One of my closest friends growing up had a tic that made him involuntarily shake his head as if a fly was buzzing around him. Those of us who knew him understood to just ignore it, but hanging out with him in public meant a never-ending stream of explaining, or people looking around for bugs that didn't exist. One woman thought he was feverishly disagreeing with her and took offense to it. For people with tics - especially facial tics - your days can sometimes be full of sending nonverbal signals that you don't mean to send, and then having to explain it over and over. One Reddit user has a tic that makes her smile when she's feeling emotional tension - and it's been seriously affecting her relationship.
Unfortunately, the girls boyfriend keeps responding to her tick as if it's something she is doing on purpose and it's causing some serious issues. Here is her original post:
I (23F) have a tic that causes me to smile during inappropriate times. This has been triggering fights with my boyfriend (24M)
I involuntarily smile during inappropriate times since I've been a teenager. It happens during very tense moments. For example, when I've been in therapy and have talked about having suicidal thoughts, I grin uncontrollably.
It's especially bad when people are angry with me, and it has caused fights to escalate in the past between me and people I am close to. I will smile when apologizing to my boyfriend of 8 months or when he is yelling at me, and I cannot stop unless I put my hands over my mouth. It makes him question my sincerity and confuses him. He will do things to antagonize me like laugh in my face when I am telling him how I feel because he thinks I am lying about not being able to help it.
I know that people misread my emotional expressions, which is why I prefer to have intense conversations over the phone, but my boyfriend wants to talk in person when he is upset. I have been in therapy for a while, but it hasn't helped with the smiling and I am at a loss for what to do.
tl;dr I smile uncontrollably when my boyfriend is angry at me, but I can't convince him that it's not intentional. How do I come off as sincere when we are having arguments?
Edit: Sorry, I don't have the time to respond to everyone's comments, but I appreciate the outpouring of support! I'm reading every one and will try and post an update in the next week or so.
Reddit didn't hold back with their responses. Here are some of the most honest reactions we found - edited for language and clarity when needed.
Like A HyenaGiphy
Laughter and smiling as a response to stress or trauma are pretty common.
I laugh like a hyena when I'm in pain. Its a thing, it is known.
Your boyfriend sounds like a jerk though, antagonizing you and making fun of you to your face, that's not a nice thing.
Change Your Boyfriend
If you can't change your behavior, you can always change your boyfriend. Your problem is pretty unusual, but it's a failure of empathy on his part that he can't get past that is a known issue you have, and even mocks and antagonizes you for it. Imagine if you had a limp, and everytime you couldn't keep up with him in public he yelled at you to go faster, caricatured how you walked, and punished you for not being capable of walking without one. Would you tolerate that? If you saw someone else doing that to someone, would you think the guy was a gigantic douchebag?
If you're doing everything in your power to correct or prevent your smiling from happening, he doesn't really get to react the way he does. As he does it anyway, I think what we have here is an implacable incompatibility between you two.
Give A Heads Up
I have this problem it's really hard to control. My mom has hit me because if it as a child, cause to her i was laughing at her while she was angry at me.
So now i cry uncontrollably or laugh when very nervous, no inbetween lol. I remember smiling like an idiot when my husband was going through a rough time but i was upset with him not laughing! He didn't notice i hid it well. Hands on face and looking away usually helps.
What i do is i preemptively say that I'm gonna smile if i feel it coming but reassure the person i am not laughing. I feel so bad when it happens that it makes it worse!!
Just A QuirkGiphy
I have a smile tic also. Funerals are the worst for me because I can't stop smiling, or if something bad is happening I will laugh. I believe it is to do with anxiety and not being sure how to react, so you smile to alleviate the stress (I read this somewhere - can't find source).
However, onto the question: I think a partner should always be on your side. My partner knows about my nervous smiling and he understands it - it's just a quirk of mine. The fact your boyfriend is shouting at you and mocking you by smiling in your face when discussing serious matters is awful and you do not have to put up with this - I would never be with someone who mocks and gets angry at things I cannot control. You deserve better.
UPDATE: Some Examples
I have said that, but he has done things like laugh at me or make a hand motion to signal that he's not listening to me.
And when I say "can you not interrupt me when I'm talking to mock me? It hurts my feelings and makes me feel disrespected."
He said "I can't help it"
And then I said "really? You can't help interrupting me to laugh?"
And he said, "Your viewpoint is so ridiculous that it's impossible not to laugh. You're being hypocritical for mocking me for something I can't control."
Ok, your boyfriend straight up doesn't trust you. If someone tells you they have an uncontrollable tic, and then demonstrates that tic repeatedly you have 2 options: Believe them or decide that they are super manipulative and lying so they have an excuse to be a sarcastic asshole to your face and not suffer consequences. Your bf chose #2. That, him laughing at you when you're vulnerable, and the fact you've had enough screaming matches in 8 months for this to be an issue all tells me this is a toxic relationship.
Have More Respect For YourselfGiphy
Dude, and it's only been 8 months? This guy is a douche to the tenth degree. I have been with my husband for 11 years and he has never treated me this way. You guys are supposed to be in your early young love phase and he already treats you with such disdain and resentment? Please have more respect for yourself. There are guys out there who aren't complete self centered douches to their girlfriends. A partner who loves you would see you as a partner, not as somebody to compete with or tear down. The fact that he seems to relish in mocking you is so concerning. He lacks empathy. Omg. You are breaking my heart over here. You could do so much better. :(
He Thinks You're A Liar
I do the same thing. It's actually not uncommon. It often makes people angrier and they'll sometimes ask, "Do you think it's funny? Do you?" and it makes them escalate.
I don't think it's funny at all. In fact, sometimes I'm fucking terrified. But I can't control that stupid, smirking grin. Neither can my brother. We both have it, and when we'd get in trouble simultaneously as kids, mom would be furious because we're grinning at her when she's trying to discipline us. It's a really shitty deal.
A major issue here is that people feel disrespected by our facial expressions when it's something we can't really control. I have to focus on controlling my face when I should be listening to the other person. Your boyfriend feels disrespected when you do this, so he thinks the appropriate response is to disrespect you. He also thinks you're a liar.
That's something you should look at here. Even when my mom felt disrespected by my brother and I, because we're smiling, she didn't respond by disrespecting us. And even though she still finds it upsetting or unnerving when it happens, we've had enough talks that she believes me when I say that it's not a reflection of my feelings or opinion on the situation.
You still have a problem because of that tic, but your boyfriend is also an actual problem here: because he thinks you're a liar, and because he thinks an appropriate response to feeling disrespected is to antagonize and mock you. That's not how a loving partner behaves. So... I really think you should dump him.
Something I do sometimes is, when I'm dating someone, if I'm nervous or scared in a situation but I'm smiling, I'll admit out loud to how I feel-- and sometimes, that opens the conversation to the fact that my smiling doesn't mean I'm happy or flippant. But that's something to consider for future dating experience. I really think your current boyfriend is just a legitimate as$hole.
I have Tourette's, which comes with lots of involuntary tics, some of which are inappropriate facial expressions. I used to have the grinning tic you have.
Your boyfriend is ignorant, and he has to learn the hard way that you're not joking about your condition. I've dealt with assholes like him before - people who think it's all in your head and you can control it if you just have more willpower. I got a cashier fired years ago for cornering me and lecturing me about how I just had a "lazy mind" for not "controlling" my tics. I'm telling you now, he will never just come around and start believing you.
Also, talk therapy won't ever make a tic go away. I'd recommend talking to either a psychiatrist or a neurologist to get some more solid answers, you may have a tic disorder. Even if you don't, you shouldn't apologize for it, it's nothing you can control.
Not What Love Looks LikeGiphy
My wife has a really hard time talking during arguments and while it really upsets me I always tel her it makes me angry she isn't saying anything but that I love her and need for her to try to talk to me. And even though it's hard she tries and talks and I wait and stop talking until she's ready. That's what love looks like, not what you're doing with this fella.
Remember the Dreamcast? If you don't, then you've been missing out. Sit down, sweet summer child, and listen up.
The Dreamcast was a console so ahead of its time that console has been a Dreamcast since there was a Dreamcast. Too advanced to match its competitors, not appealing enough to be considered part of the next generation. I have fond memories of that console. Crazy Taxi was a gem.
Not everything comes out at the right time. We heard about a few other examples after Redditor rentinghappiness asked the online community,
"In your opinion, what’s something that flopped because it was way ahead of its time?"
"It was vastly overhyped..."
"The original Segway. It was vastly overhyped, but now, we're seeing rental scooters and e-bikes change the way people get around urban areas. If the company had offered a Lime-style rental system from the beginning, the product might've become ubiquitous."
The problem with Segway seemed to be that they could not make them cheaply enough to fit into a reasonable personal transportation niche. They were the price of a small, used car. Not great.
"This was before major smartphones..."
"In 2005, two guys tried to create a service called “MyMobileMenu.” The idea was you could order food using a cell phone, similar to DoorDash."
"This was before major smartphones, so When that flopped, they later tried a new adventure and created a company you might’ve heard of: Reddit."
They actually started Reddit from the same code base and haven't updated the video player since.
"Brilliant show that perfectly toed the line between history and fiction. Extremely compelling characters and kick@ss cast. Wasn't very accurate but always authentic."
"Got way too expensive and was canceled after two seasons. If it had been released after GOT or any other epic show in this day and age and it would have been a smash hit."
James Purefoy as Mark Antony is one of my favourite performances from any media ever. What a show. We were robbed of so much further glory!
"An airline called Muse Air failed in 1985 largely in part because it was the first all non-smoking airline. Now everything is nonsmoking. It was purchased by Southwest and dismantled two years later in 1987."
And look at airlines now! Poor Muse Air.
"Those poor bastards waited..."
"Apparently Skype. Those poor bastards waited for the TV Guide channel to slowly scroll for years and just when what they were looking for showed up, they got distracted by the infomercial in the top right corner."
Somehow Microsoft bought it and despite consistently overwhelmingly negative feedback from users, its new director went forward with his own personal vision, and not only put in changes that no one wanted or asked for, but started stripping legitimate preexisting functionality out of the program.
"Sega Channel was such wizardry for the mid-1990s. It was like Christmas every month when they cycled in new games."
I remember this! It was so ahead of its time. It felt like being in the presence of actual magic!
"The movie tanked..."
"Videodrome '83. The movie tanked, but it was so spot on about people being addicted to media, ultraviolence becoming the norm, people adopting online personas, etc."
Truly... David Cronenberg is a twisted genius.
"It was the first commercial film to be shown in stereo and it used an early precursor to surround sound. WWII, high production costs, and the burden of building the sound equipment for showings prevented it from making any money at the time."
This is true! It's a spectacle that was definitely not appreciated at the time of its release.
"Smirnoff has been the laughing stock of alcohol for years. Now all of sudden everyone and their mother wants to drink fermented sugar drinks."
Funny how people came around – seemingly overnight.
"I distinctly remember..."
"The TV show Arrested Development. I distinctly remember the commercials for it and thought, Jesus that looks moronic. Fox chose the more obvious jokes to highlight and tried to make it seem like a zany hijinks type of comedy. They practically added slide whistles and “boing” sound effects to the commercials for it."
"Once I finally watched it I realized it’s brilliant. It was the first American show to do that style of comedy. Hand-held camera work, flashbacks, cutaways, etc. Which is ironic because later everyone would do it."
They made a huge mistake.
Arrested Development is a cult classic, a show made for streaming years before streaming was a thing.
You don't always realize you have a great thing going – and so much of success comes down to timing.
Have some examples of your own to share? Tell us more in the comments below!
Consumers who have money to burn often buy things they don't really need, like travel accessories, specialized sports equipment for an activity they've only done once, or even cookbooks, when plenty of recipes can be found online.
They might be missing out on buying things that could actually make life so much easier because it never occurs to them.
Curious to hear recommendations of items that can improve your life, Redditor icandoitw asked:
"What are some life-changing purchases that are 100% worth it?"
People thought it was worth spending a little extra for a better quality of life.
"Sounds simple but honestly, something as basic as a good pair of shoes that fit you well."
"A good mattress and pillow. We spend a third of our lives lying on it, why not invest in it? Anything that you use a lot, you should seriously invest in, like I have a $400 custom mechanical keyboard. People say I am crazy, but I use it every day, for hours on end, it’s my job."
"If you have trouble sleeping, a weighted blanket. I’ve gone from about 5.5 hrs average sleep per night to 7 hours average which is incredible for me, and I wake up feeling so well rested"
Better In The Dark
"Blackout curtains. Especially in the summertime, they help you sleep so much better."
"Good quality re-useable ear plugs. Soooo much better than the cheap foamy ones."
"They will definitely improve your life if you go to loud concerts. Filter our overtones so you can hear the music better at a loud punk show. Also hearing loss is irreversible and there's no cure for tinnitus."
Clear The Air
"For blind/visually impaired people: A smartphone. They literally are life changing, and can function as numerous separate and extremely pricy accessible devices and can do things like color and money recognition, text recognition, the uses are amazing."
"In general though, if you have allergies, especially seasonal or pet, AIR PURIFIER. When we bought our hous a few years ago, my allergies got so bad, we were almost considering moving, but then i bought an air purifier and it was so life changing, i got one for each floor of our house. One of the best purchases ever."
Life can be made easier with the help of these items.
"A second monitor."
"Suprised i didnt see this yet, but it improves productivity so much as you can have tabs open and type whatever you want on the other or even watch youtube etc."
Taking Stock In This
"3+ gallon stock pot. Boil pasta, potatoes, or whatever without a boil over. No more starch water burning all over the burner."
"a fully functioning computer."
"many people don't have one, they exist in phones or tablets, and holy sh*t they are missing out."
"Washer and dryer. No planning days and accumulating quarters for laundry. Just dump a load in a go about my business."
Save your back and your money by hiring people to do hard labor.
Refrain From Heavy Lifting
"paying for movers to do everything from pack to move all of it."
"never doing that sh*t again."
You Deserve It
"People really underestimate the power of this."
"At least in my social circle, for a long time it was just understood that if someone was moving everyone was showing up that day to lift and lug from house A to house B with the rich reward of beer and burgers after, as if it had all been some fun party everyone loved. This persisted even after people could conceivably afford movers."
"I personally think it is A LOT to expect of friends do that for you. Yeah, when you're young and you have three bags of clothes, two boxes of books, and a futon (and no disposable income at all), it's understandable. But paying for movers and then packers is something I did as soon as I had any money to pay for it. That is what money is for, it's not necessarily what friends are for."
The best pandemic purchase I made that was worth every penny was for several sets of free weights.
Once I canceled my gym membership, I invested in some dumbbells so I could follow YouTube workout videos in the comfort of my home.
They are not cheap; however, I'm saving more money in the long run without having to pay a monthly gym membership fee.
I've seen more gains from using the free weights and following an instructor on a monitor, and my motivation to work out is higher than ever.
If you find yourself plateauing at the gym, you may want to invest in making some changes to your exercise regimen that works for you.
You know, try as I might, I just can't bring myself to bother with The Walking Dead. I quit the show some years ago, probably around the time of that weird fakeout with Glen in the dumpster (and then his actual death right after that), but the truth is that the show was getting on my nerves for some time before that.
Did anyone actually care about all the nonsense going on with Deanna and the citizens of Alexandria? And can we go back a bit further and talk about how ludicrous Beth's death at the hands of some power-tripping officer in a hospital ward was? There was such a noticeable drop in quality after the third season that I questioned why I kept tuning in.
But this show is far from the only one to make people want to throw their remotes at their television screens. People shared their thoughts with us after Redditor regian24 asked the online community,
"What TV show was amazing at first but became unwatchable for you later on?"
The Walking Dead
"The Walking Dead."
"First few seasons were great with pretty good pacing. Later seasons devolve into telling one story at a time. They’d have a cliffhanger of a character maybe dying and do 3 weeks of other stories. By the time it gets back to the cliffhanger you have no idea what’s happening. That and it got repetitive."
See?! What did I tell you? After a splendid first season – one that could have been a standalone miniseries at that – the rest of the series just failed to live up to its initial promise.
"I watched every new episode of Glee when it came out and was slightly obsessed with the show. But as soon as it finished it all crumbled. The show makes no sense, is not good, and I could never rewatch it."
I just couldn't get into it. I found it grating. And the fact that the quality noticeably slipped afterward did not make my friends happy.
"Heroes: biggest drop in quality after season 1."
To be fair, the writer's strike really hurt that show's future. It never stood a chance after that – and my God, did I hear that that second season was horrible.
"Happy Days! Once Fonzie jumped the shark, while waterskiing and wearing his jacket, the show just got progressively worse."
This is the classic answer to this question. Gen Xers like me even use the term "jumping the shark" to refer to things that were once great but now suck.
"The Blacklist. So many loopholes and a never ending plot. I mean, the female hero (forgot her name) was wanted and had her pictures broadcast nationwide live, but a couple of weeks after she can do undercover work."
I couldn't even stand the first episode. I quit right after that. I could tell the quality was questionable.
"Arrow. It's what happens when you try to make so many seasons for a show meant for only a few."
This is true about lots of shows. The writers and executives just don't know when to quit.
Once Upon a Time
"Once Upon a Time. The first 3 seasons were good! And then after that they just kept getting worse."
People actually liked that show? I know, I know... I'm the worst. I just didn't see the appeal and it heard it got so ridiculous.
"A hilarious and intriguing show that slowly grew to be about a bunch of unlikable a-holes making bad, selfish decisions. When there's no one with any redeeming characteristics, there's no one for the audience to get behind."
It started out great but really started to go off the rails with characters making increasingly nonsensical choices. Nancy marrying the Mexican drug lord was the beginning of the end.
That '70s Show
"Not the worst offender, but That '70s Show tanked pretty hard once Eric left. He was sorely needed to make the chemistry of the group work."
Yeah, the way these characters continued to stick together even after that was just embarrassing.
House of Cards
"The first two seasons were amazing. After that it started to get progressively worse."
I would argue that even the second season began to stretch the limits of credulity. I lost interest after the fourth season (and both the third and the fourth seasons were a slog for me to get through).
There is some amazing television out there – I am currently making my way through Six Feet Under again – but there is even more disappointing television that should never make its way into your eyeballs.
Sorry if you've suffered.
Have some suggestions of your own? Tell us more in the comments below!
More often than not, what gets us to keep tuning in to our favorite TV shows, or drawn to certain movies, is to get a glimpse into various professions which fascinate us, but which we wouldn't ever want to work ourselves.
Needless to say, there aren't many people who find the Indiana Jones films to be a remotely accurate depiction of archaeology, or that the Jurassic Park films show what paleontology is really like.
But many people tend to watch iconic procedurals like Grey's Anatomy and Law & Order under the notion that they both give an accurate depiction of the medical field and the legal world.
Only, how accurate are they?
Redditor Just_Surround_2108 was curious to learn which professions have been documented on screen without as much research as one might expect, leading them to ask:
"What profession does Hollywood get completely wrong in films and TV?"
In case you had any doubts about hacking...
"Don't nobody code that fast lol."- lmoore0621
The better question is, what does Hollywood get right?
"Just about anything medical, including deaths."
"Just about anything dealing with space."
"Just about anything dealing with natural disasters."
"Actually, now that I think about it, I don't think Hollywood really gets anything right about anything."- Xyrus2000
"Especially in big firms, it’s a lot of just endless hours in front of a desk doing doc review."
"Sincerely, someone studying to do endless hours in front of a desk doing doc review."- geeeeeetarSeason 2 Nbc GIF by Law & OrderGiphy
For better or worse...
Don't let them in the operating room...
"Nursing."- buhzkillWake Up Coffee GIF by FOX TVGiphy
Drop that baton!
"Oh my god just take a lesson or two and learn how to hold the instrument right."- soysaucemmm
Crunching those numbers... incorrectly...
Accountants. I'm sorry, but the action Thriller "The Accountant" starring Ben Aff-lack, was in no way a true representation of my job. - User Deleted
Defying all laws of motion...
"It's hilarious how they act!."- Prestigious-Order-62back to the future 121 gigawatts GIFGiphy
At least depending on where you went to school...
If we're being honest, most people tune in to watch films or television shows to escape from reality, and aren't usually looking for a documentary on these professions.
Though, for anyone thinking they want to be a scientist after watching Back To The Future... you might want to really think that one over...