In theory, we're supposed to outgrow our childhood fears and settle nicely into a slow burning existential dread like a proper adult.
In reality, some fears just stick.
No matter how old you get, or how much math you do to convince your anxiety that it's probably NOT going to happen... some things just stick.
Reddit user iron_horse_ asked:
"What's one thing that still scares the hell out of you no matter how old you get?"
When I was young, my dad's car spun out on an overpass while I was driving with him. I was sitting upfront because there wasn't much of a back seat.
The car came to a stop facing the wall, the windshield framing the long fall that we could have taken. Just a few more inches forward. If he had been going just a little bit faster ...
It's probably not a coincidence that my first actual panic attack happened as I was driving on an overpass on a rainy night.
It just stuck.
Here's what "just stuck" for Reddit.
The Stairsmichael douglas stairs GIF by JustinGiphy
"Walking up the stairs at night when all the lights are off downstairs."
"No matter how hard I resist, I always end up sprinting."
"For me, I start at normal speed then constantly speed up until I'm going so fast I often fall. It's so stupid."
"Same! I’m usually the last to go to bed, so I’m the one turning off the lights most nights while everyone else is asleep."
"I imagine my family hears my loud sprinting thuds every night and thinks I’m insane lol"
Overboardblue planet oceans GIF by BBC AmericaGiphy
"The thought of being dropped in the middle of an ocean."
"I'm terrified of the emptiness - nothing but water stretching into the horizon in every directions. Treading water and wondering if you should even try to swim or give up and let yourself sink into the ocean ... and to God Knows What that lives there."
"When I was in the Navy, I'd look out at the sea and it wasn't too bad most of the time."
"There are people watching out in every direction all the time, and there's usually someone working topside to keep an eye on you when you fall in."
"But even the THOUGHT of falling overboard at night is terrifying to me."
"It is damn near pitch black, so even the people watching at night won't see you, and you'll just sit there watching the ship's lights fade into the distance, knowing they'll never find you in the dark."
Mirror Mirrorscared looney tunes GIFGiphy
"Often times when I'm washing cleanser off of my face, I fear that when I lift my head to look in the mirror, there will be a stranger/monster/axe murderer suddenly standing behind me."
"I've had this paranoid thought since I was around 7 years old."
"Same but I’m always scared about me being the monster. Like I look up and instead of my face, there’s some demonic entity🙃 "
"I think this is one of the more common ones."
"Any time I shampoo my hair I make sure to rinse really quickly so that the bathroom demon doesn’t have time to show up lol"
"It's odd because looking in mirrors is the only time I can see behind me, but it's also the only time I am scared something will sneak up on me from behind."
"It's completely contradictory to logic. I should feel safer while looking in a mirror."
Lights In The DarkIm Watching You GIF by The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy FallonGiphy
"Small, red lights in the dark."
"My TV has one that’s always on, but not many things do anymore."
"It makes me extremely anxious and on guard. Maybe that I’m being watched? I can’t really explain it and I’ve pondered why get all wigged out for a hot minute."
"They always remind me of eyes in the dark."
"They belong to some strange, terrifying mystical creature that could kill you at any given moment. It watches from the shadows. Waiting. Watching. Always."
"For me it's the possibility of the light winking out for a split second, then coming back."
"That tells you that something is moving right there in front of you in the pitch darkness - and the only thing you know about it is that it's there."
Sleep Situationsnew jersey woman GIFGiphy
"I can't sleep with my back to the door. I saw a movie as a kid where a girl was sleeping with her back to the door and someone came in and stabbed her in the back."
"Also, the closet door has to be closed because there are monsters in there at night."
"I will still occasionally jump into bed so the monsters under the bed can't grab me."
"A dark house, I flip on every light as I walk through."
"So I guess this means I'm afraid of the dark? *Sighs*"
"I'm 47. I guess I won't be growing out of it anytime soon."
"I have this!"
"I'm so traumatized that I can barely go to the bathroom without getting shivers and adrenaline boosts. Going to sleep is horrible."
"I can only sleep if I face the wall and I have to distract my brain from projecting horror stuff on my retina. I always fail."
"I don't know if I'll grow out of this (I'm a teen.) It's bad. sometimes I even look constantly behind me just to make sure I didn't spawn a demon by breathing or something"
"I'm 27 years old and can confirm El Cucuy is DEFINITLEY in the closet."
"Haven't seen it... but I know it's there. Never leave a closet door open at night."
"Spiders. God damn spiders."
"Big ones, small ones, fat ones, skinny ones, all of them. They keep me awake at night thinking about them."
"The idea that there is probably at least one hiding in my room somewhere at this exact moment freaks me the f*ck out."
"I once punched my sister in the face for putting a fake one on me."
"When I was a kid, I was going to take a shower and a daddy long leg came crawling out of the drain hole. I puked from the fear and didn't take another shower from the next 2 months."
"Spiders can all die in a fiery pit. They're all gross and disgusting and I hate them."
The Floor Is ... Crabs?bbc one crab GIF by BBCGiphy
"Bathing in lakes and seas."
"Once, as a small kid, I went for a swim in the sea only to discover that the ground was covered in small crabs."
"I'm not talking 50, I'm talking thousands of small crabs that would be everywhere where I put my feet down. I was stepping on them, they were scrambling over my feet. I couldn't touch the bottom without touching a crab."
"Now I hate to go swimming if I cant see the bottom."
3:33Scared Bruce Campbell GIF by Ash vs Evil DeadGiphy
"It's bizarre, but it freaks me out when I randomly wake up at 3:33am or happen to notice the time at 3:33pm."
"I think it was some Exorcist movie when I was a kid. I just look the other way like 'nope not noticing this devil sht!' "
"The funny part is I'm agnostic."
"Mom was catholic, though, and quite nuts so this may have played a role in my legit fear of demons, even if rationally I don't think they're real... Probably."
Just BotsRobots Free Yourself GIF by The Chemical BrothersGiphy
"The Dead Internet Theory"
"It's getting scarier and more obvious as we get older."
"The theory is that internet "died" somewhere around late 2016 to early 2017 and is being discreetly replaced by bots designed to selectively challenge or reaffirm your opinions to maximize engagement."
"This is also supported by the spread of link rot and content drift. Read up. It's not as tin-foil-hat at you might be thinking."
"People massively undervalue their intuition these days, and are quick to play the tin-foil-hat card when something like this is brought up."
"If something feels off, it usually is."
FireVirtual Reality Fire GIF by The Weather ChannelGiphy
"Bushfires. I live in a very bushfire-prone area."
"It was made super clear growing up how awfully terrifying fires are. They kill. It isn't quick and painless. An extremely intense wariness and fear of them has always been deep-rooted in my mind."
"Just the sight of smoke on the horizon makes me nervous. God forbid I see it on a hot and windy day."
"F*ck fires. So much."
Stairs AgainChris Hemsworth Movie GIF by NETFLIXGiphy
"Heights, glass railings, steps/escalators and especially around children."
"As a small child I fell backwards down a escalator and managed to catch myself before a point at which I probably would have died."
"It still scares me today. All I saw was the mall floor and glass railings as I fell."
"My ex husband had a little cousin that died on steps. It really bothered me - he was a gorgeous, happy little kid and I spent so much time around him."
"He happened to fall a day after we spent time with him."
Welp ... Reddit has just given me a bunch of new stuff to lose sleep over at night. What about you?
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When looking at a resume, it's easy to understand how prospective employers will assume someone is very intelligent based on their education and past experience.
But one shouldn't only assume someone's intelligence based on what they read.
More often than not, one can tell rather quickly that someone possesses above-average intelligence, based on how they speak, how they behave, or other telling details.
Redditor PadWanKenobi was curious to hear what people felt were the tell tale signs they were in the company of a possible genius, leading them to ask:
"What’s a sign of extremely high intelligence?"
"Ability to intuitively and quickly understand complex systems and how lots of parts relate in a coherent whole."
"Like I work with some people who just keep tons of concepts in their head and easily integrate new information into their understanding of those concepts."
"They immediately know what questions they should be asking to better understand."
"And these are things they're currently working on, not like things they spent time studying in school over years."
"They just have a very strong ability to synthesize new information into their understanding."
"I sit in meetings distracted and confused having forgotten what we talked about in the previous meetings, and these folks just consistently have a solid handle on everything."- Ok-Control-787
Innate Problem Solvers
"They know when not to solve a problem."
"This took me a while to understand but the smartest people I know do this."
"It could be a really simple thing like ignoring emails from people asking for help."
"The supervisor or boss might have a quick and easy solution for the situation but instead of just handing it to the person that asked they let them figure it out on their own."
"They know who they can do this with and when to do it."
"If they did that with all of their underlings it would just create a mess."
"Another example that I can think of is planned chaos."
"Some people can predict exactly where things will go wrong and they could fix it before it creates a problem."
"They don't because nobody ever notices what's going on in the background when things are working perfectly."
"Once things fails then everybody notices and if you are the one person that fixed it you become the hero."
"They can also use then chaos to reach a goal they couldn't get before if things were working correctly."
"There's many examples of this in every day life that I didn't see before until I realized what was happening."- atapesGiphy
You know what they say about people with small hands
"If your hand is smaller than your face."- FallofTheKnight
The all knowing glow.
"When someone asks you a question and you push your glasses up while light comes out of it and covers your eyes for some reason."- JonEregor
Those giveaway behavioral quirks
"Wearing glasses and saying things like 'ah yes', and 'I see' while you pensively rub your chin."- iuytrefdgh436yujhe2Thinking Reaction GIF by ABC TV + IVIEWGiphy
"When they explain something they make the people around them feel smarter, not dumber."- redkat85
Being one step ahead.
"The capacity to understand complex things, see patterns where regular people don't."- Ostepop234
"They have this tendency to make you go 'Ohhh, why didn't I think of that?' when listening to them talk."- did_it_forthelulzWhy Didnt I Think Of That Cillian Murphy GIFGiphy
An endless love of learning
"A passion for knowledge and expanding understanding of complex concepts."
"The plumber can be just as insightful as the scholar."- KatatoniK94
Of course, one shouldn't always be fooled by what they see.
As many people are masters at appearing much smarter than they are.
In fact, one important sign of super intelligence is being able to separate those who appear smart, from those who actually are.
With each passing year of a marriage, couples will often discover that while they don't love each other any less than they once did, that spark their relationship used to carry has faded.
This will often lead these couples to look for ways to spice things up a bit.
Among the more popular experiments is inviting a third member to their bedroom.
Enticing as this prospect is, however, it's also easy to be intimidated by the reality of it, or even the mere suggestion of it.
"Men, what advice do you have for men whose wives want to bring a third into the bedroom?"
Make sure you want to do it.
"You need to be completely honest with yourself, ask if this is something you want and could live with."- Dame87
Proceed with caution
"It’s like frolicking in a mine field."
"You both better be SUPER into the idea, you can’t have one person who’s reluctantly agreed to go along with it."
"And established rules."
"A threesome sounds like fun and games until you’re watching your partner make faces and sounds that you only thought were for you in your most intimate moments together, and a burning jealousy comes out of nowhere and breaks your heart."
"I’m not saying it’s automatically a bad idea and I know people do polyamory successfully, but dear god be careful."- coleosis1414
Make sure you're an active participant
"I had an ex that was adamant that she wanted to be a swinger or whatever."
"The one time I decided to roll with it, I hit it off immediately with the other dude's girlfriend and had a blast hanging out with her all night."
"The other dude was a total creep, though."
"Also, my ex could not handle the fact that someone else was giving me the slightest bit of attention."
"So, needless to say, that didn't go anywhere."
"Turns out she didn't want to be a swinger, she just wanted to have sex with other people behind my back, which she had no problems whatsoever with."- Ted_Denslow
Look out for ulterior motives
"Just remember that if you bring this up and your husband is against it, that could be the beginning of the end of your marriage."
"For a lot of people their partner saying 'I am seriously considering having sex with other people and I'm checking with you if it is ok', is a deal breaker."- gamerplays
Consider a test run?
"Go to a bar together separately."
"Watch them flirt/interact with someone else."
"If you get jealous, it's probably a bad idea to bring in a third."
"If it turns you on, go for it."- SinSlayer
Query people with experience.
"It’s something my wife and I have talked about."
"We both agreed that opening the Pandora’s box is not the way we want our relationship to go."
"While it sounds fun, we have seen way to many relationships derailed because of it."- DarthDujo
Consider going whole hog.
"Bring a 4th."- xxemrgmi
Evaluate your relationship first.
"Make sure you and your partner are secure in your own relationship before having another person join."
"Have boundaries, and no secrets."
"From my experience it doesn't usually work out in the end."- Thick-Procedure455
"Don't do it."
"For a long time, my ex harbored a fantasy of watching me have sex with another woman."
"Hey, who knows why any of us are wired the way we are?"
"After contemplating the idea together for a while, we decided to approach one of her more attractive co-workers, who had made a series of flattering comments along the lines of "you're so lucky" and "he's so good-looking'."
"She enthusiastically agreed."
"Our first meet-up was of course awkward, but the second, third and following were pretty good."
"In fact they got progressively hotter, as we all got more comfortable with each other's boundaries, erotic likes and dislikes."
"However, over a few months these occasional kinky weekends transitioned into the co-worker asking more frequently and aggressively to be invited over."
"We tried to explain that we had intended these threesomes to be rare and exotic highlights in our sex life, not regular occurrences, but she didn't take the message to heart and instead became increasingly insistent, bordering on smothering."
"After being turned down one Friday, that night she unexpectedly showed up at our door anyway, carrying a weekend bag and wearing nothing but a raincoat, stay-ups and heels."
"While that was quite a sight, it definitely creeped us out, as it made us finally realize the whole arrangement was descending into 'play Misty for me' territory."
"My ex and I agreed that her unexpected and unwelcome appearance signaled the end of future three-ways, at least until we were able to cool our own selves down, reassess, and perhaps later find a less demanding and insistent third."
"Things subsequently got very sticky at work for my wife, as her co-worker, with whom she had to interact closely, strongly resented being permabanned, and kept demanding to know 'what she'd done that was so awful'."
"Coworker eventually asked to be transferred to another office, but by the time that process was over and done, the discomfort / guilt / pressure / confusion my ex was suffering both at home and at work had begun to take its psychological toll."
"I must confess it didn't help that our own sex life was simultaneously going through a rough patch."
"Long story short, we ended our decade-long relationship less than a year after breaking off the threesomes, chiefly due to trust issues and growing sexual incompatibility, both perhaps triggered by our experimentation."
"Ever since, I've regretted agreeing to that first three-way."
"If I hadn't been so damned eager to take a bite of forbidden fruit, we might have kept our relationship intact."
"But I guess this can also be put down as what sometimes happens when you ignore that old advice, 'don't sh*t where you sleep'."- theartfulcodger
When venturing into the unknown, it's always wise to gain some first hand experience, to hear a variety of pros and cons of what you're possibly getting yourself into.
That way, deciding whether or not it's for you will become increasingly clear.
It's also important to remember, that it is always ok to say "no".
People Share Their Best 'You Either Die The Hero Or Live Long Enough To Become The Villain' Experiences
"You either die the hero or live long enough to become the villain."
Though not necessarily a universal truth, all of us have witnessed unfortunate moments in our lives where we've seen this saying become a reality.
Be it seeing our favorite public figures take a serious fall from grace, someone we know and admire eventually disappointing us in a devastating manner, or even seeing ourselves turn into someone we promised we'd never become.
One Redditor was curious to hear people's examples of this saying coming to light, either from a personal experience or seeing it happen to a well-known, public figure, leading them to ask:
"Who is your example of 'you either die a hero, or live long enough to see yourself become the villain'?"
"He originally stood up for civil rights when it was really unpopular."
"Was hospitalized and accidentally placed in the black ward."
"When the doctors found out, they tried to move him, but he refused."
"Then he became a cult leader and used his power and influence to end the lives of a thousand people."- Crvsby
Earning a position of power
"Working in restaurant kitchens."
"You either burn out young, or become the boss that everyone hates."
"There's exceptions, but that's the rule."- grandpas_old_crow
"Henry Heimlich, inventor of the Heimlich Maneuver."
"Made up a bunch of untested uses for it, treating people having asthma attacks, and drowning victims were the two I remember that he publicly talked up."
"Later, he funded an experiment that involved injecting people with Malaria to see if it would treat other conditions.
"The experiment was found to be unethical by American review boards, so he conducted them in Ethiopia." - User Deleted
"In WW1 he led the French to victory at Verdun, one of the worst battles in human history."
"In WW2, after France was beaten, Petain was the head of state of Vichy France."
"Guy went from the Lion of Verdun to the biggest Nazi collaborator in France."- arthuranymoredonuts
"Every organ until it gets cancer."- SuperBaconjam
"He had the whole country behind him here in Ireland at one point bar people who thought combat sport is grotesque."
"He was witty, original, backing himself up and having a Hollywood like rise to stardom."
"Now he's someone who the whole country is ashamed of, goes punching old men, clearly sleeps around on his wife while she's at home with the kids, just a walking caricature of himself."
"He didn't listen to his own advice."
"Get out."- StephenPigot2020
Turning into our parents
"My dad used to annoy me by calling my Pokemon cards 'Pokey-Mans'."
"Now my kids have them and I do the same thing and it annoys the sh*t out of them."
"Thanks for the (Pokeyman) gold!"- rumpel4skinOU
"Almost died during the revolutionary way, if I recall correctly, and if he had he would have been remembered a huge hero, and a martyr."
"Instead he lived and changed sides, and is remembered only for his being a traitor."- uniqueperson22
Be it someone we knew quite intimately, or someone we admired from a far, it is always heartbreaking to see someone evolve from someone we love, to someone we utterly hate.
Sometimes we do things that have to be done.
And some of those things live in life's gray area of right and wrong.
What comes as a surprise to some is when we don't care if we're wrong.
We may still technically be in the right.
But morally and ethically, there may be some issues.
But still, many people don't care.
Redditor BirdyPizzawanted to see who would fess up about some of the worst things we're responsible for but have no shame.
"What is the darkest thing you have ever done and don’t regret?"
I've stolen from department stores that overcharged. I was arrested. I didn't care. So there...
"Five years ago my dad suffered a catastrophic stroke. Left paralyzed and robbed of his speech and ability to communicate he was a shell of the once vibrant, charismatic man he once was. He was moved into skilled nursing where he lived for nearly two years, he was miserable."
"On my last visit I told him it was okay if he wanted to leave us, that we would miss him but he should go. A week later I received the call that he had passed. Instead of immediate grief I felt relief. Relief that he was finally free. The grief came later and I still miss him every single day."
"Got into a car accident and had to stay with my mom for a couple days to figure out what to do. Went back to my apartment (I had two roommates) and everything was missing from my room. Long story short one of my roommates had everything hidden in her room."
"I called and told her the things were missing from my room and she came up with a lie that a couple girls came to look at my room (I was moving out bc of the accident, long story) and that they must have taken my things. She had everything I owned. Including my grandmothers perfume bottles, stuffed to the back of her closet, under her bed, behind her dresser etc."
"So I packed all of my stuff up. Then took a giant black garbage bag and stuffed as much of her closet in it as I could. Took it to the middle of nowhere, dug a hole and burnt it. She called screaming at me that her stuff was missing. I told her the two girls must have come by and taken her stuff too."
"I hit my uncle left right and center when he was trying to choke my father to death. I was 16 years old at that time, a very skinny girl. I beat his face neck and every part of him that I could target with so much intensity that my knuckles turned blue the next day. I had an animalistic rage that day trying to help my father get away from his death grip. I hate my uncle even today."
"I got anger issues because of growing up around him. And I don't regret beating him that day at all. He was physically abusive to his wife as well. One fine day, his wife retaliated by beating him blue with a stick. And he stopped being physically violent towards her post that."
"A neighbor like 10 years ago was neglecting their dog badly in the heat. The dog escaped often and ended up at the shelter a lot. One day she jumped the fence and got her tie-out cable stuck on the fence. (She was not in danger of choking.) Neighbor put her on a 3-foot-long cable tied to a doorknob, no water, 90 degree day. I let some kind folks steal her, watched the whole thing and said nothing to stop them."
"When my father was dying and in pain I was the one who told the doctors he had been through enough and we couldn't see him suffer anymore. Doctor injected him with something, I assume a morphine mega dose and he passed peacefully moments after. Euthanasia may not be legal in UK but compassionate doctors know what's what. I don't regret it because my pa made me promise I would have his back when he got sick or old. I'm sad he got sick and never got to get old."
That is a lot of mess. But sometimes we have to do what we have to do.
"One of my ex best friends in high school was a real narcissistic lunatic. Had so many egotistical fantasies about what he deserved but I remained his friend because we met through my close friend (his girlfriend). As I started realizing what a terrible person he was I convinced him to go after his fantasy of a harem by asking to add a 3rd to their relationship, that led to a fight between his gf."
"I called her about it and asked how she felt about him adding someone to their relationship and about him sleeping with her. She said she knew nothing about that and started crying because he cheated on her. I basically helped orchestrate their breakup and have no regrets. She is happy with her first child now and he is in a toxic af relationship with 3 kids, 2 of which aren't his and his partner is 8 years older than him."
"Had to make the choice to take my dad off of life support after he got Covid this year. He was sedated for a couple of weeks and one of his lungs collapsed and I couldn't watch him fall apart anymore. My dad was a bulky dude. Constantly did a lot of outdoor work and to see him bone skinny and have no muscle left killed me and I knew even if he somehow got through it, he would have been so miserable and depressed in that state he was in. I don’t regret it. I think it was the right thing to do by him. I’ll never not miss him though. That was my buddy."
"Turned a close friend into the fish and game. He would poach mountain lions and bears. His whole family would literally shoot them and leave them. He would brag about it. I couldn’t stand it and felt that I needed to stop him. He’s in prison and so is his uncle. I know I ruined his life but he was literally killing so many mountain lions and bears."
"In middle school, there was this group of boys that would corner me in the hallway and try to scare me. I was the perfect target for these little b**tards. I was short, skinny, and had (and still have) and anxiety disorder. One day I just had enough, and asked a friend if I could have an extra pencil, sharpened it as much as I could, and when I saw one of them in the hallway, I stabbed the hell out of his leg. Sh**head got what he deserved."
Wow... we really are a dark and secretive people.