Growing up means taking responsibility for how we treat others. Some people, however, skipped that milestone on their way to “maturity". These Redditors got together and dished on their most cringe-worthy encounters with folks who just didn’t get the picture. From bad table manners to no sense of limits, clueless people come in all shapes and sizes. Blush to these secondhand-embarrassing stories about people who lacked any self-awareness.
1. I Won’t Be Seeing Red
I was someone's maid of honor and the bride told her soon-to-be husband to tell his mother that she can't wear red at the wedding (even though she had already bought the dress) because it would clash with the mint and coral color story of the wedding. She then proceeded to say how she, the bride, is so easy going and isn't one of sweat any of the small stuff.
2. The Cry of Crowns
Knew a sister-of-the-groom (also maid of honor) who pitched a violent fit because the bride was going to wear a tiara for the ceremony and therefore, the sister couldn't. Literally screamed at both families, "I am the sister, for God's sake!"
3. You’re Not the Cat’s Meow
My ex's younger sister was a pre-med student. Whenever we had family gatherings, she would monopolize the conversations, talking about her knowledge in chemistry and how she was going to become a surgeon one day. No one else could get a word in edgeways. One day, she brought her new boyfriend to a Christmas party. I guess she wanted to leave a good impression on him.
After having talked about herself for more than an hour, nonstop, she suddenly stopped and said, "I hate talking about myself. I'd rather listen to others". She then asked her boyfriend how he was doing in school, only to cut him off and start talking about herself for another hour. The whole experience I had at her house has actually affected me. I'm from a different country, and I grew up in a pretty strict family, so it was mind-boggling and shocking to witness such a spoiled and entitled person.
The last straw was when the cat my ex and I were taking care of was dying from kidney failure. We decided to stay with the cat for a few days before we put her to sleep. The night when the cat started breathing heavily and we decided to bring her to the 24/7 vet to euthanize her before her pain became too much, her sister came over to say goodbye. Immediately, she started monologuing about herself and bragging about her knowledge in medicine—right next to the suffering cat—for close to 30 minutes.
I almost blew my top in front of her family, but fortunately my ex cut her off and we rushed to our car. It was so awful to hear our cat screaming in pain while I was driving to the vet. Had we gotten to the vet sooner, she wouldn't have had to suffer that much. I honestly started to see her younger sister as a monster after that experience.
I know everyone has reasons for being narcissistic and her family gave her millions of excuses, but when I saw her how she was next to my cat dying, I refused to sympathize.
4. Best Friends for Never
I’m a teacher, and there’s this one guy I work with who is not a teacher, but sometimes “helps” in our classrooms. Every time he “helps,” without fail, he’ll tell us about some kid he made a great connection with who he feels like he really got through to...only for that kid to complain about how annoying and fake he is the next day.
Teens recognize/respect realness over pretty much anything else.
5. Threat Level: Midnight
I have a friend who is basically a young Michael Scott. Seriously, sometimes when watching The Office, I cringe not because of what Michael is doing, but because it reminds me so much of my friend. One day, our group of friends got on the topic of what Office character we’re most like. He loudly and immediately declared he thinks he’s most like Ryan...
6. Not the Brightest Bulb in the Smartphone
Dude took MULTIPLE photos of the Declaration of Independence using flash photography, all while people yelled at him to stop. Other than the array of signs, you are advised multiple times to NOT use flash. They even have a special room to test if your camera is accidentally on flash. His response was just to listlessly stare at the workers and walk away.
The sheer mixture of obliviousness and entitlement on his face made me momentarily lose faith in the idea of democracy while standing in the National Archive.
7. Beauty is Only Skin-Wound Deep
One woman (who is 40 and in great shape but absolutely desperate to be married) to another woman who is funny and sweet but overweight, “I can’t believe someone like you is married and I’m not". No lie...and it didn’t even occur to her that it was insulting. She’s too much of a narcissist to realize that.
8. The Doctor Is Out
I have a friend who is extremely susceptible to pop psychology articles on the internet. If she's seen some article on her Facebook feed about being a "hypersensitive person" or an "introverted extrovert," it'll be all you hear about for the next few weeks, and she'll give her unqualified self-diagnosis to anyone who will listen.
She'll start accentuating those traits and it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. It's especially irritating because in psychology it's pretty well known that psychological self-assessment is extremely invalid and that people are way worse at knowing themselves than they think.
9. Don’t Follow Her Down This Rabbit Hole
There’s this woman at work (about 60 people) who tells everybody everything about her life. She just monologues and when she’s done, she just walks away, doesn't reciprocate. People avoid her like crazy. I've been talked at by her for over a year. I avoid if I can, but she’s gotten me cornered in the bathroom. She talked about how she's a private person and I'm such a great listener. At the end, she asks me what my name is.
It's like dude, you've told me what your gynecologist has said about your cervix, and after a year you're just asking me my name?
10. She’s Better Than the Real
I saw a white woman at Taco Bell have a very loud, very condescending conversation with the guy behind the counter about how Taco Bell isn’t authentic Mexican food. She obviously wanted the whole restaurant to hear, and obviously thought she was the only person at the restaurant (employees included) who was culturally aware enough to know this fact. She ended up storming out shouting, “Maybe if you guys had authentic Mexican food I’d eat here more!”
Oh, I should mention that the guy behind the counter was Mexican.
11. Leaving Your Mark on the Eardrums
I have multiple coworkers who have conversations on speaker phone, or blast bad music, or catch up on their obnoxious Instagram stories (street fights, car racing, and multiple instances of rappers practicing their machine gun noises) in the break room. They do not find this disruptive or inappropriate in the slightest.
I have it on good authority that they do the same stuff on the bus.
12. The Border of Human Decency
My husband and I went out with his family to celebrate his birthday. We went to a Mexican restaurant for an early dinner and was being served by a Mexican. My father-in-law started saying trash like, “Wow do you even know nowadays if they’re legal?” that he doesn’t hate immigrants, only the illegal ones. My husband was so upset and embarrassed because his dad talks so loud, people around our table and the waitress definitely heard him.
13. Never Her Fault
I go to school with a girl who finds a way to blame others for all her wrongdoings. She failed a class three times for not doing the coursework or going to class. Claimed the teacher was out to get her. People constantly walk out of her life because they’re sick of her gossiping about them. Claimed she is such a loyal friend, so (insert name) must be a total witch.
Puts down a friend because “she’s way too confident". Doesn’t understand why that friend doesn’t hang out with her anymore. Someone called her out for always putting people down. She complained about how mean that person is.
14. Leave a Part of Yourself in the Book
I once saw a teacher pick her nose while reading from the textbook and everyone saw it. I don't know if that's what you mean, but it was definitely something.
15. High School Heartbreaker
At my senior prom, my (now ex) friend and I were talking about our experiences in high school. Reminiscing. Or at least I was...she was nonstop complaining about how everyone around her hated her, how another friend of mine was annoying and needy, etc. etc. The conversation gets to a point and she just bluntly says to me, "Yeah I know, between the two of us I'm a better person, not that it matters!" As I later learned, she was hooking up with a guy a grade below us who already had a girlfriend.
Who's the better person now, Mikaela?
16. The Stars Don’t Always Align
I have a very close and dear friend whom absolutely I adore with all my heart. She's intelligent, warm, funny and kind. Just an incredible human being. That being said, she has regular "psychic" readings. After these, she will then live her life according to what the "psychic" has told her, so it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.
The reason I say "psychic" in quotes is because I've been to several of these sessions with her. I'm interested and figure it can do no harm. She always told me that me she gives nothing away, but the first thing she does is tell them exactly what she wants to know, why she wants to know it, how she's got to this point, and what she'd like moving forward...
I told them my name and got told my pet needed to go to the vet once. Oh, and one told me (off the back of a horrendously abusive relationship) that my ex was a delight and we should get back together.
17. The Bottom Barrel of Comedy
I was standing behind a guy and his girlfriend waiting to get into a comedy show about a week ago. He was going on and on to another couple about how much he was a “fan of ciders” as the other couple was suggesting restaurants they try while visiting our town. This was strike one. Lo and behold, I get the table behind this dork and his girlfriend, and when the comic did some crowd work at the beginning of the show, he asked the crowd to try and think of something he (the comic) would not do for a million dollars.
Cider guy chimed in at the TOP of his lungs, “Suck a [toot] out of my butt!” The comic didn’t hear him, so he repeated it two more times. The room went silent. It was like something a seven-year-old would say. I cringed for a full five minutes.
18. A Shooting Star Lands Among Us
A VERY talkative co-worker claimed to be very humble, generous, and "prim and proper". She once asked me how my weekend was, only to not let me answer and spend 20 some minutes telling me about hers. Once she was done, she just walked away. She was at the age of retirement but was barely making ends meet and asking for money all the time. She kept telling the manager that she needed to be reimbursed for every little thing gone wrong with her personal attire.
She always talked about how her friends would tell her she could be a movie star, but she was too humble to accept that lifestyle. She was divorced and always complained how her kids were so disrespectful and ungrateful because they never spoke to her anymore, and how they wouldn't give her any money, but she would give the jacket off her back for them.
I could easily add more to this list, but I'll try to sum it up here: despite her very friendly first impression the more you listened to her the more bizarre and hypocritical it got. You realize pretty quickly to avoid her at all costs.
19. Fork Off, Lady
I was driving a forklift in an area open to the public. I'm basically in a narrow hallway (about as wide as my forklift is long) and have to spin the forklift around to grab the next pallet. I check my surroundings then start to spin the forklift. As I reach the point where I'm basically touching the wall with my backend, a woman pops around the corner and decides to basically jump through the shrinking gap.
Seeing movement, I immediately stop (saving her from being a smear on the wall) and tell her how close she was to being hit. She says, "Well, I wasn't hit". I told her she's welcome. Don't think she got it.
20. An Alumni of the School of Lies
A girl (we called her Janet because she was so similar to Arnold's cousin on The Magic School Bus) showed up in my program at university, constantly throwing out these outlandish claims about her accomplishments. I was applying to graduate schools at the time and every time I mentioned a school (not to her, ever) she would throw in "Oh, Yale? I got in there". I'm sorry, but if you get into Yale you don't end up going to my school.
She was also overweight but supposedly qualified for the Boston Marathon. She didn't run in it though, because she apparently broke her ankle so badly while hiking that the bone was sticking out—or so she told us the next day while walking on it with a tiny wrap on it and an exaggerated limp. Oh, she also had a fiancé (who also qualified for the Boston marathon), but he was in med school in Michigan (she was eighteen). She didn’t have a ring because he fake broke up with her because his buddies told him to. Somehow that was supposed to explain it.
She was also the sort to start every comment in class with, "Well, I wrote a paper about this once" or "At my old school it was this way" and was always asking "Well is there a page limit for this paper? I always write way too much, hee hee!" Just the most obvious lies and a complete lack of awareness of how obvious and obnoxious this all was.
21. A One-Passenger Kind of Brain
Ex-friend was complaining about how she was so nice and always there for other people, but no one was there for her. In an attempt to empathize, I said, “I understand entirely. I felt the same way when—“ She cut me off mid-sentence to say, “No offense, but I don’t have the capacity to deal with your problems". She then went on to talk about her dad blowing up babies in Vietnam.
22. No One Likes a Man in That Uniform
There's this one former colleague of mine who was more than a little bit of a jerk. He was complaining about the process for hiring. He recounted how, in the last two interviews before my former employers hired him, after the executive/director level interviews, he was asked to spend an afternoon with the rank-and-file.
According to him, everything was going completely fine. He said that he dazzled the executives and had solutions to all their challenges and issues. But somehow, after the team met him, he was informed that there would be no offer. That the team rejected him. He was baffled, "What could possibly lead the team to reject me?" he asked.
Our response, "Well they met you, didn't they?” He was an insufferable jerk and given the chance, I would have rejected him too—but our leadership didn't ask. I endured almost one year on the same team as him (after hitting my head against conference room tables in frustration during the monthly transatlantic team meetings). He lasted maybe over two after that.
He didn't understand why they canned him. He desperately fought the dismissal. In another example, he wore a historically accurate SS uniform to liberation days in Belgium. Didn't know why folks didn't ask for selfies with him or compliment the cosplay.
23. The Dance Must Go On
One of my older coworkers thinks she knows how everyone should do their job. She whined at me one day for talking to another coworker while working on filling a large number of orders (we work in a pharmacy). Literally the next day, during the same daily drop of orders, she and a different coworker stopped to sing a song and dance a little jig, then spent just as much time laughing at themselves/each other.
Not the first or last time she told me to do or not do something and then swiftly ignored her own instructions, but this really stood out.
24. Two Sides to Every Jerk
A terrible coworker loved to say, "When I have a problem with someone, I tell them to their face". That's not at all how stuff went down. He talked smack about almost everyone else on the crew, as long as the person he was talking about was not present. He was completely two-faced. If you confronted him, he would seem perfectly reasonable, but everyone else would never hear the end of it.
25. Face the Faces: You’re Annoying
Every clown who FaceTimes or uses a speakerphone to hold a conversation in PUBLIC. It's not cute. You're not cool and everyone around you thinks you're a jerk.
26. Pick Your Poison
My uncle has been an alcoholic for 20+ years, only recently he’s been clean for eight months since he finally got his card for medicinal marijuana. I have mine too, so I take him to the dispensary when I go. His mother pays for all his weed because he can’t hold/be trusted with a job. Recently, we went into my favorite dispensary and he didn’t have enough money to buy the two-ounce deal he was anticipating.
Then, I overhear him from the other room admitting his alcoholism, and how his mother has paid for his weed every single time he’s come into the dude at the counter...hoping he would help my uncle out. It made the entire store feel weird.
27. Poor Little Rich Boy
I have a friend who is blissfully unaware of how utterly conceited and privileged he is. His parents buy him everything and he has never worked a day in his life. When we were in college, his parents got him this huge MacBook Pro with all of these upgrades that basically made it have all of the best and fastest parts. The screen was basically 4K. He boasted about how much all of this cost.
One day, we took a day trip to this really nice mall, and we visited the Apple Store. We walked in and it was pretty packed. He looks at me and loudly says, “It feels so good walking in here and knowing I have the best and fastest laptop". Not even a month later. he broke the computer. Recently, he graduated college and his parents got him a brand new 2019 Dodge Charger. We went to another friend’s grad party, and he somehow made the conversations about the car and asked everyone if they wanted a ride.
At the same party, the other friends’ parents surprised her with travel tickets to visit Europe. Her dream trip. Knowing her family, I knew they scrapped the funds together for this trip. My friend was so happy; she and her family were hugging and having a really good moment together. The conceited friend ran up to the family and started saying stuff like, “Oh you’re going to Europe? It’s so great! When I went I saw etc. etc. etc". basically turning the moment revolve to around him.
28. You Could Say They Were the Talk of the Block
I live in a city with a very large university in the middle of it. One day, years ago, I was driving through campus. At the crosswalk I was stopped at, two girls who knew each other stopped, said hi, and started having a full conversation IN THE MIDDLE OF THE ROAD. I had to honk at them to get them to realize they were still in the crosswalk.
29. The Right to be Big is Selectively Given
My mother-in-law. One day, my sister-in-law came over to my house, bawling her eyes out, because her mom told her she was fat. My wife spends quite a while comforting her, calming her down. Finally, she's feeling better and leaves, and my wife calls her mom and tells her not to be so hard on SIL, that she's damaging her fragile self-esteem (she'd been bullied in school and had just gotten out into the world as an adult and was building herself up, making friends).
MIL gets very haughty and tells my wife that she's just looking out for SIL so that she doesn't wake up some day and realize that she has allowed herself to be fat and ugly. That will damage her self-esteem far more, my MIL says. About a week later, MIL comes over crying. She works at an old folks home, where her mother lives, suffering from Alzheimer's. MIL had bent over to pick something up, and her mother came up behind her and said, "Jesus Christ you're getting fat, look at your big fat [butt]!"
So now, MIL is crying to my wife saying, "How could she say that to me, doesn't she understand how hurtful that is?" I had to leave the room to laugh incredulously.
30. Know-It-All-ism is a Life Sentence
I volunteer in a program that takes science classes into local prisons, as there is no lawful obligation to offer science classes to inmates but so many people are really keen to learn these types of subjects. Generally people are really great, but one guy from a prestigious university kept filling sentences out with phrases like, “I’m not expecting you to understand this part,” “This probably won’t make any sense to you,” and worst of all, “I bet people like you have never seen anything like this before".
The tension among the students was palpable, but they didn’t say anything in front of him. After class was over and the guys had left, their regular math teacher asked for feedback, and they shredded the guy to pieces. He’s never allowed back on the program, and we’re now very careful to remind participants that lots of the students are exceedingly bright, many have degrees and diplomas, and that you should never, ever assume that they don’t understand you.
If they don’t understand, they’ll say. It’s not up to you to decide for them. I don’t think the guy had any awareness of how incredibly insulting he was being to a room full of high-security inmates.
31. With a Face Like That, Who Needs a Heart?
I am a paramedic and I recently brought a cardiac arrest patient to the ER. I was trying to transfer the patient onto the hospital bed as the doctor walked in. It's my job to give the report to the doctor, letting them know if I gave meds, if I defibrillated, the history of the patient, etc. I start to give my report and the doctor says, "You look just like someone..".
I start to give my report again and he stops me again, interrupting and goes on about how I look just like some celebrity...I have heard this before, so I toss the name out and he is thrilled to have the name...meanwhile we are still doing CPR and breathing for the patient who is still very much in cardiac arrest. I ask the doctor if I can give the report now and he comes back to reality.
32. On the Homefront
I work in a library, which means most of my co-workers are service-oriented. We try to provide everyone in the community with something they need to better themselves and enjoy life. It usually involves some amount of self-sacrifice because we're short staffed. One of my co-workers is hyper-focused on coming up with ways to provide education, foster creativity, strengthen democracy, etc.
Sometimes she believes in her vision so much that she pushes too hard, and I have to put my foot down. I'm only one person and this is still, at the end of the day, just a job...despite how civic-minded she is. Back in 2016, she pitched a fit that left me dumbstruck. That year, Veterans Day fell on a Friday. Many other libraries in my area closed completely. We stayed open and provided free coffee and cookies.
Those who worked that day got paid time and a half. This co-worker never worked Friday because she didn't want to, she wanted to be free to do charity work or cook for her kids, which is nice but let's call this what it is—a privilege. She gets to make demands of everyone else so she can have a three-day weekend. I was above her in terms of title, yet she was repeatedly permitted to demand work from me by a deadline that worked with her personal life. Still pisses me off sometimes...
Anyways, she still doesn't want to work that day, but she wants to get paid time and a half. We tell her we can't afford that and even if we could, why would anyone elect to work a shift that everyone is getting paid for whether they work it or not? We'd have a heck of a time filling the shifts. She says, "Well. If the library can't pay everyone, we need to close that day".
So, we're going to honor our vets...by closing the library...because you want to be paid to do what you've always done: stay home.
33. Get a Whiff of This
My boss's office shared a wall with the bathroom. He got caught with a pipe that routed the smells and sounds from the women’s bathroom into his office. When he got busted, he had the audacity to try to deny it and claimed he had done nothing wrong.
34. The Mysterious Bank of Dad
My dad re-mortgaged our house to buy a $50,000 four-wheel-drive car (he has not one, but TWO other cars). We are not well off in the slightest, at least my mother and I aren't—my dad refuses to tell us how much he makes in a year, has separate bank accounts and a secret (at least, he thinks it's secret) credit card and savings account.
His reason for getting the car when (he says) he has no spare money? "Your mother has had a new car and I haven't". I kindly pointed out to him that mum didn't buy the car, she inherited it, and not only was it not brand new, but she would also most likely prefer to have her mother alive than get a new car. Didn't change his reasoning.
His biography could just be titled "Astonishing Lack of Self-Awareness". Forgot to say he now complains about how much he has to pay for the mortgage and that my mum should be giving him money for it. We have told him several times it wouldn't be so high if he didn't add his car to it, but anything that's not an echo of his own opinion is considered disrespectful.
35. With Such Customers, There’s No Need for Service
My inebriated mom who, when the waitress asked her if we were there for a special occasion, started her sentence but took a really, really long pause in the middle. The waitress then said, “That’s great!” and went into her specials list. My mom thought she had cut her off and sat there with her mouth open and went “Well huh!” And rolled her eyes directly at the waitress.
It was so uncomfortable while she took the orders, and my mom talked about it loudly for the rest of the night and left a really bad tip. My husband and I waited for her to leave and gave the waitress an extra ten in cash for putting up with her.
36. Good Grief
My mother and I were out walking and we came across an older couple we knew from the local church. Their eldest son had passed on the previous year from an inoperable brain tumor, and their younger son just moved out for university. Mum starts with, "Must be nice to have the house to yourself! More time for Church!"
The conversation devolves from there. She ignores all hints to drop the subject, including the mother stating they hadn't been back to the church since their son passed on. The couple were obviously horrified. I couldn't end the convo quick enough. Afterward, my mother told me I was just being immature and had no conception of what "polite adult conversation" was like.
37. Not Everything Is Better Out Than In
I do a workout camp with a group of people. I just started in January along with this other girl, Natalie. From our first work out, there was something about her that kinda rubbed me the wrong way. She struck me as the girl who would make the meeting last longer because she won’t shut up. A couple of weeks in, she missed a workout or two. Well, the following week, she was back.
Camp was done, I had become friends with this woman, Susan. She and I were walking back to our mats, but I got ahead of her and that’s when Natalie, out of nowhere, accosts Susan. Literally what she says is, “Yeah, so, I was on my way to camp on Friday and I thought I had to toot, so I did...and I wound up pooping myself". All Susan could say was a shocked “Oh...no". Because why the heck is she sharing this?
But Natalie wasn’t done just yet. Not by a long shot. “Yeah, and I don’t know if it was because of the smell or actually being sick, but I wound up throwing up, too. So, I had to drive home in my own diarrhea and vomit. Charles had to clean the car. It was awful". Susan said she was glad she was feeling better, Natalie left.
I asked Susan, "Did you do anything to welcome that?!” Susan yelled “NO!!!!” And then we cackled because OH MY GOD. Several months later, we were at camp when Natalie walks up to me while I'm sitting on the ground, turns around, sticks her butt in my face, and says, “Can you tell my pants are wet?” I said no. And that’s when she told me she thought she could hold it but peed herself on her way there cuz she sneezed...and then she says, “Well, if you smell something, it’s probably me".
38. The Tenure Track is Paved With Bad Touches
Newly hired male professor frequently boasting about how the female students were attracted to him and how he could have any of them; he claimed they were attracted by his bad-boy image and intelligence. This guy looks like Milhouse from The Simpsons and smells like rotten, salty sauerkraut, so I wasn't seeing it. I had the (misfortune) of being his assigned TA.
He plagiarized educational material from other universities, refused to hold office hours, and took photos of himself, his wife, and students off campus (1,000+ Facebook photos). All of this while claiming he was a "bad boy" who would one day be in charge. End of semester: he had the worst student reviews I had ever seen (one-star, almost across the board). He was called to the President's office for potential violations of Title IX.
Apparently, he was "massaging the shoulders" of one student TOO OFTEN in a meeting...every single person in the room reported it. Most disgusting thing about my university though: He and his wife still work there. I understand tenure review is coming up soon...hopefully, that'll get rid of them both. Parasites on the system in every single way.
39. The World’s Least Exclusive Club
Saw some lady at Costco throw a tantrum because the line was long. She kept screaming, "But I have a membership!!!" You literally have to have a membership to shop there, the entire line had memberships.
40. Her Own Secret Admirer
My cousin's friend came over to stay for a few weeks. She was very vain and before she left, she wrote a note to my uncle (who is friendly to everyone) saying how she had to sadly reject him, even though she knows how much he is secretly in love with her. We all found the note together after she left addressed to him (he was with us and opened in front of us).
He was creeped out.
41. Grease the Wheels But Not Like That
My co-worker right now. We have union jobs, so we can go to interviews for promotions and such while still on the clock. He averages one interview a week and still hasn't been promoted or hired anywhere else (He's actually super mad at me because I just started here last October and I'm leaving next week for my own promotion).
Anyway, I heard him schedule one of his interviews the other day and it was the cringiest thing ever. This was his opening line: "Yes, is this Pam? This is Gary, you probably don't remember me, but I interviewed for you a couple of months ago for the _____ position. I must have been a bad boy [said like you would say if you had a baby talk fantasy] though, because I didn't get a callback. Do you remember me? No? Oh...well, anyway, I was calling to set up an interview for the _____ position you have open over there".
Names changed obviously. When this dude found out about my promotion, he instantly turned purple and stormed out of the building. When he came back 30 minutes later, he walked into my cube and rubbed my back while telling me he wasn't mad at me, just mad at the system. I was so uncomfortable I wouldn't even look him in the eye.
I never looked away from my computer screen. The dude is just not aware at all.