You can’t be good all the time… We all get frustrated, have bad days, and unfortunately we lash out, hurting others, only to realize later what we actually did. The important thing is to learn from our mistakes and move forward trying to do better. That was the case for (almost) all of these people who learned how to better their ways.
1. Just Don't Yell
One of my first jobs I took seriously was in fact McDonalds. You can hate it all you want, but it's incredible how detailed the instructions are. From a processing/logistics point of view, they can make you a fresh hamburger in under a minute.
That's amazing if you've ever worked in a kitchen.
I was usually working as an "Initiator" which is like the leader of the kitchen. You decide what gets made first by toasting the buns and sending them down the line with the proper wrapper and condiments with a printed tag on it if it's special (no pickles).
Generally speaking you also call out to the co-workers anything special, and if there's large orders of nuggets or something coming in. A hyper 20-year old "inish" can really put the strain on some elderly line workers. I kept them working hard during rush hours.
One particular dinner rush I really gave our only cook Terry a hard time. He was in a motorcycle accident when he was younger. I wouldn't call him handicapped or mentally challenged, he was just a really slow mover and thinker.
He kept coming up short on things like nuggets, chicken patties, burgers etc.. It was really slowing us down.
At one point he's holding a dirty tray, walking across the kitchen and I yelled at him to get more burgers cooking. He just stopped, gave me an evil stare, threw the dirty tray on the ground, and yelled
"Not everyone is perfect like you! Some people have to try harder to do normal things!" My heart sank and I started feeling really bad. I still remember that stuff almost 15 years later. If you've ever worked in a busy kitchen you know how those moments create strong bonds between co-workers.
I ended up being good friends with the guy, and helped him out a bit more when I could.
2. The Broken Bro Code
It's a long story. Basically, when I was in my late teens I had a huge crush on this one chick, she was amazing. But me and my friend followed this bro code that basically said we couldn't chase after girls because it just leads to anger, hate and suffering.
Well, against my better judgment I started sneaking out with this girl. We went on some awesome dates: fancy dinners, hiking around in beautiful mountains, and the like. It was awesome. Everything was working out and my friend had no idea that I was seeing this chick.
This went on for years.
Unfortunately I was stupid and didn't think, and I got this girl pregnant. It started to get more difficult to hide our relationship from my friend. Well, one day he finds out about it and we get into this huge argument and start beating the crap out of each other.
It wasn't pretty.
Honestly I did some really stupid things in that fight now that I look back on it. I'd learned so much that I thought I could easily win this fight with my friend, but I was wrong.
While we were fighting my friend looked right at me and told me that the crowd I was hanging out with was evil. So I looked him right in the eyes and said in my most dead-panned voice and facial expression:
"From my point of view the Jedi are evil" That. That was when I realized I was the bad guy because of how stupid I sounded.
3. Just A Sneeze
I was clothes shopping in Uniqlo with my girlfriend. We both had our hands on a sweater, checking the size when I suddenly felt that familiar burn/tingle/irritation in my nose.
The nature of what we were doing had me standing very close to and facing my girlfriend. Since the urge was so sudden and I had my hands tied up I instinctively turned my head and lifted my arm so as to not sneeze directly into her face.
I move out of the way and don't shoot my snot and saliva onto her. Success! I'm an everyday hero. Or not. Uniqlo arranges their shelves of clothing into aisles and they're not particularly big, just wide enough for two people.
Unbeknownst to me, a woman had attempted to squeeze by in the narrow space my girlfriend and I did not occupy. She was mid step and directly beside me when I turned my head to direct the sneeze away.
She had had her mouth slightly ajar perhaps in preparation for an "excuse me" which was unfortunate as I then sneezed directly into her open mouth and face. I froze, feeling unbelievably bad for having just shared my bodily fluid with an unsuspecting and certainly unwilling stranger.
She let out one of those short quick exhales and slammed her hands over her mouth in shock and disbelief. An avalanche of apologies fell out of my mouth but they were too late as she understandably ran off around the bend of the aisle and disappeared into a crowd of shoppers.
4. Youth Anger
A co-worker and I were not getting along. Something wasn't clicking and I thought she was just old, rude and lazy. Eventually I got called into the boss's office and she was there, crying her eyes out.
My boss informed me she had been telling them that I was being rude, aggressive and overall a jerk to this person. Turns out she felt she was under pressure because of my attitude, and she couldn't handle it.
I felt awful, and apologized profusely. I was young at the time and it was a big wake up moment for me.
I was at a point in my life where I was trying to turn myself around physically, but now I knew I had to for my attitude as well. That coworker and I became quite close over time, and even though I left that job 6 years ago, we still keep in touch.
5. Trouble In Paradise
My husband and I weren’t getting along. He was always doing something that made me mad and I didn’t keep it inside. He, in turn, was getting fed up with me and eventually it started pushing us apart. I felt like a different person, but the puzzle was complete at last.
About 2 months ago I went to the doctor and after a conversation we had, she told me I had anxiety and it was causing me to be irritable and on edge. I immediately felt like a huge a-hole and started reflecting back on everything.
She wrote me a prescription and I've been feeling so much better. I really didn't realize how hard I was being on him about the silliest stuff. He's such a great guy and does so much for our family. I was truly the bad guy.
6. Lesson Learned
It was actually a couple of days ago. I used to be one of those atheists who never shut up about religion, and how Christianity was going to ruin America, and people just needed to wake up, etc. etc. Fortunately, I never grew a neck beard or said M'lady.
Anyhow, I used to run this live 2-hour discussion show on YouTube every Saturday night. One night when we were waiting for everyone to show up, I started going through one of the guy's Facebook pages.
It kinda hit me that every single post he made was about atheism/religion, and I realized I didn't know a thing about this guy. I had no clue how old he was, what he did for fun, if he had a wife or kids, what he did for a living, etc.
I started going back through my own facebook and realized I was doing the same thing. I went through old messages and realized I lost/ruined/ended plenty of good friendships because of the way I talked to folks. I canceled the show that week and never went live again. About a month later, I pretty much swore off all of my labels at that point. Ever since, I've just tried to live neutral and peacefully.
7. What's With All The Cars?
This was before everyone had a cell phone, back in the 90s. It was the weekend after high school graduation and my friend was driving around the neighborhood when we passed by our friend's house and we noticed an abnormal amount of cars out front.
We immediately thought that he had a graduation party and didn't invite us and were internally riled up. We knock and are let in by his mom who gives no mention of anything, the house wasn't decorated but maybe they didn't care to go that length.
We found my friend in his room and asked, "What's with all the people? Are you having a party without us?" in a joking tone, trying to make it seem like we weren't a little put off.
He told us his Dad had died last night of a heart attack. It was before Father's day.
8. Role Model
My mother signed me up for the "Big Brother" program when I was younger after she and my father separated. He was supposed to be a positive male role model. He was an attorney. He took me to the courthouse to meet a judge and some cops and all that jazz.
They lectured me about staying in school, not joining gangs, etc. for a while. They let me check out a holding cell. I'm black and until that moment I hadn't realized this is what was expected of black dudes. That's when I realized I was the bad guy.
When they took my fingerprints as a 'simulation'. to show me the system. to try and dissuade me from being a criminal. I was in the freaking enrichment program in my elementary school. 95% percentile on standardized tests.
Good student and bright kid. No behavioral issues. "Let’s lecture him for an hour or so about how not to turn into a gang member."
9. Think Ahead
My current boyfriend and I are on break, and it's entirely my fault. I've been abused in the past, so a lot of paranoia surfaced, and I was accusing him of all sorts of things and being overly possessive.
I actually became abusive myself, out of fear of him abusing me, and one time when he was drunk, he finally broke down and said a lot of things he'd been sitting on, and it broke my heart. I literally had nothing to defend myself with.
It was entirely true, every word of it, and it was soul wrenching that I'd hurt him this much.
So we're on a break whilst I get therapy. If I'm being honest with myself, I don't think he's going to take me back, or if I deserve him back, but I owe it to him to improve myself so at least this won't happen again with someone else. I love you Mike, and I'm so sorry.
10. Mr Freeze
There was a really nice kid who lived a few doors away from me. Never did a bad thing to anybody, as far as I knew. But his parents never had "the talk" with him and he hadn't gone to intercourse education yet, so when he did it for the first time he didn't know what it was and started putting it in the freezer.
Then he made the mistake of telling everyone about it at the skatepark.
I should have explained without making him feel like a freak, but I laughed my butt off. I told lots of people, because I thought it was just a funny story. I didn't realize until later I actually made that kid's life hell.
Everyone was calling him Mr. Freeze or Freezie-pop, even people he didn't know. He told me he got so mad at me sometimes he'd go home and punch a chair. I thought that was funny too until years later when I looked back at the facts.
He was a really nice guy. It wasn't his fault nobody bothered to teach him about such basic stuff as what bodily fluids are. It wasn't fair at all.
That was a terrible thing to do to another human being, and even worse to think it was funny. I was a freaking a-hole. It would be cold comfort to that kid now, but I really think that realization changed me.
11. To Be Or Not To Be BFFS
I finally understood someone's problem with me. Long story short, I made a really good friend through work. We bonded really quick, started hanging out a lot. I helped him move (which if you know Seinfeld is a big step in a male friendship). Helped him through breakups.
At the time, if one of us had gotten married, I would have put even money that we would've been in each other's wedding in some capacity.
So of course, in this time we got to know each other's friends as well. I'm a pretty likable guy, and so his friends kind of became my friends as well. He was a bit more, let's say rough around the edges, so my friends didn't necessarily love him (he was fine if around, but no one really cared that much).
Well, it got to the point where I think because we worked together and hung out all the time that he kind of wanted a break. If I'd call him, he'd be "busy" or something for a while.
However, his friends (including his brothers) would still invite me to places. Eventually he just blew up on me and decided he hated me. It was very much out of nowhere.
Fast forward a few years. I have a newish friend I invited into my group. Everyone likes him and we are hanging out a lot. It got to the point where sometimes I didn't really feel like hanging out with him.
He is a good guy, but kind of a loud mouth. But my friends would invite him out anyway. So he became me in that situation. One day I realized how I was feeling was exactly how the initial guy was feeling about me. Now I didn't handle it in the way he did. But I understood his point.
12. Just Let Them Yell
One time when I was a teen, I was sleeping in the middle of the day, on the weekend, like ya do, and the neighbor’s kids were in the back garden just... screaming. Like, taking turns seeing how loud they could scream, screaming together, just screaming.
I kept thinking "their mum can definitely hear that, she'll be out in a minute to tell them to stop, she has to, she can't just let them do that" but no. It just kept going.
And these kids were definitely old enough to know better, between like 7 and 11. So I leaned out the window and shouted "HEY! There's no need for that! If you carry on, I'm gonna call social services and have you taken away!"
This family were indeed being watched by social services, so the kids were genuinely worried. They stopped.
The oldest ran in the house and told her mum, who came out into the back, and told them, loudly so that I could hear, that "That's just stupid and they won't be taken away and some people should keep their mouths shut" and then she actually told them that they could keep screaming if they wanted, because it's their back garden.
Nevermind the fact that we have neighbors or anything, some with babies, some elderly people, but no - teach your kids that it's ok to be inconsiderate.
They started again but it was much quieter and they just stopped and I could hear them whispering, arguing about whether or not I'd actually do it. I felt like I should have felt bad, but I didn't.
13. Manipulative Behaviour
It was a slow process. I am arguably more narcissistic than the average person, though I do not qualify for the actual disorder. I remember one day sitting in therapy and realizing that I had been emotionally manipulating my boss who had gone out of his way to be exceptionally kind and available to me.
In return, I barely worked, so much to the point where he had to start picking up my slack. I talked badly about him to all of my coworkers, though most of them already disliked him.
Often I would engage him on topics that were meaningful to him just because I could sit for two hours in his office, and get paid not to work. What he perceived to be a meaningful connection was mostly entertainment for me.
I started crying, like bawling. Couldn't believe what I was doing. On a grander scale, I started to understand how I was doing that to pretty much everyone. It's strange, because I always perceived others as manipulating and using me, which justified my behavior.
I never understood (and honestly, still struggle to understand) that other people care about me or are affected by my actions. I thought everyone was playing the same game I was, turns out, that wasn't ENTIRELY the case.
14. No More Cookies
I was at a concert with my friends. I had eaten a weed cookie an hour or so before and it was hitting me in waves. The crowd hadn't gotten thick yet, we were near the front but there was plenty of room and people were still filling in.
A girl and her BF, a really nice looking couple, come up to us and ask if they can stand by us. Of course, this is the moment I get a wave of weed-induced paranoia. I got instantly moody and territorial and made a big deal about how it's OUR spot and WE ARE STANDING HERE.
She looks upset and my friends are looking at me sideways.
I reflected right then and there, realized I was the freaking a-hole in that situation, and immediately apologized to the girl and her BF, explaining what had happened. She was super chill and we all danced together for the rest of the concert, and I learned not to eat weed cookies before shows.
15. Let The Monster Pass
I was attempting to exit an even more crowded than usual NYC subway during the evening rush hour and the Tetris dance of people staying on to let people off was going particularly poorly. Some people just weren’t moving at all, not even pretending with that half-hearted lean that doesn’t do jack.
It really annoys me when people clearly think keeping their spot near the door is more important than letting you disembark, so I snapped just a bit and barked “freaking move!” to no one in particular.
(I’m not a particularly imposing guy for the record, just average, but a guy nonetheless.)
Immediately, I hear a sort of cry then whimper from a bit ahead of me, and as I finally make my way past people finally making way, I see the source: A mid-50s, maybe five-foot woman, wearing sunglasses and clutching a white cane, literally shaking in terror and letting out a low, sustained “oooohhhhhh” as she sort of shifts back and forth, hoping to make room for the monster.
My entire interior collapsed and consumed itself right then and I felt like literally the worst person in the world. I try to be more patient on the train now. Sometimes it sucks, but you never really know, and rarely are you being inconvenienced purely because someone else is a sadistic a-hole.
16. IT Sloth
I write software for a living. I have a co-worker who's been assigned to work on the part of software that I'm responsible for, and, well, he's terrible at his job. He's slow to deliver the changes we need, they're never tested adequately, and are almost always riddled with bugs.
He's an experienced guy (several years older than I am, and longer in the industry), and the changes I've asked him for should in no way be beyond his skill level. I have a junior guy who's less than a year out of college also doing some work on my portion of the software, and he's FAR more reliable.
The whole situation is NOT helping my natural tendency to resist delegating work to others. I'm frustrated with the situation, as is our boss, and I'm sure this co-worker is as well.
But I'm sure from his perspective, I'm pushy, arrogant, and asking too much from him, and not understanding his excuses. If/when he's put on an "improvement plan" on the path to getting fired, I'm sure I'll be the villain in his eyes, or at least the 2nd villain behind our boss (who, again, hasn't asked him to do anything beyond what someone of his experience level should be able to do).
17. The Abuser
When I had convinced myself my boyfriend was abusive, then looked up signs of an abusive relationship and they were all things I had done to him. I had been stuck in an abusive relationship shortly before dating him. Which might have been what led me to act how I did.
He never did anything to try and control or manipulate me, I just became so engrossed in getting my way that I channeled it into that belief.
Meanwhile, I was obsessive, getting angry that he went out with friends, even though I wasn't going to be around. I made him pick between them, and wouldn't let him move out of his dad's house because the person he would be rooming with was a girl.
I told myself I couldn't trust him and was always trying to dig through his phone, always jealous if he talked to anybody else. When I moved in with him, my friends stopped seeing me because I lived an hour away, and I blamed him for it. I refused to give him time alone, and never listened to what he had to say. I would get him to cancel plans he'd made a long time ago to be with me.
I genuinely just was a terrible person, and I still struggle with trying to stop. I have to remind myself he isn't a bastard for hanging out with his friends without me once a week or wanting privacy. I think it takes a lot to realize that, and I'm trying hard to get better. I will always feel terrible.
18. Not Just Banter
When I was 18, many, many years ago, I worked a job where I was the a-hole without realizing it. One day a coworker was having a rough time with something and apparently I was being my usual self and he pretty much told me off by letting me know how people talk about me behind my back because of how much of a jerk I am.
It caught me off guard but it also got me to evaluate myself. Yup, I was a jerk. Turns out what I thought was playful banter was just me being rude and dismissive. I cursed constantly and as much at others as anything else.
Again, under the impression that it was all in fun. I also learned that my sarcasm does not come across as such. It was an eye opener for sure and it helped me change in many ways.
That coworker did later apologize for snapping at me but I wasn't at all upset about it, I also apologized to him.
19. Short Clip
It was at the end of the year for a grade 11 computer class, messing around and not doing work and the teacher showed a video. It was a father answering his son's requests to run a marathon for charity. They run one and the kid is so proud of running in it that he asks for another.
And so on and on they go, marathon after marathon. The kid talking to his dad about how great it makes him feel to run in them and all the people who are supporting him. It turns out the kid is quadriplegic and completely immobile in a wheelchair and his father pushes him the entire way.
The video ends and the teacher turns the lights back on and she's crying over how moving this video was. I look around and others are crying too, freaking everyone is crying. li-te-ral-ly everyone...weeping.
Except me. I’m sitting there with an unamused look on my face, feeling skeptic, like, the kid is in a freaking wheelchair, he doesn't do crap, guilt-tripping his father into running for him.
Ain't even run one, what's he talking about 'i love to run'. gurl, your super-buff 60 year old dad pushes your entitled jerk the entire time. give him a break before you kill him, jerk. That's when that little voice in the back of my head whispers, oh crap, I’m the villain.
In like 4th grade - there was a kid in class who was a known bully and kept messing with me. On the playground one day he was talking trash and I said something back that annoyed him. I was standing on a bridge/platform and he was on the ground so he grabbed my ankle and tried pulling me down.
I started shaking my leg and kicked him in the face, so he went and cried to the aides and we both got sent to the office. He wrote a story later that week and reversed everything - said I was taunting him and straight kicked him in the face when he came to talk it out with me.
Suddenly all eyes are on me and everyone is giving him sympathy, thinking that he's been so mean because other people (like me) were picking on him and he was just trying to stand up for himself. My family moved near the end of that year since my stepdad got stationed overseas but I never lived it down.
21. Life Changing Revelation
I've been to Nazi marches/rallies and cross lightings alike. I was involved in propaganda for one group, making and distributing fliers mostly. Some online stuff too, mostly recruiting.
Anyways, I don't think it happened in one moment.There was no one event I can point to that made me realize I was the bad guy but it started when my ex (at the time) found out she was 1/4 Jewish. Apparently her maternal grandfather had hid his Jewish ancestry and just told everyone he was Hungarian. That was the moment I really started to think.
If this woman that I loved, this woman I knew to be so kind, so intelligent, so beautiful and of such good moral character, if she could be 1/4 Jewish, what does that mean? She was a muse for my ideology. I saw her as a prime example of Aryan purity.
A model of European values and beauty. And she was, as far as we were concerned, a Jew (or what the Nazis would have called a mischling). A few other things happened too before I would snap out of it and leave the movement. Two years ago I left and now I'm back together with that "Jew". That wonderful, wonderful "Jew".
22. In Front Of The Whole Class
English wasn't my first language, and I misunderstood the writing assignment from my 6th grade teacher. I don't remember what the prompt was, but I ended up writing a piece about a fellow classmate that no one liked.
Sadly, the teacher decided that I should read mine to the class in order to practice speaking and correct any mispronunciation. I ended up insulting the kid in front of the whole class for what felt like a good minute before the teacher realized what was going on and stopped me.
I realized after the fact that I was the bad guy in that story, but never had the guts to apologize.
He ended up moving the following year due to bullies and family issues. Although this was the only incident between him and I, he probably viewed me as the French douchebag that publicly insulted him.
Side Note: I had barely been in the States for more than a year before this incident. However, that still doesn't excuse me from how I behaved. I wish him the best, and hopefully he ended up living a better life after he moved.
23. On Her Way To Russia
I live in Europe, but I am not originally from the country where I live. I speak the language very well, but here there's a lot of dialects that vary greatly from the official national language. Even though it was hard in the beginning, I managed to get by just well.
Anywho, one day I was walking down the street in suburbia with my partner and this little old lady stopped us and asked us a question in full dialect. It sounded like "fuh da shuh phur du furh".
My partner is from this country but while they could figure out which dialect it was (from a region very far away from our city) they couldn't understand what this lady wanted.
She kept going on and pointing down the street and asking a question. We told her several times over that we didn't understand what she was saying, but she kept insisting. so in the end I just said "yeah sure, it's that way", agreeing with where she was pointing.
Happy with my answer, she went off on her merry way in that direction. She may or may not have reached Russia by now.
24. I Just Don't Like Them
I know this sounds like edgy-teenager stuff, but I come from a big family and I don't like them. I have absolutely no regard for their opinions/thoughts/etc. It took me 20-23 years to come to that realization.
I feel super guilty about it and like I'm a terrible person, because my family, although very dysfunctional, was never that bad (besides sibling fighting) or inherently evil. Just a typical, unstable, low income immigrant family.
Serious mental illnesses also impacted a few close family members (mainly schizophrenia). The family always had high pressure on "making money," it was the only thing really ever mentioned/discussed.
When I was 18, I saved up some money and just left for another country, started a new life completely by myself and have a great career now.
Occasionally I visit them (not because I want to, but because the country I live in requires me to renew my work visa out-of-country every few years), and I recently realized.. I don't like them at all.
I don't know if cutting all ties with them would be the right thing to do, they did support me financially when I was a teenager. It's always awkward meeting people in my new country of residence and them asking about my family.. "don't you miss them?!" .. not at all, but I can't really say that without sounding crazy
25. Honesty Overload
In my defense, I don't think I'm a jerk. Some people are compulsive liars. I'm a compulsive truth-teller. I just blurt out what I think, regardless of the circumstance. In my mind, I'm doing everyone a favor. A lot of people don't take it like that.
"I'm on a diet"
"Good for you"
"I just wish I had a faster metabolism. My friend can eat big macs and never gain a pound."
"It doesn't work like that. Metabolism is an excuse that fat people make use to justify their bad habits"
"Yes she does. You can ask her!"
"No, you eat too much and exercise too little. She eats less than you think, healthier, and is probably more active than you know. Put her in a controlled laboratory environment and I'll bet dollars to donuts she can't maintain weight eating big macs all day."
"Why are you being so mean?"
"I'm just being honest."
26. Love/Hate Relationship
Basically in high-school we had this math teacher. She wasn't too good at handling rowdy high-school kids, and everybody made fun of her in various ways. It could be really cruel, and I imagine it's one of the reasons why she was such a quiet, nervous teacher.
Anyway, because all my friends were doing it, and because I hated school and most of my teachers, I took to making fun of her behind her back just like everyone else, and generally being a rude little brat in class.
Now what makes this awful is that, around my final years of secondary school, this teacher had the heart to take me in for hour-long study sessions after school to help me with increasingly difficult math. If memory serves, this was mandatory for not doing homework, which is how I wound up going.
And I wasn't exactly thrilled at the time, but now I realize that this teacher was really just trying to get me acquainted with math, as she would with any other student, in spite of how rude I was and how easily she could have just given up and said "Screw it, this little jerk doesn't want to learn".
But the horrible thing was, even after she started teaching me after class, and even after I started to appreciate her efforts towards the end of my year, I still gave in to peer pressure and made fun of her behind her back. I didn't have the nerve to tell my friends what I really thought, or to openly acknowledge that I could be very wrong about people.
These days, I'm pursuing a career that often involves programming and math, and in addition to the fact that I find math more and more useful each year, I'm also really starting to see how fascinating and elegant it is. I really wish that I'd been a smart enough person back in class to see what my teacher was trying to show me, instead of just mocking her like a little punk.
27. Jokes Hurt
For a while I was hooked on ”your mom” jokes in the dumbest way. I couldn't stop. Every response had something about someone's mom. I would have punched me in the face if I was someone else. But back then those jokes sent me rolling on the floor with laughter.
There was this girl I was in class with. She made some comment about how loose her desk was. Automatically I say "your mom’s loose." She looks at me with an appalled look and yells "dude! My mom's dead!" I didn't believe her at that moment because I thought she was trying to best me and make me feel dumb.
Turns out, her mom passed away a few years earlier after a long battle with cancer. Thinking she was lying, I looked her in the eyes and said "well I guess that's why she didn't move around much last night." She called me a jerk and didn't talk to me for the longest time. After that someone told me what had happened to her mom…
28. I Was Just Trying To Help
I was at a house party with some young guys and a couple girls. A girl got really drunk and passed out. I saw some guys circling her and being generally creepy. Everyone was getting ready to pass out and I was pretty sure something awful would go down if she was left there.
My reaction was to move her to her friend’s room to sleep it off with her friend away from the group. I woke her up and walked her to the room where her friend welcomed her to share the bed. After I left the room I was confronted by a different girl claiming it was an attack. I couldn’t talk my way out of it.
I got an Uber out of there but I still think about what I should have done differently in that situation. I was the enemy in that moment and I couldn’t figure out how to defend myself. I think now that it is never a good idea to be in that situation. It’s no win.
29. Silent Madness
I realized I was annoyed at the people in wheelchairs that get on the bus, because the driver has to waste 5 minutes to put the stupid ramp down, make everyone move, put the seats up, and secure the wheelchair to the thing on the floor.
I never say anything, obviously, but I realized it's pretty petty to even think these people are inconveniencing me for just trying to get where ever the heck they're going. What made me realize it more and more and feel remorse over it was this instance of a sweet little girl with her parent.
It made me think about how she’ll have to deal with that for all her life and how she doesn’t have the same advantages as I do… Maybe I’ll manage to change my view a bit over time, but till then… Every time, I get silently mad at them. Yep I'm a jerk.
I had a real problem with Kleptomania and pathological lying when I was a child. I would steal other kid's small toys, trading cards, and snacks. On one occasion, I stole a stopwatch from Galleons when I was a first grader and I had no idea why I did it.
I know it was Kleptomania because I never stole money, and I still to this day have no idea why I stole those things I did. I also told the most outrageous lies as well, like I remember one time I lied to my entire class and told them I was in karate, and that I regularly went to Japan to compete in tournaments and stuff (I was a big DBZ fan, BTW).
I don't know how, but I'm not like that anymore. Usually that behavior carries into adulthood, but mine didn't. I live a pretty straightforward, honest life, and I have no desires or impulses to steal or or tell tall tales.
31. Just Shut Up
Back in high school in Computer Engineering we were googling each other's names and having a good time. One of my friends was named John ______, so we googled his name and found a John that looked like a total heroin addict.
After we made fun of him for a few seconds our teacher said something like "Yeah actually that was one of my students.. John's brother.. he's going through a hard time right now and I miss the guy" - We then realized it actually was John's step brother and felt awful for a few years. Still gets brought up every once in a while.
Try to be mindful about what you say about others whether or not you know them. You never know the ways in which you can hurt someone. I still feel so guilty over this and kept my mouth shut about stuff like that since then. Honestly, it made my life a lot better and I’m so happy for it.
I was living next door in a duplex apartment with some friends. One night they decided to have a drunken gathering. (Six or seven unattached guys playing stupid drinking games) I left shortly after one of the attendees ran down the hallway shouting "Guacamole!" and passing out on the floor.
Sometime mid-morning the next day I stopped by to check on the casualties. The guy who passed out after shouting about a dip was up, shambling about, and talking about how bad he felt. I told him he was dehydrated, and what he needed was a big glass of ice water.
Now, I know that you're supposed to just sip the cool refreshing goodness of the ice water. I also knew that he didn't know that.
So, I watched with mirthful malice as he chugged the large glass of ice water. His face went from refreshed relief to pale sickness in just a few seconds. He dashed to the kitchen sink and made the dirty dishes in it from the night before even more disgusting.
My laughter woke some of the others who had been sleeping it off and now wanted to know what happened. The sick guy came out of the kitchen long enough to call me an a-hole, then run to the bathroom to finish heaving up his toenails.
33. Apart From Each Other
I took a cat's kittens away from her when they were 4-5 weeks old because she couldn't take care of them any more due to not producing enough milk. They were also in a very terrible unclean environment so one's eyes started closing up.
I couldn't take her with the kittens because she's an outside/shop kitty, where I was bringing them into my home to clean them up, de-flea them (I took around 50 off the first time and 30 off the second day), and give them the food they needed. Now they are looking healthy, and being rambunctious kittens that they should be.
Anyways, after I took them away she'd meow for her kittens trying to find them, and it made me think that's how humans with missing children feel, so I felt horrible about doing it even if it was for a good cause.
34. A Little Bit Of Frustration
Back before cell phones were so common I picked up my roommate at the airport. I got there and waited. Nothing. I waited and waited and she never showed up. We were just out of college so I figured she missed the early morning flight. I drove back home to call the airline.
The airline phone operator helped me find the next flight that she could have taken but said he wasn't allowed to tell me if she was on it or not for safety/privacy reasons. "Man, come on," I said.
"I already drove out there once, can you just tell me?"
"All I can say is that the plane lands at 1:20."
"Come on! Am I just supposed to sit out there all day and wait?"
"Sir, the plane will be landing at 1:20."
"What the heck!? Why won't you just-" then it finally clicked and I managed an apology before hanging up in shame.
35. Not My Fault
"You're the one who took my husband’s life." The widow of a recently deceased farmer said that to me when I called him on the phone. I sold agricultural chemicals at the time, and she was referring to the pesticide he bought and used for years.
It has recently been discovered that the active ingredient, 2-4 D, is carcinogenic. My customer had died of cancer, and she might not have been completely wrong. But it wasn't like I knew it was dangerous in that way. None of us did.
I did feel guilty about it, even though I’m not technically the bad guy. With these you never know when something will be found to be very harmful… I feel really sorry for her, but there’s not much that me or my company can do… Just hope she finds some peace.
36. Gotta Pass
I was in the process of moving into a new house right in the middle of winter and I had plants in the car & was in a rush to get to my new home so as not to kill them (think minus 40 temp). At the stop lights I waited for my green light and when I got it... cars kept turning left when I had the right of way.
I was so mad that I honked at them, ticked off and cut them off to go on my way. It was only when my wife arrived (she was in the car behind me) that I learned that it was a funeral procession. I felt like such a jerk…
Where I'm from (or is it universal?) funeral processions, in order to stay together, can ignore circulation lights from their trips from the church to the cemetery. I felt so bad that I, an atheist, went to the cemetery during the night (couldn't sleep) to "symbolically apologize" to the deceased.
37. Be Mindful
My family started behaving differently around me. My older sisters and I grew up always poking fun at each other. We'd go back and forth and make fun of each other constantly. Rarely did it ever get too mean or personal. As we got older, my sisters did it less often. I didn't. I kept at it.
I started noticing that when I teased them, they were a lot quicker to get offended than they used to be. Eventually we would start arguing. They claimed I was being too mean and my argument was that it didn't bother them before so it shouldn't bother them now.
And how dare they try to stop me from having fun when it was their problem, not mine.
One day I asked my younger sister, who typically didn't ever get involved in the teasing at all, if she thought I was wrong. To me, it was a rhetorical question because I was positive she was gonna agree with me. She didn't agree with me at all.
And it clicked almost instantly. It doesn't matter if they were cool with it before and now they're not. People change. And if I wanted to maintain a good relationship with my older sisters, I needed to respect that.
It doesn't matter if I don’t think something is a big deal. If someone else does think it is a big deal, and I care about that person, I need to respect their perspective.
I was a huge nerd in early high school, and had a really solid crew of nerd friends. At one point I was really crushing on this girl, but I kept it to myself. Then she started dating my best friend. Neither of them did anything wrong.
Yet I grew resentful of him, and my crush on her started turning into an unhealthy infatuation. I ultimately distanced myself from my nerdy friends and villainized them in my own head while I started drinking, experimenting, stopped caring about school, and associating with a not so great crowd.
I hate what a cringy person I used to be. They were nothing but great guys, especially my best friend, really just an all around stand up guy. I gave up that friendship because of a stupid crush.
I wish I could turn back time and change it… but unfortunately that’s not possible.
39. I Just Want Some More Time
When I started wishing that my mom who has ALS and is completely bed-bound (and has been for 3 years) would just die already. I quit nursing school 3 years ago to be her full-time caregiver so that she wouldn’t have to live in a nursing home.
My two sisters barely helped as they had “real jobs” to go to. Now, we have nurses who are covered by my mom’s Medicaid/Medicare, and I only have to stay with her 2 or 3 days a week. I’m paid for my time now and I know that’s terrible, but it’s the only thing that keeps me coming back.
She can’t talk or move at all. I’m 26, and my fiancé and I have a 5 year old son. I just want to focus on building my life with them. I feel like being with my mom so often just takes away from my time with my new family… And my sisters are of no help.
40. Learn On Your Own
During my working days (I'm retired now) I refused to teach my coworkers what I knew about my trade. I was called into the boss's office and there sat the boss and a manager. We all got along just fine so I wasn't worried.
They told me that one of my coworkers wanted to learn how to do what I did at work. I took offense to it but I wasn't a jerk about it. I made it clear that it took me years to learn my trade and I wasn't hired to be a teacher. Also, I wasn't going to be paid to teach.
I told the bosses that my coworker can go to the local school of art and take classes. That was the end of that. Why in the hell should I show someone what I know so that the bosses can get rid of me and keep the guy who got paid a lot less than me.
41. I Want It Bigger
I put an order in for a pizza at a local place. I was starving as I just left work and said I want a specialty pizza, but the largest they had. Timed it correctly so when I got to the pick-up window, it'd be ready. I got my pizza and headed home. I looked at it while driving and they gave me a small.
I was already hangry so I pulled a U-ie (sp?) and went inside to talk to a manager.
Once he came up, I was pretty blunt about them getting the order wrong. He looked at it and simply told me that it was actually large. I was defeated because it looked small as heck! Quickly accepted the fact that I was wrong, apologized, and left.
I do eat like a garbage disposal, but I was also very hungry, or maybe their large pizza's weren't large (at least to my standards). Maybe all? I'm not sure. When I got home after accepting I was wrong, I even got a ruler to measure out 14" diameter. Still the bad guy.
42. Just Live With It
My best friend and I fell into bed when we were completely zooked (split a 60 of Smirnoff, got into a few substances we mixed when we shouldn't have) while she had a boyfriend. After that it became more of a common occurrence; we spent so much time together being drunken disasters that history kept repeating itself.
Boyfriend never suspected anything because I was just the best friend and was harmless.
Eventually, they broke up, she got a new boyfriend, but it kept happening. The first time it happened, it was a mistake that we made because we were pretty much incapable of any thoughts whatsoever and it just sort of... Happened. Oopsy, but we move on.
Then it happened again and I realized that I was the bad guy: if I was really the best friend, I'd keep her best interests in mind and not unwittingly help her sabotage her relationships. Then I decided, I don’t care, she's hot and I was here first so I'll be the bad guy and make the most of it.
I'm the first person to say I'm not a good person, and people keep saying I am.
No, I look out for myself first, and I'll talk my way out of problems that arise from it. No matter how many times I use the excuse "of course I did, I'm a jerk", people keep brushing it off as "oh, you're just really honest!" No, screw that, I'm the bad guy. I'm just self-aware enough to realize it and too stubborn to attempt to change it.
43. I Need Therapy
I realized I’m a huge A-Hole when my boyfriend said he hesitates to tell me things he's excited about because he's afraid I'll get mad… I was shocked at first, but after some thorough evaluation I figured out he’s right.
I do tend to be a jerk and over react to a lot of stuff... But that near broke my heart. I'm no longer his safe space, his confidant.. I'm working harder than ever to fix that. When LoL released Chroma skins for Sion the other day he was SO excited.
He's been waiting for years. Yet he got quiet and said, "I almost didn't tell you.. I was worried you'd be mad." (for context, he hadn't texted me back for several hours and his response was a call about Sion's new skins. I might have been irritated ((I wasn't)) but I was so happy for him)
44. What Else Was I Supposed To Do?
A few years ago, while helping a friend move some furniture, his 70ish mother picked up a curtain rod from a pile of them leaning in a corner. Among them was a cast iron one that was very heavy.
It fell and knocked her unconscious in a very cartoonish kind of way; it hit her, she straightened up and just fell over backwards. I laughed and could not stop. I realized after a few moments that everyone was staring at me as though I just crapped on the dining room table. Yep. I am a terrible person.
I don’t know why… These types of things just make me laugh. Idk if it’s from the cartoon I watched growing up or just my messed up way of processing these situations. I did apologize though and hope she’ll forgive me.
45. Just Trying To Buy Groceries
I used to work as a bill collector. When I first worked there, my friends at work used to egg me on to be a jerk to the people we called. I once called a woman's house and her husband answered. We had been trying to reach her for some time and she kept dodging our calls.
He said she was out buying groceries. I asked him where and he told me she was at the local Walmart. I used my BlackBerry to find the phone number for Walmart, called customer service and had them page her to the phone.
Needless to say, she was not pleased when she found out who had her paged. I was having a difficult time because of personal issues, and I tried to make myself feel better by being a jerk to customers. I deeply regret it now and wish I could apologize to the people I treated poorly.