24 votes

What's a life lesson you've learned in the past year?

Could be anything. Philosophical, practical, or neither.

33 comments

  1. [2]
    teaearlgraycold
    Link
    A big one for me is the difference between knowing something, and feeling it. I can know what's best for me, what next steps I need to take in my life. But until I actually feel deeply motivated...

    A big one for me is the difference between knowing something, and feeling it. I can know what's best for me, what next steps I need to take in my life. But until I actually feel deeply motivated for those next steps I won't make any progress on them. I've used this to keep positive even when I feel like I've stagnated in my growth. It's important that I don't try too hard at something when I know I won't follow through yet. I fear that I'll train myself to expect failure. So far I've managed to use this patience to wait for the right time to enact many different self-improvement efforts.

    17 votes
    1. Kuromantis
      (edited )
      Link Parent
      That's some pretty good and surprisingly unique advice. In the other hand, getting to the point of wanting something enough to act on it definitely feels very much dependent on the person you're...

      That's some pretty good and surprisingly unique advice. In the other hand, getting to the point of wanting something enough to act on it definitely feels very much dependent on the person you're talking about. I know I don't tend to feel "deeply motivated" very often.

      1 vote
  2. [5]
    MonkeyPants
    Link
    Advice has limited utility. We usually have to learn the hard way.

    Advice has limited utility.

    We usually have to learn the hard way.

    14 votes
    1. [4]
      jaylittle
      Link Parent
      This. A thousand times this.

      This. A thousand times this.

      3 votes
      1. [3]
        MonkeyPants
        Link Parent
        Actually, advice has negative utility to me. It's usually ignored. If it's followed, and things work out, I get no credit. If it's followed, and things back fire, I get the blame. I don't give...

        Actually, advice has negative utility to me.

        It's usually ignored.

        If it's followed, and things work out, I get no credit.

        If it's followed, and things back fire, I get the blame.

        I don't give advice anymore. I just ask questions. People still blame me for the questions I ask, however.

        1 vote
        1. [2]
          jaylittle
          Link Parent
          This reminds me of a great quote: "No good deed goes unpunished." I gave a buddy advice multiple times recently on some COVID related matters. He ignored my advice over and over again when it came...

          This reminds me of a great quote: "No good deed goes unpunished."

          I gave a buddy advice multiple times recently on some COVID related matters. He ignored my advice over and over again when it came to spending time at various beaches (SC and FL). When the rest of his family finally got sick while driving home from their most recent FL trip, I pushed him hard to quarantine. He declined and went to work. When he himself got sick two days later - I pushed him harder. He finally gave in and told his employer and self quarantined a few days. Then he got his test results and they were negative.

          He blamed me for making him waste a week. I was stupid pissed. Words could not convey the amount of rage and frustration that statement caused me to feel. Once he realized the impact of that comment he tried to roll it back. Said he was trolling. But man, I'm done giving anybody advice. Even if they ask for it. Everybody just wants to do whatever it is they want to do and to find a scape goat to point the finger at down the road when it doesn't work out for them.

          2 votes
          1. rrajath
            Link Parent
            I've always followed the "say it once" rule. If I have to give somebody some advice, I'd say it once and they can either take it or leave it. I don't expect them to follow it. And, I never say "I...

            I've always followed the "say it once" rule. If I have to give somebody some advice, I'd say it once and they can either take it or leave it. I don't expect them to follow it. And, I never say "I told you so" if things go sideways after ignoring my advice.

  3. [10]
    Kuromantis
    (edited )
    Link
    This was a bit more than a year ago, but don't give opinions about stuff you're uninformed about. If you were to find my reddit account and scroll down far enough/sort as controversial, you would...

    This was a bit more than a year ago, but don't give opinions about stuff you're uninformed about. If you were to find my reddit account and scroll down far enough/sort as controversial, you would find a bunch of dumb takes and questions on dating from a socially bankrupt 12/13 year old.

    Eventually someone called me a neckbeard.

    Being called a neckbeard before even having facial hair basically terrified me away from saying and asking dumb stuff, especially about social relations, something I obviously couldn't know less about.

    I've written a little more about this here.

    Tl;Dr Even if I feel I've learned nothing new and still am basically socially bankrupt, I've definitely unlearned/dropped a bunch of bad assumptions about women.

    11 votes
    1. [5]
      thundergolfer
      Link Parent
      Being concerned about dating at 12 years old seems quite premature. When I was 12 we had crushes but no one was dating anyone. Is dating at 12 a normal experience where you're from?

      Being concerned about dating at 12 years old seems quite premature. When I was 12 we had crushes but no one was dating anyone. Is dating at 12 a normal experience where you're from?

      2 votes
      1. [4]
        Kuromantis
        Link Parent
        I don't think so, but I don't really know how my classmates are doing unless I can tell they're in a relationship just by what I see in the classrooms and break. As for why I cared so much (or...

        Is dating at 12 a normal experience where you're from?

        I don't think so, but I don't really know how my classmates are doing unless I can tell they're in a relationship just by what I see in the classrooms and break.

        As for why I cared so much (or rather, asked so many dumb, badly gendered questions and said so many dumb, badly gendered opinions, I still care), it was mainly because I didn't know how little I knew and most places I used (r/dankmemes unironically, r/teenagers) tend(ed?) to circlejerk about dating a lot and 12/13-year-old me picked up on that, but genuinely.

        1. [3]
          thundergolfer
          Link Parent
          I'm glad I wasn't really on the internet at that age 😅. Ahh, the days of dial-up...

          I'm glad I wasn't really on the internet at that age 😅. Ahh, the days of dial-up...

          1. [2]
            Kuromantis
            Link Parent
            Good for you, I meanwhile learned how to use a search bar at like, ~-3.5 years old and now my English vocabulary used purely in and for Internet forums/sites is larger and better than my...

            Good for you, I meanwhile learned how to use a search bar at like, ~-3.5 years old and now my English vocabulary used purely in and for Internet forums/sites is larger and better than my Portuguese vocabulary used for people I will actually talk to with my mouth and know by face. I'm serious BTW, this is perhaps the single most important fact of me as a person.

            We're getting pretty offtopic here, but this post and thread might be neat to you if you haven't seen it.

            1. thundergolfer
              Link Parent
              I wasn't having a go at you, just in case you interpreted it like that. The internet helped me escape my own bubble in my late teens.

              I wasn't having a go at you, just in case you interpreted it like that. The internet helped me escape my own bubble in my late teens.

              2 votes
    2. [4]
      suspended
      Link Parent
      The top comment there is 100%.

      I've written a little more about this here.

      The top comment there is 100%.

      2 votes
      1. [3]
        Kuromantis
        Link Parent
        (BTW this is kind of an offtopic rant thingy borne from interpreting "you'll be maturing" -> "you'll always be maturing".) Yeah, the entire thread is kind of that general "if you don't see your...

        (BTW this is kind of an offtopic rant thingy borne from interpreting "you'll be maturing" -> "you'll always be maturing".)

        Yeah, the entire thread is kind of that general "if you don't see your past self in a poor light, you still are your past self", I kind of expected it too:

        PS: If the answer is "if you don't feel like this you're in trouble, people don't/shouldn't just stop developing like that", I won't be surprised.

        But I can't help but feel the idea that you're never gonna be done changing as a person doesn't seem fun.

        Keeping up with politics, technology, and maybe culture, language and fashion if you really want whoever is young in the moment to care about what you have to say (your body and brain decaying is probably there too) is always gonna be there for you (and will be important), but the idea that after multiple decades alive you still will have stuff to figure out about yourself seems kinda impossible. That definitely doesn't mean I'm already done now, I am not, but the idea that I never will be seems contradictory.

        1. skybrian
          Link Parent
          It gets less dramatic, but when new things happen to you, often you do learn something more about yourself. The world changes. Life doesn't stop, until it does.

          It gets less dramatic, but when new things happen to you, often you do learn something more about yourself. The world changes. Life doesn't stop, until it does.

          2 votes
        2. culturedleftfoot
          Link Parent
          It might be useful to think of it as not necessarily just always changing, but always growing. Unfortunately, most people don't spend enough time understanding themselves in the first place and...

          It might be useful to think of it as not necessarily just always changing, but always growing. Unfortunately, most people don't spend enough time understanding themselves in the first place and find themselves scrambling to get a grasp of who they really are in their middle age; there is nothing that has predestined that for you. It will depend on your attitudes, your habits, your choices.

          In the words of Bruce Lee - there are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them. A man must constantly exceed his level.

          1 vote
  4. [2]
    Kuromantis
    (edited )
    Link
    As a second one, this time indeed within a year of this post from the comments in this thread. (Some lessons here were learned, some were reinforced or made apparent) Remember the human Being...
    • Exemplary

    As a second one, this time indeed within a year of this post from the comments in this thread.

    (Some lessons here were learned, some were reinforced or made apparent)

    • Remember the human

    • Being forgiven and charitably treated after doing/saying something bad can be really shameful if you listen to them

    • Wishing wildly extreme things on groups of people based on stereotypes without the madness and mental gymnastics to commit to it will be taken seriously and really backfire if someone from that group cares enough to answer you.

    • From /MonkeyPants: Usually, we learn by being fucked up.

    (By the way, the context bit is really long, there's a formatted bit at the where I actually describe learning the life lesson if this is too long. There's also a tl;dr.)

    So, once, someone said that because the coronavirus is a disease that primarily targets rich old people who travel a lot, they shut down the entire economy to protect themselves, and that's the only reason lockdown is instituted, otherwise they would happily let young people die. This sure as hell doesn't mean he shares the blame for what I said, but that comment was on my mind.

    With that in mind, a few days later I said in another thread that one of the good things about the coronavirus was that it targeted those manager people, and old people are disproportionately conservative, so if a large share of them die, the survivors will be less conservative, and in an accelerationist sense, that's good. (Among other things.)

    So, I got a reply from someone who fit most of the bills I described, and they said to me "that's not how this works". So I said it was accelerationism and cited formerly pro-life people who became mothers as an example for what will happen to them when they get COVID in mass.

    The first reply was in short, "There will also be dead people, they will likely include one of your grandparents and you're ignoring that for the sake of focusing on "conservatives", when the virus doesn't target people by political ideology.", so I admitted I'm not really serious and I still want to have a conscience, and I knew what I was saying meant to the people I was talking about, and he took the apology.

    The second reply (now deleted, read a little more text) was a reminder that the person I was replying to is quite old and they aren't some bastard but one of the best posters on this site, and for some people, "old people" isn't some vaguely conservative group of secondary importance but often great people who are looked upon as role models and my comment completely runs over them. That's definitely better, now someone who fit on every box I had in my mind had replied to me asking me to not do that, but at that point the guy from the first reply had already accepted my apology, so I rested pretty easy.

    Then, that guy defended me and told people to be kind, because given the time we live in, such things will happen and people will say things like that, and we shouldn't go overboard on them, because ultimately, they're feeling the same frustration as we are, even though I didn't feel like people were going overboard on me.

    After saying all that about people like him, after saying people like him was were not only worthy, but deserving of mass disease and death until they got herd immunity, and that was worth the political advantage, I was forgiven and understood.

    That was the most shame I had ever felt from saying something I shouldn't have.

    Tl;dr

    I once said COVID was good because it killed more old people, who I assumed were more conservative. Someone in middle-age replied saying that's nonsense and terrible. I deflected and sidetracked and said it was accelerationism. 2 people replied pointing out how soulless that is. After apologizing to the first, the second reply got a reply from that middle-aged guy being charitable to me. A shitload of shame appropriately rushed to me and I learned a life lesson.

    5 votes
    1. helloworld
      Link Parent
      Thank you for this. This is a lesson I need to learn sorely. I had made good progress on it last year, but this years has been a total wash in that department

      Thank you for this. This is a lesson I need to learn sorely. I had made good progress on it last year, but this years has been a total wash in that department

      2 votes
  5. Whom
    Link
    When something awful is done to you, forgiveness is on your terms. You don't need to apply the standards you do for others when deciding if someone can be forgiven for what they've done. If you...

    When something awful is done to you, forgiveness is on your terms. You don't need to apply the standards you do for others when deciding if someone can be forgiven for what they've done. If you trust it won't happen again and have it in you to forgive...you can. And it might be better for yourself if you do so.

    8 votes
  6. [3]
    culturedleftfoot
    Link
    Uncharitably put, it's Sartre's quote: "L'enfer, c'est les autres," or "Hell is other people." If I were to be a little more fair, it would be that I need to learn how to ignore some things. I...

    Uncharitably put, it's Sartre's quote: "L'enfer, c'est les autres," or "Hell is other people." If I were to be a little more fair, it would be that I need to learn how to ignore some things.

    I only came across it for the first time a month or two ago after someone on here referenced it, and this entire experience of lockdown has allowed me (against my will) to discover exactly why I often don't like being around people for too long. Interestingly, it's really not anything to do with introversion, which is the popular assumption. I'm not especially introverted, but I intentionally chose a long time ago to start observing and listening more than talking, and that often aligns me with introverts in practice. What I've realized recently it's been a habit for so long that I have real difficulty tuning things out. I'm quite good at not being bothered by most things, but certain auditory stimuli that are innocuous or mild annoyances to most (e.g. gossip, insecure boasting, pigs slurping up their food at a trough people eating with their mouths open) can really make my blood boil even when I'm not involved. I'd usually just leave when I can tell people are about to start getting on my nerves, but this extended period where I couldn't has confronted me with a need to figure out why I don't control that anger better. My intent to check my own ego with receptive silence often allows mental bandwidth for others who are too preoccupied with their own thoughts, emotions, issues etc. to always be considerate, and I need to develop the skill of turning down their volume in my mind, for my own sanity.

    I know that this is something of a misinterpretation of the quote in its original context, but coming to this insight of myself coincided pretty neatly with my learning it in the first place, so that's how I'm remembering it.

    8 votes
    1. teaearlgraycold
      Link Parent
      Misinterpretation is interpretation. You should be glad you are insightful enough to re-purpose the words of others to match your own experiences.

      Misinterpretation is interpretation. You should be glad you are insightful enough to re-purpose the words of others to match your own experiences.

      4 votes
    2. RiveGauche
      Link Parent
      Sartre is one of my favourites. I like your interpretation of the quote though!

      Sartre is one of my favourites. I like your interpretation of the quote though!

      1 vote
  7. Adam_Black_Arts
    Link
    Nothing lasts forever. That was the big takeaway last year.

    Nothing lasts forever. That was the big takeaway last year.

    6 votes
  8. vord
    Link
    Learned a lot from kid's TV shows. Daniel Tiger: It's ok to make mistakes, try to fix them, and learn from them too When you're feeling frustrated, take a step back and ask for help When you have...

    Learned a lot from kid's TV shows.

    Daniel Tiger:

    • It's ok to make mistakes, try to fix them, and learn from them too
    • When you're feeling frustrated, take a step back and ask for help
    • When you have to go potty, stop and go right away, flush and wash and be on your way

    Bluey helped me break out of my shell and play more creatively.

    And I'm finally starting to break the 'batch cleaning' habits after 30+ years. Seriously, clean as you go and you won't need to batch nearly as much.

    6 votes
  9. [5]
    mrbig
    (edited )
    Link
    This will come up braggy but there’s no way around it: there is such a thing as too many girls, too much sex, too much emotional entanglements. It’s shallow, emotionally and physically draining....

    This will come up braggy but there’s no way around it: there is such a thing as too many girls, too much sex, too much emotional entanglements. It’s shallow, emotionally and physically draining. And you’ll never know which is “the one” (probably none).

    4 votes
    1. [4]
      teaearlgraycold
      Link Parent
      I’m not sure I completely understand you. Could you share the story behind this one?

      I’m not sure I completely understand you. Could you share the story behind this one?

      2 votes
      1. [3]
        mrbig
        Link Parent
        Quality over quantity. It’s as simple as that. Lots of crazy/fucked-up people in the world

        Quality over quantity. It’s as simple as that. Lots of crazy/fucked-up people in the world

        6 votes
        1. culturedleftfoot
          Link Parent
          My favorite compliment I've ever received was when I was called "the personification of quality over quantity," after messaging a close friend that I mostly speak with once every few months. I...

          My favorite compliment I've ever received was when I was called "the personification of quality over quantity," after messaging a close friend that I mostly speak with once every few months. I more or less try to take that approach to everything.

          4 votes
        2. teaearlgraycold
          Link Parent
          Ah. I mis-read your comment as "there is no such thing" which didn't line up with the rest of your comment. I agree. In general my feeling is I need to find someone that meet my high standards,...

          Ah. I mis-read your comment as "there is no such thing" which didn't line up with the rest of your comment. I agree. In general my feeling is I need to find someone that meet my high standards, and then grow together to approach the ideal relationship.

          1 vote
  10. rogue_cricket
    Link
    If you appreciate someone, let them know. It sounds basic, but I was listening to a podcast and it got me thinking about how often I feel gratitude but leave it unexpressed. I've been trying to be...

    If you appreciate someone, let them know. It sounds basic, but I was listening to a podcast and it got me thinking about how often I feel gratitude but leave it unexpressed. I've been trying to be more active about it and it's been a boon for me and for my relationships.

    I've also been really carefully considering how my consumption of media affects my worldview, and trying to avoid "outrage-bait".

    3 votes
  11. [2]
    Pascia
    Link
    Motivation videos doesnt work. Real motivoiton in your hearts. Only choice is work harder.

    Motivation videos doesnt work.

    Real motivoiton in your hearts. Only choice is work harder.

    3 votes
    1. culturedleftfoot
      Link Parent
      I'll do you one better: motivation comes and goes. Discipline gets you the results. I wish I could say it's a lesson I've learned, but I still struggle with it daily.

      I'll do you one better: motivation comes and goes. Discipline gets you the results.

      I wish I could say it's a lesson I've learned, but I still struggle with it daily.

      2 votes