Those are the times when humans are lifting each other up, and we really shine.
There are two sides to every coin, of course, and there are just as many (if not more) instances that can quickly bring out the very worst that human beings have to offer – and some of those moments are listed below.
1. C’est la vie.
Travel. To know what a person is really like go traveling with them.
I lost one of my greatest friends of many years due to my birthday trip to Puerto Rico just the two of us. I don’t know what it was that caused the shift, but I literally didn’t recognize her after the trip. It was awful.
The worst part was I was her maid of honor in her wedding a month or so later. I tried to have a talk with her that maybe I should back out and we had what I thought was a great talk and apology. Found out she was only nice to me after the trip to make sure I didn’t back out, barely acknowledged me day of, she “canceled” my speech and gave it to another bridesmaid, and we never spoke again after the wedding.
Like, why would you want me in your wedding photos for the rest of your life?
2. No one likes to wait.
When you were told to wait 20 minutes and it’s now been 21 minutes and you are still waiting.
3. All in the family.
I’ve seen families absolutely RIPPED apart after someone d**s and another family member doesn’t feel they’ve “received their share” or that the will was unfair or that property mysteriously goes missing before the estate is settled.
Awful, awful stuff.
I think the worst is my friend’s dad and his sister haven’t spoken for over 30 years due to a squabble over their mother’s will. THIRTY YEARS. The kicker is that they’re both quite well off on their own – friend’s dad is a very, very successful trial lawyer and friend’s aunt married a successful doctor. This wasn’t money either of them ever actually needed, but they’ve not had a relationship for decades because of it… 🙁
4. This is kind of understandable, though.
Most of us are capable of being decent human beings who make a positive contribution to society. You add stress into the mix and people start to crack.
Financial stress, relationship stress, work stress, it doesn’t matter. When our focus is pulled into simply surviving and staying afloat, our ability to empathize or provide support to others greatly diminishes.
I think this is tied in with the low morale we are all experiencing right now…we’re all unbelievably stressed. I’ve seen some of the nicest people completely snap and act shockingly because they just can’t take the pressure anymore.
5. Take personal stock.
I always liked the HALT rule. If you’re feeling Hungry, Angry, Late or Tired then it’s likely things you say or do will come off worse than you intend.
The L could also be lonely. That works too! Turns out learning acronyms differently brings out the worst in some people too!
6. There’s a reason sleep deprivation is a form of torture.
Add lack of sleep and you get a human grenade. You don’t know where or how, but they’re going to go off.
7. The rage is real.
I live on a major 4-lane road going into the city, and the number of times I hear people screaming at each other over the smallest traffic infractions is honestly frightening.
That, and all the car horns, which I jokingly refer to as the “Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra’s horn section “.
8. Everybody loves free stuff.
The word “free” in a retail or restaurant type of setting. People will trample one another, take ALL of the items so there aren’t any for others, gorge themselves, try to sneak food out with them.
9. The lawyers are making out like bandits.
Especially with kids involved.
It can turn a couple of average people into monsters.
10. This makes me sad.
Hunger can make people do things they never thought they were capable of doing. It can drive you mind out of control.
This is why the food bank is my favorite charity to give to. I’ve never experienced true food insecurity, but I’ve been moderately hungry from time to time and notice how terrible everything becomes from your mood to the ability to function. How can anyone hope to improve their situation in life with that kind of constant debuff?
11. Everybody’s got a chip.
Thinking they’re being cheated. It almost makes me want to stop doing games in class because if there’s two teams, both teams always complain that the other team has some sort of unfair advantage.
In reality, neither team understands the true length of a minute and thinks they’re being cheated on time
12. Grief is a monster.
When a loved one d**s. People get really, really weird in a bad way about money and stuff. I know a bunch of people who had relatives who flat out stole money and valuables after the d**th of a family member.
It’s crazy. My own family has a permanent rift because when my grandmother d**d, two of the five siblings cleaned out her accounts.
13. It can fell the greatest of men.
Not just for success.
I’ve seen many relationships crumble because someone was happier than the other.
14. It’s a lot of feelings.
Funerals. All the heightened emotions make people irrational. Any buried family drama comes out at the worst possible time. I’ve been caught in the middle of it before. I didn’t even know the deceased, I was there supporting my friend who had lost her mother.
Someone decided this was the time to air a 20 year old grudge as my friend walked by. My friend was so caught off guard by the accusations she was speechless. I told this crazy lady this wasn’t the time or the place for this conversation so she turned on me.
Next thing I knew some other family member was violently yanking her out of the room! I guess it could have been worse, but why did you have to make a scene at a funeral?
15. What is it about that?
Some good answers here, to which I’ll add: Giving things away for free.
I’ve had the surreal experience of working at a Long Island tennis tournament attended by generally very wealthy people. They arrived in top-end luxury cars or limos, wearing designer clothes, and watches worth more than my car. I was tasked with opening a case of some sort of little branded tchotchke, like cheap pens, keychains, etc. and handing them out to the attendees as they walked the sponsor areas.
People went berserk: shoving each other, lunging across the table (thank cripes there was a table) to grab stuff from my hand, missing key tennis matches to lurk by our tent, awaiting the next c**p dispersal, wow. I’ve seen this type of thing happen many other times too, with people going to great lengths just to get some pittance of which they have no need.
16. Just stay home.
I spent ten years in retail; I absolutely refuse to step out my front door on Black Friday for anything short of a medical emergency.
We have leftovers and running water, so we can survive 24 hours.
17. It’s supposed to be a happy day.
My father is a minister. He says he would rather help with a funeral over a wedding any day.
Weddings leave people with a sense of extreme desperation to achieve perfection.
18. It can go to your head.
See it all the time in the military.
Just because someone is placed in a position of power doesn’t mean they’re going to be a good leader.
19. A horrible attitude.
People get real stupid when it comes to their kids. The “my baby can do no wrong” attitude when your child is f*cking sh%t needs to stop.
This is the worst, my family is friends with a group of families who’ve known each other for a while. We went to one of their birthdays and the youngest kid ran up and licked the birthday cake???
He was also overall being a little sh%t and everyone was laughing and all like “haha, that’s just his personality!” I got so pi**ed I wanted to leave.
20. Strike a balance.
Lack of control in ones life can lead to lashing out at partners/family/friends.
It can cause depression and a whole host of problems if you feel you have little to no control of the things in your life.
21. Even if it’s not worth it.
Ugh. This 100%. It’s bad enough with concert ticket resellers but the scumbags will do it with anything. There’s a new Lego Bonsai Tree set my girlfriend wants and its her birthday soon.
It’s sold out. Everywhere. But there are 100s of them on eBay at inflated prices.
The top one has ’19 sold’ on it.
22. No consequences.
Anonymity. Putting a mask on, being on the internet, or otherwise concealing one’s identity. People do some very f*cked up things when they know they won’t be held accountable.
This reminds me of when Instagram introduced the Questions Sticker to the Stories part of the app in 2018. People thought they could ask questions anonymously, but the app shows you who asked the question.
I’d like to think that hundreds of friendships were broken that week when the feature was implemented.
23. We’re still tribal in our genes.
Not being accepted by other people. Social contact and validation is no different from food or water.
Yes, people can starve on validation too.
That’s why simple things like greeting strangers in the street, or always saying ‘thank you’ are so critically important.
24. Widen your circle.
It is easy to dehumanize people who are different than you when you never spend any time interacting with them.
25. Desperate times…
When I was a kid, prolly like grade 5-6, my mom thought it’d be a cool present to open a bank account for me with some money in it already. I was super excited to have my own card like a big kid.
My dad wasn’t in the best place at the time. My parents had divorced because he was going down a spiral of drug abuse, and my mom didn’t want me exposed to that. I saw him on weekends, but lived with my mom.
Fast forward to my birthday, and my mom put 100$ into my account, which was a HUGE amount for a kid. Went to make my first purchase, a game for my xbox360, card declined. Weird. Check my balance, -25$. Found out a week later my dad had stolen the money from my account to fuel his addiction.
He was usually the nicest, most caring, and funny guy out there. But when he got desperate, he’d do some really sh%tty things.
26. Right up there with power.
Money. The moment money is involved, a person’s true nature comes out, and most of the time it won’t be pretty.
This reminds me of all the people who lost their money due to lotteries because so many people thought they deserved some of it till the actual winner had nothing left.
27. You have to face it.
Unprocessed trauma from childhood. As someone that is struggling with mental health, I’m only now beginning to understand why I do a lot of what I do. When our needs for love and acceptance aren’t met, we seek out soothing behaviors that numb the pain.
It’s really easy to end up in midlife with no real idea what it means to be happy and feeling no connection to others. As you begin to work on your issues, you find that the soothing behaviors are no longer as soothing because you know why you’re doing it.
So, you’re stuck with the emptiness that you’ve always felt and no way to get out of the feeling.
28. All kinds.
But at the same time it can bring out the strength you never thought you had, too.
This 100% it seems like pain can literally and figuratively make or break you. I have many people in my life with chronic pain. You’d be talking and they’d suddenly go quiet, or politely excuse themselves and later you find out they were in agony.
On the flip side, I’ve been waiting in the ER and heard people screaming and cursing at doctors for symptoms that the person I was with was feeling tenfold. Of course pain is subjective and all that, but definitely so is the response. I’m not as saying those that lash out in pain are nesseccarily bad either.I guess…
I just wonder what the threshold is? What would turn ME into a thrashing ball of pain and fury instead of the graceful martyr. Hope I never find out…
29. Especially this game.
League of Legends.
Something about that game makes people go ape-sh%t.
30. No love left.
Former Legal Assistant here.
I’m telling you, you don’t ever see the worst in someone until you’re in the middle of a nasty divorce fighting for custody of your children.
It’s horrendous how evil some people can be to someone they once loved.
31. We just want to chill, man.
Traffic, the after work rush home is the worst.
Everyone is tired, has generally had a bad day and will do anything just to get home and relax.
I-4 in Tampa is basically mad max fury road but with regular cars.
32. Backed into a corner.
Being challenged or “ganged up on.”
My mother will freak out whenever she feels like either of these happening to her and she starts screaming. At those points, it’s pretty much best to walk away and ignore her.
Though she likes to say I’m “running away” from her. I’m sorry, I didn’t realize that I needed to interact with your tantrum.
33. It’s hard to overcome.
I definitely agree with these, and think that stress is really at the root of most of them.
What brings out the worst in you? Confessions in the comments!