A lot of the time, being an adult is realizing that the things you were led to believe as a kid are, in fact, false. From facts you swore you learned in school to life lessons, it's a lot to unpack. Recently, redditor u/RealFeyreRaiden asked, "What is something your parents engrained in you that you now realize is ridiculous?" Here are 16 things people shared:
1. "The need to always be productive. There is no sitting down. If you sit down, you can be folding laundry or organizing something. The house must be spotless, the yard must be pristine (even if there’s only one person to do all of it), and time for yourself is frivolous. Anything short of this is laziness — the ultimate sin. I’m literally sick from living that way. The guilt of self care is gut-wrenching."
2. "To show up at least 30 minutes early to everything, because it's better to be early than late, and people will appreciate your initiative to show up early. Turns out, showing up before people are even ready is quite annoying to people when you surprise them by showing up early."
3. "That the important people in your life should read your mind and know what you want them to do without asking. Absolutely not true. You need to set boundaries, voice your concerns and desires, and communicate to get what you want, not just expect people to do what you want and be mad when they don't."
4. "That it's normal to have something negative to say about everyone you know as soon as you leave any sort of gathering."
"I always thought it was totally normal. When I got a partner and went somewhere with their family for the first time, I was actually amazed they only had positive things to say when leaving. My first thought was, 'When are you guys going to start shitcanning people?' (Thankfully didn't say it out loud.) Occasionally, they might have a little gossip or vent, but usually, it was always for a decent reason, not 'just because it's what people do,' which was my family's justification for doing it."
5. "That I HAD to hug any family (or friends) who wanted to hug me. Everyone else's feelings were more important than my own deep discomfort. I was constantly being forced to show physical 'affection' because not doing so hurt my father's, grandparents', and little brother's feelings."
6. "That 'It’s not worth the risk.' I missed out on so much life by not taking a small risk. I’m not talking about skydiving or anything…more like going into the city late at night to see my favorite band play because 'I might get mugged, it’s not worth the risk.'"
7. "'Don't talk back.' I was just explaining my logic and my way of problem solving. Sorry that it sounded like disrespect, but that's your problem. My parents wonder why I don't share things with them anymore. Because heaven forbid your daughter share actual information with you."
"I'm in my 40s, and my dad still talks about how much I 'talked back' growing up. It wasn't until I had my own child that I realized I wasn't talking back — I simply wanted to explain the situation! But back then, it was expected for me to just say 'yes sir' no matter what. Anything else was 'talking back.' As a parent now, there have been plenty of times that I was wrong about a situation, and it got cleared up because I allow my child to speak. My parents never apologized. I apologize all the time to my child. If I'm wrong or if I overreacted, I apologize! My parents never did that."
8. "My mom put a lot of stock into people who had a lot of money, drove fancy cars, or took fancy vacations. As a now-adult who is struggling to get by, I realize how ridiculous she sounds and acts. Your friend from high school just bought a $3 million house? That’s great for them. I believe they had a large trust fund, though. I have to work for everything."
9. "That I always have to explain/justify my mood if I’m feeling bad or irritable or sad. No, I don’t. Just let me be!"
12. "That the number on the scale matters. My whole life I agonized about my weight. My mom kept telling me I should weigh 120, but I could never get there. But now, I'm almost 40, and I've finally figured it out. I can run a half marathon in under two hours, and my mom still gets after me for my weight being over 130. I'm healthy and strong. The scale doesn't matter."
13. "To wait until marriage to have sex. None of us kids did, and it turned out that my parents were lying about their own situation, too."
14. "I’ve recently realized how much of my negative self-talk is directly from my parents. Something good happens, and I STILL get negativity."
15. "I was bullied a lot growing up. I was a miserable little girl who heard 'Boys who pick on you actually like you,' and 'Girls who pick on you are just jealous of you.'"
16. And finally, "To always think the worst. It’s usually not that bad. I think they thought it was a good message, but it actually made me very scared all the time. Like, if I can’t get ahold of someone, I think they are dead or hurt. Or if someone is having a bad day, I always think it’s something I did wrong. I am trying to change, trying to look at things differently now."
Is there something that your parents engrained in you that now that you're an adult, you've realized is totally bogus? If so, tell us about it in the comments below.
Note: Submissions have been edited for length and/or clarity.