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Reddit Asks The Question: What's Some Popular Saying That You Think Is Total Bullshit?

By Petr Knava | reddit | March 23, 2017 |

By Petr Knava | reddit | March 23, 2017 |

There’s a lot of hogwash that buzzes inside the spacious halls of popular consciousness, masquerading as deep wisdom. Reddit was feeling in a healthily sceptical mood the other day, so it decided to swat some of it down by asking: What’s Some Popular Saying That You Think Is Total Bullshit?

Here are some of the highlights:

It can’t get worse from here!

Dr_D-R-E I worked in an emergency department and we were having a really hellish rush of lots of very sick patients. A young, naive medical student said, “well, can’t get any worse from here” The attending ED doc turned around with fury in his eyes and screamed, “GET THE FUCK OFF OF MY FLOOR BEFORE YOU BECOME MY NEXT PATIENT”

“Find a man who treats you like a queen!”
No, find a man who treats you like a lovable peer who has flaws he is aware of and can live with.

“work like you don’t need the money.”
If I lived by that saying, I’d be fired

The whole “you have to love yourself before you can expect anyone else to love you”
I brought this up with my therapist once and she got angry, calling it “pop-psychology bullshit” and then ranted for 5 minutes about how humans are social creatures that need to be appreciated as a part of a group, and having that appreciation shown in at least some aspects is usually necessary for one to appreciate themselves.

FlashbackTherapy I don’t know about this one. I think there is a degree of truth to it, though most people probably over-estimate it. I know that my relationship suffered due to my severe depression and low self-esteem. My self-hatred made me feel like I didn’t deserve my partner, which lead to me treating her leaving me as in some way inevitable. That’s a terrible self fulfilling prophecy. Maybe it should be rephrased as “hating yourself makes it very difficult for someone to remain in a relationship with you, no matter how much they love you”?
thsisbail2 When one door closes another one opens… Not true, sometimes 2 or 3 doors can close without any others opening.

“People get what they deserve.”
Bullshit! Many people get away with being narcissistic assholes their entire lives without consequence.

On romantic relationships: “Don’t look for anyone… you’ll meet someone special when you least expect it.”
No, actually there are many people who’ve been “least expecting” for years and they’re still single, still alone, never meeting anyone special.

“Kids these days” - Kids are born exactly the same every generation.. (unless we’re looking at an evolutionary timescale), the only thing that changes is the society they pop out in. Don’t like the kids these days? Blame the parents these days. Dumbest saying ever.

When somebody acts like a dick, and somebody else hits you with “Oh, don’t worry about X, that’s just how they are.” Oh, ok, great. So their behavior is excused because they are always an asshole, and I can expect it to keep happening. Great pep talk.

Violence never solved anything.
Violence has solved many, many things. If I were feeling expansive, I might suggest that things that are solved without violence are solved through other means because everybody involved realizes that the alternative is actual violence, and nobody wants that.

“Flattery will get you nowhere”
It’s usually the opposite.

“Theres no such thing as a dumb question”

“You just have to find your passion”
Oh fuck off, it’s not like it’s behind the couch.
Why is it so hard to understand that I do the job I do because I have experience in it, not because it’s my “calling” or “passion”. I’d love to be a fighter pilot but that’s not gonna fucking happen is it when I’m an analyst.

“Don’t go to bed angry” (relationship advice.)
Total bullshit. The worst time to argue is when I’m emotionally worn out and physically exhausted. I tried to follow this advice when I was in my early 20s and it never ended well.
In my late 20s I said “f that” and instead: “Go to bed, get some rest and distance from the fight, regroup the following day and discuss again.” Every time my SO and I did that we ended up apologizing to each other.

“I have freedom of speech!”
Sure you do, but it doesn’t mean you can say whatever you want without any consequences ever. It means that the government can’t censor you. You do have the freedom to call your boss a huge dickless asshole, but he also has the freedom to say that your ass is fired.

“It’s always the last place you look”
No shit

Lol as an English major, most of them.

Fun fact: Most idioms that have been around a while were at some point shortened for popular use and gradually lost their original meaning- so the way we use them now actually contradicts (or is completely irrelevant to) their original meaning.

“Rome wasn’t built in a day”- the full quote is “Rome wasn’t built in a day, but it burned in one”. Everyone uses this as an encouragement for getting long term goals done one step at a time, when it’s really a warning of how easily all the hard work you put in can be undone.

“Blood is thicker than water”- full quote is “The blood of the covenant is thicker than the water of the womb”. This means that those you choose to be with through thick and thin (have a covenant with) are more precious than even those you’re physically closest too- such as your mother. Should be noted that this comes from a Bible verse and is referring to the bond between soldiers.

“Money is the root of all evil”- Bible verse taken out of context again. It’s the love of money that’s the root of all evil.

“Curiosity killed the cat”- full quote is “Curiosity killed the cat, but satisfaction brought it back.” So one warns against curiosity, the other says satisfied curiosity is worth the risk of curiosity itself.


Petr Knava
lives in London and plays music

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Petr is a staff contributor. You can follow him on Twitter.