Life ain't easy and we ALL have a past. Sometimes we do all we can to runaway from and hide the life that once was and the person we used to be. Problem is that person... existed and they'll never not be a tangible presence. Admitting who we once were is an essential part of growth. Case in point...
Redditor wannacomeclean wanted to discuss... Want some advice on how I [29F] can "come clean" to some new friends [32F, 34F, 34M, 38F) I've gotten close to over the last 6 months to whom I've been lying by omission.
I know what I'm going to do, I just want to talk out the best way with some objective parties, I hope that's ok. I will change all names and fudge some irrelevant details just in case...not that I'm super scared anyone will recognize me, just like my anonymity.
I've been through some s***. There is no way to sugar coat it. 3 years ago I was married to the love of my life (Ben) with the most perfect human child that ever existed (Veronica) and I was 5 months pregnant with a boy. We were hit by a drunk driver at 5pm in the afternoon, my husband and daughter died on the scene, and I miscarried my son in the hospital later that night. I was otherwise physically "fine". It has not been an easy road. There were times when I'd have killed myself, except after losing my daughter, I'd never do that to my mom. I took time off work, I spent time with friends and family, I went to therapy almost every day, I grieved. I tried to go back to my old job, but it just didn't work. I don't blame my coworkers at all, but no one really treated me normally. With everything they did there was just this...pity. Every idea of mine is the greatest, every joke I tell is the best. When I walk into rooms people stop talking and focus on me, everyone wants to share my workload and help me out. They are doing what you'd think any wonderful people would do but it felt terrible. I wanted to move on with my life and feel normal.
6 months ago, at 29, for the first time in my life I moved out on my own, to a new state, I got a new job using no connections who knew me.
I moved to this new far away city and tried to recreate myself. I had always wanted to salsa dance so I started going to a salsa night at a bar and ended up seeing 4 people there frequently. 3 women and a man, Brenda, Donna, Kelly and Luke. Brenda, Donna and Luke were a few years older than me. Donna and Luke are divorced with no kids (not divorced from each other) and Kelly is the oldest and is married with 2 kids. I started seeing them at the bar every Thursday night and spending time there, but after a few weeks we exchanged numbers and got together for dinner. The rest is "history", we were fast friends and hung out about once a week, sometimes Donna and I would see each other more often because she was also single.
The last 6 months have been the best and and worst I could have imagined. I needed for people to treat me as a human. I needed to not see pity in their eyes when they looked at me. I needed them to be honest with me and not just tell me everything I did and said was the best ever because I've suffered enough. It felt great for a while. They called me out on my s***, they aggressively loved me, I felt so normal.
One weekend we went to the beach together. Kelly saw me in my bikini and exclaimed "ugh you bitch, you're so thin, that is the body of a woman who has never had a baby!" and laughed. She was complimenting me, I wanted to scream that my body grew the most perfect human that ever existed and that my breasts fed her for 13 months. I suddenly cursed my body for not having stretch marks when before it'd seemed to be a blessing.
Now Brenda has been dating someone seriously and they just got engaged, and is leaning heavily on Kelly and Donna since they've both been married and want advice. Sure she wants my advice too, as a good friend, but she doesn't want to hear about my wedding that I had poured my heart and soul into because she doesn't know it happened. But I guess I didn't think I'd become such great friends with these new people and want them to know more about me, and now I am looking for the best way to tell these people that I am a widow who lost a child and a pregnancy along with her husband. I've known them for 6 months and we've gotten so close in so many ways.
I don't say this to sound bitchy, but I also know that I'll get a pass. No one will be mad that I haven't told them yet, everyone will understand, I just want to tell them in the least dramatic way, and to make sure they fully understand my reasons and that my intentions for lying by omission were selfish, but good.
How To ProceedGiphy
I think tell them some of what you have told us here.
Tell them that you moved somewhere new to get a new start, to be treated normally. Tell them that their friendships have been so valuable and wonderful, and has helped you heal.
Then tell them that as you have become closer, you have wanted to share some of the positive aspects of your past. That you feel compelled to speak up about the wedding you planned, the marriage you built, the child you carried and nurtured. And so you know you need to tell them what happened.
Pity Party Perspective
The impression I got was OP did not want to be treated differently because of the tragic losses she suffered. If she confides this to her friends they will treat her differently. The solution of "just tell them" seems the obvious simple solution, but she may not like the results. Remember, OP moved away and recreated her life to get away from the pity party everyone was constantly throwing for her. It kept her grief alive. If she confides in her friends she may very well end up in the same situation.
And as someone else pointed out, her friends may end up feeling like s*** for the things they said to her in ignorance, like the bikini incident. This will only exacerbate the situation OP wanted to get away from, people feeling guilty and pity for her.
No matter how nice your friends are, most are not equipped to deal with the reality of OP's issues. I don't have any real answers for OP besides do not drop the bomb. Maybe trickle truth OP's past, mention she was married but she doesn't like to talk about it. If one of her friends reaches out to her for more info, OP can share more as the friend is indicating they want to hear what happened, but to keep it to themselves for the time being.
I'm going to tell you something that might sound counter-intuitive given that you're looking to be honest, but: framing is important. If you start your revelation by telling them that you've been lying to them (even by omission), they're going to receive it as a story about how you lied to them.
You have done nothing wrong here. You have done nothing dishonest. You have held back nothing that anyone was entitled to, or needed to know. You did what you needed to, at the cost of no harm to any living person. That's not a lie in my books.
So maybe sit down and tell them "There's a part of my life I haven't been ready to talk about until now, but now we're so close I can't imagine not sharing it with you." And work on thinking about it in those terms yourself. There's nothing to beat yourself up over here.
The Original Poster Had An Update For How It WentGiphy
So I really want to first take a moment to talk about how awesome my experience in this sub has been. I knew that I wanted to tell my friends the story of my past, and I knew they would react pretty well, and I knew they'd be supportive and we'd remain close friends. I really just didn't know how to bring it up after SIX months. I don't know if I expressed it in my first post, but 6 months is kind of a long time, I feel so close to these people in so many ways, so mostly it was just weird to me to not be able to casually mention my family. I absolutely still have days where it's hard to get out of bed and I just want to be left alone to cry in the dark, but so many times I think of happy memories with my family, and adorable things Veronica did that I'm reminded of and I want to be able to pepper those into my conversations. I struggled with HOW to tell people. One on one? Big group dinner? Email? So I actually emailed them all the day after my first post here and invited them over for dinner the next night if they could make it on short notice. I said to please bring their SOs, but told Kelly I'd explain later why I think she shouldn't bring her kids this time. Honestly I was just afraid she'd get really upset and wouldn't want her kids to see her like that. She couldn't get a sitter, so her husband stayed home with the kids, but Brenda and Luke brought their SOs, and I made a huge pot of chili and some cornbread. I feel like they sensed something was up, because honestly I thought the odds of them all being able to come with one day's notice was unusual.
They showed up early evening, we sat in my living room (tight quarters!) and had some wine, and then I started. I'm an awkward person, so I basically said "I have some big information about my past that I really want to share with you. It's not something that I share with everyone I meet and it's hard to bring up, but now so much time has gone by and I feel so close to you all, and I really want you to know this part of my life. I think it'll be emotional for you all to hear about, and I think it'll slightly change our dynamic for a while, but I'm also really excited to share this with you." A couple of the girls were already teary. I didn't know if they'd googled me and already knew what I was going to say, or if they could just sense the emotion in my voice. I wanted the next part to be really blunt and not beat around the bush and first set it up so they wouldn't see where I was going. I said, 3 years ago my husband, 2 year old daughter and I were in a car accident when I was 5 months pregnant. My husband and daughter were killed instantly, and I lost the son I was carrying, but was otherwise physically okay.
Everyone was silently sobbing at this point, including me. I told them why I moved away, why I wanted to start fresh, and why now I needed them to know my story. Kelly got up and came over and sat on the floor by my feet and cried into my lap for a while. I stroked her hair and told her it was okay, and that her kids are the first kids I had contact with since Veronica and it genuinely gave me so much joy to be around them, and that the only thing I would change is that I'd like to share stories about our kids, talk about what Veronica liked to play with or the "words" she would say, diaper rash. We were all still crying, but there was a lot of smiling and joking too. I tried to break the ice a little bit with Kelly and said "you know what this means right? I have had a baby and still look hot in a bikini!" We giggled, she said OMG I can't believe I said that, I said I take it as a compliment and assured them all I would not hold anything against them they said previously that in the light of this new information could now be seen as offensive.
It wrapped up so neatly like a goddamn sit com! I mean, they are good people and I knew it would. With all I've been through I'm choosey about who I let into my life and I could tell they were good people who would react well, but they've also all been friends for SO long, it always kind of feels like I'm the new kid and we aren't on equal footing. I am glad I told them all together though, instead of telling them individually. I honestly don't think I could have handled that emotionally, going through it took a lot out of me.
Brenda actually said that when we first met and she was looking up to see if I had Facebook, she came across a headline about my accident but didn't click on it because the headline was so horrific and she assumed it was just someone with the same name. We finally ate chili around 10:30. I do think they'll tread lightly around me for a while, but I also think this is going to bring us closer. And I don't intend to bring my family up often, but I'm glad now I can share stories about my wedding planning, childbirth, breastfeeding, etc. I never wanted someone that I could cry to about missing my family. Honestly....that's mine and mine alone. I still go to therapy, so I'm not keeping it inside, but it just doesn't work for me to express my grief over my loss to others. Thanks for helping me talk this out Reddit.
Thank you to those of you who sent me PMs sharing your own losses or just wishing me well. I could not have had this particular conversation with anyone in my real life. You were really here for me. That means a lot.
Who's having onions?Giphy
Best choice ever. Now excuse me while I go clean my tears.
yup sitting at my computer crying. good thing i live alone.
Find your Tribe!
I am so happy things worked out with your friends! The way you described them and said they were great people, I knew they would be awesome.
I could tell they were good people who would react well, but they've also all been friends for SO long, it always kind of feels like I'm the new kid and we aren't on equal footing.
THIS. Thank you so much for saying this. It is never too late to make friends or "join" an already established group. An addition to such a longtime group of friends just makes it sweeter and more loving than it was before!
I hope you were able to gain some emotional release from crying. I find that often happens to me. I don't think of it as depressing the days that I might spend several hours crying and shunning other people. Maybe it's the spending time thinking about my family that makes a good crying session feel cathartic, but I also think the physical release of the tears helps too.
I didn't sign my permission slip to go on this feels trip. Still, such a happy ending. Good luck to you, OP.
The Lucky Ones..
Yeah this is going to sound weird, and it certainly wasn't intentional, but this is now something that bonds all of us together. I hadn't spend as much time with the SOS of those who have them since they don't come salsa dancing, and I see Donna (god I think Donna, I'm so confused by my fake names, but the other single lady) more often than the rest so we're pretty close, but now this experience itself is something we are going through together. I'm so proud of the way we were all there for each other last night. I know they care about me, and I know how I would hurt for a friend who went through what I did, so I know this is draining on them as well. I've had 3 years to come to terms with this and they are just finding out about a pretty horrible tragedy that happened to someone they care about. I strangely feel like the grief veteran here, and I can help them navigate these sad feelings.
It honestly just feels really great. I can now go to work and to the local store and to the gym and not get constant pity, but I still have those close friends nearby that know about my family and want to be there for me. This is going to sound so freaking cheesy, but I feel like Ben sent me this group of people to take care of me. He was so much better at making friends than I was. I met everyone through him. And who meets a whole new group of friends shortly after moving to a new city. I never again thought I'd feel "lucky" after what I went through...but I just feel so lucky to have met these people.
Thanks for the smiles...Giphy
I don't know what I could say to add to this perfect, perfect update, OP. Just that I'm really stinking happy for you. Reading through this post brought some genuine smiles to my face. Like, I'm ready to weep tears of relief for a complete stranger. I'm just, gaaah...so glad this worked out good for you.
I'm not a religious person at all, but I feel like these people were put in your life on purpose.
You are not alone!Giphy
You may have lost your family in an accident, but you've gained a new family.
Truly caring companions.
And you still have the option to start a new family of your own again.
Bless you, and your courage, girl.
But - you sound like such a genuine person with such great love in your heart. I hope you continue to find new happiness in your life :).
I'm so glad this went well for you and I wish I could give you a hug.
My grandma (not by blood) lost everyone she loved before she eventually passed away...and while she lived like normal, you could tell that underneath it all, she was very happy to go meet up with her family again. Relieved. It wasn't super obvious, but it was just something you know without needing to be told.
I don't know what you can take from that but you'll meet more family that you didn't know you had, maybe you've found that in your new friends :) Good luck in life, and know that your family is watching your story play out and they'll be there for you at the end.
Raise your hands--who had an emo phase in the 2000s? I know I did, as did a lot of people around me. All of us heard “It's just a phase" from our parents at some point, but when you're a kid, life as we know it seems so permanent.
Of course, most of the time, it was “just a phase". And looking back, those phases are regrettable, to say the least. Here are some prime examples of that.
What was your biggest/most regrettable "It's not a phase, mom. It's my life." that, in fact, turned out to be just a phase and not your life?
The enthusiasm of a young person can lead to some unexpected changes that parents are just not ready for.
I was VERY into The Transformers when I was a wee lad in the 1980s. One day, I decided to change my name to the name of my favorite Autobot. My name was lame, and I wanted an awesome Transformer name. And I was VERY insistent that my parents only call me by my new name. Calling me by my 'old' name would cause a big fat tantrum on my part.
So for the better part of a week, my poor parents had to call me Wheeljack.
Very 2008.Ariana Grande Shrug GIFGiphy
My cat-ear phase. I wore cat ears every single day. Everywhere. I had like 20 pairs of them. Now everyone thinks I'm a furry.
I find that very cute and wouldn't have thought you'd be furry. Even if you'd had cat mittens. I think my suspicions would have started if you moved a bit like a cat, displayed catlike grooming habits or got a cat mask.
Not gonna lie, that car sounds cool.
I went to a car show once as a teen, and the only newer car there was some chick's PT cruiser. It was hot glittery pink, and at the time I was obsessed. I insisted that one day I would have a hot pink car, with pink seats, pink dash, pink carpets, etc. I was pretty heavily goth at the time, so my parents just rolled their eyes.
These phases can often lead to some very strange fashion choices.
When I was a teenager (early 00s), I was waiting for my mother to pick me up and was wearing one of those sh!tty sports wristwatches. It was itching me so I took it off for a second, but then she arrived and because I was struggling to get it back on my wrist, I looped it around the equally sh!tty chain I had around my neck in a rush to get out the door.
My mom asked me about it in the car, and I told her this was my new style and I planned to wear it like that every day. She rolled her eyes.
I wore that watch on a chain around my neck every single day for 3 years or so. There are even professional family photos where I'm wearing it because I refused to take it off.
One day, the chain broke and I lost the watch. I was in high school at that point anyway and it was a major lady repellent, so... phase over.
Not everyone can be Eminem.slim shady eminem GIFGiphy
Baggy pants, being a rapper someday and being a professional skater.
When I was about 14 and Eminem was starting to blow up I bought myself a keyboard with a synthesizer. It cost like $200 which was all the money I had saved up. It finally came (this was way before amazon prime and such) and I tried rapping.
My sister told me "you're effing horrible" and I gave up right then and there.
This should be a sin.
I used to button the top buttons of polo shirts.
I must say, this is probably the worst one I've read.
Looking back at our regrettable choices, all we can do is cringe.
An optimistic look at bad tattoos.check me out season 3 GIF by PortlandiaGiphy
Being a tattooer. Regrettable because of those poor people who have my awful doodles on their bodies.
Take heart! My favorite tattoo is the one I drunkenly got my buddy to do in his living room one year during March Madness! It's dumb and frankly mediocre? But such a good story and has such good associations I smile every time I see it.
My friend and I decided we were going to open a bar in Jamaica with exotic snakes in glass cages in the walls at each booth. We convinced ourselves it would be amazing for at least two years in college. It was going to be called Fredro's.
My entire family made fun of me for it. Once we got out of college, we realized it was not feasible and joined the office grind. We're also two white guys with no ties to Jamaica.
Talk about cringey.
I wore a top hat with an anime pin on it for around a year. Met one of my current best friends while wearing it, idk how he could bear to speak to me after that.
My weirdest phase was probably when I insisted on wearing knee-high rainbow socks to school every day. But honestly, I don't regret it. I rocked those socks, and I wish I still have a pair.
To all the people out there cringing over their past selves, remember that you were just a kid, and to be easy on yourselves. After all, we've all been there
It should not take much for a consumer to be satisfied with the products they purchase.
Yet, too often, manufacturers who oversell their products fail to deliver what is promised and are inevitably left with angry customers who want their money back.
Whether the merchandise was defective or ridiculously overpriced, strangers online shared some of their worst purchases when Redditor BooksMcGee asked:
"What is the worst product you ever paid money for?"
Short Life Span
"This NERF gun that's supposed to shoot tennis balls for your dog. I bought it cause I thought you could load 3 at a time and shoot them far, but it's just one and it's super loud and the gun broke after like 4 shots (reading reviews later, this was a common issue)."
"There were these toys called squiggles when I was a kid and the commercials made it seem like the toy was alive. It looked like you would get this crazy little fuzzy worms as pets that would follow you around an so sick tricks and listen to your every command. It was really just a piece of fluffy string tied to another piece of string with googly eyes on it. People may say that it was supposed to be a magic trick but they should also explain that to a 5 year old who really wanted a pet."
"Not their fault, but I paid $70 for a Yugioh card hours before it was limited to one copy. Probably dropped to $20 by the end of the day."
These purchases were bad for your bum.
"A bicycle that literally fell apart before I made it out of the parking lot."
Not Worth Sitting On
"Joybird brand couch. Was so terrible, we returned it. Still hard to believe, we returned a freaking couch."
Going Nowhere Fast
"A 2000 VW Beetle (used)."
"Biggest piece of sh*t that literally had to have just about everything replaced before 100k miles and would still break down every time you left the driveway to the point where the tow-truck driver knew us on a first-name basis."
"An Oldsmobile Achieva from one of those buy here pay here places. I should have known better, but I was young and thought I was getting a good deal. I had the thing for about 5 months, I drove it for maybe 3 weeks. The rest of the time it was either in the shop, or in my driveway waiting until pay day so I could afford to fix whatever broke on it this week. Eventually told the dealer just take it, I'm not paying for it any more. He said nope, and I will make sure your credit is ruined. I said well you sold me a lemon, do you really want to go this route? He came and took it. Never reported anything to credit. I heard he got sued by several other people who sold sh**ty cars too and eventually went out of business."
"Always amazes me when I see them driving around still, I can only assume there's enthusiasts who just love repairing horribly designed cars."
These Redditors were not convinced what they ingested was edible.
"A box of plain Cheerios. Thought they were honey nut, poured a bowl, was very disappointed."
"If I wanted to taste cardboard, I'd just eat the box."
"A burnt frozen pizza at the air and space museum cafe in DC. I Don't wish that experience on anyone. There are some amazing restaurants in DC, don't settle."
The following electronics just gave off a bad charge.
"Asus Transformer Pad TF700"
"This was one of those early 'high end' Android tablets that was grossly underpowered, and it showed. Thing was slow as sh!t in no time flat. Rookie mistake investing into shiny new tech while they were still working all the bugs out. Think I paid somewhere in the neighborhood of $350-400 for it..."
"macbook pro 2018 13" touchbar. 2 years old and dead (battery). they're asking $300-$400 to change the battery. malfunctioning keyboard with double presses and missing presses. that's a lot of money for bad design."
"Past winter my old room heater broke down and I had to buy a new one. Went to a store nearby and somehow got convinced to buy a very costly heating device.. It's also my fault, since there were some sligthly cheaper options around, but nope. I wanted the expensive one thinking it will make my small room a volcano with little to no effort/cost (that's also what the seller told me). Long story short the device wasn't doing ANYTHING. No significant temperature changes, too much space, a weird noise, and was doubling my previous device in utility cost. I still gloom over those 80 euros.."
Some of my disappointing purchases was clothing, but only because I purchased them online. Unless they are a brand I'm familiar with, I'm usually fine with buying new jeans off of their websites.
But when it comes to graphic tees only available on specialty shops, an M-size shirt is not necessarily the same size as those found in other reputable stores.
I bought a medium sized T-shirt from a boutique store online because I loved the look of the design. But when it arrived, the supposed medium fit me like an XL.
At least I gained a fierce cleaning rag from this impulsive purchase.
We all know the job interview butterflies.
We sit outside the office or wait for the phone call and our foot taps at rapid speed. We run through some rehearsed answers, but worry that they'll ask a slew of things we never even considered. We try not to sweat too much.
Often, it turns out alright. We may not get the job, but we're respectable, give solid answers, and learn a lot about the place we're trying to get hired.
Other times, however, all of our far-fetched worries seem to come to life.
Curious to hear just how bad an interview can go, Redditor UIGrimsen asked:
"What was your worst job interview?"
Plenty of people had some truly bizarre stories to share. Part of these train wrecks were bad luck, and part were the insane antics of the people giving the interview.
But for us, they're simply hilarious.
"I applied for a job in a Planetarium, the interview was conducted in a big dome."
"Problem was, another part of the Planetarium staff was doing fire alarm tests during the interview. The dome amplified the sound so much, it was deafening. The interview staff acted like nothing was going on. We had to shout so we could hear each other."
"My mom raises chickens … and during COVID one of them got sick (not COVID). She had it inside to feed water hourly to try to nurse it back to life. My mom has to run an errand so I'm in charge of this chicken for the afternoon."
"I was on a phone screening with a candidate for a position in my office and this chicken starts having a seizure and dies on the middle of this phone call. I look over and it's laying almost like it was crucified."
"The candidate heard the commotion and asked if everything was ok … Which I relied 'yeah, the chicken just died.' "
"She withdrew her application the next morning."
"1.) I walked in as the HR lady farted"
"2.) it was a small office with no windows"
"3.) I asked her questions about their employee retention rate that she couldn't answer"
"4.) the fart stayed the duration of the interview"
"5.) I hope the fart got the job, because I didn't want it"
A Very Instructive Moment
"Applied to work at a vet clinic. Veterinarian did the interview while spaying a cat, apparently one of the cleanest and quickest surgeries they do. I fainted."
"Was not offered the job (after I woke up)."
Others shared moments when their excitement was deflated instantly. They encountered such closed-minded interviewers that there was almost no need for discussion.
That Bus Perk
"As an interviewee It was when I applied to a job as a Junior programmer and in 5 minutes the guys goes 'look, I'll be honest, there is no job, you can get an internship, no pay, we offer the bus pass' "
Plains, Trains, and Automobiles Later...
"I took vacation days to interview, bought my own plane ticket, and paid for my own hotel. First thing the interviewer said was, 'I have no intention of hiring you. This is just a courtesy because I knew your brother.' I had 8 more hours left in my interview day. It was painful."
"They ended up offering me the position many weeks down the road because they couldn't fill the position. I politely declined and got a very passive aggressively worded survey to fill out explaining why I passed."
There's a Right Answer??
"Wanted to work at H&M, got interviewed by the worst person ever."
"One question was and I am legit not lying, 'What is your favorite color and why?' "
"I answered 'baby blue because it's calming and not too harsh to the eyes.' My interviewer then said Oooh, sorry! Red is what we were looking for. And then proceeded to show me the exit."
Last, some shared the times they arrived for the interview excited and enthusiastic, but quickly learned how out of their league the position was.
These interviews looked more like brutal interrogations from the FBI than job interviews.
All the Principals
"Fresh out of college, I was looking for my first teaching job. I applied at a small district for an elementary school position."
"I walked in, expecting the principal and a few teachers. Instead I had the superintendent of the district, some high-level admin, and every single elementary school principal in the district. Probably 15 people in all. They peppered me with questions for 45 minutes."
"I had zero experience, just my student teaching. I did not get the job."
Shove Your Masters
"Finished up a masters degree in physics. Got a phone interview and was was told it would be an introductory chat. Was confronted with a technical interview panel (over the phone) of 6 PhDs, 4 of which had graduated from the research group I had just left. We walked through my research project in about 10 minutes."
"Then the pain began... felt like I'd only learned kindergarten physics."
An Extremely Intimidating Position
"Got an interview for a job as a floor manager at a gigantic steel foundry. I have some background in metallurgy so I thought it'd fit. It paid $90k and I was qualified resume-wise. I got there, turned out it was a group interview with three other applicants, to hear the pitch."
"If something messes up, the company loses $100,000 (some shockingly high amount, I don't remember if it was exactly 100k) per hour and it's your sole responsibility to fix it. They said you'd have to be on call 24/7 to handle anything that comes up."
"I got to the solo part out of curiosity and the interviewer they put me with said something to the effect of 'I know this job sounds bad, but actually it's even worse.' I was desperate for a job because I didn't land one straight out of college, but I was glad not to hear back from them after the interview..."
Here's hoping you don't have a job interview scheduled and this just amplified your anxiety 1000%. The nice thing to remember is that these horror stories are few and far between.
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Believe it or not, Canadians don't live in igloos or freeze to death all year round. If you go to Germany, it's highly unlikely that every German you meet will be cold and uninviting. Hop over to the United Kingdom and you're not going to run into tons of people with terrible teeth and bad hygeine.
These are called stereotypes, my friends, and it's best you leave them at the door. People were more than willing to strike down some stereotypes about the countries they know and love after Redditor HelloThere577 asked the online community,
"What are some false stereotypes about your country?"
"When most folks envision Scotland, they think of kilts, whisky, bagpipes, and red hair.
All of those things exist (and are common) here.
People might also imagine verdant hillsides, rocky bluffs, and skies that randomly switch between clear and cloudy.
Once again, that's completely accurate.
However, one stereotype which has absolutely no foundation, in reality, is the assumption that Scotsmen are constantly hunting haggis. In fact, haggis-hunting only takes place in February (which is the season for deosil haggis) and May (which is the season for widdershins haggis). For the rest of the year, the haggis is more or less left alone."
"I am originally from Portugal and moved to the United States. Around 80% of the people that I have met thought Portugal was either in South America, owned by Brazil, or a part of Spain. When I first came here it made me really sad."
"If the wildlife hurts or kills you in Australia, it's generally because you are f***** stupid. You are 10000 times more likely to be injured or killed in a car accident in Australia than by anything in nature."
This is likely very true, but knowing me, I'd probably be easy pickings for one of those huntsman spiders.
"That we end every sentence with "eh" and drink maple syrup by the gallon and have moose and igloos in our backyards."
You mean... you don't?
Just kidding. Canada is lovely––visit sometime. It's a lovely place.
The United States
"That we always have a shotgun at the ready. A shotgun is a home gun where a pistol is your everyday gun. Your revolver is your dress gun, for special occasions. Then of course your assault rifle is for when you're kicking back and cracking open a cold one with the boys."
"Anything related to The Sound of Music."
Probably gets annoying afer a short while. Great movie, though. Still dreaming about a trip to Salzburg.
"A lot of Americans seem to think we're inbred because we're an island. This is dumb, because it's a very big island (10th biggest in the world), and it's not isolated, we've been invaded, invading, and trading with the mainland for thousands of years."
"That we are car thieves. Crime was widespread in Poland in the 90s but today crime (including theft) rate in Poland is low."
"We do gesticulate a lot, but we definitely don't yell like crazy."
It seems Italian Americans are the ones who could learn a thing or two about being more reserved.
"Iceland. We're not some utopian Disneyland filled with quirky superstitious people that all believe in elves."
Remember: The world is an enormous place filled with people from all walks of life, and they don't take too kindly too stereotypes. Expand your horizons by having conversations with as many people as possible. You'd be surprised how quickly your preconceived notions will vanish.
Have some stories of your own? Feel free to tell us about them in the comments below!
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