My niece is 14-years-old and I have to say that I’m impressed that she hasn’t gone through any crazy phases yet.

But I should probably bite my tongue because she’s about to enter high school and who knows what’s gonna happen in the next four years…

Because, as you know, kids tend to try out all different kinds of identities during those years…and some can be kind of awkward…

What phase did you go through while growing up that you’re most embarrassed about?

Here’s how folks on AskReddit responded.

1. Yo, dawg.

“I went through an Eminem phase were I decided to speak more “urban”.

It was basically me saying “yo” a lot and making fulsome gestures with my hands. I would work lyrics into my everyday vernacular like “how ELSE do you get to the booty” and “rap god!”

Usually they were completely out of context and inappropriate. I called my friends my “peoples”.

I’m cringing into the floor just thinking about it.”

2. Never too old…

“I’m 46 and went through a Viking phase. I was obsessed with Vikings.

Read books, watched shows and docs. Learned all I could about them. Did the Ancestry.com and found I have very little Scandinavian blood. So, that happened.

Now it’s pirates…”

3. Huh…

“I got really obsessed with being a Christian.

Buying all the Christianity books, Christian music (like Christian hardcore/ska/pop punk).

I joined a Methodist church and even got baptized and went to all their mission trips and such.

I’m Jewish, by the way. But I got to go to NYC so…”

4. Country born and bred.

“I thought I was a redneck (18/f).

Only wore camo, adopted a Southern accent, tried trading in my brand new Infiniti for a dirt bike… not a good chapter of my life.”

5. Moving on…

“Being a hippie.

I still love nature, meditation and the Grateful Dead, but it’s nice to have a clear head and a meaningful career.”

6. Yikes.

“I HAD A CRUST PUNK PHASE in my early 20’s. I was broke as hell but not totally homeless, hung out with other crusties, LOVED FOLK PUNK (still do though), didn’t shower, got stick n pokes and had bands play in my house.

I was an al**holic at the time. I never hopped trains or any of that s**t because I thought it was stupid and dangerous (I would tell my crusty friends how ~*cool it was though) but smelling bad, being dr**k, eating and wearing garbage? Oh heck yeah.

It’s cringey how much I spoke about political ideas I had no true understanding of and the way I looked was atrocious but I definitely met some interesting people and gained a new perspective on life.

I appreciate what I learned but also YIKES.”

7. I’ve got straight edge.

“My straight edge phase for sure.

I was in 8th grade and super into hardcore punk, so having s**ked weed once and having no s**ual experience at all, I decided I was never gonna do any of that stuff.

Lasted about 8 months til freshman year when a girl was willing to touch my p**is, so I threw the whole lot out, LOL.”

8. Whoop Whoop!

“I was a hardcore Juggalo.

I had the dreadlocks and the face pant.

Yeah and this was around the time bang pow boom came out.”

9. Expensive.

“I used to be really really into trains. It was shamefully and sadly a very expensive phase that lasted about 8 years.

Now I’m over it, but stuck with model trains that cost $50-2,000 a piece and I can’t sell them.


10. It’s who I am!

“Being a mall goth was “just who I am, mom!”

I am 34 and no longer a mall goth. But I do still look back fondly at all the stupid s**t I used to wear.

It was a lot of fun.”

11. The dark side.

“I wore a spiked dog collar and listened to Marilyn Manson all of 7th grade (thanks Hot Topic). I thought that was the coolest look.

Now I cringe so hard at the thought. My mom let me do it to get it out of system, the rest of the family h**ed it.

Good thing I have no pictures of those times.”

12. Trippy.

“Had a 3 year period between 19 and 22 where I was fully committed to new age bulls**t. Like everything, crystal energy powers, energy healing any health issue, reiki, metaphysics, all that stuff.

To the point my mom was into it too and she met some “energy healer” family from was originally from the Ukraine and then lived in Florida in a giant rural mansion property. They befriended us, and invited us to live on that property for a few months studying energy healing and metaphysics.

So we went, left our lives in California to pursue this goal. It went alright initially, other than the constant 1000 dollar “classes” on metaphysics that were just us and one of the other family members being the teacher. You’d think that would’ve been the breaking point, but no I was a firm believer.

My actual breaking point occured when I was 23-24. I have poor eyesight, can’t see s**t past 8 inches from my face. I was wearing CRT contacts up until this point (hard lenses you wear at night, take off in the morning, and your eye holds the shape for 24 hours so you can see without glasses or soft contacts).

They told me they could fix my eyesight, but it would require me to stop wearing my lenses. I was wearing these lenses since I was 12 and they also prevent my prescription from getting worse, just freezes it whenever you first start wearing them. So this was a big deal to just stop them.

Well guess what dumb move I made…stopped wearing them and was then told I couldn’t get glasses either. So now I’m stuck basically blind for 12 MONTHS hoping my eyes will get magically fixed by a dude waving his hand across the table from me for 10 mins once a week.

As if that’s an alternative to lasik. Unfortunately this meant I could no longer drive myself, or be independent or even get a job. I developed a bad habit of just watching YouTube videos 12 hours a day with my face 8 inches from the screen. This eventually led my double vision because a muscle in my right eye got a bit weak from this.

When 12 months went by and not only was my eyesight not better, but I was still technically growing a bit so my prescription actually got worse by a good amount. Went from -4.5 to my current -6.75, plus having double vision that require thick prism lenses too. This broke me, burned me, and completely destroyed my world view of the previous 4 years. Overnight I was done.

This f**ked me up a lot mentally, because I was so deep into that movement that I no longer use any scientific understandings of the world like I did growing up.

It caused a lot of existential anxiety, and ultimately led to getting triple diagnosed with a panic disorder, major depressive disorder, and HF-ASD (this one was hinted at from tests done as a child). I had sever 12 hour long panic attacks that changed my brain chemistry permanently, and now I have to live in a new normal that’s objectively worse internally than how I used to be.

I’ve healed a lot since then, moved back to my home state of California, and have relearned my scientific understanding of the universe since then. I’m 29 now, and I still feel traumatized from that experience. Even after therapy, and meds. It only helps to a certain degree, but my fundamental reality got f**ked and never properly fixed.

Plus you want to talk about trust issues? How about both your parents and everyone you knew telling you one thing is true, for YEARS, only to discover in my own it’s all bulls**t. I used to be too gullible, and now I’m overcorrecting and very skeptical of everyone and everything.

Sadly my parents only learned not to give money to people like that but still totally believe in energy work nonsense. It causes a lot of conflict when I interact with them, and that pains me. Because they are such good people otherwise.

I still get furious at myself and the people who convinced me to believe in that bulls**t. It became the most pivotal moment of my life, and has caused me permanent health problems as a result. Don’t let anyone convince you of anything without getting some other opinions and research first. Don’t trust your mind.”

13. Thanks, Mom.

“I just turned 18, I was going to get a Blink 182 tattoo on my back.

I told my dad about it (who didn’t give a s**t), who then told my mom, who then told me that if I did it I am not allowed to live at her house.

I told her it wasn’t a phase and they made me who I am…after much arguing I caved and didn’t get it.


Okay, it’s confession time…

What was your most embarrassing phase?

Spill your guts in the comments!