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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We aren't perfect. There's plenty of things in our pasts that we look back and cringe at.
That being said, sometimes those cringe moments go far past cringe. Sometimes they get to the point of no return awfulness because that's where our human nature took us in this moment.
He's Not Dead<p>When I was 17 my brother walked into a room where I was lying down on my back and stamped on my chest. </p><p>I saw red and stood up and punched him square in the face, unfortunately this was in a doorway in front of a staircase, which he fell down backwards and when he hit the wall at the bottom folded up in such a way I thought I'd killed him. </p><p>He didn't move for what seemed like forever and I was certain he was dead, the world just spinning out around me. </p><p>He wasn't dead, obviously, but knocked out briefly and he never laid a finger on me again, after being the kind of nasty bully who had spent much of my childhood just randomly beating on me for his own enjoyment.</p><p>Those were the longest seconds of my life.</p><p><a href="https://www.reddit.com/user/MrSpindles/" target="_blank">MrSpindles</a></p>
Complete And Total Taking Over<p>I don't know about "haunts" but it makes me cringe. In public school we had this thing in our school called 'Jumpstart for Kids' where you'd go around, often door to door, collecting money for this charity once a year. </p><p>Anyway I was 12 and I liked a boy in highschool and he convinced me to take the envelope and go door to door and collect money... to give to him so he could buy a drum set. </p><p>I walked around collecting from all these sweet people who told me I was so nice for collecting money for underprivileged kids. Fortunately I got caught and my parents made me donate it instead. So embarrassing.</p><p><a href="https://www.reddit.com/user/heather-rch/" target="_blank">heather-rch</a></p>
Scene Of The Crime<p>Provincial Park, pay shower, 12 years old, line-up to get in. Towards the end of my turn in the shower, get the urge to poop. Cannot hold it. Using a sock to smoosh the last of it down the drain, water turns off. Out of quarters. Put a towel over my head, run out of there past the line-up.</p><p> Get back to the camp site, immediately change clothes, shoes, hairstyle, put on a ball cap. Work up the courage to go by the area later on, it is all cordoned off. Hear people angrily discussing how someone took a dump in the shower.</p><p><a href="https://www.reddit.com/user/eskerhobolo/" target="_blank">eskerhobolo</a></p>
When Bullying A Bully Isn't Worth It<p>We had a camper in this large campground at a lake when I was growing up. Tons of families with kids riding bicycles and golf carts up and down the gravel roads through the property. </p><p>There was this one kid that was a few years older than me (I was 10, he was probably 12 or so) who's dad was the security guard and they lived on site and he was the biggest punk in the park. He'd try and wrestle you in the pool, throw rocks at you as you were fishing, ride off on your bike if you left it laying around, bully and hit smaller kids, even girls. </p><p>I was driving the golf cart down a pretty steep, gravel hill one day when I came up on him on his bike, going the same way as me. He never turned around to acknowledge I was there so I got up just to the side of him and turned HARD right into him. We were both going probably 10-15 miles an hour down this hill. </p><p>He took a nasty spill and rolled off the side of the road and wasn't moving. I kept on going, acting like nothing happened. We were completely isolated so no one saw me. I remember him getting taken away in an ambulance and hearing that he'd been hurt pretty bad.</p><p> I immediately felt remorse for what I'd done but never said a word to anyone. He or anyone else never had any idea I did it either. I look back now and think about how much of a financial strain I put on that family, seeing as how they were already living in a camper. That was a really REALLY evil thing I did and it still crosses my mind quite often.</p><p><a href="https://www.reddit.com/user/harp9r/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">harp9r</a></p>
Not Hurting<p>So you know the carnival horses you can sit on outside of grocery stores (back in the 90's). Well I wanted to ride one and this sweet old woman tried to help me get on, slipped, and really really hurt herself falling into the ride. I just remember hearing her scream and I got scared and ran away.<br></p><p>I'm 31 years old and think about that day at least once a week.</p><p><span></span><a href="https://www.reddit.com/user/packhawk2689/" target="_blank">packhawk2689</a></p>
Gotta Get Up, Gotta Get Out<p>Easy. When I was 5, I burned my house down.</p><p>We were living in a small home, me, my sister, mom, dad. I was supposed to be in the bed, but I wanted a toy or <em>something</em> that was under my bed, and I didn't want to wake my parents by turning on my light... soooo I grabbed my dad's cigarette lighter and light the flame under my bed. Needless to say it went up like a match. </p><p>My dad tried to stomp the fire out after I started screaming fire, burning his leg horribly. My room and the source of the fire was blocking EVERY other bedroom from escape, so everyone had to jump out of a window. Funnily enough, I don't remember the world-class a** whipping I must have received for that. I just cringe at the thought that I almost killed all of us being a dumb kid.</p><p><a href="https://www.reddit.com/user/Paradigm_Pizza/" target="_blank">Paradigm_Pizza</a></p>
Escape<p>I was married to an insanely abusive man. After two years I escaped and he killed himself shortly after. Not sure if it was him avoiding charges, or avoiding his deployment but his family decided it was 100% my fault. They told the police I gave him the gun and encouraged him. </p><p>That was investigated and unfounded. What they didn't know was he'd scanned and emailed me his suicide note the wee hours of the morning of. The police didn't find the note. Of course I handed it over when they asked. His family would not believe I wasn't involved or at fault and harassed me for a long time. </p><p>If I got a job and they found out about it they'd call and leave so many complaints I'd get let go. Found out what I drove and had their other kids and their friends follow me. </p><p>I ended up having to leave that town and disappearing to avoid them. But before I did, I printed a copy of his suicide note, found his moms car at her job, and left it on the window shield. That note detailed the abuse his father put him through, his rage at his mother for never leaving him and making himself and his siblings live with the SOB. </p><p>That he never wanted me to blame myself, that this was his way of getting the hell away from them and the damage he caused. I felt pretty bad for awhile. But at the same time.... they literally wouldn't leave me alone and stalked me for 5 years.</p><p><a href="https://www.reddit.com/user/TinyTinasRabidOtter/" target="_blank">TinyTinasRabidOtter</a></p>
If You Give A Pup A Shower<p>Bored in the house one day alone when I was about 10, so decided to give my dog a shower, I genuinely loved my dog, he was my best friend growing up, but for some unknown reason I decided to turn the shower onto hot water only (extremely hot) and started showering him. There was a delay I guess in him reacting because his fur was so thick, which meant I kept it on him for a few seconds.</p><p>suddenly He started yelping like dogs do when in pain, his instincts were to not be aggressive or try to escape but just looked at me scared and confused.</p><p>I panicked smashed on the cold and cooled him down as quick as I could.</p><p>Fortunately he was not 'burnt' or had any ongoing issues, he never even lost trust in me.</p><p>I felt physically sick and ashamed in myself for days after, and obviously it still bothers me 20 years later.</p><p>The good thing to come from it is that I was so disturbed by my action that I have never knowingly inflicted pain on anyone or anything since.</p><p><a href="https://www.reddit.com/user/ChrisLeeHD/" target="_blank">ChrisLeeHD</a></p>
Caught In The Act<p>I was at school and for no reason at all, I eavesdropped a very private and delicate conversation between one of my teachers and her husband. </p><p>Then she opened the door and saw me eavesdropping. It was beyond humiliating and I deserved the scolding afterwards. I was young and stupid obviously, but when I remember the look on her face, I still cringe hard, even if it's been almost 20 years.</p><p><a href="https://www.reddit.com/user/naydeilinsei/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">naydeilinsei</a></p>
Shunned<p>Second grade, I had a classmate (fake name Sasha) who was kinda awkward. Crooked teeth, quiet, not too bright. Didn't really have any friends within the class, though she did have some people she would hang out with at recess. </p><p>In any case, a boy in the grade above us, a friend of my brother's actually, for some reason decided to spread a rumor among all of us that Sasha had lice and to stay away from her. </p><p>I bought it without a second thought, and so did most of us; as far as I know, she wasn't particularly teased, but she was just shunned. No one talked to her. </p><p>She was around till the end of the year and didn't come back for third grade. No clue what happened to her, but I really hope we didn't mess her up too much.</p><p>Next summer, I got the worst case of head lice my pediatrician had ever seen. Karma, my dudes.</p><p><a href="https://www.reddit.com/user/Isabel79540/" target="_blank">Isabel79540</a></p>
I don't miss high school or the people in it. People who seem to have peaked in high school also weird me out. How? Why? I can definitely tell you that life got much more interesting the older I got (my 20s were way more fun than any of my time in high school). If you were to ask me if I have any regrets, I suppose I would say that I wish I had been more assertive and stood up for myself more. Depression has a way of complicating goals like that, though. Let me tell you: It feels nice to be so much healthier than I was then.
After Redditor Sub2735 asked the online community, "What's your biggest regret from high school?" people shared their stories.
"I'm sure the mentality..."<p>Being too shy, I'm sure the mentality that everyone hated me wasn't very good for making friends.</p><p><a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/lv5ytu/what_is_your_biggest_regret_from_high_school/gpad84o?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">aeflare</a></p>
"I'm not sure how it could have gone differently..."<p>Dropping out. I am not sure how it could have gone differently, but I do wish it had. It was expensive to upgrade all that education to get into post-secondary, and I also missed out on a lot of social things.</p><p><a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/lv5ytu/what_is_your_biggest_regret_from_high_school/gpafhng?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">DaughterEarth</a></p>
"I was already pretty cynical..."<p>I was told I had received a full-ride scholarship, so I stopped putting in any effort on other scholarships. When the time came, it wound up being awarded to someone who applied late, got it due to their family's income level, and then dropped out of college after one month. My first two years of college were a financial nightmare as I had to pay my own way on everything (except rent, as I lived at home and commuted across state lines for work and college). If I had $50 at the end of the month, that was a damn good month. I couldn't get student loans and my parents refused to help, so I had worked out a deal with the financial office at college to pay something like $550 a month, which was about 90% of my income.</p><p>I regret not confronting whoever made that decision about the scholarship. I somewhat regret not putting in the effort to get other scholarships at the same time, but I can't blame myself for it either.</p><p>I was already pretty cynical at that point, but that was when I realized just how quickly your back becomes a knife block for someone else's optics.</p><p><a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/lv5ytu/what_is_your_biggest_regret_from_high_school/gpalo5m?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">A_Garbage_Account</a></p>
"I used to daydream..."<p>I used to daydream about going back one day and burning it to the ground, but it's just been demolished by land developers. So I guess that dream's dead.</p><p><a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/lv5ytu/what_is_your_biggest_regret_from_high_school/gpafcpx?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">EducationTangle06</a></p>
I suppose the phrase, "Always follow your dreams"...<p>...doesn't apply in this case.</p>
"Acting like a clown..."<p>Acting like a clown, annoying everyone to the point where no one really stayed in contact with me after, and taking my precious little charter school for granted.</p><p><a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/lv5ytu/what_is_your_biggest_regret_from_high_school/gpae5ak?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">SalFunction12</a></p>
I have a friend who has expressed similar concerns about his time in high school.<p>He ended up spending his college years going to therapy and maturing. His clownish antics were a coping mechanism for a lot of crap going on in his life at the time. He's happier and healthier now and that's what matters.</p>
"To be fair..."<p><span>Dating my best friend. To be fair that's how I found out a lot of people weren't really my friends but getting ghosted afterward really hurt.</span></p><p><a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/lv5ytu/what_is_your_biggest_regret_from_high_school/gpasudw?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">kannacantplay</a></p>
"She got tired..."<p>I took my crush to Daft Punk Alive 2007 instead of my best friend. She wasn't responding all day, and I was with my friend. We were about to leave when she called. She'd been with her boyfriend all day and had forgotten about the concert. I took her. My buddy was disappointed but cool about it.</p><p>She got tired of being on the floor halfway through so we sat in the bleachers. We started walking out before the encore because she wanted to get home sooner.</p><p>Always wanted to take my buddy to a Daft Punk show after that, and was going to, no matter where or how much it cost. But I'll never get the chance.</p><p><a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/lv5ytu/what_is_your_biggest_regret_from_high_school/gpbd6so?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">spanishgrapelaw</a></p>
"Looking back now..."<p>I regret not telling my crushes how I felt about them. Looking back now, I know that those puppy love relationships probably wouldn't have developed into anything long term and I no doubt would've had my heart broken when they inevitably ended but, I can't help but wonder: What if?</p><p>Having cultivated a host of insecurities by the time I got to high school, I was really good at hiding my inner thoughts and feelings - I also probably didn't see myself very clearly. So, I just assumed that there was zero chance of my crushes reciprocating my feelings and never said anything to them about it. I also probably sub-consciously ignored any signs that they were interested in me (again, didn't see myself clearly, was very insecure).</p><p><a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/lv5ytu/what_is_your_biggest_regret_from_high_school/gpazwl2?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">Vegoceraptor</a></p>
"The world is wider..."<p>Not engaging with opportunities available to me and just looking at it like a holding pen just before adulthood.</p><p>It may seem hokey, but join clubs, try out lots of sports, pursue interests, pay attention in class and engage with your peers.</p><p>The world is wider for adolescents than I allowed myself to believe it was at the time.</p><p><a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/lv5ytu/what_is_your_biggest_regret_from_high_school/gpaxnsf?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">Big_Requirement_3540</a></p>
"I already knew I was quitting..."<p>Senior year I had the option of a guaranteed internship and doing half days at school. Turned it down because my parents wanted me to be in band (and I enjoyed it so didn't put up a fight).</p><p>I already knew I was quitting when I went to college. The internship would have been great experience to propel my studies/career.</p><p><a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/lv5ytu/what_is_your_biggest_regret_from_high_school/gpatszd?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">ClubbsMcLubbs</a></p>
High school isn't easy.<p>Nor is it particularly fun for a lot of people. Remember how awful being a teenager was? Remember what it was like to feel like you were at the whim of your hormones all the time? It's an emotional rollercoaster. It's no wonder so many people would rather close the book on high school once it's over (or have some regrets related to their time there).</p><p>Have your own stories? Feel free to share them in the comments below.</p>
When we are on the outside looking in, it can feel so obvious that a relationship is doomed.
When we offer advice to friends, family, or people oversharing at a party, the correct next move often seems wildly obvious: get out of that relationship.
Enough Was Enough<p>"He was mentally ill, possibly with Paranoid Personality Disorder, definitely delusional, maybe schizophrenic. I was accused of all types of things, affairs, being part of plots to 'get' him, even urinating on his toothbrush."</p><p>"I stayed for 3 years after I knew I no longer loved him because I knew he would spiral without someone to look after him. He had destroyed every relationship with his friends and family because they were all also out to 'get' him."</p><p>"I finally told him I would only stay if he got help, which he refused. So I left."</p><p>"I was right about him spiralling. He went from sharehouse to sharehouse as all the other tenants were 'out to get him'. He eventually ended up homeless for a while is now facing 18 different charges so will probably end up in jail."</p><p>-- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/lv3k1j/seriouspeople_who_have_stayed_with_someone_they/gpal6ip?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">damekl</a></p>
An Unfortunately Common Response to Fading Love<p>"She threatened to kill herself and even though I wanted out of the relationship, i didnt want her to be hurt or die. I remember us arguing about something very trivial but she was getting very upset. She walked out mid conversation and came back with cuts all over her legs and thighs."</p><p>"I tried getting help from parents, school counselors, doctors. None helped. So i just tried to manage as much as I can. Eventually she joined the military & moved away and that was the moment I was finally free."</p><p>"Years wasted though."</p><p>-- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/lv3k1j/seriouspeople_who_have_stayed_with_someone_they/gpab7fm?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">corazon_im_hurt</a></p>
A Bare Bones Story<p>"Short version: domestic violence."</p><p>"Long version: I was afraid to leave because I believed he would find me and kill me."</p><p>"Conclusion: He pushed me too far and I ran."</p><p>-- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/lv3k1j/seriouspeople_who_have_stayed_with_someone_they/gpaizjk?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">AliceMorgon</a></p>
Tipping Over the Edge<p>"He was a violent drug addict and I was scared of what he may do if I left. I never truly loved him but our relationship became very codependent very quickly."</p><p>"He cheated on me, took advantage of the fact that I had a car and money, but I still stayed because he was always threatening to kill himself or to kill my cats."</p><p>"Then one night he literally backed me into a corner and tried to punch me in the head so that finally made me open my eyes and realize I had to get out."</p><p>-- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/lv3k1j/seriouspeople_who_have_stayed_with_someone_they/gpb5z6l?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">Theging96666</a></p>
Optics<p>"She's terminally ill, and dying of Cancer, even though she is abusive now, and was before, I can't really leave, the social pressure to be a *good man* plus the cost of divorce and everything else is just too much, at this point it's just easier to wait it out."</p><p>"Plus I really like her family, and if I left her when she was sick...it would pretty much kill that relationship."</p><p>-- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/lv3k1j/seriouspeople_who_have_stayed_with_someone_they/gpbm18j?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">Boise_State_2020</a></p>
Always a Reason to Stay<p>"We were living together at 16, she cheated on me and I told her I wanted her to leave, she begged me not to send her back to her moms house because they have like 8 people in a 2 bedroom house and because she would've had nowhere else to go."</p><p>"I was 16 I didn't know how to handle a girl literally begging me so I let her stay against my better judgement and it created a hurtful cycle of falling in and out of love."</p><p>"Feeling like things could get better and then having my world come crashing down every time I look at her because I think of reading the message of the guy saying he loved watching her get on top of him."</p><p>"A couple of years go by and we're not in love, just tolerating each other at this point and then we got pregnant, stayed together through the pregnancy but the stress was too much for both of us and caused fighting, sleeping apart, more cheating."</p><p>"When the baby was born she had finally turned 18 and we moved away our relationship got much better with each other, we're best friends now and are just trying our best to raise our daughter to be healthy and happy and know she's loved."</p><p>"Neither of us had good childhoods."</p><p>-- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/lv3k1j/seriouspeople_who_have_stayed_with_someone_they/gpa47ed?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">Lapidot-Wav</a></p>
For the In-Laws<p>"I lived with a man I never loved. His mum was also living with us and I loved her more than my own biological mum."</p><p>"She was the nicest, kindest and the most caring soul I have ever met in my life. I left that man when he told me that he knew I was only with him because of his mum. That was 20 years ago but I still miss her every single day."</p><p>-- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/lv3k1j/seriouspeople_who_have_stayed_with_someone_they/gpbz7av?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">Mayfl21</a></p>
A Sudden Shift<p>"I was with my wife for 14 years. For at least half of that, I wasn't happy with the relationship. But I had decided I was ok with it because everything about our life together was acceptable, for lack of a better word."</p><p>"We owned a house, made good money, got along well, shared hobbies, etc. We were basically roommates/best friends who just didn't love each other the way you would normally expect from a married couple."</p><p>"When the pandemic hit, and we were forced to stay home more and spend time with each other EVERY DAY, we started to get a better sense of how well we actually tolerated each other. It didn't go well."</p><p>"She ended up getting really into online gaming and met some other guys and basically cheated on me. In retrospect, it was obvious it would reach that point."</p><p>"But I was content to stay there as long as I could because it was a comfortable life with very little stress and obligation."</p><p>-- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/lv3k1j/seriouspeople_who_have_stayed_with_someone_they/gpaadi2?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">knucklehead923</a></p>
Slow Fade<p>"I was no longer as 'in love' with her. But I still loved her. After years together it could become tricky to figure out exactly what It's just a lull and what is it really going away."</p><p>"I was still living with my best friend. But ended it because once we really realized that I wasn't feeling the same way anymore. I was just hurting her for me to stay since she was still in love."</p><p>-- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/lv3k1j/seriouspeople_who_have_stayed_with_someone_they/gpa6h2s?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">collin3000</a></p>
Wise, But a Little Sad<p>"We have good chemistry and built a life together. After a lot of years, love comes and goes. It is like the seasons."</p><p>"As cold as it can be in the winter, if you put the effort in, the spring will always come back."</p><p>-- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/lv3k1j/seriouspeople_who_have_stayed_with_someone_they/gpa41jl?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">Aizpunr</a></p>
Some people don't take breakups very well. And those that don't can sometimes engage in behavior that others might view as bothersome, unsettling, even toxic.
Others engage in abusive behavior during the relationship, a major red flag that some people might not take seriously until it's too late.
After Redditor XYZ3110 asked the online community, "What's the creepiest thing an ex has done?" people shared their stories.