We’re only human. You can’t expect to be perfect all the time—no matter how much you strive for that, there will always be some glaring flaws and gaps in your knowledge that you might find embarrassing. It’s best to fix what you can and embrace all the rest. Though, to be fair, that’s much easier said than done. And that’s exactly what internet users have been discussing over on the r/AskReddit subreddit.
Redditor Wijting asked people to share the things that they believe they’re doing wrong, but are too scared to ask somebody about. In a very honest thread, people opened up about all the things, big and small, that they’re either too embarrassed to ask about in real life or are simply too afraid to draw attention to because they think others would make fun of them for this. Fortunately, the friendly folks of Reddit were more than happy to offer their own advice to people.
Have a read through some of these honest posts, upvote the ones that you can personally relate to, and if you’re feeling brave enough, share what you personally think you’re doing wrong in the comment section. Maybe some Pandas will come along with some helpful advice.
One of the biggest marvels in life, at least for me, is that it's never too late to start learning something new. No matter how embarrassed we might be, no matter our age, we can accomplish great things if we put in the effort. I had a chat about what we should do to put ourselves in the best possible position to learn new things as we grow older with Age UK, a charity that helps everyone make the most of later life. Scroll down for Bored Panda’s interview with them below. I also reached out to the author of the viral thread, redditor Wijting. You can read what they had to say below as well.
#1I have no idea if my lunch break is an hour or 30 minutes.
Where my office is located in my building, my boss and co-workers can’t see me leave for lunch. When I started, I just began taking hour lunches like I did at my last job. Recently, I heard a co-worker mention taking her 30 minute lunch.
I’ve been taking hour long lunches for 6 years and it’s way past the point of asking…
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#2Parenting. For the last 20 years.
They all appear to be functioning human beings, so we can't be too far off the mark, but I do worry we've screwed up somewhere along the line and they'll pay the price for our mistakes in the future.
Image credits: EnailaRed
#3Supervising. I am put in the position, but just rely on the efficiency of my subordinates. As soon as there's someone who's lazy or a troublemaker, I've got to figure out how to approach it.
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Redditor Wijting told Bored Panda that they were inspired to create the thread because they hope that it would help them work some stuff out. "The reason why I made the thread was because I had something on my mind. I think I've been doing something wrong for a while. I was hoping the thread would give me the courage to ask the question myself. To be honest, my particular problem compared to some answers on the thread was rather small," they opened up.
I was also interested to find out whether the redditor thinks that being candid in embarrassing and awkward situations actually helps bring people closer together. "People like honesty and honesty within any type of relationship will make the bond stronger. This is a personal view though," they told Bored Panda.
#4Flirting. Let's face it. I don't even know what the heck that is, how it works and what the difference between talking and flirting is. Funny enough, apparently that leads to me constantly flirty without wanting to be. At least, I often get told that I flirt with almost every single person I meet.
Image credits: OverlyShyEnby
#5I feel like I’m really articulate when I’m going about my day especially over text, but as soon as I get into a verbal disagreement, it’s like my brain shuts off and I forget how to think. Like a deer in the headlights. I don’t remember it always being this way, but it’s like I struggle to accurately express myself.
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#6My finances - no idea how to properly manage my money.
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According to redditor Wijting, taking small steps "to build up courage" can be a good way to admit our flaws and ask someone for some helpful advice. "Try to hint at, or try to lead with smaller questions."
Wijting shared with me that they were "taken aback" by the response their thread got. "A lot of people think they are doing things wrong that I have always taken for granted. Not knowing how to shave, for instance. These questions have made me think if I'm actually doing these things wrong myself... Some questions were rather deep, and I do hope the people that have asked them got some satisfying answers."
Meanwhile, Age UK had this to say. "We know that our thinking skills change very gradually throughout our lives, but there are things we can do to help us to stay sharp," Age UK told Bored Panda. "Evidence from the Global Council of Brain Health suggests that having a positive mental attitude, a healthy diet, taking exercise, socializing, and engaging in new activities are all linked to better thinking skills later in life."
#7Kissing. I’ve had no complaints but it’s not really something your parents taught you to do properly (unless you’re into that)
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#8I have no idea how often I should text, call or hang out with a friend to maintain a friendship. Especially long distance. I’ve lost friends over the years because I hate texting and don’t understand how often I need to keep in touch with someone. The only friends I’ve kept are the ones I can meet in person.
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#9When I started my first job I didn't know if an 8 hour work day meant including the break or not, and I was too afraid to ask.
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According to a representative of Age UK, it's vital that we keep our bodies and our minds in tip-top shape. The relationship between the two is well-established, so taking care of your body is bound to have a positive effect on your mind, too.
"It is clear to scientists and doctors that keeping the blood vessels and blood flow healthy is also key to maintaining your brain function as you age so what is good for the heart is good for the brain too," Age UK points out.
However, some other things that help us stay curious and willing to learn and explore new things include having a strong sense of purpose and having an active social life as well. What's more, we ought to be as realistic as possible about our own limits and plan accordingly.
#10Relationships. Throughout my life I've never gotten much romantic attention, and when I do receive it, I tend to be obnoxiously clingy, which leads to being left alone again. I don't know how to break this habit, because my emotions are just strong.
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#11Literally just standing still. I have terrible posture.
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Like what I supposed to be doing? I have about 80 years total. So far, I’ve learned stuff, got married, and got a good job. Am I just grinding out the rest of my years?
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"Keeping active and busy and discovering new things and even making sure we stay socially active all help to keep us brighter as we get older. Setting goals and making plans gives our lives meaning and purpose, but make sure they’re realistic plans. For example, rather than saying ‘I plan to exercise for one hour every day,’ plan instead to go for a 20-minute walk, three times a week."
Finding the courage to admit that you’re doing something wrong is commendable. Being brave enough to set your ego aside and actually reach out for help is worth applauding, in my personal opinion.
Earlier, I had a chat about healthy and unhealthy ways of showing embarrassment with regards to our knowledge blindspots with Vanessa Bohns from Cornell University.
#13How to handle anger? I'm too embarrassed to ask
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Going into my third year and I still don't feel as if I ever adjusted, or developed healthy habits.
Just trying to take it a day at a time and not procrastinate beyond no return.
Image credits: ApolloThe3LeggedDog
"We spend a lot of time and effort presenting an ideal version of ourselves to other people. When something happens that contrasts with the image we’ve been projecting—when we say or do something that shows we actually aren’t as graceful or as smart as we’d like people to believe—we feel embarrassed," Vanessa told Bored Panda in a previous interview.
"Discovering you were wrong about something most everyone else around you has long known to be true is one of those moments. In that moment we learn, 'Wait a minute, maybe I haven’t been presenting the image of being smart or worldly that I thought I was presenting all this time,' which is embarrassing,” she noted that embarrassment comes from the contrast from what we thought was true and what reality is actually like.
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#17Brushing my teeth. Why do the foam tend to dribble down my chin and sometimes down my right arm? When did I bite the toothbrush? Why does my toothbrush wear out in a month? How do I brush my tongue well enough?
And washing my hair. I feel I over-wash it, but if I try lessening the washing, my hair sounds foamy when I dry it. Everyday, I live in the fear of shampoo still left in my hair.
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#18Being a picky eater. So preparing food, I've been wanting to try new things, but I have no idea what to buy, how to prepare it, and it scares me to ask because I don't want it to sound like I'm some sort of alien.
Image credits: PurpleStabsPixel
However, embarrassment isn’t all that bad. In fact, it has some upsides that should have you rushing to embarrass yourself as often as you can. “One thing that’s interesting about embarrassment is that, for as much as we might experience it as painful in the moment, it’s actually very socially adaptive.”
Vanessa continued: “Being embarrassed signals to other people that you care about what they think. And that actually draws people in to you.” In short, embarrassment has painful short-term effects but very positive long-term effects. If we learn to deal with the former well, then we’ll be able to reap the latter.
Everyone says I'm doing great and praises me for being so efficient or being ahead on my training but I feel like I'm constantly having to ask questions and do extensive research on what the f**k I'm supposed to do in specific situations.
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#20Babysitting. I babysat a few times when I was 13 or 14, and I wasn’t sure if I was just supposed to check in on the kid, or play with them, or just like, make sure they're good. I’m really good at kid-sitting, but babysitting (or for me watching a kid under 7 years old) is just hard.
Image credits: Teabeany
I recently started out in the dating scene and i dont know whats the difference between being a couple and being really good friends.
Also: sex is really strange to me.
Image credits: Viking_Ship
“So blushing, burying your head in your hands, laughing, acknowledging how embarrassing something was, are all totally healthy ways to react,” Vanessa explained to Bored Panda. “The unhealthy way to react is to pretend you’re not embarrassed, that you didn’t make a mistake, or to get angry. Those things undo the positive effect of embarrassment typically has on other people by conveying insincerity and pushing people away rather than drawing them in.”
#22Treating my depression.
I've been in therapy for years now, have tried various anti-depressants, made huge life changes including abstaining from alcohol, removed toxic relationships, even changing my diet. I've tried everything I can find, and, if anything, things are getting worse. It's getting to the point where tomorrow I have an appointment to find out if I have cancer, and can't decide if I will bother with treatment in the case that I do.
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#23Showering. I have very very long thick hair and I just kind of blast shampoo and conditioner at it. People ask me what I do to keep my hair so nice and I have no idea what to say. People seem to have such complex hair rituals and I’m here just apeing it up.
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#24I'm a girl. Not sure if I'm supposed to shave the thin blonde hairs in my thighs or not. Sometimes they look darker, but sometimes they look blonde.
I shave the rest of my legs ( below the knee), but I'm in my 30s. Feels like I should know this already....
#25Being a dad. I think I’m doing okay at it, but won’t really know for a few years.
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#27I really wish someone could supervise me during social interactions and give me real honest feedback about what I am doing wrong.
#28Dating. Like how the f**k do you find people, that are equally interested in going out with you as you are with them. And then you somehow have to notice that they'd be interested in going out. I just don't understand it, and it sometimes makes me feel like I'll never go on one because of it
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#29My marriage and dealing with mental health.
For starters, I’m 23 my wife is 21. I have pretty much ruined my marriage, what’s killing me is I don’t know how. We’re both in the Army. She went home for a medical emergency 2 weeks ago for 10 days. All she did was drink and party. Barely talked to me at all. Told me to leave her alone. She comes back. Acts super shady. Changed her password and sleeps with her phone under her pillow and when I ask who she’s talking to she says don’t worry about it or nobody. She wears glasses so I can clearly see her switching from Snapchat to another app… Got on her MacBook to talk to my mom on Skype and her texts popped up. Her friends were encouraging her to go hook up with an ex. She hung out with this dude several times when she was there. I am 90% sure she cheated on me. This weekend is our anniversary and she’s doing a girls weekend. I have no idea what to do. I try talking to her and she says she wants space and a break. I’m super fucking depressed. As I’m writing this I am on my 30th hour without sleep. I can’t get out of my own head. Im so depressed and I’m so alone. I’m so tired. Any advice is welcome. Not sure if this is the right place to post this
#30Gym exercises and weights. I am very afraid of the public gyms... I opted to buy my own weights and machines but... When lifting stuff I don't know if I am carrying too much or too little. Is it supposed to not hurt? My back hurts a bit when I'm doing basic stuff like dumbells.
Image credits: Gunnard-Magnuson
#31General conversation I just suck at talking to people I don't really know or don't know at all. Sometimes when I get tips for stuff I respond "yes" or "ok" or "thank you" and even that feels weird or wrong, even the action of saying "hello" feels off... It even happens with firends sometimes...
#32Is is bad to say everything I have no idea what the fuck I’m doing anymore
#33How to speak up on problems or expressing certain emotions. I keep stuff bottled up inside
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#34I've been living in my first apartment ever since april 2020. I vacuum clean regularly, but I never cleaned the floor with water. Is that bad? How do I get rid of the water on the floor, does it just dry up? I'm sorry for the noob question but I was literally too scared to ask somebody.
#35Empathy. I don’t know if I experience empathy normally or if it’s too low.
#36There's so many big life things in here, mine all feel simple. I'm not sure how to shave, nobody ever taught me so I kind of just do whatever to shape my face up. Making coffee, how many scoops do I use? But what 30 year old man asks how to make coffee? Cooking is hard in general but I just make things until they look or taste done. HOW DO I PROPERLY CLEAN MY HEDGEHOGS CAGE ON A 3RD STORY APARTMENT? You can just dust shit off outside... or can you? What if it gets on my neighbors stuff?
#37How to lock the petrol pump so I don't have to hold the handle the whole time will refueling. I know there's a little latch down there somewhere but it never works for me..
#38Not currently, but for the first 3 years neither my gf nor I knew how to use a can opener. We broke many over the years using them at 90° angles until finally I googled it.
#39Therapy. My psychologist constantly tells me it's small steps but it feels like nothing is changing. He wants me to catalogue each day devoid of emotion and it feels so pointless. What does it matter if I spent all day playing a game and then the next reading? Most of my anxiety is from external sources that I can't control and therapy hasn't reduced it at all so far. This is my third therapist, my second one did help but I moved. Basically I set a few goals and it feels like I'm not even moving towards them. It's gotta be me doing something wrong because I know he's a talented and qualified therapist. Or maybe I'm just expecting results too soon.
Tbf my issues are complex. But idk. I just want to be better.
#40Anything related to being an adult, straight up no F**king idea what I’m doing…
#41The proper way to wipe my butt after pooping.
#42Handling my partners depression and newly developed suicidal thoughts
#43My degree, I'm not exactly failing but I'm not doing too good either and I know I could do better if I just tried, but I just don't have the anymore
This happened last semester. I was horrible at integrals and didn't want my classmates to find out how much of a dumbass I was.
#45Riding a bike. I hopped on one for the first time in 15+ years and loved it! So I bought a bike. But... I don't know if I'm shifting and turning and doing the road rules correctly. Are there resources for grown adults who can stop, go, dismount, but not much else?
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#46Studying. I have no idea how other people do it. When I read something I retain very little of it, so I resort to writing down what I think are important details, which is most things for me, but it takes so long and I still have to rely on my brain to remember thing by simple repetition.
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#47Writing. I love writing, and have written a few short stories older the years, and I show it to friends of mine who read, but every single person has said they loved it. I ask for constructive criticism, and sometimes they want the story to go differently, but it's so damn rare I get an opinion on my actual writing. My descriptions, vocabulary, the flow of the story, etc. Well, too scared to ask someone who will give me an actual opinion.
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#48When they say 2% milk, I don’t know what the other 98% is.
#49I don't know how to use spices and seasonings while cooking. The main ingredients are always cooked well but are missing something.. I only know how to add salt but anything else scares me like...do i add a tiny bit of spices? a handful? do i mix stuff together and hope it tastes good? I have no idea despite coming from a culture that uses a lot of seasoning. Everything I have learned to cook is white people food because my culture's food takes so long to prepare and cook my mom can't stand anyone in the kitchen with her during it >__< rip.
#50The balance between being emotionally mature and a pushover. I can never seem to get the balance right and I always end up being a bitch or getting walked all over
#52Using the clutch on a manual vehicle. I have heard you're not supposed to keep the clutch depressed while your approaching stop lights or standing at them. They say it wears more when you do, but I never understood how. The way I understand clutches, they should wear less while the clutch is disengaged because all the parts that wear are not pressed into each other causing friction.
I use my clutch a lot when I drive at low speeds, because no one ever told me you shouldn't until i had the habits built. No one has ever been able to explain the problem to me, even with some googling.
#53Why Im just a loaner. Something about me drives people away. I'm too blind to see it but no it to be true. I have never been anyone's best friend. No friends reach out to me. I'm never invited anywhere. I'm obviously doing something wrong but not sure I want to find out.
#54Standing up for myself and maintaining boundaries. I'm working on it but it's hard because I am just figuring it out (kind of) and people keep trying to push me back to being the doormat I used to be. It's so tempting to be that person again because I hate disrupting the calm, but I was just so tired.
#55Parenting my child who is 12, born female but just asked us to use him/they pronouns and a male name. I’m a lesbian. My (37F) wife (47F) and I fully support our kiddo. But my thoughts wander, because I don’t feel like this kid is trans. I think they are on a journey of self discovery. Then I feel guilty. I just want to be 100% supportive. I am ashamed to be a member (advocate, equal rights-fighting lesbian) of the LGBTQ++ community and yet feel so helpless and confused.
I mean, I mostly understand the concepts, but I struggle and fail WAAAY more often than I succeed.
#57I've been driving for 15 years and when a merge lane is ending with no cars around I don't know what I should actually be doing. It was only just recently when my buddy driving turned into the ending side of passing lane almost right away that I was like hmm? Wonder if I'm doing wrong all along
I'm just lazy and stay in the closing lane until the end
#58Planning with friends. I feel as though if I'm ever a part of some hang out with my friends it's because I'm the one that's setting it up. It seems like I'm not really invited to anything and i don't really know how to approach that. I don't feel as though they don't want to hang out with me but I also don't wanna be the guy who demands he gets invited to stuff and I don't really know how to take this.
#59My whole job lol. I didn’t ask questions when I first started and now all of a sudden I’m a manager but I don’t know how to do anything
#60Trying to save my 16 year marriage. My wife (35f) told me (35m) she wants a divorce (2 weeks before Im supposed to have spinal fusion surgery) and hopes we can figure out how to be friends for our 2 boys.
She has had a few emotional affairs (nothing physical), and is a bit of a narcissist (blames everyone else for her problems, and takes no responsibility. Accusess anyone who disagrees with her as attacking her, Refuses counseling, and has for years) and appears to be using this as a way to create content (tiktok). I freely admit, Im not perfect and have caused issues in our marriage.
#61Walking, it's silly I know. But I broke my leg when I was 2 and according to family learned to walk with a cast, then had to learn to walk without it again. I just know my walk is messed up because of it, but I'm afraid that if I ask my Dr for a referral to fix it that she won't take me seriously. It's kinda also why I don't run, my run is worse
#62I'm worried I made a bad decision. Everyone tells me it was a good decision but it feels wrong.
I was self employed, doing pretty well, making ends meet. I made my own schedule, the work changed often, I loved what I was doing. But I was not declaring any income, not paying taxes, no insurance, no way to expand....basically no future until I died working...but I was happy.
I got a "real" job. I now work in a factory. Paying taxes, have health insurance, paid weekly with no variability, bonuses...and I fucking hate it. No climate control, 50 hours a week minimum, 2nd shift, bringing home less money after everything. I keep telling myself I am doing this so I can buy my house in 2 years...but I don't think this job will ever make more than 45k/yr. I feel like once again I am gonna die working but this time it will be miserable doing something I hate instead of happy doing something I love.
But everyone else feels comfortable with it, so Its gotta be right, right?
#63Thinking, every time I speak someone say how what I just said is wrong and they are right
#64I got my Bachelors in Chemistry this Spring and have sent out a nice few resumes and had one interview (didn't get the job) but now I have no idea what I want to keep doing. There isn't many opportunities in my province and the thought of having to possibly move to the other side of Canada alone to a place where I know no one and have never been before is terrifying.
While I was still in uni I had a set routine of what I can expect to be doing for the next year but now that is all gone and I feel so lost. Do I stick around here for god knows how long and try and get a job related to my degree in this province? Do I go back to school next year and try and do something else to go along with my degree (Education degree or something)? Do I bite the bullet and move away knowing that it will wreck me mentally? I have no idea