Experience is a great teacher, and yes, sometimes it’s the only way we manage to learn a certain lesson. We don’t want to listen to those who have been there, don’t want to believe those older and wiser, but in the end, we wish that we would have.

These people are recalling 17 lessons they really, really wish they could have learned without experiencing them firsthand.

17. Take care of yourself.

The term “fireproof” is always relative. Nothing tragic or anything, let’s just say if you’re getting into metalwork don’t cheap out on your ppe.

Aluminum will run like water, and just like water if it pours on you it will find all the gaps and holes in your clothes. Luckily it’s so hot that it doesn’t hurt until it starts to heal.

16. Relationships are complicated. But not really.

You cannot love someone into loving you.

Likewise, your jealousy won’t keep someone from cheating if they really want to.

15. Have a drink.

When you get hungry, sometimes you’re not actually hungry.

Our brains don’t know the difference between thirst and hunger so many of the times you get thirsty your brain will send signs of hunger when you actually just need some water.

14. Or a family member.

Never co-sign for a friend.

I’ve co-signed for two things in my life: one for a friend and one for my dad. I had to pay for both in the end.

13. Never expect to be paid back.

Only lend money you don’t mind losing.

12. Be a priority, not an option.

If they can’t decide if they want to date you or someone else, take yourself out of the equation.

11. Layer up.

Always keep your mouth closed when cleaning the toilet with the toilet brush.

Wear a mask. Closing your mouth won’t stop toilet juice from splashing on your lips.

10. A whole body issue.

Stress impacts not only your mental health, but your physical health too.

Every time finals week rolls around the acne flares up, back pain gets bad, and my bowels go crazy.

9. You never know until it happens to you.

Sometimes you can’t fight back when someone harms you, nor scream or even move. Apparently, freezing is very common and it fucking sucks.

never thought i’d freeze if something were to ever happen to me until it did. it took me a long time to forgive myself for freezing.

8. Don’t feel guilty about it, either.

Set your boundaries early and clearly.

7. You’ve gotta move on.

Just because someone hasn’t broken up with you, or clings to the relationship, doesn’t mean they really want to be with you. Sometimes you have to break your own heart to get out of an unpleasant situation.

I feel like some people can want to not hurt your feelings. But by doing so they just make it worse because they can’t be honest and say they aren’t happy.

6. Very practical advice.

Never combine bleach and ammonia, sure everyone knows that.

But as a kid, I just made a mental note to not combine flasks labeled “bleach” and “ammonia” when hanging out in a lab.

Skip to young adult years: I’m working in a vet clinic and what do I spray in to a litter box with tom cat piss in it? Well it was extra stinky so I skipped the chlorohex and went for the bleach spray of course! I was also in a tiny little room with a tub but no ventilation.

It was like breathing in gas that ignited in my throat. Lesson learned.

5. It will change things.

Money doesn’t mix with friends or family. Never give someone money that you aren’t willing to burn.

Okay, maybe it can mix, but don’t make it a loan, make it a gift.

If the other person seems hesitant at the idea of a gift rather than a loan, say, “I know you would do the same thing for me.”

4. Too many people.

Not everyone has family or even parents who love them. People always assume everyone does.

Sending virtual hugs to everyone who knows the pain of being without loving parents Since I can’t say everything I want to say, I’ll just say this: PLEASE please deal with the trauma of this issue. It’s hard and it stays with you forever but it can be dealt with.

A book I highly recommend is COMPLEX-PTSD by PETE WALKER. Get it now. It’s amazing, insightful, and is helping me heal myself slowly. If you are struggling I think it will be a wonderful read! **Remember that even though is not an excuse or a justification, our “parents” were once children who were probably hurt as well. “Hurt people, hurt people.”

Let’s all be better than them and not carry on abusive cycles. Hope everyone is having a great day!!

3. Time to take stock.

Being lonely can make you think and act in ways that will only perpetuate the problem, if not make it worse.

Be friendly and open, don’t expect people to approach you but don’t come on strong or expect relationships to build and solidify quickly, let people get to know you in their own time.

Long answer:

The best way to stop being lonely is to act like someone who isn’t lonely.

This is the real fake-it-til-you-make-it. Sadly, nothing is a bigger social repellant than loneliness. People don’t want to take on your emotional baggage when they barely know you. And people don’t want to feel like they are interesting to you purely based on the fact that they are better than nothing. So you need to get out there and meet people, but as if you already have a basically completely full life and are willing to make some space for them. And when people are friendly to you and make overtures, say yes, but don’t overdo it. These overtures likely mean they are somewhat interested in getting to know you better, not in interviewing you to immediately to be their new best friend or love of their life. Remind yourself to take things slow.

Pursue your personal interests.

Join a writing workshop, take a language class, learn how to throw a pot, learn how to tap dance. If you have time be lonely, you likely have a lot of time on your hands, use it! Activities doing what you love are good for the soul, keep you busy and with a full life, and you will meet people with common interests this way. It also makes you way more interesting when you meet other new people.

Initiate plans with the friends you already have.

Don’t feel bad about always being the initiator with people. Most people are pretty self-centered and kind of glide through life reacting to stuff, rather than being “pro-active.” When your friends don’t call you, it’s not because they don’t care, it’s likely because they aren’t thinking as far ahead as you are, and aren’t thinking about that much other than themselves or maybe their immediate nuclear family. And don’t look down on being the initiator, it’s a great characteristic to have and develop.

Initiators are why relationships last. Also, having plans with existing friends makes it easier to make new ones because inviting new people along is flattering to them and takes the pressure off the social interaction.

2. Connections mean a lot.

“It’s not what you know, it’s who you know” is not just a trite saying.

Very much this. If you have no solid connections, you’re not necessarily totally screwed but at a severe disadvantage.

1. A new lease.

Hypothermia really isn’t a bad way to go. I tipped a canoe in Northern Minnesota during late spring, and spent 45 minutes in 40° water.

After a while, you stop feeling cold. The shivering and terror are replaced by a nice, warm, peaceful calm.

I managed to get to shore and pull myself out of the water, but that was all the strength I had.

Miraculously, my screams for help were heard from over half a mile away. When I heard the boat, I could barely lift my arm to show them where I was. It was 80°F and sunny, but I was lying there dying.

I bet I could come up with a half a dozen of these. Sigh.

What would you add to this list? Share it down in the comments.

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