and looks for healing in others instead of working on herself."
"She’s kind and good-hearted, but needs healing."
They're Just Hangry
"You can end arguments with food."
"She loves steak but is scared of steak knives."
"She dislikes pork despite growing up in a region famous for its cuisine. Bacon is okay."
"If she falls asleep during the movie, let her lean onto your shoulder. She likes that."
"She can be quite funny with Facebook messenger text stickers but prepare for a shy and sweet person in real life."
"She loves to share her culture (mainland Chinese) and wants to learn about American culture so be well educated in Western sciences, arts, and history to answer her questions and equally eager to learn about hers."
"Take small steps literally. She was only 5'-0" with shoes and does not like a brisk pace."
"If it doesn't work out in person or things happen to where she had to go back to her homeland, don't expect a long-distance relationship. One day the messages do stop coming and your heart will break."
"If she's angry, buy her some chicken nuggets and milk tea."
"If she's sad, go to her house and make some instant noodles for her."
"If she's happy, well... good job, my friend."
"Make sure she drinks lots of water because she usually forgets to, make sure you play with her hair, and make sure to hold her hand whilst you're driving."
"Make sure to always say good morning to her, make sure that you prioritize her, make sure you give her lots of attention, and make sure you love her more than I did."
"I'm not crying, you are."
Depends on the Ex
"Usually, I'd say run, but since it's the a**hat they cheated on me with (knowingly), I'd say: you deserve each other so go to h**l holding hands; I wouldn't want you to get lost on the way."
"To the other ex's partner: You are privileged to be loved by such an amazing and kind-hearted person, so hold on to and nourish this relationship to the best of your abilities, and hopefully it will make you both happy to the end of your days."
"Take care of him. And if you ever decide to leave him, call me, I'll be there to pick him up."
Usually when people think of talking about exes, the horror stories are usually the first to come to mind.
Fortunately for these Redditors, there were easily as many sweet and nostalgic stories as there were problematic ones.