Knowing how to comfort someone is a skill that not everybody has. In fact, some of us outright suck at it.
It doesn't make you a bad person -- maybe you're awkward under pressure, or uncomfortable, or didn't have healthy models of empathy. Maybe you just panic and don't know what to do.
A friend once had a beloved and compassionate coworker panic and offer his computer monitor when she cried at his desk. She was gesturing at the box of tissues next to the monitor, but thanks?
He had never seen her as anything other than totally composed and on the ball. Sure, it was a disaster of a day but she was the one who always saved the day without breaking a sweat. Her actually being shaken was such a shock to him that he kind of shorted out and just started panic-offering her things.
Computer monitors are terrible for tear absorption.
One Reddit user asked:
... computer Kleenex wouldn't even crack the top 25. It's kind of disastrous.
Thanks, Teach!Interested Saturday Night Live GIF by HULU Giphy
"So, have they found someone new yet?"
One of my parents died. My parents had been married twenty-five years. A teacher asked me this question five months after the funeral.
She later told my surviving parent that my depression was because I had to share a room sometimes with a sibling. Not because of my dead parent.
A Music Career
At my boyfriend's funeral a girl he went to high school with came up to me and tried to comfort me by saying she knew "exactly" how I was feeling because she was in love with him too.
They never dated, they weren't even friends after graduating high school.
Now she's made a music career from writing sad love songs about him that make it sound like they were together.
Happy Birthday!Episode 4 Birthday GIF by Friends Giphy
A few years ago, I caught pneumonia, and a stomach virus at the same time. Needless to say, I was really really sick. I was in the hospital for 9 days, and one of those days happened to be my 27th birthday.
One of my aunts that I don't really know was in town, and wanted to come visit. When she got there, she gave me a card for my birthday, which was nice, but when I read it, it said "since this looks like it'll be your last birthday, I'll say my goodbyes now LOL".
Now, I'm all for dark humor, but at that point I'd already lost 14 pounds from throwing up, I had a 104 degree fever for multiple days, I was delirious and hallucinating, and hadn't slept in days. I was in legitimate fear that I was actually going to die.
Told my mom after I was better that I didn't want to see that aunt ever again.
The Original Owner Of The Book
People say and do some weird sh*t in attempts to comfort others. Myself included.
But the biggest stand out was when my mother was first diagnosed with stage 4 breast cancer (she is doing great now). She received a second hand book called Cooking and Coping with Cancer.
The original owner of the book didn't need it anymore ... because he died of cancer. So his wife thought my mom would like it.
The intention was kind, but it was just a bit depressing.
When I had my first miscarriage, husband and I were attending a Word of Faith type church.
Their words of "encouragement" were that our baby had died because of some hidden/un-repent sin in my life + my faith wasn't strong enough, and I should just keep praying.
You would think that a church of all places would embrace you in your suffering and loss.
These guys (& gals..) just kind of out-casted us like we would bring them bad luck.
It was a weird time, and after that I found it hard to hang out with any of them or believe most of what they were teaching.
We went on to have a healthy little girl and found a much less toxic church, but to this day if anyone mentions the prosperity gospel to me I have a lot of things to say.
No Dogs Go To Heavendon bluth 80s GIF Giphy
My wife and I got a dog back before we were married. GREAT dog. Wonderful animal. Very much our first child.
Fast forward a few years and our sweet girl had to be put to sleep. I was at work and upset about it. I couldn't stop leaking a little just thinking about her. My very Catholic friend told me that, if it was any comfort, dogs don't have souls.
Panic And Dog Food
I was this person unfortunately. I don't react well with sudden bad news and often say the first thing that comes to my mind out of sheer panic.
I went to get my hair cut in college and as I sat down the small talk started. She asked how things have been blah blah blah. I asked how she had been (it was our first time meeting) and she says "my dog just died."
Immediately the alarms are going off in my head, a man is running around my brain blasting a whistle trying to figure out my next step.
"At least you'll save a ton of money on dog food now."
No... Please no!
Unfortunately it was already said, everyone stopped what they were doing immediately, you could hear a pin drop. She just continued cutting my hair for what was the quietest haircut I've ever got. I couldn't even apologize I felt so bad and so awkward.
I just shut my damn mouth and looked straight ahead while hoping I still had both my ears by the time I left.
"That's What Drug Addicts Do"
My cousin died of a drug overdose, my father called me to tell me the news.
After I got off the phone, visibly upset, I told my husband (now ex) what had happened. He said:
"Well what did you expect to happen? That's what drug addicts do, they die. And he did it to himself, there is no reason for you to shed a tear, get over it."
then went back to playing video games.
I didn't even know what to say to that, and just went to the other room to mourn by myself. It was an abusive situation and I am still in the process of getting divorced 2.5 years later.
How NOT To Treat A Phobia
I used to have a phobia of scarecrows that began when I had a repeating nightmare where I would be chased by one in a dark cornfield.
A girlfriend I had in high school invited me along on a youth group trip. She didn't tell me much except we were going to a camp the next state over and would be doing things like going to an apple orchard.
The first full day, we all get on the bus, and she tells me that we were going to a corn maze.
She hid this from me as she thought it would help with my phobia given she'd be with me and it was day time... I dumbly agreed and made it through the maze while white-knuckling her hand the whole time.
When we got out, I asked how much longer we'd be at the maze... that's when she told me about how it turns into a haunted corn maze at night... anyone want to take a guess at what the actors were dressed as...
It did not turn out well in the slightest.
I had a huge anxiety attack mid-maze and tried to make a b-line for anywhere not the maze by running in a straight line through the field. I got disoriented, I got lost in the field, I could feel my heart pounding out of my chest, I was in the literal setting of my nightmare... and there were multiple scarecrows chasing after me.
Imagine the best day of your life.
You're surrounded by people you love, you're at your favorite place, you're eating your favorite food, and you're favorite band is playing a playlist they put together just for you.
Your ex shows up and admits all their faults and ask your forgiveness without asking to be apart of your life. Your current crush pushes them aside and says they've always had a thing for you and gives you a puppy of your favorite breed saying it is a symbol of your new love....
What ever you're feeling in that moment... what I was experiencing was 100% on the f*cking opposite side of the spectrum.
I eventually desensitized myself to scarecrows by watching movies like Wizard of Oz and Batman Begins on repeat. I'd still slap the teeth out of anyone if they try to get me in a corn maze though.
Things didn't work out with that girl.
I'd rather Burger King
On the day my mother died, I got home after looking after my family, dealing with undertakers etc and the first thing my boyfriend said was he needed me to drive to KFC to get him something to eat. He is now my ex. I wish I could say that was the worst thing he did but it wasn't. That crazy thing is, I don't think he ever acted out of malice, which was a bit of a headscrew because half of me was thinking "he doesn't mean it" so I'd give him the benefit of the doubt and the other half of me knew that if this was just the way he was, nothing was ever gonna change.
It's not Tinder TimeFuneral GIF by memecandy Giphy
When my husband died, someone reassured me that I was young and would find someone else.
At the wake. He was literally not in the ground yet.
During my dad's funeral, when I was a teen, some women told me while I was crying « stop crying, your tears will only multiply and drown your father on the other side ». How about you shut the hell up.
When I miscarried my son my husband's mother told me "Don't worry, you can always have another baby" I know b**ch, but I wanted THAT one.
It's About Me!excuse me omg GIF by CBC Giphy
Been dealing with diagnosed depression for a few months now and lots of people including a therapist said "it's been a rough year for everyone."
Those worse off...
Absolutely hate when someone says "there are people who have it worse." Like I know that, of course I know that, but I'm not talking about other people I'm talking about me and how I feel matters just as much as anyone else.
Just cause you can name someone who has it worse than you doesn't invalidate or make your pain any less important.
I once said to a colleague, who had struggled to conceive, that the positive was she'd gotten pregnant, so it could happen again. And I have never forgiven myself for being such an insensitive cow. I was desperately scrambling for something positive, and I should have stopped at "I'm really sorry dude, that's freaking crap."
Honestly I can see where you were coming from, you were trying to give a silver lining in the bleak situation. I had a similar situation where I worked in a large company, and I had a weekend off only to come back with a baby shower gift and nappies and wipes to surprise a pregnant coworker.
I started talking to her about baby shower themes while her eyes welled up with tears. I stopped and asked what was wrong, she promptly left the room sobbing and I sat there like a knob until another coworker discreetly told me that she had an ectopic pregnancy and ended up having to get one of her fallopian tubes removed. I sought her out after giving her some time and I apologized profusely. I still think about it a lot.
Just Drownweird fish omg GIF Giphy
They told me there was plenty more fish in the sea. At her funeral. And it was her uncle.
Foot in Mouth
Imagine saying to someone who lost a foot. "Well, there are people who've lost both their legs." I'm sure there are, but how does that help me when I'm suffering? It's the ultimate selfish behaviour. It screams, "I'm uncomfortable and uninterested in your suffering, so I'm going to belittle it and imply that you should be grateful for it."
"Your feelings are weird, stop feeling them."
I've had "why are you crying that's so pathetic" so now i don't cry in front of people and when i do i have panic attacks.
"Cheer up, other people have it worse than you."
That's the rudest and most malicious way to tell somebody to get over something.
Yeah, like dude, just because some person is homeless somewhere does not mean my feelings are basically an insult to others.
Telling me to "calm down" when I'm angry.
Dude my dad does that! He's all like "relax, calm down" but doesn't give me space to do so. I tend to self soothe so I need five minutes to myself but he expects me to just turn off my feelings then and there.
I just posted elsewhere this, but that is just crazy. My parents are very religious and when she had her first child she was stillborn. And the people from the church told her God had to kill her because she was going to grow up a criminal. Churches are insane places. She went on to have three healthy children... but how do you move on and continue to go to a church with people who talked to you/believe that.
I hope everything has turned out well for you and you're healthy and happy!
B Negativebritney spears wink GIF Giphy
Toxic positivity. I just learned about this and was thrilled there was a name for why I distrust and don't like people that are aggressively positive.
Age 8: I was getting super bullied, on account of being obnoxious, smart, and having zero social outlets aside from school.
One morning I told my dad, in tears, that it felt awful to not have any friends. My dad was 35-ish at the time. His response was to tell me that he doesn't have any friends either. I argued that he went to work all day and everyone there was at least nice to him. He said that only made them acquaintances, and we just have to deal with it.
Edit: oh crap I'm 35 now. And you know what? The last response I'd have to any beleaguered kid is that hey my life sucks too.
It's just the flu...
Pretty much everyone telling me after losing my grandma to COVID that everyone has lost someone, and everyone is suffering. Basically saying w/o saying that no one gives a crap about me and that I need to shut up and deal with it.
Change the Station
I was crying about not being invited to a party in high school and felt like a loser in the moment. My brother just put on the song Creep by Radiohead.
I was crying in elementary school, I guess the other kids were mean or something, and my teacher, who, in my eyes, had all the personality and joy of a steamed cauliflower, told me "hey, kids made fun of me when I was your age and I turned out fine!" I wouldn't be surprised if I started crying harder as a result.
New PlanLuise Kinseher Yes GIF by Bayerischer Rundfunk Giphy
I'm a Christian, so a lot of people hit me with the: "It's all part of God's plan."
I believe it to be true, but that doesn't make it helpful in the midst of really difficult circumstances.
Let me Be...
I honestly hate when people try to ignore or dismiss my feelings, when they pretend like what I'm upset about isn't there or doesn't matter. Like, I get that to them, they may be trying to send the message that it's no big deal, and that life can go on and maybe they're trying to distract me or something, but it's honestly patronizing and insulting. I'd rather face my mess honestly and process it, then move on. I don't need to be treated with kiddie gloves, and I tend to distance myself from people who can't seem to stop using them, even when asked not to.
I started to get teary and that's when my early 20's male cousin said to my sister (14) and I (15f) in a rather creepy-tone, "You girls have grown up nicely" while we were getting ready for our grandmother's funeral.
Well, you can always try again.
This was about 30 seconds after we found out we had lost our twins, after years of infertility treatments, and the heartache of not conceiving each month.
Why Bother?Excuse Me What GIF by One Chicago Giphy
My old boss tried to prevent somebody from going to their mother's funeral because, and I quote, "going to their funeral wouldn't bring them back to life, so you might as well be at work."
We covered for that person and let them go.
First one that comes to mind is that maybe it's good I can't have children because I'm disabled anyways and maybe it's better if I don't.
"sorry about that"
After my mom died from a 2 year battle with melanoma and lymphoma, someone I know said "sorry about that" and then proceeded to tell me all about their problems with their car and parents and friends for 25 minutes. I couldn't even get another word in. I felt totally like they were competing with me and didn't seem to care about my stuff at all. Really made me sad.
Such Sincerity... :(
Once in college, a girl I was dating and really liked ended things out of nowhere. I shared this with my mom and her response was "Aww she probably just likes somebody else." Still not sure why she ever thought that would make me feel better.
Simple Inhalepaper bag GIF Giphy
I was having an asthma attack and couldn't breathe at all, my friend had left to find my puffer from my bag, my teacher came up to me and said "try to breathe, it's not hard just breathe slower."
You're Still Breathing
To set the scene: a job opportunity that has sounded too good to be true was. Our cat had died unexpectedly and my father in law was being moved to hospice. I was on the phone with my mother weeping bc everything was going wrong and her response was "at least you've got your health."
"Don't be sad," was told to me at my father's funeral.
Or my favorite, "You're ugly when you cry."
Haha, I should have mentioned that these quotes are from separate events.
"You're ugly when you cry," was just my mom's way of trying to get me to stop crying when I was 5 years old or something. Honestly, it just made me hysterical. Pretty funny to me now though.
Let's test that theory...
Telling me it was God's will when a loved one died.
God wanted that person dead. Great, thanks 👍.
"Here, let me give you a motherly hug!" From some dumb dirty drunk middle aged dirt bag a month or so after my mom died when I was 20.
Flipped out callin' me a goof, and I was an ignorant little crap, oh yeah it was wild lol.
Jig it Upjamming adriel favela GIF by Cornelio Vega Y Su Dinastia Giphy
After our first family cat died, my Irish grandfather tried to "cheer me up" by playing jigs on the accordion.
It had just the opposite effect, even though I appreciated his good intentions.
You can go now mother...
I was in the hospital for weeks after brain surgery and then a staph-meningitis infection. I wasn't allowed to shower, i threw up almost everything i ate and i couldn't walk unassisted/unaccompanied so i wasn't free to roam. I was very depressed, tired and in pain. My mother's friend came by to "visit me" (she was really there for my mom) and the one time she did talk to me, it was to tell me about how her son got into a car wreck of his own doing.
He was hospitalized with very serious injuries including several broken bones and was temporarily paralyzed from the waist down. Her point being "others have it worse." Very crappy thing to hear when you're stuck in the Nuero ICU for weeks.
I told a friend I liked him as more than that and he told me he didn't feel the same way. When I told my girlfriends, they tried to comfort me by saying he has to be gay. I'm like "no he's not, he just doesn't want to be with me like that and that's okay." But they kept insisting that he's gay because of it. They were trying to make me feel better and not bad about myself, but it just made me mad that my friends were making stuff up about my guy friend.
Cancer is Evil
My mother in law always responds to stories of my relatives' health struggles with cheery affirmations of how healthy she is and how glad she's never had to deal with these things.
When my grandma died.
While my father was dying of cancer.
When my sister was diagnosed with breast cancer.
Her response to hearing other people's troubles is always 'well that's not my experience!'
I have sometimes have panic attacks that leave me in a mindset where I can't fully function as a normal person for an hour or two afterwards, and they're 90% of the time caused my by mother. One time, I got triggered because she was saying specific things about my family and as soon as I calmed down (my mind hadn't recovered yet, but I wasn't crying anymore) she started saying them again, but in a comforting tone and alongside things like "I'm only doing this so you can know the truth."
Needless to say I got insanely pissed off at her and locked myself in my room for the rest of the night.
Time PassesMr Bean Waiting GIF by MOODMAN Giphy
"So it's been awhile, then." It had been six weeks since I lost my grandmother when someone said this to me. Her loss didn't seem real yet, let alone 'been awhile.'
but you still have some coin...
I remember telling my dad I was sad and he told me one of the worst things you can say to someone who is and he said something along the lines of "at least you're not in debt" as if that negates my sadness. It's equivalent to saying "someone has it worse than you so don't feel bad." That night, he bought me a sandwich and he thought that would take care of it. He's emotionally immature and not in touch with this side of things at all. He's a real "focus in the positive" guy, but that, at least to me, is another way of saying "just don't focus on it."
My dad had died in my arms and was traumatized by it. I was telling my story and someone yelled "SUCK IT UP YOU'RE A MAN!"
My dad may of died in my arms but I'll strangle the life out of a little jackoff with my bare hands.
But since murdering isn't an option I yelled "OK TELL US YOUR TRAUMATIC EXPERIENCE A** WIPE!"
"Well my dog died my mom took it to the vet and put it down. But I didn't cry about it!"
Sure. Totes same...Meme Wtf GIF Giphy
When my mom died.
Coworker told me "I know exactly how you feel because one of my cats died recently."
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Society definitely teaches men some really cruel and unrealistic things about women. It ends up warping their attitudes and later affects the relationships they develop (or try to develop, in other cases). Men are also taught that women are crappy communicators, or simply don't communicate at all. Perhaps that contributes to men's behavior around women, which can come off the wrong way. It can seem entitled at best, frightening or violent at worst.
After Redditor rocketbot99 asked the online community, "Men who used to be creepy around women and stopped, what made you change your ways?" men shared their stories.
"Once I got sober..."<p>It took me recognizing I was addicted to alcohol, tobacco, pornography, and sex. I had been aggressive toward women and objectifying them since I was a child. I think this happened because I was exposed to sex at such a young age. I thought all relationships were supposed to be how movies and shows were so I just emulated what I saw.</p><p>Once I got sober I realized how much of a monster I was and took the necessary steps to really implement change in my life. Lots of therapy. Lots of crying. Self-reflection as to why I was emulating that specific behavior, and quitting my addictions. It's been a journey, but I'm happy to say I've been in a loving committed relationship with proper boundaries for a year now.</p><p><a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/lqeygf/for_men_who_used_to_be_creepy_towards_women_and/gohjqu6?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">Ghetto_Pinnochio</a></p>
"Talking to women..."<p>Talking to women, becoming friends with women, changing my circle of friends, growing up, learning empathy, and the final nail in the coffin was sobriety.</p><p><a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/lqeygf/for_men_who_used_to_be_creepy_towards_women_and/goh73o1?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">ruberusmaximus</a></p>
Yes...<p>...it can be as simple as that.</p><p>And to those of you out there tackling your issues and facing the long road of sobriety: You're rockstars.</p><p>Let's continue.</p>
"That was decades ago..."<p>Growing self-awareness that I wasn't the centre of the goddamn universe.</p><p>Went through a chasing-potential-girlfriends-too-hard phase in my earlier adult years, including mistaking simple offers of friendship and work colleague status for actual interest. It wasn't "stalking" level and it never reached the point of discipline (or even commenting), but it was probably to the point of being a little unprofessional and uncomfortable for the girl involved.</p><p>That was decades ago and I'm now with a company that doesn't tolerate that sort of thing.</p><p><a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/lqeygf/for_men_who_used_to_be_creepy_towards_women_and/gog2i1f?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">theoriginalretro</a></p>
"I would always get really close..."<p>In middle school, I was a mid-puberty, horniness-stricken, little perv. I didn't do a good job of concealing it either, I would always get really close to my one friend because I liked her at the time, and looking back it was so wrong to do.</p><p>It took me looking at what they were thinking and how my behavior affected them to really stop being creepy. Hindsight helps a lot as well.</p><p><a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/lqeygf/for_men_who_used_to_be_creepy_towards_women_and/gog299h?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">userone1</a></p>
What's that saying?<p>Hindsight is 20/20? You bet.</p><p>Let's continue.</p>
"This sounds weird to me now..."<p>I'm guilty of this, though naively and innocently so.</p><p>This sounds weird to me now, but I actually grew up in a household that valued back, neck. and shoulder rubs.</p><p>I did this for a long, long time to people I was friends with, men and women. In my head, it was just a way of saying I cared.</p><p>In retrospect, it undoubtedly gave of a super-creepy vibe.</p><p>I stopped once I saw it in context of someone else doing it to a woman, and her facial reaction to it. Then it just clicked. "Oh...OHHHHHhhh...wow, that's inappropriate..."</p><p><a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/lqeygf/for_men_who_used_to_be_creepy_towards_women_and/goh7h4q?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">virgilreality</a></p>
"They aren't laughing..."<p>They aren't laughing because I'm funny, they're laughing because they're scared.</p><p><a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/lqeygf/for_men_who_used_to_be_creepy_towards_women_and/gogz9hr?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">kirixen</a></p>
"Then I got married..."<p>When I was in my late teens and early 20s I was constantly "chasing girls" as the expression goes. Nobody ever seemed to take offence to it, that kind of behaviour seemed expected. Plus, I always seemed to be able to find someone who was interested in hooking up.</p><p>Then I got married so obviously I stopped. I found myself single again 10years later and quickly reverted to my old ways. It wasn't long before I realized that things that I could get away with at 21 no longer worked at 32. In fact, based on the reactions of a couple of women, I realized I was being creepy. Of course, the women I was pursuing were also older too.</p><p>I realized I had to take a more mature approach. Things went much better after that, but I still cringe to think of some of my early attempts to get back in the game.</p><p><a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/lqeygf/for_men_who_used_to_be_creepy_towards_women_and/gogz1kt?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">WYMYZR</a></p>
"When I broke up with..."<p>When I broke up with my first serious girlfriend, I was totally heartbroken.</p><p>I called her all the time, cried on the phone. I even threatened to kill myself and told her so. This went on for some time.</p><p>Eventually, I threatened again to kill myself and went to bed drunk. I woke up to a voicemail from her crying her eyes out begging me not to do it.</p><p>I was so ashamed about my behavior. I realized in that message what I had become. It was absolutely her right, as it was mine, to end a relationship at any time for any reason, without being hounded and traumatized by the ex. I was evil and toxic.</p><p>I apologized and promised never to do it again. After that, I left her alone. I was still heartbroken, but I found comfort in my friends, and in activities and hobbies instead. I had several failed relationships after her, but I never again treated a woman this way. This was over fifteen years ago and now I am married. I have been tempted many times to contact her and apologize some more for my behavior, but the truth is, she is better off without me in her life. I hope she is well.</p><p><a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/lqeygf/for_men_who_used_to_be_creepy_towards_women_and/goh7rja?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">Fire_TheTorpedo2011</a></p>
"I realized..."<p>I realized that I wasn't a knight in shining armor, and they weren't princesses to be adored and saved.</p><p>Rather than trying to ingratiate myself with them, I just started casual conversations. If they gave curt responses and standoffish body language, I politely exited the conversation and moved on.</p><p>By caring less, I succeeded more.</p><p><a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/lqeygf/for_men_who_used_to_be_creepy_towards_women_and/gohlz04?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">DancinginAshes</a></p>
"That single event..."<p>Maturity finally caught up with me.</p><p>I had one particularly bad experience with a girl "A" who I think was genuinely interested in me at one point, but I was super awkward and didn't have a clue how to act right, so I never really made a move beyond sad attempts at flirting, and so I think she eventually just thought I was a weirdo who wouldn't leave her alone.</p><p>Then one day we were both in a big group of people just talking and a mutual friend completely out of the blue suggested that A should ask me out, and what followed was possibly the single most uncomfortable moment of my entire life to date. "A" pretty much turned white and she was <em>out of there.</em> I'm sure she believed that I had put our mutual friend up to it. I had not. If anything I was just as horrified.</p><p>That single event shattered my self-confidence so completely that I spent the next year and a half actively avoiding any kind of conversation or interaction with girls, because I had concluded that I must be a Creep and therefore the right thing to do was to protect girls from my Creepiness by isolating myself.</p><p>Eventually, I kind of figured myself out and by my early 20s I was still awkward as hell but I managed to have a couple of relationships and plenty of platonic female friendships.</p><p><a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/lqeygf/for_men_who_used_to_be_creepy_towards_women_and/goh3brx?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">Granxious</a></p>
We certainly appreciate all of these candid replies.<p>Self-reflection is <em>not </em>easy. Self-reflection is difficult and uncomfortable. It's supposed to be. We're happy to see more men out there owning up to their behaviors. It's a relief. Attitudes now are not even the same attitudes of 10 or 20 years ago. The more men come to terms with the reality of how their behavior can and does affect women, the better off we'll be as a society.</p><p><span></span>Have some stories of your own to share? Feel free to sound off in the comments below.</p>
Parenting is a lifelong commitment.
My mother still marvels at how fast I grew up, and I know she was very much taken aback by the (first) time I moved out. I was 20 then and honestly, she would have been fine if I'd stayed indefinitely. Did she ever think, watching me take my first steps, that the years would fly by and that one day she'd be helping me move across the country? I'm sure she did. But that doesn't mean she was entirely prepared.
After Redditor amberarmy1912 asked the online community, "Parents, what surprised you the most when your child moved out?" people shared their stories.
"Or just grabbing something..."<p>That's hard.</p><p>One thing is how much I do miss my kids. I enjoy them not being here (even more once the last one moves out and my MIL is gone) but I miss the f*** out of them. I was so tired of living in one room (the master bedroom was also my office and I work from home) and I enjoy the extra room, but I hate not stopping by and joking around when I see something weird or funny online. Or just grabbing something I know they like when I am at the store and just kind of dropping it by their room as I go past. All those little things are gone now. I hope they realize how much those little things really meant.</p><p>The other is some of my own personal issues. I want to hear from my kids but I don't want to bother them so I don't contact them as often as I would like. I have never been much of a just shoot-the-s*** person so that hurts me in communications. I see a lot of my dad in me that way, he rarely ever calls me except when there is a death in the family or something. I used to not call him when he worked because I could never remember when it was safe to call.</p><p><a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/lnb5qd/parents_of_reddit_what_surprised_you_most_when/go07ean?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">CrustyBatchofNature</a></p>
"The difference..."<p>The difference between peaceful quiet and sad, lonely quiet.</p><p><a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/lnb5qd/parents_of_reddit_what_surprised_you_most_when/go0381j?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">factchecker8515</a></p>
My mother told me this...<p>...after I left. It must have been quite the adjustment.</p><p>Let's continue.</p>
"The moment our son moved out..."<p>The moment our son moved out to live on his own he became vegetarian. He never gave us any indication he was planning to or wanted to be vegetarian.</p><p><a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/lnb5qd/parents_of_reddit_what_surprised_you_most_when/go056ha?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">LaoBa</a></p>
"I was cooking recipes..."<p>We have one kid. I was cooking recipes for 6 every night thinking that the portion counts were misleading because we never had any leftovers. Nope. Our grocery bills are now about a third of what they used to be.</p><p><a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/lnb5qd/parents_of_reddit_what_surprised_you_most_when/go0a4kd?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">pro_ajumma</a></p>
That's always nice!<p>Tell me: Who doesn't love saving money?</p><p>Let's continue.</p>
"I also realized..."<p>That we talk more now that he lives on his own. We seriously play games at least twice a week for four to six hours. I also realized I was the safe mom that all his friends felt comfortable with. They still call to talk or stop by for a socially distanced catch-up.</p><p>I also realized that my water bill was only a 1/4 of what it used to be. I wasn't imagining the super long showers.</p><p><a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/lnb5qd/parents_of_reddit_what_surprised_you_most_when/go020yp?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">backartigain</a></p>
"I found out..."<p>Mom here. I was worried that I would be sad and heartbroken. I found out that was not the case. I was excited to see where her path took her. It's amazing to see her making her own world and dreams come true. I now have more money, so I travel a lot more.</p><p><span></span><a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/lnb5qd/parents_of_reddit_what_surprised_you_most_when/go09zmu?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">Mindy76131</a></p>
"I'm sorry, mom." (From a child.)<p>How many kitchen utensils you actually need to make basic meals.</p><p>I'm sorry mom. I will never make fun of your crowded cupboards again.</p><p><a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/lnb5qd/parents_of_reddit_what_surprised_you_most_when/go07ya4?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">ersin23</a></p>
This is so true!<p>My kitchen cabinets are so cluttered. In a way, I am thankful. I know I am always prepared in the event I want to make something new. It's a great feeling.</p><p>Let's continue.</p>
"God knows I love them..."<p>It's an instant pay rise. God knows I love them, but even when they have been working and contributing to the household, me and my wife have still fronted most of the bills and purchases. Going from providing for a family of five to just me and the wife.... let's just say we eat better cuts of meat and our savings accounts have never been healthier.</p><p><a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/lnb5qd/parents_of_reddit_what_surprised_you_most_when/go0guld?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">Iloathewinter</a></p>
"The possibility to spend much more time..."<p>The possibility to spend much more time with my wife, which wasn't a surprise, but to sort of rediscover her as the amazing individual I once fell in love with. I never lost sight of it, but the roles of mother and father took up soo much of our time, so our "we"-time had always been on the back-burner (I know I haven't worded this very clearly, but I hope you get what I mean).</p><p><a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/lnb5qd/parents_of_reddit_what_surprised_you_most_when/go0guld?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Iloathewinter</a></p>
"They have their own, thoughtful opinions..."<p>When they move out, they also take a step towards adulthood, which means our relationship also changes for the better. We can take a step away from "parent-child"-relationship to "two people who love and respect each other" and we can talk about many issues much more as equals now. They have their own, thoughtful opinions on many topics, an I love having these discussions because more often than not they'll surprise me with a different perspective, and make me re-think my own opinions.</p><p><a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/lnb5qd/parents_of_reddit_what_surprised_you_most_when/go0guld?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Iloathewinter</a></p>
"I'm a dad..."<p>The dad identity I adopted isn't who I am.</p><p>I'm a dad, but I used to be more than that and still want to be.</p><p><a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/lnb5qd/parents_of_reddit_what_surprised_you_most_when/go09gkr?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">wedeservebetter</a></p>
That last one hits me something fierce...<p>...and I'm not even a parent! </p><p>It must be incredibly difficult to accept these kinds of changes after so many years of sacrifice.</p><p>If you'll excuse me, I'll go hug my mom. (Thankfully we've been able to see each other during this pandemic!)</p><p>Have your own stories to share? Feel free to share them in the comments below.</p>
Students who have not prepared for an exam somehow have the energy to devise a plan to cheat.
Ploys<p>These Redditors witnessed answers being relayed to students by an unassuming accomplice.</p><p>While the tactics may have looked good on paper, they failed to fool anyone. <br></p>
Using A "Translator"<p>"At the test center I used to work candidates were allowed to bring a translator of their choice as long as it got approved by the state. Most of the time it was a family member and we would listen in on the conversation using a headset and record it. Once in a while, while replaying the recordings we would hear signals and patterns given by the translator telling the candidate which option to choose. Busted!"</p><p>– <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/lqkhsq/exam_proctors_of_reddit_what_is_the_most/goh177j?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Csuz9022</a><br></p>
Braiding Hair<p>"Not an exam proctor, but a student who heard of this afterwards. It was two girls, and the one who knew the answers sat behind the other. During the test, she started braiding the other girl's hair. When the teacher wasn't looking, the one in the front would make a number with her fingers on the side of her thigh (the question), and the other responded by pulling her hair on specific spots (A, B, C, D)."</p><p>"They made a habit of braiding each other's hair everyday days before the exam so the teacher wouldn't find it weird. I was the goody two shoes who never cheated, but even I had to respect them."</p><p>– <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/lqkhsq/exam_proctors_of_reddit_what_is_the_most/gohx322?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Leticia_the_bookworm</a><br></p>
Notes To Self<p>Some students used their own bodies to scribble down the answers – including on thighs, arms, and even mixed among freckles.</p><p>All that work disguising the answers could have been spent on studying.</p><p>Yet, here we are. <br></p>
Notes On Thighs<p>"I'm not an examiner but my mate once wrote out loads of notes on his thighs then went to the toilet during the exam- the examiner led him to the toilet to check the cubicle out first etc then waited to listen for papers rustling etc. He wasn't very smart but that could well be the smartest idea he's ever come up with. Absolutely do not condone though!"</p><p>– <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/lqkhsq/exam_proctors_of_reddit_what_is_the_most/goguirq?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">sophloopyP</a><br></p>
Camouflage With Freckles<p>"I have a lot of freckles on my arm, which would turn lighter if I put pressure on the skin, which gave me an idea. If I used a marker with a similar color as my freckles, I could make dots that formed letters or numbers, and when I pressed my arm just right, the freckles would fade for a second or two, but the ink would remain dark. Couldn't write a lot like this, but enough for notes on more difficult concepts. Never got caught."</p><p>– <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/lqkhsq/exam_proctors_of_reddit_what_is_the_most/gohqb1h?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">FourRosesVII</a><br></p>
Two "BUSTED" Students<p>"Not a proctor but I witnessed two students get caught cheating while we were taking exams."</p><p>"One girl wore cheap/thin leggings that were slightly too tight. When she sat down, they would stretch out further and would basically become see-through over her thighs. She had a bunch of equations written on her thighs that one of the proctors noticed as they walked around the testing room. BUSTED."</p><p>"One guy had a bunch of stuff written on the insides of his arms, near his wrists . He wore a long-sleeved shirt that he would pull up/down. One of the proctors noticed him messing with it across the room and had him pull his sleeves up. BUSTED."</p><p>"Don't cheat, kids. You really don't want to have to explain to future employers or grad schools why you have an academic suspension or worse on your transcript."</p>
Tricks Up My Sleeve<p>Instead of relying on accomplices or their own flesh canvases, the following students devised ingenious ways to cheat. </p><p>One proctor was astonished while watching one particular student who, like a magician, produced slips of paper from "everywhere."</p>
Printing Personalized Labels<p>"I knew a guy who would make his own labels for soda/water bottles, but change the nutrition info to be useful equations for the test. The labels' material was identical to regular ones, even down to the gloss of the paper. Seems like if he spent the time studying, instead of making perfect labels for cheating, he wouldn't need the labels in the first place." </p><p>– <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/lqkhsq/exam_proctors_of_reddit_what_is_the_most/goi5cta?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Helldiver-xzoen</a><br></p>
So 2020<p>"My friend came up with the realization that you can slip a paper into your mask and then pull it to see what you wrote."</p><p>– <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/lqkhsq/exam_proctors_of_reddit_what_is_the_most/gogvb4u?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Disposable_baka404</a><br></p>
The Pen<p>"In high school, circa 1996, I somehow obtained the answers to a 20 question test. I proceeded to go to the computer lab and type the answers and then printed them in size 3 font. Then I cut them out and taped them on one side of a white Bic pen. During the test I could roll the pen so the answers weren't visible, and then when I need to look I could tilt the pen slightly and see the answer. I missed two on purpose so the teacher wouldn't figure I cheated."</p><p>– <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/lqkhsq/exam_proctors_of_reddit_what_is_the_most/gohmm4p?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Flip17</a><br></p>
So Many Slips Of Paper<p>"Guy came in to sit an exam (along with one or two dozen others), wearing an eyepatch and with one arm in a sling with a prosthetic hand. Pretty unusual, but whatever. But I got suspicious when he started fiddling with his eyepatch, pulling it way away from his face and then putting it back. So I pressed the button on my desk that turns the cameras on (not sure why they didn't just record all the time, but this was back in the mid-eighties). I wasn't actually supposed to intervene in these cases, so I just sat there and watched, astounded, as this guy proceeded to pull little slips of paper from all over the place -- the sleeve of his supposedly injured arm, <em>under his tongue</em>... incredible. I don't know how he fooled himself into thinking nobody would notice."</p><p>– <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/lqkhsq/exam_proctors_of_reddit_what_is_the_most/goiemw8?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">super_aardvark</a><br></p>
Sometimes the things that come out of peoples' mouths are truly astounding. It makes you wonder, where did things go wrong? Why are they like this? As Forrest Gump once said, “stupid is as stupid does".
Here are a few of the most jaw-dropping lay stupid things that have been said by actual human beings. Not aliens trying to figure out how humans communicate--ACTUAL human beings. Thanks, Reddit.
First up, what better people to hear ridiculous claims from than children? Here are some people that even teachers couldn’t help.
Well, that’s awkward.
I was in 5th grade like 20 years ago, and I am a male which is important later. My school changed an extra girls locker room into a computer lab. When my class got to go check it out, I say "wow, it looks so different!".
Everyone looks at me like I'm a creep. What I meant to say was "wow it looks so different that the boys locker room!" I still think about this when trying to fall asleep more often than I'm comfortable with.
....no. No it’s not.War Guy GIF Giphy
In my Spanish class where they were talking about Spanish countries
"What about Syria...isn't Syria Spanish?"
Worst part... NOBODY called her out on it to the point I was questioning myself. The professor had good English but it wasn't her first language and she dodged her question saying she's only going over countries in south america. I had to literally write myself a note that she literally asked that question. Then I got paired up with her like 10 minutes later for a group activity and I still wasn't over this question lol
Fake but also real but also demonic?
A kid in high school tried to convince me that men had an extra rib and that the earth is only a few thousand years old. Same kid said that ouija boards were full of magnets and gears which made them fake, yet they were simultaneously completely real and needed to be burned on sight to prevent demonic possession.
But sometimes it’s the parents of children who say the dumb stuff.
Back in 2014 I still vividly remember we were eating dinner, and my brother is chewing with his mouth open while my sister is talking. My dad, still thinking about her talking but talking to my brother said "Talk with your mouth closed." and my sister just went silent immediately.
Stupid can turn into ignorant really quickly. Here are a few examples of the not-so-harmless kind of dumb statements.
Fun fact: they don’t use the US Constitution in New Zealand. Who knew?angela rye guns GIF by Third Rail with OZY Giphy
After the church shooting in New Zealand, they banned guns. My coworker said that they can't do that since it violates the second amendment. We live in California.
Everyone knows New Zealand is the state below New Canada.
Uhhhhh that’s racist af.
Not to me but my husband.
He had to take an uber home from the Naval Base in San Diego (car was getting fixed) and the guy who picked my husband up was from Pakistan and they had small talk, telling him how he moved over here etc, dude was pretty cool.
My dumbass half sister whom we were staying with for a bit told him straight to his face, "Oh since you're military he probably wanted to like... murder you."
...What a f*cking ignorant, racist thing to say.
Just gonna leave this one here....
"And then I see the disinfectant where it knocks it out in a minute. And is there a way we can do something like that, by injection inside, because you see it gets in the lungs, so it would be interesting to check that out."
Well that’s a new one.
A trans friend got "You're registered as a man here, so I need to hear a male voice to complete the verification of your acount."
Not the first time the cable company pulled this 'female' account 'female' voice / 'male' account 'male' voice crap. But that one time was on a whole other level.
But most of the time, dumb statements are harmless, and make for a good story down the line.
I wouldn’t be able to keep a straight face either.alvin and the chipmunks GIF by 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment Giphy
A few questions I've heard come to mind, I'm not sure which is the best/worst.
A few years ago my mom, in her 60s at the time, asked me if chipmunks grow up to be squirrels. Have you ever tried to keep a straight face while explaining to the grown-ass woman who was responsible for keeping you alive for ~18 years that chipmunks and squirrels are different animals?
In high school during a Spanish class as student asked "Do Spanish-speaking people think in Spanish?" After being told yes, her follow-up question was "Are they born speaking Spanish?" The teacher kept a straight face explaining that foreign language speakers learn their language the same as the student learned English, but there were a lot of other students laughing and brutally mocking her.
Ah yes, the two types of guitars.
Dumbest thing I ever asked was, "do you prefer playing electric or air guitar?" I really meant to say acoustic, like my dad's.
Air guitar. I don't know how to play the acoustic or electric guitars, but I never get a wrong note on the air guitar.
Did you change your birthday?
At the bank.
Teller: Is your phone number still 123-4567?
T: Is your address still 123 Easy st?
T: Is your birthday still 01/01/2000?
M: laughing I sure as hell hope so
I can't even make fun of these. One time I asked my husband where the Newport Ferry sailed to.
I think we all have slip-ups in our brains sometimes. It's part of being human, and hey, they stay alive as inside jokes for generations to come