When you know your kids backwards and forwards, this is the best tool in your arsenal.
Getting our kids to listen to us is not always the easiest of tasks. They're willful and stubborn, but we've got a mighty weapon they are rarely prepared for: reverse psychology. Getting them to convince themselves to want to do something against their own initial intentions takes some work and a whole lot of creativity, but a little sneaky manipulation goes a long way. Here are some clever parents' tricks that are definitely worth taking notes on.
Redditor u/LeanderD Asks:
Parents of reddit, what's your best example of reversed psychology on your kids that actually worked?
He Floated His Idea Through A Back Channel
Wanted to name my boat. Anything I would think of was dismissed as stupid by my 13 year old son. After deciding on a name, I confided to a male friend my son liked. Made my friend suggest the name as though it was his idea. My son thought the name was perfect. Done.
We Always Want What We Can't Have
One of my best friends through childhood used to be punished with no salad if she misbehaved. She cherishes salad now and would always try to eat as much as possible during school lunch. Coincidentally, her now husband used to be punished with no books, it had the same effect. I think it's hilarious that they'd be hitting the salad bar and library like some black market their narc parents couldn't reach hahaha.
A Deceit That's A Cut Above The Rest
Don't know if this counts, but, at my high school (private, boys only) in the 1960's, they made a big deal about how long your hair was, and would occasionally order a boy to go home and "get a haircut".
I thought it was stupid, until years later, a master confided to me at a reunion that the policy was deliberate. The school figured we'd spend so much energy rebelling about hair length, that we would ignore other aspects of teenage rebellion. (Not?) Surprisingly, they were mostly right.
Damn! That's smart. Wow.
Oh they don't like long hair?
I'll show them. I'll grow my hair out as lon- what?! No I don't want to go "party"? I gotta try out this horse shampoo.
The Forbidden Book
Hi I was a victim,
There was a forbidden book that I was not allow to read on the shelf. My parents said I could only read it if I behave myself.
It was summer holidays and I was playing games all day (after 6 hrs of summer homework). One day I was home alone and had the opportunity to grabbed it. I read like half of it in one go. It was 5000 years of Chinese history.
Safe to say I was bamboozled.
Flowers Of The Queen
My parents always told me my broccoli were the flowers of the queen and that I really shouldn't eat them, or else the queen would get very upset! I, of course, ate the whole broccoli in a few seconds.
I'm telling the queen and she's gonna be pissed
I taught my kids when they were toddlers that no amount of yelling, shaking or hitting can wake a sleeping adult. The only thing that works is a gentle hug and/or a nice kiss on the cheek.
Edit: Probably needed some more details for the reverse psychology aspect to be clear. It went something like this - Step one, tell the kids I'm going to sleep and nothing they do will wake me (head buried face down is the safest position). Step two, after the initial onslaught dies down pretend to awaken on your own. Tell them you got a bit of nap left in you and nothing can wake you, especially not hugs and kisses.
Holy sh*t...if my daughter woke me up like this I would buy her a pony.
I am saving this comment because this will save lives if I ever have kids, stg.
A Walk In Someone Else's Shoes.
Split custody with my ex. When my son was around 10, he visited two weekends a month. I was waiting tables and didn't have a huge amount to spend, but he was so needy from divorce (and I'm not blaming him, it was ugly), he begged constantly for MORE when he was with me. Whatever more was, it didn't matter... he'd be eating ice cream cone and begging for teriyaki.
I finally realized that he just felt empty, and getting MORE whatever from me wasn't filling him up. His next visit I handed him $100 in cash and told him it was our food/fun budget for 3 days and two nights, and he was in charge of it. I bought him his own wallet to carry. We figured out how many times we were going to eat and what we were going to do, and he paid. He got to keep whatever money he had left...thought he was rich...then realized just how much everything cost. Well. Shoe on other foot then. If we had no money for food, we ate leftovers - and I didn't contribute more to pot. After a few weekends of running short or not getting something he actually wanted because he was foolish with funds, he started to really think about how to spend that money. He budgeted and kept to his budget. And a few times he actually went home with a little cash for his private stash.
Many years later, he thanked me for this. It really changed the way he thought about money and love.
This Is Worth Giving A Shot
Took my 3 year old son to one of those doctor's visits where he was going to get a shot. He was worried about the shot on the whole drive over, almost to the point of tears. We get to the doctor's office and a nurse subtly lets me know that my son is not just scheduled for 1 shot, but 5 of them in the same visit.
I turn to my son with an exaggerated smile and tell him, "Good news! They figured out how to take that one big shot you were going to get and instead break it up into these 5 little tiny shots so it won't hurt nearly as much!"
You could see the relief wash over his face. He stopped squirming and relaxed completely. He took the first shot and even smiled and said "It's true! The small ones don't hurt!"
We actually made it through the third shot before the effect wore off and reality kicked in. Still... I counted it as a victory.
Put This To The Taste
My mom would tell me she only lets me eat soup after candy and she'd only buy me candy that i didn't like. After a few times, i stopped trying and begged her to let me eat soup first. She gave me a smirk and told me go ahead. This doesn't sound as evil as it was. But trust me i suffered.
So what was the candy?
Mint chocolate, raisins, stuff like that. I still hate them to this day. Who the f--- thought while eating chocolate "hmm id like some tooth paste with this."
This is Truckin' Awesome
Mum had sworn a bit around the house.
When 4, while out at the supermarket, I said F word really loudly.
Very quickly and intently, she asked if I had just said "Truck" and said that was a bad word and not to ever say Truck like that again.
I thought that was the bad word so used that when being naughty.
The "Silly Mom" Routine
The "Silly Mom" routine.
My kid, and a few other kids I've known, would balk at getting ready to go. I'd grab their clothes and say, "Well, if you won't put on your clothes, I guess I'll put on your clothes. Cute shirt, by the way! Does it go on my foot?"
"Does it go on my head?"
NO! IT GOES ON ME!
"Oh, that's right, thanks! So, it must go on your legs, right?"
"I just can't figure this out! Where does this adorable shirt go?"
[kid grabs shirt and puts it on] ON MY TUMMY! SILLY MOM!
"Oh, thank you so much! Now what about these pants? Shirts go on tummies, so...the pants go on the tummy, too, right?"
[continue until kids have dressed themselves]
I would also do things like hand the kid my keys and say, "Alright, you're driving, I'll sit in the booster seat in back," attempt to feed the kid by putting a spoon up to his ear or his belly button, and attempt to put away his toys in the refrigerator.
Some Foot For Thought.
My mum would always yell at us "if you don't do X, you have to go to bed without socks!"
I never wore socks anyway, and I'm ashamed to admit that this worked.
That would work really well on my son, or make him cry for a really long time... He's 3 and over the last few weeks has decided that he is fully unable to sleep without socks on.
Toddlers man. Completely unpredictable.
I'm Greens With Envy
My mum had a friend that would put vegetables on her own plate and not the kids.
When the kids asked she would be reluctant to share, "that's grown up food. But I suppose I can let you have a little."
Her kids grew up loving vegetables.
I sat at the dinner table for 3 hours staring at the yucky cauliflower I refused to eat.
This reminds me of an instance when my child convinced my wife and myself to change our plans for dinner. We were in a grocery store to pick up something quick and easy to eat that we wouldn't have to prepare. Our daughter, wanted none of that, she demanded that she wanted a salad from the salad bar. We started to argue back, but then realized: "Our child demands that we feed her vegetables for dinner instead of a microwaved meal, why are we saying 'No?'"
We had salad for dinner that night.
The Power Of Choice
I don't so much know if you would call it reverse psychology, but I didn't realize it until my dad told me this.
When there were chores that needed doing, he noticed if he asked me to mow the lawn, I would complain and procrastinate. But if he asked would I rather mow the lawn or wash the windows, I'd pick one and just get it done.
Shattered my brain when he told me when I was in my twenties. I use it when I'm coaching or baby sitting all the time and it almost never fails.
The Boy Who Cried 'Ouch'
I've done this one with tens of kids. Any time a kid gets "hurt" (falls down on grass, gets gently hit in the face with a ball, etc.) instead of stopping the activity to pick the kid up and see if they're ok you just scoot them off to the side and resume. Within 10 seconds of not getting all the attention and seeing the fun is resuming they pop right back up and are magically healed.
This of course is only for the "injuries" that aren't actually injuries.
It may be fake, but it doesn't mean it won't work.
Our mind is a funny thing. We can easily convince ourselves of something with so much conviction that it turns into a semblance of reality. The power of belief can work miracles, but unfortunately, also create a whole bunch of trouble. There are entire industries that revolve around our willingness to believe. Discovering the truth can be a bitter pill to swallow. Trust me, we've all been there.
It Worked Like A Dream
My daughter was suffering from insomnia and asked if I had anything that might help. I told her about Melatonin - and went to my CAR to get her one (huh?). I came back in and gave her a Tic-Tac.
She yelled at me the next day, because she fell asleep immediately after taking it and couldn't wake up the next day - felt drowsy all day.
I laughed my a** off.
Next time maybe half a tic tac
An Extra-Strength Exaggeration
Not just one story, but every time I give someone pain medication (I'm a paramedic) I tell them that it is extremely strong and will work SUPER well, so to just be aware. Even though I usually give smaller doses of the medication.
I've found that the people I say this to prior to giving the medication seem to think it's works better.
I've had this happen to me as a patient and I like being given "permission to relax." I know that sounds weird but when you are legitimately worried that you are going to die (which is why you didn't Lyft it) you are hyper-vigilant. When I hear this I hear "I got you. You can relax now and I believe your pain" in which case the lower doses probably DO actually work better!
"This stuff is normally reserved for surgeries but you can have some"
"This is a skittle"
I started getting headaches when I was 5 yrs. old. Family doctor told mom not to be silly, children don't get headaches. After a few years, he finally said he would give me something for them. He pulled a big jar out of the cupboard and poured a bunch of little red pills into an envelope and said take one anytime my head started to hurt. I was an advanced reader, especial mysteries. In the lobby, checking out, I asked my mom if they were sugar pills. They were. 40 years go by, I'm talking with my uncle. He says he sure wished he could find out what those little red pills were, that he got from the same doctor. They were the best medicine he had ever had for his arthritis. I never told him.
Touched By...You Know Who
I spent a full year and a half with odd neurological sensations (buzzing, tingling, numbness, stabbing pain all over my body) . One particular pain was a pain in my finger that felt like I had a splinter in my finger when brushed or touched lightly. Dr's/ neurologists were unsure of what was going on with me but they were certain it was nothing "serious"... they hinted that the pain in my finger could be something called allodynia. Not a fun time and very scary.
Well, I had an old childhood friend visit me and stay with me for a week. I caught him up on everything that had been going on with my health. We knew each other since elementary school. He was always the coolest guy in school. In the best bands. Best baseball player. Best skater. All the girls loved him. But he was also a super hypochondriac and anxiety got to him majorly in his 20's. Any who.
He knew me really really well. Best friends all through our teens... telling him about my finger he says "Dude. My skin hurts too when I'm super stressed out. Right here (he rubs the hair on his head) You're stressed. This is a stressful thing to go through... and your nerves are shot and hypersensitive. Mine comes and goes. You'll be fine." And he puts his hand on my shoulder. "Serious sully man. I promise. I know you. You'll be fine." And it was the thing that I'd been wanting for so long. Someone who knew me well, telling me I would be ok.
After a year and a half of telling every sort of dr, therapist, healers etc etc etc... I swear to god... within that hour... the pain went away. I had had that pain for a solid year. Touch my finger. Boom. Sharp shocking splinter feeling. We were at dinner.... I touched my finger. Nothing. Thought it was a fluke. Nothing the next day. Or the day after that. And nothing for over 2 years now.
The odds of my body magically healing during the hour after my friend talking to me in such a transformative way... I'd say are pretty low. I think it was the most important placebo I've ever gotten.
puts his hand on my shoulder
Nah, it's not a placebo... your friend is Jesus. It's the only explanation.
Courage In A Bottle
When I was about 7 years old I used to really be afraid of the dark. I wouldn't want to walk into my room without some sort of light on. One day I had a drink that had the work "bravery" on the bottle. 7 year old me thought that drinking this would help! As soon as I drank it i walked into my room without any lights on and as soon as I was starting to feel a bit scared I remembered the drink and realized everything was fine. That was actually the last time I was afraid of the dark.
Toke A Moment
So I was in Amsterdam few months ago, just to visit the city btw, not because of weed. We went to a shop where they were selling cakes and hot chocolate and things like that. I bought a cup of coffee and 10 minutes after drinking the coffee I said to myself "wait, did you just drink weed coffee?", because the taste was a bit different/weird. And I literally started feeling high and I was paranoid. After 15 minutes I said to myself "nope, it wasn't weed coffee" a few times and then all the feelings just disappeared.
This Sounds Familiar...
Once thought I learned Mandarin in two days thanks to some smart pills. I believe it's called the placebee effect.pizza_witch
Did you try and make a cat and a spider communicate with each other?
You know what they say. The good of the scorpion is not the good for the frog.
Mind Over These Matters
I've had chronic health problems since childhood that doctors were long incapable of definitively diagnosing. One physician I had spent years experimenting on me with various medications, most of which did nothing or just made me sicker in even the tiniest dosages. SSRIs, vitamins, hormones, steroids, on and on. During one visit he was sitting as his desk reviewing my file and started in saying; "Y'know, the power of the human mind in amazing..."
He then proceeded to give a short explanation of the Placebo Effect and its amazing results, ending with the suggestion that perhaps I should give it a try, to which I responded; "That sounds great, doctor, but for the Placebo Effect to work, aren't I supposed to NOT know that I'm taking a placebo?" He fell silent for a bit, then moved on to other topics.
Your knowledge doesn't actually matter, if you are commit to something (the act of taking a medicine) is enough. Your brain will do the rest. The more invasive the procedure, the better the placebo will work.
Tic-Tacs Truly Are A Cure-All, Aren't They?
I had a severe panic disorder when I was like 6 and my therapist told me that Tic-Tacs would stop them. In reality, they made me not nauseous anymore which calmed me down. I guzzled that for 20 years and now I have permanent esophagus damage.
But I still bought into it for all that time...
How the heck did tic-tacs damage your esophagus?
Ba-dum, You're Fine!
If my kid falls and I tell him he's fine, he's fine, and may even laugh. If I don't say anything, he'll get scared he's not fine and cry.
When my little brother was a toddler, we'd shout "Ba-dum!" after he fell down, even if it looked like it probably hurt. It always made him laugh, then he'd shout "Ba-dum!" right back at us and continue like the fall never happened. It prevented a whole lot of tears and screaming.
Sounds About Right....
As an novice audio engineer I just recently had an artist in our studio tell me that a section of the song wasn't bright enough. Just for shits and giggles I decided to open a plug-in that was bypassed and turn one of the dials up, then close my eyes and pretend to listen for that "sweet spot."
Dude goes "RIGHT THERE YEEEAAAAHHHHH THATS PERFECT."
Literally nothing I did affected anything about the track.
A Little Magic Goes A Long Way
I have ghost spray that I spray my kids rooms with if they get scared of the dark. It's just water with a little lavender oil. Helps them sleep. 👻
I'm a preschool teacher. I keep a bottle of "magic potion lotion" (aveno natural, decorated to hide the label) on my shelf for all those little boo-boos or for when my kiddos are a bit sad. I rub it between my hands, maybe blow on it a couple times or say something kind of funny/magical sounding before putting it on them. Works nearly every time. One boy from another class even brought his mom to me so she could get him some!
When I was little I suffered from a long series of nightmares, typical kid stuff with witches and monsters and such. In response to this my mother brought a small Qilin figure, and told me it was a dream guardian that would protect me when I slept and keep away nightmares.
I still have it and have only had about 4 nightmares in the last 20+ years. Most of which I treated with annoyance more then fear.
This Job Makes Me Sick
I always break out in hives after job interviews. I also get a lot of anxiety, I feel nauseous and I can't sleep. Sometimes for weeks afterwards. I realized after a few days of this recently that if I just repeat in my head "you got the job already, they offered it to you, you did it!" I can literally watch my skin turn back to a normal color and feel the hives calm down.
Mine is explosive diarrhea, I'm not sure which is worse. Every damn interview I feel like I'm going to shit my pants. Which would admittedly be a pretty epic way to end a bad interview.
You're in too deep now...
We always think that a tiny little lie couldn't hurt anyone. Seriously, who knew that fib could grow into something that is no longer under our control and instead it controls us. Sometimes we are in so deep that the truth would hurt someone we care about. That's when it's already too late. Next time you think about bending the truth, remember it could come back to bite you in unexpected ways. Truly, you are what you deceit.
Redditor u/Buhyac asks:
That I could play the piano, I never thought it would come up and that I was safe with my lie. It did come up, more often than I thought it would. I had to make up an excuse to not play, and people started to think I was lying about know how to play. Eventually I took some lessons so that way if it came up again I could actually play something and not look like I'm completely full of sh*t. It paid off, and after I moved from that area I never told anyone I could play piano again.
I'm imagining you playing hot cross buns to prove you could play.
I legitimately cried laughing at this.
This Speaks To Me
Not me, but my hairdresser told me this a few months ago and I couldn't stop laughing...
A few years ago, he and his girlfriend (at the time) went on vacation to a resort somewhere in Spain. On the first day of arriving, they got talking to another couple they met in the hotel and just for a joke he pretended to be American by putting on an accent (he's English). He said he wasn't even sure why he did it, he was just goofing around and he thought he'd never see these people again so it was just a throwaway thing.
However, they ended up being pretty good friends with this couple and saw quite a lot of them over the course of the vacation. I guess it would have been too embarrassing/weird to come clean and tell them the truth, so he just had to go with it and put on an American accent every time he saw them. For a week.
In addition to this, he was also going through some problems in his relationship (can't think why...) so basically spent the whole trip either arguing with his girlfriend or having to get in character and pretend to be American for no other reason than his own stupidity.
He said it was the worst vacation of his life and was more stressful than being home at work.
So would he argue with his girl in American accent if other couple was present?
Presumably, yeah. Although I doubt they were arguing in front of the other couple.
Tis But A Scratch
There is a guy who I used to work with at a corporate chain steakhouse while I was going to college that had bit of a whopper. We stayed up all night partying and he didn't wake up in time for his opening shift the following day. When he finally got up he was 2 hours late and had a grip of missed calls. He was about a month away from graduating and had worked this same job all through college, so he was worried that he was going to get fired and wouldn't be able to use the job reference so his solution was to call in and tell the boss he had been in a car accident on his way to work. Now this temporarily solved the problem, but to really sell the story he ended up hiding his truck in a friend's garage and working his next 4 weeks of serving shifts with a fake full arm cast. Brandon, you're a f*cking legend.
Brandon sounds like a god.
Hell yes I am.
Well That Spiraled Out Of Control Quickly
Here we go.
When I was in 6th grade my buddy and I attempted to skip school. We planned that the next day he would stay home "sick". I would use this landline phone I had in my room which had a "hold" feature to (what I thought would) tie up the line all day so that the school couldn't get ahold of my mom (who worked from home). This is obviously long before cell phones were a thing. I would go to buddy's house and we would play Genesis all day.
So, turns out that phones don't work like that. We're hanging out and suddenly I hear a car outside. I run downstairs and hide while buddy answers the door to my crying mother who asks if he's seen me. He lies and says no. When she goes I come up and decide that I'm in big trouble and need to cover it. I plan to say some "teenagers" from the nearby high school were picking on me and chased me around a neighborhood I didn't know well. I head home and run into my dad who was looking for me. I give him the story and he seem to buy it. He takes me home where my mom is on the phone to the police. She had my school picture out and is crying. She puts me on the phone and makes me tell my story to the cop. He sounds skeptical but he accepts the story.
She then asks if I want to go back to school in the afternoon. I say I do (because it'll get me away from being grilled about it anymore at home). But at school I get grilled by my teacher and the principal. My friend informs me the entire school went on lockdown when I was "missing" because of potential abduction. I had to keep going with the "teenagers" story for years. I finally told my mom years later when I was an adult and she was pretty mad, but I was past getting in trouble for it.
Gotta love the parental statute of limitations.
You're grounded! Go to your room!
Mom I'm 35 and live 6 states over...
She Totally Owned It
I once got sort of unapproved access to a VIP area at a venue, and the person who got me in probably would have gotten in trouble if it was found out that they did (a fairly major musician was playing, this was the lounge area where their family and friends were watching the show, only about 20 people). When people asked why I was there, I said I was related to the owner of the venue (figured this was boring enough but would stop the questions). Instead, this really nice group of people all started complimenting me on the venue and talking to me more about it and my family.
They were really awesome people and we chatted the rest of the evening. They invited me to spend the upcoming holiday weekend at their beach house with the band. I did. No one ever found out I have no connection to the venue and don't even know who actually owns it.
Just Act Like You Belong
I was watching my buddy who was in an amateur MMA fight and brought a cannon rebel ti3 camera and was wearing sandals, a Pepsi t-shirt, and khaki shorts. I went to the bar to get a water and the bartender told me "staff get free drinks" and handed me two bottles of water for free, I figured i looked close enough to the staff there that i can sneak onto the main floor and take pictures from the stage and I did. No one questioned me and I got some horrible shots because I don't know how to properly use a camera.
It's actually quite remarkable the amount of sh*t you can get away with if you just act like you belong.
A Degree Of Lies She Didn't Expect
My boyfriend (now husband) told me he went to grad school but never graduated.
I found out around 10 years into us dating that it was a giant lie he had said to impress me. The only reason he came clean was his mother found out and told me.
Did he get his degree or did he not attend?
He claimed he attended and didn't finish. The truth was he had been accepted but never went.
He never really talked about it. It only came up when I mentioned him living off campus during graduate school and his mother was like "WTF are you talking about?"
I can't think of any really big ones, but there's one weird one.
In college, a group of people I didn't know well were talking about this guy they'd gone to high school with who looked exactly like me, to the point that they were convinced I was him fucking with them by pretending to be someone else. The only difference was that my doppelganger wore glasses, and I didn't. So in order to f*ck with them a little bit, I said that I'd worn glasses in high school, but didn't anymore. I'd never worn glasses.
One of the people there that I did know well remembered what I'd said, and didn't believe me so the next time she bumped into my best friend from high school, she asked whether I'd worn glasses. He backed me up, instantly. I figured he'd just figured something was up and decided to back me up.
A decade later, with the acquisition of good vision insurance, I had my eyes checked and actually did wind up getting glasses, with a very mild prescription. Upon seeing me with them for the first time, my best friend said, "Oh wow, I haven't seen you with glasses on since high school."
I've never been sure whether he backed me up and then somehow internalized that backup and then really believed that I wore glasses in high school, or whether he just always somehow believed that I'd worn glasses. I've chosen to use it to very subtly fuck with him by photoshopping glasses onto my face in old pictures that he's going to see.
I did it recently when his sister asked me for some photos to use for his upcoming wedding. It'll probably never actually pay off, but I privately think it's hilarious.
A Tall Tail To Tell
Last year on the first day of a month-long rotation in medical school, I was telling a story and accidentally referred to my dog as my daughter.
Quickly did the mental evaluation of how embarrassing it would be to correct myself vs rolling with it and just decided to go with it and pretended I had a kid for the rest of the month. I didn't like purposely bring it up or anything, but if someone mentioned it (it was October, was asked about taking my kid trick or treating etc) I would just vaguely agree and not elaborate on anything.
"How old is your daughter?" "3 but she's 18 in do....aughter years"
It's All Fun And Games Until...
When I was 10, another kid on my school bus asked me if I played World of Warcraft. I lied and said yes.
I spent the entire rest of the year, before and after school on the bus, talking about a game I never played in my life.
One day, I was invited over when he made me login. I entered some account and claimed I forgot my password, spending the next 30 minutes trying to debug by resetting a password to an account that doesn't exist HAHA... oh my god. What was I doing?
What's In A Name?
I'm not sure if this counts, but the girl at the front desk of my gym has been calling me Justin for like 6 years. My name isn't Justin.
Guy on the bus to work started calling me Mike one morning and I should have told him that wasn't my name but I secretly liked it. 18 months later I still haven't told him. I even had to warn my daughter who started getting the same bus as me in the morning what had happened. She found it hilarious. I'm in too deep now. Mike is now my name for 40 minutes every morning Monday to Friday.
You're a phony!!!
A big fat PHONY!!
Practice Makes Perfect
Used to get my nails done when I lived in China with a friend. We told elaborate lies about her "rich husband" and my "useless boyfriend" to the ladies who did our nails as a way to practice vocabulary in Mandarin... I was leaving in like a few months so it was easy but she had to find pictures of babies and weddings and dresses to use. I just had to remember that my bf was a doctor and probably cheating on me and she had to choose baby names.
That's better than my friend who implied that we were together to our nail tech. I facepalmed when she did that.
There was a guy in high school. We had classes together starting in 9th grade, but he went to my school since kindergarten but we didn't have a class together until we were teenagers. For some reason, I thought his name was Richard. First day of class he comes up and sits in front of me and I just smile and say "Hey Richard." and that's that.
Every time we worked on a project together. Every time I passed him in the halls. For years, I'd called him Richard. We had a project together in a class and it was a week of hanging out together at the library and EACH OTHERS HOUSES. I called him Richard in front of his MOM! I introduced him to MY PARENTS AS RICHARD!
He always responded to Richard, always got MY name right. Never tried to correct me. I wrote our names on the project and handed it in. I got asked by the teacher the next day. "Who is Richard? Wasn't your partner Charlie?"
For nearly 10 years I'd been calling this boy named Charlie, Richard. And no one ever corrected me, not even his mom. I asked him after class why he never corrected me and he just said it was weird and he didn't know how to handle it. And as time passed he figured it was too late now. What a D*ck.
What a Richard.
A Tough Pill To Swallow
When I was dating my husband, his mom wanted us to stay the night. I really, really didn't want to. Told her I needed to go home due to not feeling well and thinking I had a fever. She offers me Tylenol and I said I couldn't have it because I was allergic- not sure why I said it.
Anyways, my husband overheard it and I later didn't want to tell him I had lied to his mom. We're married now. I recently had to go to the ER due to breaking a bone and was in so much pain I couldn't talk. He told the nurse I was allergic to Tylenol. He then went to my surgery and doctors appointments with me after that and I had to continue to say I am allergic to Tylenol.
My "Tylenol allergy" is now all over my medical records.
Long ago, Discovery Channel had a special on prehistoric pigs. It aired on April 1st, and being a 12 year old who was "smart" and "knew how to think critically," (i.e. didn't think to look into the special and find out if it was the real deal as I thought i knew everything), i assumed it was a joke show put on by the channel.
A few months later, they re-aired the special. My dad happened to be watching it and, nerd that he is, called me in excitedly to show me this prehistoric pig programming. I scoffed and said, "Dad, it's fake. It was made for April Fool's and now they're showing it again."
"OH," he said, and laughed and laughed.
Here's the thing - I was wrong. The show was about a real animal that really existed. I discovered this a few years later on the internet.
But by now my dad had started using these fake giant pigs as a conversation starter! Not only that, but he's flipped the story a bit - now he's the one who saw the show on April 1! And, 23 years later, the man STILL BRINGS UP THIS F*CKING SHOW. Because he thinks the idea of what he calls "dinosaur pigs" is HILARIOUS.
I thought of telling him, but it's too deep now. I go to my grave with this one.
EDIT: Holy s---, this got some upvotes. FWIW, the people linking various dinopig wikis in the comments, I honestly have no fucking clue which one it is. Probably the entelodonts, but I can't say. As for which documentary it is, folks linking YouTube vids, that I'm also fuzzy on. This is a doc I saw before Discovery lost its damn mind, sometime between 1996 and 2000 - I was definitely in middle or very early high school, because of the house I remember seeing it in. So, ages 12-14. My memory says it was called "when pigs ruled the earth/world" and that it aired around the time those walking with dinosaurs documentaries exploded. Anything produced in the aughts is right out.
Run, run as fast as you can.
We spend each day walking blissfully passed complete strangers knowing nothing about their lives. Who are they? Where did they come from? Do they have children? Where did they hide the bodies? Studies have shown that the average person walks past 16 serial killers in their lifetime. That's 16 brushes with death and surviving, congratulations! Ignorance really is bliss sometimes.
They're quirky, awkward, and sometimes just plain strange, but they stood out, and that's pretty cool.
Being awkward in school was the norm for most of us, but some hid it better than others. There were definitely those that stood out of the crowd and marched to the beat of a different drum. These misfits and weirdos might have been teased, but at least they won't ever be forgotten.