Americans usually have the problem of thinking they're special but being especially un-special.
But sometimes we do win the special medal--for having this problem that literally NO OTHER COUNTRIES HAVE.
Honestly, these problems are usually CAUSED by American special snowflake syndrome.
Here were some of the answers.
The Kansas LineGiphy
I'm from Kansas City, Missouri. Not Kansas City, Kansas, which is a silly place. The state line runs right through the middle of the metropolitan area
Just like how Portland is on the or/wa border so part of Portland Oregon metro is Vancouver Washington. Yes, Vancouver Washington. NOT bc, Washington state NOT dc. Causes too much confusion. Especially since Vancouver bc is only a 5 hour drive up I-5
My tools are imperial, but the thing I need to fix is metric.
My favorite is when you've got a car where the body is US customary units but the power train is metric.
When in Maine, and you ask a Mainer for directions, some say:
"You can't get there from here."
What's that mean!?
Much of Maine is really rugged, undeveloped, mountainous, lakes, or swamps. "Can't get there from here" isn't literally true of course it just means the way you actually travel somewhere is way, way longer than a straight line distance and might involve backtracking from your current location.
Mary Jane, Only Some People Care For You
Marijuana being legal in over half the country, but illegal in the whole country.
I don't know how dispensaries deal with that. "Well, weed is legal in this state so here's a business license. But good luck opening a bank account and fingers crossed that you don't get raided by the feds."
Wait, Other Countries DON'T HAVE THIS?!
Gaps in the doors of bathroom stalls.
This is one of those things about living in America that drives me absolutely insane! Why doesn't this seem to bother anyone? What is the logic of the bathroom stall designer? I have so many questions!
Getting tailgated by moms in mini vans or guys in monster trucks that could easily run your whole house over.
And anyone who does this and isn't in a giant monstrosity of a vehicle always has their high beams on. I'll slow down to slightly under the limit when they do this. If a cop shows up, well, I couldn't see for the blinding lights in all my mirrors; I slowed down for safety. Can't argue with that.
When you are visiting another country and everyone is saying where they are from, you say your state instead of your country. And no one is quite sure where Wyoming is!
Wtf is a Delaware?
People blame Americans being fat on us being too lazy to walk anywhere. But they don't realize how pedestrian unfriendly some of these areas are.
In my old town if I wanted to go just to the store, I'd need to walk a few hours to get there. On roads with large logging trucks barrelling by, with no sidewalks, on shoulders that ranged from "here is a few feet and then a sharp dip into a ditch full of blackberry bushes" to "literally nothing, walk on the actual road." Oh and it was a curving road with lots of dips too, where there was a good chance that cars simply could not see you until you were right in front of them. And zero public transport of any kind that would come anywhere near my house.
My new town is much better, but I still have to take a few detours on my way to the store due to the busy roads and complete lack of sidewalk in certain spots.
FIX HEALTHCARE, FOR CHRISSAKES
My insurance claim was rejected after my visit to the urgent care where they said my insurance was accepted. So now I have a bill of $1,428 for having a guy move my arm for 3 seconds to pop my shoulder back in place.
This is why I wait a minimum of 90 days before I pay any medical bill. In the US, 80% of all medical bills have errors. I never get consistent/straight/accurate answers from anyone I talk to with the provider or the insurance company. I almost always get "mystery bills" starting about 45 days after that were never explained or discussed prior.
Not really a problem but heritage/ancestry is rather uniquely American in my experience. Ask someone from Switzerland what their heritage is and they'll say Swiss. Ask a Brit and they'll say British.
Ask a Brazilian and they'll say Brazilian.(Comments say I'm wrong about that one but you get my point)
But ask an American and you'll probably get something like "I'm a quarter Irish and quarter Italian from my dad's side then from my mom I'm 20% English, 12% German, 3% Iroquois Native American, 5% Spanish, and 10% Italian again."
Monetarily AND Emotionally Expensive
Realizing that working yourself to death in highschool to be a straight A student rather than a B-C student to go to an amazing college was essentially pointless because in the real world the most important thing is your degree and it doesn't matter very much where you got it from. Whether you go to Towson or UMBC, a Computer Information Systems degree is a Computer Information Systems degree.
Our education system is pretty terrible by the way.
The Merry Old Land Of Oz
What's up with your land subdivisions? Y'all split a lovely large landmass into 50 tiny *ss subdivisions. Then you walk into a different tiny *ss subdivision and suddenly the laws change. And all your internet companies are snippy f*ckers who disagree and route around entire states resulting in ridiculous quality loss.
In Australia we're like "f*ck alright we've got this giant half of the country how do we get internet here from the other giant half of the country?" "In a straight line ya dickhead"
Everything Is Wrong With US.Giphy
Paying tens of thousands of dollars for a simple medical treatment, like giving birth.
Worrying about whether a hospital is "in network"
Worrying about how you will pay for being sick, because there is limited sick and holiday pay available.
Having 40%+ of the country so right wing that people like Trump have a chance of being elected to the highest power in the country.
Spending trillions on a military, yet having homeless veterans because the money doesn't stretch to the after effects of service.
Having 40%+ of the country so pro-gun that there can never be any effective form of firearm control.
Having wages so low that consumers are expected to top-up service staff wages, on top of the cost of the goods or services purchased.
Such high wealth inequality that the richest American could buy a half-million dollar house with the same percentage of wealth of an average American buying a $5 meal from a fast food restaurant.
Having the hottest place on the planet, and a place that gets to -50 degrees.
Potential supervolcano eruptions
No challengers for the World Series.
Power Hungry Jerks
Home Owner Associations and their ability to fine and sell your property and bully you to their will. I remember when I was reading about these in Reddit I was thinking for days "WTF is wrong with Americans?"
Also, software patents, are unique to U.S.A. or do they have variations in other countries too?
A Country Built On The Backs Of Slaves Will Have This Problem, Duh
Probably the cultural and racial tension between whites and descendants of African Americans and Latinos. Few others countries have so many different cultures and races within its homeland that have coexisted alongside each-other, and have had entire eras in their history where the largest controversy and attention was over matters of race. Examples include the Civil War, Reconstruction, Civil Rights movement, etc.
It's Depressing Over Here, Y'all
Here's a few for you:
- Having the most incarcerated people per capita in the world. (665 per 100,000)
- Paying the most in the world for insulin. Many citizens forced to choose between insulin or food. (A new study finds that people with diabetes in the U.S. are paying between 5.7 times and 7.5 times more than those in the UK for two popular insulins and a rare drug to treat diabetic retinopathy. U.S. consumers absorb this higher cost despite often not being the first in line to have access to new drugs or medical device treatments.)
- Forced to have health insurance, and if you don't- they tax you at 2.5% of your income. Either way you get to pay out of pocket for all of your medical care until you hit your deductible ( usually $5000 or $10,000/ yr) and then insurance companies will only pay 80% of what's left.(The penalty is $695 per adult and $347.50 per child for a maximum of $2,085 per family, or 2.5 percent of the household income, whichever is greater.Mar 14, 2018)
- The highest infant mortality rate of any developed country (The U.S. infant mortality rate of 6.1 infant deaths per 1,000 live births was more than twice that for Japan and Finland )
In movies and TV, a character who is portrayed as highly intellectual has visible signifiers.
In real life, however, a person with a high IQ is not as easily identified by common Hollywood stereotypes of smart people.
"What is a subtle sign that someone is really intelligent?"
The minds of really smart individuals never stop working.
"They draw wisdom from multiple sources. Wait but that might be more wise than intelligent... But I guess those two tend to be seen together a lot."
"They are curious about everything."
"To be intelligent you need to be knowledgeable and you cant be knowledgeable if you are never curious."
The way highly intelligent people interact with others is slightly different.
"They can switch up the way they talk to match the person they're talking to without sounding condescending. They listen to how others learn and explain it in that person's language of understanding."
Talking On Level Ground
"Talking to people as if they're intelligent at their level and without being condescending or even letting on that it's lower than their level."
"I used to work with a doctor - Tom Howard - and the day I realized he was a genius was the time he guessed every single condition a patient of mine had based on minute pieces of information about him."
The Humble Professor
"No joke. The smartest professor I had in engineering school was also the most humble. She was an astounding human being. By week 2, she knew everyone's names by heart in the intro engineering course. In College. With like 180 students. Later, in upper division classes, people would occasionally ask some really stupid questions."
"Like, it happens... you get so deep into some fluid mechanics derivation or something you forget something really basic. People would ask a question like this and everyone would be thinking like; 'Wow, how did you even make it this far?' but then... it's like she would spot the flaw in their understanding so perfectly, and then respond with such clarity and wisdom that the person asking the question would look less stupid and the whole class would be enlightened."
"And here's the thing... I pride myself on being really good at that exact skill. I tutored a lot of people. I was easily one of the brightest amongst my peers. But that woman was on another level. It was mind-blowing."
"And it wasn't just her intelligence, but her organizational skills, discipline, consistency.... And yet... she was so humble. She was quiet and physically quite small. But she just exuded competence and immediately commanded every room she walked into. I've never seen anything quite like it."
A Positive Effect
"When they explain something they make you feel intelligent."
When In Doubt
"They know when their knowledge ends and say something to the extent of 'I don't know and anything else i say on this topic is ignorant speculation.'"
Some with impressive IQs may deal with questions in the following ways.
Reaction To Delayed Responses
"'You really think about everything don't you?' - a doctor, to me, after he asked me a question and I took longer than 2 seconds to answer it."
"No, I just pull something out of my ass every time and those extra seconds you waited for me to answer were purely to irritate you for my own enjoyment."
The Really Good Questions
"They can ask really good questions."
"Edit: to anyone not understanding what mean, I’m talking about people who ask 'really good questions,' not just any questions, really good ones. I don’t know how one would achieve this skill(I know I haven’t)."
"They spend time thinking before asking a question."
"Some of the smartest people don’t comment at all."
I agree with many of the comments saying a really intelligent person knows how to cater the conversation towards another person's level of understanding.
They do have the impressive skill to convey something in a way that can easily be understood. Some of the most venerated professors at my university were like this, and their classes were always the hardest to get in to.
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There are roughly 7 billion people on earth so being the top 1% of anything sounds like it might be an incredible honor.
Maybe you've received an award or a certification that only a few people have gotten. Or maybe you have a rare disease, which doesn't sound as fun.
We went to Ask Reddit to find the people who are in a top 1% of people.
Redditor I_Love_Small_Breasts asked:
"What are you in the 1% of?"
Here's some of the rare groups people are apart of or things they experience.
Could be totally great or totally inconvenient.
"If I shake my head in a certain way, I can give myself an orgasm. Never met anyone who can do that."
"Wow that sounds incredibly inconvenient."
"'Shaking my head' has a whole new meaning now. Damn."
Survived a flesh eating bacteria.
"Survived flesh eating bacteria in the bloodstream after sepsis. Most people die within 3 days."
"Had MRSA and sepsis because of an open wound on my left foot. Thing is a nurse was treating the wound with Santyl and it was fully bandaged at all times. The nurse changed the dressings 3 times a week but I still ended up in the hospital with antibiotics IV'd into each arm plus oral antibiotics. Spent 15 days in ICU having all my organs sonogramed for signs of the infection spreading. X-rays and MRI's to check for bone infections and when they released me I had to wear a wound vac pump for 2 months to seal the wound on my foot."
"I can stop my hiccups on command."
"There’s a superpower for sure."
This is way less than 1%
"I am one of only 1300 board certified Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners for the adult and adolescent population. In the world."
"I'm unsettled by how small that number is."
"To be fair, there are more SANE nurses, meaning nurses who take care of these patients and are qualified to do so. Being board certified just means I took an extra step after I reached a qualifying time to take a test to prove it. I’m actually up for renewal. At the time I first tested, I was one of something like 1100."
"Still, even knowing that, there aren’t enough SANEs or FNEs overall."
"I’m naturally ambidextrous. Apparently that’s something only 1% of people naturally are. I can use both right and left hands ably for any task. For example, I often switch which hand I write with based on how I’m sitting."
"It’s worth noting natural ambidexterity is not the same as learned or acquired ambidexterity. For example, left handed people often have to use things designed for right handed people but otherwise are left handed."
"I’m of the .002% of people with osteopoikilosis. This freaked the sh*t out of me because when I was diagnosed the first thing the doctor said was 'wow I’ve never seen this in anything but textbooks before.'"
"Basically, I have bones growing inside my bones. It’s not anything I should be worried about, at least for a while, so that’s nice."
How many people can say this?
"I've represented my country in the Paralympic games."
"That’s a really nice one! Which specialty?"
"Volleyball for Great Britain in the 1996 games in Atlanta."
"Not me but my dad."
"He was born with a backwards heart and didn’t find out till his heart attack a few years ago and it actually saved his life."
"His doctor later told him that after being a doctor for over 30 years he’d never seen someone with a backwards heart and that apparently 1% of people on the planet have it."
"I am diagnosed with Visual snow syndrome. Basically seeing through static. It may not be rare as thought but I am one of very few people to be formally diagnosed."
"Same! I figured it out when people didn’t see the static and I heard it mentioned! Used to think I was seeing molecules when I was a little kid haha."
HIV resistant gene mutation.
"I have a double gene mutation that makes me highly resistant or even immune to the HIV virus."
"Can doctors use your blood to help those with HIV?"
"I have the same mutation and I've donated samples towards research. I got an email last year about vaccine hopes but I'm not sure where it went."
There are some incredible people out there in the world, and thankfully the internet is bringing them all together.
It's fascinating to see how diverse humans really are.
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How you approach life's many trials and tribulations can say a lot about who you are. However, many of us don't necessarily learn some lessons so easily.
Life is complicated. It's messy. Few, if any things, go according to plan. On top of that, sometimes the way we handle our relationships or our obligations might not be the most healthy one.
You live, you learn... or so the saying goes.
People shared their stories after Redditor ryanblumenow asked the online community,
"What did you learn at great personal cost?"
"I broke three..."
"Never trust a ladder set up by someone else. I broke three of my lumbar vertebrae. Thankfully I recovered fully, but damn was that scary. I also bit through my lower lip. I have a nice scar as a memento."
This is terrifying. Glad you're still alive–that you healed is miraculous!
"Even if you work your hardest..."
"Even if you work your hardest, do everything right, and are a great employee… you may still be seen as expendable."
This is true. Your company will never be loyal to you. Don't bend over backwards. Do your job–don't sell your soul.
"That you need to be careful..."
"That you need to be careful what you put up with as it teaches people how to treat you. I lost a lot of 'friends' once I started to set boundaries."
This is very true. I can relate: I definitely lost a few so-called "friends" the second I began standing up for myself.
"This goes for all relationships..."
"Don't listen to what people say, but what they do. This goes for all relationships, both professional and personal."
Amen to that. It's a cliche, but actions absolutely do speak louder than words.
"Family can be just as toxic..."
"Family can be just as toxic for you as anyone else. Sometimes it's best to cut them out."
Ain't that the truth.
Are we trading toxic family stories now?
"If someone gets upset..."
"If someone gets upset at you for trying to establish boundaries with them, it's not you being mean or unreasonable, it's them not caring about your happiness."
This is spot on. Don't trust people who violate your boundaries. Your gut won't lie to you, not about this.
"You can't convince them."
"You cannot, even subtly, force someone to love you. You can't convince them. They either do or they don't, and it's on you to decide what to do with that unchangeable position in mind."
I feel like many people go through their 20s without learning this.
Not that I know anything about this... or anything like that.
"Just because you try to be a good friend..."
"That people aren't always your friend. Gaslighting is real. Just because you try to be a good person doesn't mean good things will happen to you."
Very true. Be very careful about what you put out there. Not everyone has good intentions, though this is not in anyway meant to imply that the world is terrible.
It isn't. Just be judicious.
"You can accomplish..."
"You can accomplish anything you set your mind to. Doesn't mean you should. Everything will cost more than you anticipate in ways you can't imagine."
That's a poetic way to put it! Spot on. Everything costs something, even your success.
"That you don't have to run off and get married. A marriage that only lasted one year cost me more than $10K. Life is not a race and you don't need to be married by a certain point or at all for that matter."
"Be patient, make yourself available, gravitate to those who understand you the most."
Awful. It sounds like you have peace of mind now, however, which is priceless.
Don't be so hard on yourself, by the way. We all learn at our own pace.
Here's a tip before we go: Your education is never complete. Life always something to teach you, so just accept it, be open to it, and go in grace.
Have some suggestions of your own? Feel free to tell us more in the comments below!
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Is there anyone who loved high school?
High school is a disaster. That is true for like... 95% of us.
it's like being branded. "I survived high school because of this!!"
The past is never really past, is it? What did you see?
Redditor HelloProxima wanted to go back and visit the teenage years, by asking:
"What is the most f**ked up thing that happened in your high school?"
I'm on the fence about high school. I want to hate it, but nostalgia haunts me. I saw a lot of violence, there is that.
We were on CNN.don lemon nodding GIF by Red Table TalkGiphy
"They started charging us for ketchup in the cafeteria. Most of the school boycotted cafeteria lunch and brought all manner of condiments from home. We were on CNN. They eventually caved." ~ Ash3Monti
No one liked him.
"I was big into drama club and musical theatre when I was in high school. There was a girl in the drama club in her freshmen or sophomore year who was super nice and everyone loved her. Her older brother on the the other hand, was a complete and total douchebag. No one liked him."
"He always made inappropriate comments or jokes and no one liked to be around him. One night, he was driving him and his sister back from school when he took a steep curve going around 100 mph. He lost control and hit a telephone pole. His sister died instantly and he was in a coma for a few weeks but ultimately survived."
"Myself and my friends in the drama club were devastated. She was one of the sweetest girls you'll ever met and we all loved her. A year or two later, the brother messages my sister and tries to use his sister's death as leverage to get laid. F**k you, you piece of crap." ~ FearTheKeflex
"Guidance counselor was taking bribes to change grades (Both money and sexual favors). Invited one male student over to his house. Had the student tie him up and hang him by chains in his basement "dungeon." Student was homophobic and while the counselor was tied up, bludgeoned him to death." ~ monthos
"This is not that extreme, but it's still disgusting. We have drinking water taps instead of fountains. One parent was suspicious of whether they were cleaning the tanks or not. So they made an announcement that the tank was being cleaned every single day."
"A lot of us didn't believe it, so a group of boys decided to see for themselves if it was true or not. So they put a dead frog in the tank when there was no one around. I don't even know where they found the frog but they swear they didn't kill it. Anyway the frog was there for a few weeks. And obviously the water started tasting weird."
"After the teachers got multiple complaints, they opened the tank and found the frog. The boys were punished, but they fired back with the fact that they lied about cleaning the tanks. They were still punished, because they proved it in a disgusting way. They could've put literally anything in the tank, but they chose a dead frog." ~ R00mTemperature
The QuadAcds2 Look Away GIF by Anime Crimes DivisionGiphy
"A worker doing stuff on the roof. He fell off. Landed in the 'quad' at lunch. A large piece of machinery fell and squished his head. Like a cartoon, only funny. Like 150 Kids saw this." ~ LordInventus
"The Latin kings gang threatened my cousin and his friends and they had 10 squad cars guarding the whole school and dismissed us the same day early." ~ Terrykrinkle
“it’s gonna blow”
"I had just moved in from Egypt to the states in my senior year of high school. A teacher thought it would be funny to fold a bunch of papers and wrap them in duck tape to make it look like a bomb and threw it my direction and went under his desk saying 'it’s gonna blow.' Everybody started laughing and I was so clueless then I just laughed along. It infuriates me to this day that I didn’t call him out on it or report him." ~ ezzabousaif
"Someone somehow made a bomb threat on a Swedish fish candy. Like one single piece. I don’t know how it happened but he got arrested." ~ ts_13_
"A couple weeks before graduation, this kid hacked into the school system and put a Hitler quote and a Boston bomber reference in the senior quotes for the yearbook. One of the affected parties was a trans girl, and we're still not sure if it was a targeted act because of that."
"Administration didn't find out until the entire senior class had received their books. Some people turned theirs in to get their pages replaced, but some kept it because it was a 'limited edition item' or some stupid sh*t like that. Kid got arrested and charged with cybercrime, since he hacked everyone in our school system's school passwords."
"He was so close to graduating too, but got expelled like two weeks before he could. Looked like a rat too. It was all over the news, and everyone in the state of CT basically knows about this now. Got out on bail for $5000." ~ kocorpsie
Good God!Season 3 What GIF by On My BlockGiphy
"We had a huge fight happen in the girls bathroom."
"Apparently one student brought drugs to school and was selling it to her friends. A completely unrelated student caught on and stole the drugs while everyone else was in class. She was caught snorting the drugs in the bathroom by the group selling the drugs and got the crap beat out of her."
"We also had a recently graduated student murder his parents for insurance money . He hid the bodies in a chicken coop and told everybody they were on vacation. It wasn't until 7 months later the bodies were found by the landlord because the rent was late." ~ randomgenericcow
Enjoy high school, at least try too. Maybe if more kids do that, it wouldn't be so insane.
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