There's a huge difference between a nice guy and a "nice guy." Actual nice guys treat women with respect simply because they're human beings and all humans should be treated with respect unless they prove themselves to be terrible people. The "Nice Guy" is a whole other monster. "Nice guy" always has an ulterior motive. "Nice guy" isn't nice to women because they're human, he's nice because he wants something in return - and he often flips out in scary ways when he doesn't get it.
One Reddit user asked women to share their worst "nice guy" stories. We only selected a few, but this list could go on for days. It seems most women have at least one awful "nice guy" story - and that's indicative of a HUGE problem ... but that rant is for another article. For now just kick your feet up and enjoy the cringe.
Some entries have, as always, been edited for language and clarity.
When I was in college, there was this guy that hung around my friend group. No one actually knew which one of us brought him in, so maybe he just decided to crash, who knows. But he was creepy. He hit on ALL the girls in the group aggressively and whine DAILY about how we should just give him a chance to show us "how a lady should be treated". We usually just rolled our eyes, although a few of the guys took him aside on separate occasions and told him to knock it off.
He also went way over the top in a lot of ways. He'd bring the girls flowers or memorize their favorite candy/soda/snacks and present them as a "token of his great affection" (yep, he called it that). He had a bad habit of insisting, like legit would not take no for an answer, on walking the women wherever we needed to go. Myself and my best friend at the time both told him his behavior was creepy.
There were three women in the "core" group, and five others who were close enough that they'd show up at LAN parties or whatever we were doing. He asked every single one of us out at least 50 times. Every single time we said no, he'd go off on this awful tirade about how women didn't want nice guys, and how we should just be open to the possibility of him being "the love of our lives". It did not matter how many times we told him we were not interested, not attracted, or IN RELATIONSHIPS.
Sophomore year, a new girl joined the group. For whatever reason, she liked our Nice Guy. A lot. Weird. But he wasn't in to her at all. A few of us started using his own BS rhetoric against him when he began whining about her not leaving him alone. It was pretty gross.
Mom Encouraged Him
Anyhow, nothing ever happened and I got a boyfriend until I was 23 at which time we broke up.
This is when Mr nice guy swooped in showing up at my house with flowers and gifts unannounced. I never gave him my address....he asked MY MOM. Then he would notice I posted I had a cold on Facebook and would show up with cold medicine and soup. Which would be nice if I had ANY interest in him but I didn't. He would look where I checked into on FB and COINCIDENTALLY just be there. I felt bad being like "dude STOP" because my mom invited him to every family function and I didn't want to make things weird.
It hit the pinnacle when he got a job where I worked just to be closer to me and he told everyone we were dating. Spoiler alert- we were definitely NOT. I flipped out on him and told him he was creepy and that after all these years he never took the hint after me never answering his calls/texts or taking him up on his relentless attempts to take me out to dinner. I quit my job and moved, blocked him on everything and had a firm conversation with my mom about keeping him away from me. She was upset and made excuses for him but ultimately obliged.
Years later I'm now married with a baby and he still relentlessly pursues me if he sees me in public.
He wanted to impress upon me what a good guy he was, and he was also too scared to ask me out like a normal person. He killed two birds with one stone by having his "split personality" tell me it really wanted to kill me, but Nice Guy was bravely holding it back because he liked me so much. Obviously I fell head over heels immediately. Not.
I have a client who hits on me. He knows I am married because he mentions it. He also lashes out verbally if I say things he doesn't like, which is truly scary. He is 55+, never moved out of his parent's house, and spends his mom's money for everything. She is in her 80's and works two jobs to pay for his toys. One day, she came in with him to see if there was anything we could do to get his bills lower since she is struggling, and he started lashing out at her. "Shut the F*ck up. SHE ISN'T TALKING TO YOU!" and "YOU'RE STUPID!! SHUT UP!" I felt honestly worried for his mom.
Anyway, he would purposely let his insurance lapse so he would have an excuse to come in and sign a form so he could talk to me. He was very blatant about it as well. He always threw his mom under the bus for not "paying his bills" but then would talk about how he bought this or that and then would say "I know I should've paid that insurance, but I couldn't pass up a chance to come say hi to you."
One day, he called to use his mom's credit card to pay his bill. I didn't answer the phone right away because I had another client with me. He keeps calling over and over and over again. Finally, after the client left, I picked up the phone and he started yelling at me. I asked him why he was so upset and he said "I COULDN'T GET YOU ON THE PHONE TO PAY MY BILL SO I USED THE MONEY TO BUY BASEBALL CARDS!!! THIS IS YOUR FAULT! NOW I CANNOT PAY MY INSURANCE! THIS! IS! YOUR! FAULT!!" then slammed the phone down on me.
Just this past month, his vehicle broke down, so he had to go buy another one. His mom went with him. He had insufficient credit, so his mom had to buy it under her name. I told them I could not add the vehicle to the policy since the vehicle was not titled to him. We would have to cancel the policy and she would need to put it on her insurance plan, which was with a different agency.
Finally! I was free!
Until he came in last week to sign the cancellation form, a document that is time-stamped. When he arrived and I didn't have the form already printed out, he went off on me right there. 'YOU SHOULD'VE HAD THIS FORM READY!" and claimed I was being incompetent. I told him it was a time-stamped form and that the document is not generated until the client is sitting in front of me and ready to cancel because it has to be signed that moment. He signed the form and stomped off. I felt relief that I wouldn't have to deal with him anymore until he came back in the door and said "Btw, let me know when you break it off with your husband! I might have to come back and get insurance from you again."
I let me husband know everything, just in case.
TL;DR: Client of mine blames women for everything, hits on me, and tries to catch me in my office alone.
I was friends with a coworker. We had hung out a few times socially after work and got along well but it never really occurred to me to wonder if he was interested in me. At that point in my life I did not get a lot of male attention, and honestly was pretty cringey myself, but that's for a different thread.
Anyway we were walking side by side and I guess he went to put his arm around me. It surprised me (like that 'someone is tapping you on the opposite shoulder' trick) and I turned abruptly. He took it as incredibly rude, gave me an angry lecture about leading people on and how disgusting you make someone feel when you literally flinch from their touch, and called me a b*tch. Uh... sorry for my reflexes?
About a week later another friend came to me at work to let me know that guy was telling everyone I was a whore who was sleeping my way through the department. Nice!
The dumbest part was that I probably would have gone on a date with him if he'd asked--I just had no idea he was thinking along those lines. Bullet dodged!
Happens To Men, Too
I worked with a gay guy for a 5 month period. I was only at the job temporarily and he was nice and wasn't weird at first. I am sure he was interested because he kept commenting on my body, like if I would scratch my arm he would mention that I was 'showing my arm and flexing.'
I made it known I wasn't gay at all and he didn't take my declines nicely.
I eventually moved back home as the temp job was over with. I had to make up a lie about getting rid of my phone and deleting my social media to focus on my life. Blocked him on social media but this was before you could just easily block someone's number. He would text me randomly even though I told him I 'got rid' of my phone. Really gave me chills even having to remember something from years ago.
"A Man Not A Whale"
"Nice Guy" who worked down in HR. (Was completely incompetent too but that's another story.)
Anyway, he'd come up with excuses to come see all the single women in the building. He'd stand too close to you. Sometimes he'd stand in your doorway and just stare for a while without saying anything. Always very creepy when you'd look up and there'd he'd be.
He liked to ask incredibly personal and invasive questions. He'd complain to anyone who listened about how women just didn't want a "nice guy" like him. He faked being into several different religions trying to pick up a "good girl" because he didn't want a smoker or drinker (despite being both those things himself) and wanted a virgin who wasn't a "fatty" because he was a "man not a whale" (he was tubby himself).
He also believed that if he met up with a group that had women in it, those women were dating him. And he'd get very mad if said women paid more attention to another man in the group than him, sometimes just get up and leave.
One Friday a group of workers were going out for drinks after work. He invited himself along, so one of the women in the group said, "See you there!" He decided this meant they were dating. Then when she didn't pay attention to him much during the night and talked more to her new, male coworker - he just got mad and left without a word.
Nobody knew what happened to make him leave. Until the rumor mill started up because he told everyone that his female coworker had "cucked" him that night.
Stalking You For Your Own Good
In college, I played a lot of online video games. I posted on forums related to these games often. One guy, we'll call him Bob, decided to show me how careless I'd been with my personal information. This lead to a phone call, on a number I never provided, during which he told me what dorm I lived in, at what campus, as well as information from public records regarding my family. On this call he told me how easy it would be for him to get there. This was quite frightening, and when I put him on blast publicly for it, he stated he was "trying to show me how careless I'd been" and prove a point so I would be more careful and how he was just trying to protect me.
Years later, I went to a group meet-up with a bunch of people from this forum with a guest I knew already, and he called me, on the same number (should've changed it) to ask me to wait for him outside, because he knew what I looked like. My guest and I met up with everyone and pretty quickly left.
Mom, Vomit and Frank Sinatra
A waiter at a restaurant left his number on my bill and asked me on a date. I was single and agreed because we had mutual friends who vouched for him and he seemed nice.
Night of the date, he shows up to my house absurdly overdressed (there was a vest involved) with a single rose that he presented to me. He took me to a basketball game, and the second I sat down the stranger to my left just says "Oh, you must be L! We've heard so much about you." Turns out the two people sitting to my left were not strangers but in fact HIS MOTHER AND FATHER.
We then go to dinner, he turns white as a ghost and excuses himself to the restroom for maybe 30 minutes. At this point I start to worry and get the check. He then comes back looking incredibly unwell and I say, clearly you're ill, don't worry about taking me home -- I'll grab a cab. He wasn't having it and insisted on taking me home because he had another "surprise" planned for me.
There's a road that has famous views where I live, and he took the road to one of the lookout points, parked the car, and turned on Cheek to Cheek by Frank Sinatra. He got out and asked me to dance with him, and I said we should just look at the view. Then he proceeded to vomit absolutely everywhere. I shrieked and jumped back into the car to avoid him vomiting all over me. He takes me home and then calls me an hour later to tell me it was the best night of his life.
I tried to tell him I wasn't interested but he wouldn't take no for an answer. He claimed I would never find anyone who treated women like queens the way he did, said I would never find anyone more chivalrous, and dropped off a letter at my home in the middle of the night that contained the most horrible things anyone has ever said to me. He also had a major affinity for three-piece suits and porkpie hats. Fun times.
Dumping The Boyfriend For You
A guy tried to take my phone and use it to text my then-boyfriend that we were over. When confronted, nice guy said my boyfriend didn't treat me right, or else we wouldn't be doing long distance this was during college, and he was 1.5 hours away by train.
When I obviously got mad, he called me a b*tch, a whore, and an idiot for not realizing what I had in front of me. Cue 3 days of emo/angsty facebook statuses with me tagged in them. I block him. He cries about why we aren't friends anymore, I ask him to give me some time and we can try again. 1.5 days later, dick pic. When I didn't respond to that, he sent me a long, handwritten letter about how perfect my body and how he would treat me like a princess, especially in bed.
Weekly Updates And International Roaming Charges
I was dating a guy who had 3 roommates: 2 normal people who I was friends with and Dave.
The 2 normal roommates were old friends of mine and were dating. I worked M-F and Jay, my boyfriend, worked T-Sat. Our usual arrangement was I would drive out after work Friday and drive home Sunday night. This allowed me to spend Saturdays with my friend. I'd typically arrive a little before Jay got off work and I'd have the house pretty much to myself since my friend and her boyfriend also worked.Dave worked night shift, so he was usually asleep.
Soon I noticed that when I got there, Dave not only was awake but he'd come out and greet me in the driveway. He wouldn't ask if he could carry my stuff, he'd just grab it out of my trunk but he would never take it to Jay's room. Then he'd follow me to wherever I went to sit and tell me everything that Jay did that week. This went on for a month until he comes out and tells me that Jay doesn't deserve me and he's going to hurt me and I really belong with a nicer guy. Someone more like him.
I told him this conversation was over. He'd drop it....for a week. The next time I saw him he'd tell me all the "shady" things Jay had done that week. One time he told me he'd heard Jay on a "very intimate" phone call on a Monday when I was at work. Which I knew about because I was the person on the other end of the line. Dave's behavior at this point had everyone in the house so pissed off that they all ignored him.
This guy would not stop. At one point I was on a 2 week vacation with my parents in Canada. My phone rings and my friend's (Jay's roommate) name came up on my cell phone's caller ID. This worried me because she knew I was out of the country and would only call if it was an emergency. Thinking something bad had happened, I answered - international roaming be damned.
It was Dave.
He "borrowed" my friend's phone to call me and tell me that a female had come to the house and she and Jay were all dressed up when they left. I told Dave that was Carrie, Jay's cousin. They were dressed up because they were going to their grandfather's funeral. And then proceeded to tear him a new as$hole over the phone for his behavior.
About a month later Jay and the normal roommates found a new place. Dave was not invited to join them.
A List Of Complaints
I was working as a nurse assistant in a nursing home. There was a MUCH older man that worked in the kitchen, like 30+ years older than me. He would always tell me how beautiful I looked and give me long hugs. It felt creepy but I honestly thought he was just trying to be nice in an older fatherly type way. I didn't want to make things awkward since he worked the same shift as me so I put up with it.
One day, he asked what my favorite coffee was. I told him nonchalantly thinking it was just a conversation starter. Later during my shift HE BROUGHT me that coffee. He walked to a coffee shop during his break and bought it for me. At this point I started realizing he's being too friendly and my instincts were right.
I kept refusing as he insistently shoved it at me. When I was refusing, he pretended he didn't understand what I was saying because of a language barrier. He's from China but has lived in the states since he was a kid!! I felt so uncomfortable and was tired of trying to explain myself and have him dismiss me so I just took the coffee.
Shortly after that, he brought a box of chocolate to work for me. Once again I kept refusing but he insisted it was for me, he didn't like chocolate and wouldn't eat it. After that I mentioned that I was married with a toddler. He had a disgusted face - not at me being married but having a child and asked me why I had a child so young. I was 25 when this happened, and had a 2 1/2 year old at the time.
Later on I was visiting with some residents in the activity room and he came in to talk to me. He started talking about how good my body was, how he couldn't tell I had a child.
He then grabbed my butt.
I tried to turn away and he let go, but then he continued talking about how tight my butt is and how perfect my boobs were, after looking straight at my chest he then swung his arm behind me and grabbed my butt again, bringing me into him. I felt so violated. I spent months thinking this was just some innocent overly nice fatherly type guy, but he was just grooming me. I told my supervisor who immediately told the director of the facility. Within 20 minutes he was fired and I never saw him again.
The next day the director called me into her office and said she had several complaints against this employee and as soon as she heard my story and saw how he was escalating she knew she had to fire him immediately. I was so scared after that, every shift I walked out to my car late at night I thought he'd be out there.
1. Him bragging to other women employees about him hiring sex workers and treating them to Olive Garden before a night with them
2. Him viciously attacking another female employee, calling her "fat" "stupid" etc, in front of their boss and other peers.
Those are just the complaints I heard from my friends after this happened, who knows what else he did.
I knew this kid in high school who was a massive anime fan - like the bad kind that gives everyone else who likes anime a bad name. Also he claimed he was a germaphobe. I was the only girl in our class group and a pretty shy anime fan myself, so I became target number one. According to him: "if he doesn't make me his wife people will think he's gay." (I wish I was kidding).
Teachers and students told him to back off, but he always started back up. Eventually I aggressively told him to "back the f*ck off." Of course he started calling me names and claimed I was being an "ice queen". He then asked why I wasn't interested in him - as if his behavior wasn't enough. I said:
"You claim to be afraid of germs, yet you smell like you haven't bathed in a month and you won't stop touching me!"
Then he started claiming he was a vampire.
Explaining Your Role In Life
Had a guy once tell me that I was "not doing my duty as a woman" by not having sex and getting pregnant to give a man his babies, He claimed that was my "role" in life.
There was further outrage expressed when I went on to explain that not only was I single, not 'sexing it up', not a mother, and not PLANNING on being a mother - but also that I'm a daycare educator that cares for other people's children. I told him I love my job and don't plan on having kids so that I can continue caring for these kids I love. He was livid. Like, screaming at me in anger. Fairly sure the words slut and whore were used several times.
I also dared to mention I live with a guy who I'm not, nor have I ever had any interest in - and was told that if he (the angry guy) was my roommate; he would not allow me to work in that industry and I would be having his baby. According to him, there's "no way" my roommate doesn't want to have sex with me. He told me "every guy wants to f*ck every girl he knows, it's biology."
I told him that if my roommate had really been spending the last 10 years of our friendship with me just to sleep with me - he's pretty f*cking patient. That just made angry dude more angry.
No Such Thing As A Free Ride
I used to get public transport home from university each day. I made friends with a guy who shared most of my classes and it turned out he lived quite near me. One lecture finished late and he offered to drive me home so I didn't have to get public transport alone at night. I thanked him profusely, as I really didn't feel safe alone at night. All went well.
Couple days later I was leaving uni and he offered again, I told him he didn't need to, but he waved it off and said he was happy to. Over the next semester he made a habit of offering to drop me home whenever we ended the day with a class together. When I tried to offer to pay for petrol or pay for his lunch as a thank you, he would just reiterate that he really didn't mind and he was happy to do it.
One day when he's driving me home he seems to be in a really bad mood. Gripping the steering wheel really tightly and only replying with single monosyllabic words. When we get to my house i ask if he's ok. He doesn't reply so i go to get out of the car, then he angrily says "are you EVER going to invite me inside!?" I must have said something like "huh, what?" Coz he then yells "I've been giving you free rides for MONTHS and you've never invited me in afterwards! Are we EVER going to have sex??"
I was so surprised and shocked I think i just got out of the car and walked away. This guy, who i thought was my friend, who i had offered to pay for the rides, thought he was entitled to sex because he had voluntarily been offering me rides.
To reiterate: i offered to pay him for the rides, i never asked for a ride (he always offered and even insisted), and he had never asked me out on an actual date (i had no idea he thought of me that way).
I felt so betrayed. Made it worse when he then told our mutual uni friends that id been stringing him along and using him for free rides.
The "Concealed Nice Guy"
Through four years of high school I had a solid group of friends. A concealed nice guy was one of them. We shared similar likes, similar classes, had back-and-fourth banter and inside jokes. I was never attracted to him for a single minute, and he never flirted, asked me out, or declared himself until the last week of senior year when he confessed he "always loved me." Being young and stupid and wanting to salvage a friendship, I dismissed his feelings gently and with humor, giving him the "let's be friends" speech.
He refused to let it go and kept demanding the relationship continue to the next level because "it was time" and we had so much in common. He joked we were like a couple already. I had to ghost him after that because it was so uncomfortable.
Months later, I gave him another chance and began talking to him again - and the love declarations started again. I had to drop him again. Every conversation ended with declarations and obsessed confessions.
He started making a pattern out of this. To reintroduce himself the next time he would create fake profiles as other guys, flirt or solicit sex and gauge my reaction. Then would come his big reveal like "It was me the whole time!" sort of thing. I told him we could not be in contact anymore, then silence for months.
Later, in college, we did start being friends again because I figured he would have been over it by this point. Bad idea, I know this now, I was stupid. He started posting publicly on my Facebook wall. His first public post was: "Will you marry me?"
It was my sophomore year of college when he began posting publicly about how much in love he was, our imminent future marriage, our three children (I would have them early), the fact that he would go to graduate school and I would raise them (huh?)
Detailed plans of our future life together were posted to my Facebook. He even changed his relationship status. Multiple rejections later and he said he was becoming an alcoholic because of me and that he would kill himself if I didn't save him (right). Ultimately, I severed that whole connection completely because of how emotionally draining it was.
The Rollerblade Escape
My fiance was invited to a class reunion by a "nice guy." He made it seem like a large event only for her to find out they are the only ones. This freaks her out immediately, but it gets worse. Nice guy proceeds to tell her that he has a female persona as well since he has two souls living within him. She quickly decided she had enough and wanted to leave. He offered to walk her home, she declined. Obviously. So "nice guy" follows her until she can get enough speed on her rollerblades to get away from him.
I let my friend stay over after the bar, he was drunk and lived pretty far away. He told me he loved me and after being rejected slept on the floor in front of my bedroom door.
Getting Over A Breakup
We were close, close friends for around five years so I genuinely trusted this dude with all of my being. Just got out of an engagement/ four year relationship so he took it upon himself to assume life had thrown him an opportunity. As far as he was concerned this was his chance to "fix" me.
He literally did things like: throw away entire packs of cigarettes so I wouldn't smoke since I had just started stress smoking. He would pour out my beer when I wasn't looking. He made constant snarky comments about me smoking on weekends. He insisted all of it was for my own good. For sure they were vices but I wasn't abusing any of them.
He insisted that the thing I needed after my relationship ended wasn't cigarettes, weed or alcohol: oh no, it was HIM. After he became aggressive sexually I cut him off.
It sucked, we were always really close.
Chronic Nice Guy Syndrome
I had a guy get fired from my work for kissing the hands of female customers. He would actually say "thank you for your patronage, my lady." The first time someone called about it my manager thought it was a prank but it happened like 6 more times and they fired him over it.
The same guy gave me a ride home once and when he unlocked his car, I opened the passenger door and he like angrily walked over and slammed it shut. He then smiled at me very hard and said "ladies should NEVER have to open their own doors." And then opened it for me and gestured for me to sit inside.
Another girl asked him for a ride once and he said sure, but then she ended up not needing it and canceled. She offered to give him some money anyway, as a friendly gesture, and he told her "wow, so I put away my plans for the day to be nice to a girl and this is all I get? No. How about you buy me lunch for the next week." And actually made her do it.
People Explain Which Strange Things Are Considered Normal In Their Home Country But Weird Everywhere Else
What is in the water in the United States that compels people to walk around in their homes with their shoes on? Try doing that in South Korea––people would be so mortified. I have a sibling whose apartment is carpeted from wall to wall and who walks around inside with his shoes on all the time, tracking in any manner of dirt and dust from outside. Egad! I get chills just thinking about it. And as an American, it's something I've noticed people from other countries love to comment on.
We learned a lot more about things that are considered normal in other countries after Redditor monitonik asked the online community,
"What's normal in your country that's considered weird in others?"
"I grew up in Australia..."
"I grew up in Australia and migrated to Ireland about ten years ago. First thing I noticed was people in Ireland really like to talk about death in everyday conversation: Who died. When the mass is. The removal of the body and the anniversaries of their death. It's so normal in conversation."
"Leaving a baby..."
"Leaving a baby bundled up outside to sleep. When my previous neighbours had a baby, sometimes I would pass it on the porch, just sleeping. Including in winter as long as it wasn't too cold."
And in the United States, rest assured that child services would be called ASAP.
"In Japan, there are public toilets in a few places where after urinating, you can opt to view a general health assessment report."
Sounds like a privacy issue, no?
"I live in Malaysia..."
"I live in Malaysia and nearly everyone here uses at least three languages in a sentence."
Spend some time in Miami. The official language of the city is Spanglish.
"There's this sport..."
"There's this sport in Finland called eukonkanto, where men participate in running a specific distance, all while carrying their wife or girlfriend. Winner gets their woman's weight in beer."
"It's a small country..."
"Probably talking to people so that no one else can hear you except the person you are directly talking to.
It's a skill almost all Dutch people have, I have found, but it can be very unnerving for other people because you can be sitting pretty close to two people having a conversation and have no idea what they are saying.
It's a small country and very densely populated with people who value their privacy. It's a survival skill, really."
Can we bring this to the United States? Why are people so LOUD here?
"Some areas in the country..."
"Saying "hi" or waving to strangers. Some areas in the country take it even further and you're considered rude if you drive through a residential street and don't wave to anyone walking as you pass them."
"If you're walking with a dog..."
"Walking all over the countryside along ancient footpaths (as well as bridleways and byways, and a lot of disused railway tracks that have been designated as footpaths). These paths often go across privately owned land; the landowners are required by law to keep the paths clear, and if they put up a fence to provide a gate.
If you're walking with a dog, you're expected to keep it under control around livestock and when the path crosses a road, but otherwise it's just accepted that dogs are going to run around sniffing everything."
"We have robots..."
"We have robots at busy intersections and crossing points to assist and control traffic flow."
Nice to see Chappie is getting some work.
"The other day..."
"I teach in Japan but grew up in America. The other day my students asked me wide-eyed if Americans really wear their shoes inside. I told them yes and that sometimes my dad would cross his legs like this while we sat on the sofa and I could touch the bottom of his shoes. They were super grossed out. "Eew, why would you wear shoes inside! That's so dirty!" These kids are 2nd graders so it starts pretty young."
It never hurts to travel––you'll broaden your horizons and learn more about other cultures! When the pandemic's over––I mean actually over––and it's safe enough to travel, I might just hire someone to play my wife and take part in that Finnish wife-carrying contest. Some beer sounds great.
Have some observations of your own? Feel free to tell us all about them in the comments section below!
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The brain a fascinating part of the body. No, its the most fascinating.
Scientists have said for years that we'll never know all about the brain and its functions.
So if it is so fascinating and so capable and awesome... why does it stall? Why does it overload?
Why aren't we all gifted with photographic memory? The brain definitely has a full storage issue. And we all suffer.
Redditor u/MABAMA45 wanted everyone to fess up to and just embrace all the things the brain can't handle by asking:
What can your brain just not comprehend?
I'm a smart person. I read, I study, I comprehend. But certain types of math can send me to the funny farm. I tried trigonometry in high school. I needed a therapist after a week. My brain hates math. It is what it is. I give up trying.
Louder!Meme Reaction GIF by reactionseditorGiphy
"I can't comprehend why any company would think I'm more likely to buy their product if they make their commercial 20db louder than all other commercials. Instant boycott."
"The sheer size and scale of the universe. Like the fact that you can fit all the planets of the Solar System between the Earth and the Moon. Now realise how far apart all the planets are in the Solar System. This is practically next door compared to the distance between our Sun and the nearest star."
"There are billions of stars in our Milky Way (with the majority having planets of their own). The sheer scale of the vast emptiness involved means that even when our galaxy merges with the Andromeda galaxy in 4.5 billion years' time, there will be very, very few actual collisions between stars."
"Then there is the void between galaxies, and that it takes billions of years for light, at its speed (massless, and the fastest speed possible), to travel between galaxies, speaks of the sheer emptiness and distance in that void. I can't quite fathom it."
"What was there before the universe, what was there before that, and that and that and (you get the idea)."
"Before" implies that time exists on both sides of an event, but that is not true when we are talking about the universe. Like how there are no positive numbers less than 0, there are no times before the beginning of the universe."
In the Words...
"Language, the fact that we all collectively decided separately and divertingly that certain sounds have meanings and that other sound mixed with those can change the meaning."
"Thanks for all of the upvotes and the award :3."
"Adding onto what I said, sounds are just vibrations in the air that out brains interpret into the sensation of hearing. Really we're vibrating the air at each-other and those air vibrations to your brain contain meaning. When you think about it like this language is not too dissimilar to the internet in a way. Makes you realize how crazy and unique of a skill language really is, with-ought it we wouldn't have a civilization."
"Another interesting thing related to this is when people call your name. Even if your in a crowded area with hundreds of people talking around you and you think your tuning them out if you hear your name you immediately notice, Some part of your brain must be constantly listening."
"Here are some other things my mind can't quite grasp:
- Computers, the fact that my phone is performing countless mathematical operations constantly.
- the plank length, if I understand it right it's the smallest distance anything can move, like a pixel of space.
- the human body and animals in general, were a collection of (large number but idk how large) cells all working together in various systems some how sustaining a brain that is able to be conscious, it's a miracle animals work at all let alone what they're capable of.
- why my ankles crack when I walk.
- what the future will be like, the world is changing so fast it's likely the future will be nothing like we think and it's coming." - Flaer15
I'm EmptyFun Floating GIF by Tomas BrunsdonGiphy
"My little brain can't comprehend the vast emptiness of space and the fact it supposedly just stretches on forever and never has an end. Kind of wild when you try imagine it."
Like any other muscle or organ in the body, we have to listen when pain is inflicted. We have to recognize discomfort and deal. Why don't we allow the same respect to our brain? It will tell us when enough is enough.
Simplicity...Work Working GIFGiphy
"How a simple calculator works. I can do math. I'm actually very good at it. How does a little plastic box do it though? Always boggled my mind."
"Dates. I am considered a historian by my family due to my knowledge on most world history, but God dang dates... I could be talking about WWII and say it happened the same date as WWI."
Billions of People
"That all the others persons I talk to or see, have their own thoughts, own inner dialogue and own life. For gaming analogy sometimes I just feel like others are NPC and I just can't comprehend that there are more than 7 billions person just like me."
The profound feeling of realizing that everyone, including strangers passed in the street, has a life as complex as one's own, which they are constantly living despite one's personal lack of awareness of it."
Now That's Too Much!
"I have a PhD in astronomy and MSc in Physics, and had to take ~2 years worth of quantum mechanics courses. It's one of those things where you can take solace that even with all that education on it all I can say is no one else really understands it either."
And the Dark?
"Light isn't affected by time. So... other things could just exist outside of time? Like, if you were a photon that traveled at light speed for a million years and then hit an alien's third butt, you'd experience it as instantly being a million light years away."
"A photon moves at the speed of light through space, but is standing still in time."
"A person at rest moves at the speed of light through time, but is standing still in space. When you accelerate through space, you're simultaneously decelerating through time. That's why observers will see your clock slow down when you begin accelerating at relativistic speeds. It's referred to as time and space dilation. Makes more sense once you realize that."
"There are people who don't have an internal dialogue with themselves. So, they never question if they are right or wrong. They never wonder if they are treating someone fairly, or if they are nice or mean."
"They can change their minds with no information, but it doesn't involve the process most of us go through when confronted with an opinion, or new data. It's not common, but it's not entirely rare. When I learned about this, I just couldn't understand how it was even possible."
The EndSeason 2 Episode 10 GIF by The SimpsonsGiphy
"Death, obviously I understand why people die and all that but just thinking what happens afterwards. What's it like for the said person that died, is it just blackness? Is it like they're dreaming??? Reincarnation?? This probably sounds very stupid but I don't care 🤦🏻♀️🤷🏻♀️"
There is so much to learn, and even more that we'll never know. And that's ok. When the brain is full, it's full. Seems like just a part of life. The mysteries will sometimes stay illusive.
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It's okay to hate things.
Some things deserve to be hated. Internet trolls, people who mistreat animals, and individuals who talk during the movie are most definitely worthy of the scorn they gain. However, there are some items and topics which could do with a bit of rebranding. Instead of being "Hate Me," they instead deserve a sign that says, "I'm Really Not That Bad."
What doesnt need the hate it gets?
They say you hate what you don't understand. Clearly, they were thinking of things like the entries below when they came up with that expression as all of these fit the bill of being hated for not being understood.
It Cycles Past Judgement Into Comfort
"Sleeping with stuffed animals. You're never too old for that."
"Somewhat mature: Not needing a stuffed animal in order to sleep.
Very mature: Sleeping with one anyway because you don't give a f-ck what other people think."
Long Live The King
Most unfairly villainized and maligned animal in the world all because of some stupid Disney movie. They are not scavengers at all they hunt 90% of their prey and lions steal food off of them far more than they steal off lions. They are highly intelligent predators with an equally important role to play in the ecosystem."
They Go Through More Than Anyone Will Realize
I can personally confirm that I was a piece of work in grade school--then high school. And it wasn't because of teachers--it was because of me."
"As someone in high school rn, I agree with this. They get paid too little to deal with my laziness and bullsh-t"
You might have been told, either by a friend or a family member or some misguided news source, that the following topics are deserving of your hate. That their mere existence is something to shun and hate.
That's not the case.
It Tastes Soooo Good
"MSG. It's like salt but on crack and exploding with flavor."
This was a pretty racist phenomenon that got built up around Asian restaurants in the 70s and 80s.
"Essentially some study came out that MSG was bad for you and caused headaches, racing heart and basically anything else that might be considered bad. They even came up with a diagnosis for it "Chinese Restaurant Syndrome" and it was recognized as a legit medical diagnosis.
However, the FDA had already tested it and on retest found that it was still basically as safe as anything else you put in your food. .
The original studies were really flawed in that they weren't blind and there was already this perception that MSG was bad because they were racists/xenophobic."
You Know Bananas Don't Normally Look Like That, Right?
"GMOs. Humans have been slowly doing that since we started cultivating crops, now we can just do it quicker. And there are millions of people who rely on GMO crops to not starve to death."
It's important to be cautious about your own safety and well-being. No one is trying to convince you to take unnecessary risks.
However, sometimes that thing you were worried about might not be as deadly as you imagined.
They're Not All Chernobyl
"People freak out because of the radiation but almost everyone is oblivious to the amount of crap a coal or oil powerplant dumps in the atmosphere."
"Nuclear waste is relatively easy to store and modern nuceal powerplants have good safety records."
They're Just Words
Chemist here. The word "chemicals"
Toxicologist here. "Chemical free" ugggggg makes me so mad. Anything can be toxic at the right dose
Seriously. Don't Be That Parent.
"TV shows made specifically for toddlers. They are toddlers. It's all colors and shapes and being excited over simple things. That's what toddlers are about. YOU don't need to watch the show. It's not for you."
Do certain things and people deserved to be scorned? A look at Twitter will say a resounding, "Yes." But with a keener eye, and a closer look, you'll see that misinformation or misunderstanding can guide misguided to hate.
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Going to college is an exciting experience. You meet new people, learn about the world and the inner workings of society, and make lasting friendships. As fun (and expensive *cough, cough*) as higher education can be there is a reason that only one-third of the US population 25 and older have been able to complete a four-year degree program. It is hard and burnout is real.
Going through university was filled with both happiness and sometimes tears for me. I loved school and found my classes interesting, dove into extracurriculars, and had that perfectionist drive to get all A's... totally not sustainable. It hit me I was totally burnt out about two years in while enrolled in an algebra class.
I wanted to give up, I was flustered and spent way too much time trying to get a great grade in a class that just wasn't clicking for me. What did I do? I had to take a step back and reflect on what I would tell a friend in the same shoes. I would tell them they don't need to be perfect, that getting a C+ in one class wasn't going to wreck their whole GPA, and for the love of God drink water too won't just coffee.
Self-care and stealing extra sleep, even just an hour nap, can go a long way to refreshing your drive. The takeaway really was just to show me the same love and support I'd been putting out to those around me. You deserve it, too!
Redditor peachyjams asked:
"What are some tips for a burnt out student?"
The Reddit community gave this user some wonderful tips and tricks to help with student burnout.
Go at your own pace.
“Don't pressure yourself into 4 years. It's OK to take it slower. Balance out your schedule with more enjoyable elective credits if you can, or just take less courses in a semester if possible.”
“Obviously things like financial aid, living costs (if not living at home) and others may play a factor in how many courses you need to take or how quickly you need to complete college, so if you can't take less courses, talk to your advisor or counselor and work with them to carefully plan out each semester so that your coursework is balanced IE: You don't end up accidentally taking Calculus + "Fun," art class that was 1000x more work than you thought it would be in the same semester.”~zachtheperson
“Burnt out doesn't begin to cover it.”
“I feel very qualified to answer this. I have been in college continuously since I was 18, and I'm now 32. I have 2 years to go before finishing my doctorate. I currently have an associate's, bachelor's, and master's. I have also worked the entire time. Burnt out doesn't begin to cover it. Here is how I stay sane:
- Give school as little bandwidth in your life as possible. "Good enough" are the two most beautiful words in the English language. Get Bs on things. Write your assignments and due dates on a master calendar, block off times to get them done, and try to avoid thoughts of school outside of those blocks.
- To increase productivity during your work blocks, use Freedom or something similar. I paid for a lifetime subscription and in one class alone it paid for itself. It just blocks access to your distractions on the phone and computer while you get stuff done.
- Tackle other hobbies in life that you see progress in outside of school. Even if it feels like school will never ever end and you're on a treadmill of misery going nowhere, you can go somewhere in other areas of your life. I'm currently training for a marathon, just started learning cello, I mentor first gen college students, and I'm in a book club. Pick your poison, but try to put away the laptop and push yourself in a non-academic area.
- Your social needs may vary, but try getting together with other people not in your circle of school misery. Join a sports league (yuck for me but maybe not for you). I host regular dinner parties. Volunteer. Now that vaccines are out, make sure you get one then connect with other people.
- DO NOT TAKE A BREAK. When you stop school even for a semester you know what it's like to be happy and not have the weight of misery pulling you down. You won't want to go back. Slog through and just do it.
- Don't reward yourself with damaging things. Don't eat or drink your rewards for school or you will be unhealthy and unhappy when you're done. Reward yourself with something positive instead."
If I had to recommend one book, it would be 'Burnout: The Secret to Unlocking the Stress Cycle'. Basically, it goes into the science of feeling burned out, why it's bad for you, and how to fix it on a physiological level."
“If you don't want to read the whole thing, if I could distill the most useful information it would be: exercise. The author digs deep into the science (which I love) behind why it works SO DAMN GOOD, but if you hate science and reading, trust me. Go for a run a few times a week, lift weights, dance a lot, just get your heart rate up. Good luck. School sucks."~bicycle_mice
You don’t have to be perfect.walking dead love GIFGiphy
“If you're an A student I would suggest lowering your personal bar. Being constantly burnt out isn't worth the 0.2 difference in your GPA and if you're worried about career prospects there are always comparable fields that aren't quite as competitive.”
“Trying to get an A in every class takes disproportionally more work. If you can get A's and a few more B's while getting to chill every once and a while and not stressing, do that.”~SlightlyOvertuned
Lists are seriously underrated.
If your sensation is of being overwhelmed (i.e. you have an impossible amount of work to do with no end in sight) more than burnt out (you are exhausted and becoming detached from the work), then two tips:
- Realise that it's not infinite. If you stick it out until graduation (and I hope you do!), then many of the problems you're accumulating will be wiped clear. Perhaps your GPA/final grade won't be as good as you want, but remember that whatever you're facing now - this too shall pass. Knowning that there is an inevitable light at the end of the tunnel is useful for me.
- Make a list. If you are the under-organised type, making a list of things to do each morning on a sheet of paper dramatically reduces the stress level that those items cause you. You can implement some fancy to-do software if you prefer but tbh a daily todo is simpler and more effective...”~alexandicity
A book and a blanket? Make it so.read new york GIFGiphy
“When I was a burnt out student I took solace in a comfort zone activity. Something unrelated to my school work that I could dive into for a little while when I needed a break. For me, this was reading the Lord of the Rings.”
“What works for you depends one what's in your comfort zone, but it should be something that you can easily pick up and put down again when it is time to get back to work.”
“To this day, I still read the Lord of the Rings when I get stressed or overworked. In fact, I am reading it now, for the 48th time.”~khendron
“Lots of things you could try! Sleep. 8 hours a day, wake up spontaneously without an alarm and if you feel the need do a 30-90 minute power nap in the afternoon.”
“Meditate daily, 5-30 minutes to start in the morning or whenever you feel comfortable. Limit the consume of caffeine.”
“Plan a healthy diet you can stick to, reducing the amount of junk food first to focus later on the composition of your main meals, snacks and so on. Eat plenty of greens, fruit, nuts and drink mainly water or sugar free drinks.”
“Take cold showers. Those are a huge boost, especially in the morning. Decompress. As someone said, take the days you need to just do nothing during your week. Last but not least, workout! Start small, build the habit and stick to it!“~Tha_Sin
“...it's pretty normal in our over worked society.”
“Burnout is real. It means you have given too much of yourself to something, and you need to recover. While deadlines don't wait, professors often will. “
“You have to communicate with them if you are struggling. If they are worth their pay, they will do their best to accommodate you. It's unhealthy to continue under so much stress. Be kind to yourself.”
“Nearly everyone experiences this at some point in life, and it's pretty normal in our over worked society. Do what you can to clear your mind. Assign yourself a certain number of hours to completely shift gears away from all these responsibilities.”
“Set an alarm if you have to, but give yourself enough time to reach a stage of full body relaxation. You can try walking, meditating, sleeping, whatever your body needs. Just listen to it! There is no shame here. You must care for yourself and keep a balance. Deep breaths, often.”~VaginaWarrior
“Yes to this advice!! Let teachers know ASAP that you are struggling and often they will be able to make accommodations or offer help. Also, looking into counseling services that are offered through the school is definitely worth taking advantage of while that stuff is accessible and free.”~shannonbta
“because a b*tch needs water...”
“My bad day thing is I have to get up, eat (even if it's takeout), put on fresh bedsheets because if I'm having a bad day in bed it might as well be comfortable and smell good, have a shower (even just shoulders down) and go for even a small walk, even if it's to the shop or to get myself that takeout."
“They're not huge things to do but they're very difficult on some days. And I don't always do them all, maybe I just eat and shower, or go for a walk, or just change my bedsheets. But all of them are small tasks that feel like mountains but once I do one or two of them they're so so easy, and I benefit from them all mentally or physically or both."
“And I have a litre bottle of water and cup of tea at my side at all times because a b!tch needs water and there are few things as comforting as a good cup of tea in a warm mug to me."~thisisausername-2021
“I didn't pull a single all-nighter in my 4 years of undergrad.”
- “Don't listen to your fellow classmates who boast about study 60+ hours a week, they're either exaggerating, straight-up lying, or have an incredibly inefficient study method. There will be times where you really need to be studying hard for extended amounts of time (ex. finals week), but for the vast majority of the semester it is completely unnecessary to do that in order to get a good grade.”
- “If you do find that you need excessive study in order to do okay in a course then you need to reach out to your TA(s) and professor. Most universities have free tutoring services, use them.”
- “Seriously just take more breaks and get more sleep. I didn't pull a single all-nighter in my 4 years of undergrad and now that I'm in med school I don't have any need for that either. Without real breaks and sleep your brain's ability to actually store and organize all the information you've studied goes out the window. This is harder to do if you need to work to support yourself but you need to find some semblance of healthy sleeping habits if you want to be able to make it through all 4 years.”
- “Eat real food. Don't just live off of snack foods and coffee, your brain isn't going to work properly if you don't fuel it. It's generally cheaper to buy canned and frozen fruit and veg so if you're on a budget try those aisles. Additionally, most places have some sort of charity or community pantry/soup kitchen, use it if you need to.You don't need to be completely destitute in order to reach out for help from these places, if you are struggling to make ends meet get help from your community. It is not weak, it is not shameful, it's being smart enough to accept that everyone needs help now and then.”
- “I mean it, don't pay attention to classmates and social media influencers who say they spend all their time studying. They almost definitely aren't and if they are they have an unsustainable view towards work/school that will bite them in the butt later on.”~JSD12345
Treat yourself to a mini-vacation.
“If you have any extra money (I know, easier said than done) book the cheapest AirBNB you can find within the area you can get to with the transportation you have available. Go alone or bring a friend, and have a mini-vacation, just for a night or weekend. It's very refreshing to have a change of scenery, even if it's in your same city.”~goshawkgirl
These are some great ideas to help cope with the all to real burnout. Remember to show yourself the grace you give to others because your best is all you can do.