Life is like a roller coaster- it’s filled with exhilarating highs, nerve-wracking lows, and unexpected twists that can leave us hanging upside down. We all make mistakes along the way, right? Because at the end of the day, we are only human!
Someone asked, “What is the worst mistake of your life? This thread received thousands of comments as users jumped in to share their views, and we have compiled the top 20 worst mistakes people made.
A Redditor said, “switched from beer to vodka. spent the next 12 years drunk. 3 years sober.”
Another added, “Ditto. Moved from occasional high % beers to whiskey…flushed 10 years of my life away until 2 years ago.”
Someone said, “Same here. Started drinking beer heavily at 15 with my family. Spent the rest of high school hungover every day. Moved out at 17 to my own place, started smashing 30+ beers every day, then eventually ended up on beer and vodka, then went to two-fifths of vodka a day. Blacked out every night, and my body was dying. I’ve been sober for a year now. Alcohol ruined my life.”
Let’s talk about the epic failures that come with bad decisions under the influence. Texting your ex? Epic fail. Deciding you can totally breakdance like a pro? Epic fail. Thinking that the karaoke version of “Bohemian Rhapsody” is a good idea? You guessed it- epic fail.
2. Saving Money
Someone wrote, “Not putting money away for savings early enough. Start early!!! Make it automatic!!”
Another replied, “I’m 68, had spinal fusion in January, and have to return to work in 4 – 5 weeks. Take heed young’uns. This is the truth. I have multiple friends who are millionaires because they saved/invested a little for a long time. Then saved/ a lot – and, unlike me, are retired.”
And don’t even get us started on compound interest. It’s a secret superpower that grows your money while you’re busy with your life. But guess what? It only works if you let it marinate over time.
3. Degree Over Skill
The real world doesn’t care about your GPA; it cares about what you can bring to the table. Degrees are a nice addition, like sprinkles on a cupcake, but you can’t build a career on sprinkles alone.
A person commented, “Working my **s off getting 3 useless degrees. I fell into the trap of believing that high grades and multiple degrees = good, stable, high-paying jobs. Lmao. Looking back I can’t believe I was so naïve”
Another responded, “I went to high school in the mid to late 90s. And, at least at the three high schools I attended, the message was loud and clear: “This is all to prepare you for college. If you don’t go to college, you failed.”
No comments about going directly into the workforce (at that time there were labor jobs in my area that paid livable wages). No comments about trade schools. No comments about the military. Not even comments about community college. Just go to a university, get a degree, get a high-paying job, and that’s the way to have a nice life.”
Humans are like plants- they need sunlight and water to thrive. But instead of sunlight, we need social interactions and relationships!
Someone said, “I have many, but the worst could be isolating myself from the real world to the point I started to experience symptoms of psychosis.”
Another replied, “The lockdown was awful. I was living alone at the time and at one point I didn’t have any social activities in more than a year. I thought I was fine at first but very quickly became suicidal. I had depression and anxiety my whole life but never like that.”
5. Trusting the HR
HR might seem like the good cop in the workplace movie, right? They welcome you with a smile, hand you your ID badge, and make it rain with office swag. But hold up, they’re not your fairy godmother; they’re more like the gatekeepers of the company’s interests.
A Redditor said, “I trusted HR and believed that they had my best interests in mind. Life has taught me too that HR is there for the company, not for the individual.”
Another added, “Long, long ago, I worked at an electronics retailer, and one of the managers mentioned going to HR if you had troubles, and I said, “I disagree; HR will fire to get rid of your problem, they’re here to protect the company.” He said, “WRONG!” and poked fun at me for even saying it.
A year later he had to go to HR for something that should have gotten his boss fired but guess what, he got fired. He texted me after and said, “You were right all along about HR”. I felt so bad for him he was actually a cool dude.”
Someone wrote, “Getting Married to The Wrong Person. We got married in 2001 and just divorced in April, but I left her (for the last time) in 2015 after getting solid proof that she had been cheating. She now has 4 kids by 4 different guys. Three of them were born while we were together, and just 1 is mine… Tip of this depressing iceberg, unfortunately.”
Another person agreed to it and said, “Got married in 2013. She cheated on me with her manager and got pregnant. Divorced her. Met a beautiful sweet blonde girl a couple of years later whose parents are better parents to me than mine. Happily married now. First wife cheating was a blessing in disguise.”
Love is not about finding someone you can live with; it’s about finding someone you can’t imagine living without.
7. Financial Control
Parents are awesome, no doubt about it. But when it comes to money, let’s be real- they might not be the financial wizards you need. They’ve got their own baggage, their own opinions, and their own old-school money rules.
A person commented, “Letting my mother have complete control of my finances when I got my first job. She stole everything from me.”
Another replied, “When I was a young teen, I had a sense that my mom might do this to me, and I got my own bank account. Everything was OK, but I still believe she would have taken from me had she had the chance.
Years later, I had this beater car that I didn’t bring with me to college. My mom drove into the ground that winter instead of getting her own car fixed. I come home the next year and didn’t have a car to drive.”
Someone said, “Trying to help people that didn’t deserve it”
Another responded, “There, you need to ask yourself if you were doing it for them or for yourself. I’ve helped plenty of people who didn’t deserve it and feel regret for none of it.”
Now, don’t get us wrong- being kind, generous, and helping others is great. But being a doormat? Nah, your kindness is precious, and it should be reserved for those who truly appreciate it.
When you smoke, you are basically signing up for a subscription to health problems. We’re talking about lung diseases, heart issues, and even that not-so-friendly neighbor, cancer!
Someone wrote, “Smoking my first cigarette. No doubt.”
Another person shared similar thoughts and mentioned, “Worse than that. I quit. Hadnt touched one in 4 years. I was still young 23. Smoked one to annoy my ex when we were arguing. Got hooked again, and now, 17 years later, I’ve never been able to quit.”
Another added, “Had quit for 9 years. Had a couple at my grandfather’s funeral last year. Obviously, that couple has turned into a 1/2 – 3/4 pack-a-day habit again. Trying to quit a second time is so much harder than the first time.”
10. Paying Your Mortgage
A Redditor said, “Not paying off my mortgage 17 years ago when I had the money. Instead, I used it to renovate my house to add two bedrooms and a den. At the time, I thought it was more important for each of my four kids to have their own room (they were sharing two each before then) and a bigger family room.
I’m kicking myself because had I used the money to pay off the mortgage instead, I’d have had an extra $3000 a month in my pocket. I could have saved up that money and extended my house a few years later.”
Another replied, “I was with you until 2.7% 30-year fixed came my way. Happy I signed up; now dumping an extra $2k per month into 401k, earning 3-8% more than the 2.7% the mortgage is costing me. I should have a million $ by 50 years old at this rate. Pay the house off then and retire early.”
So, the longer it’s hanging around, the more it’s munching on your wallet. Interest rates are really good at eating away your hard-earned cash.
11. Being Mean to Your Family
Think about it: your family’s the gang that’s been through your awkward phases, your triumphs, and your embarrassing moments. So being rude to them? Just doesn’t make much sense!
A person commented, “Being mean to my wife and son when I was younger. We got married at 18, and I was just immature and was always taking my job home and just getting upset over really nothing …. We’re still married after 32 years, and over the past several years, I have come to realize how lucky I have them in my life. And will do anything for them.”
Another responded, “fr we spend a part of our lives being mean to our families and then realize they were the only ones there for us, and sometimes it’s too late!”
12. Genetic Diseases
Someone wrote, “Not knowing that my wife and I are both carriers for a rare terminal genetic disease called krabbe disease. Both of my daughters are fine, but my son has the disease and started developing symptoms at 18 months old. Now our entire lives are completely flipped upside down.
We want to spread awareness that we didn’t have. His page is called Prayers for Arthur, Hope for a Cure. He’s such a sweet boy. We just want to keep him as comfortable as possible. Thank you for all of the nice and encouraging comments.”
Another added, “My friends went through similar with cystic fibrosis. Neither knew they were carriers until their second child was born with the condition. He passed away before he was a year old. Very sad, but they couldn’t have known, just as you couldn’t have. I want to give you and your wife a massive hug.”
So, you could easily pass that genetic time bomb to your kids, and suddenly, they’re facing a challenge they didn’t sign up for!
13. Bad Partners
Imagine spending forever with someone who doesn’t laugh at your jokes, doesn’t understand your weird fascination with collecting rubber ducks, and doesn’t even appreciate your mad karaoke skills. That sounds like a recipe for disaster, right?
Someone said, “Letting a controlling girlfriend convince me to quit my band. I don’t think we would have made it big or anything, but they were my best friends, and she treated me like garbage. I was trapped in emotional abuse and manipulation from age 18 to 20. The ultimatum between her and the band could have saved me all that misery if I had just made a wiser choice.”
Another person shared similar thoughts and mentioned, “happened to me as well. I was terrified of relationships for a while, but time healed me, and I got the nerve to start dating again. I was VERY cautious though. It took ten years for me to find my person, but I finally got things right. We were both fully independent with full-time jobs and mortgages, and we liked each other enough to come together. Now we have two ridiculous cats and a happy, healthy baby boy.”
14. Wrong Major During College
Someone wrote, “Choosing the wrong major in university, and now I’m stuck in my career.”
Another responded, “Yup, me too. The worst part is that I chose a low-paying industry. If I’m going to be unhappy, I could have at least made money at it.”
Another replied, “I’m so scared of this. I’m close to graduating (only an associate, but still 2 years of my life) and resenting my degree choice. Don’t pick your degree based on what other people think. I actually love school, but I’m struggling to see myself long-term in the field I chose.”
Have you ever chosen a major you were too confident about? How did it work out for you?
A Redditor said, “saying “I love you.””
Another added, “Not saying three words when they would have made all the difference. Edit: I posted below in spot to another comment asking for more info. I grew up with a girl. She was my best friend throughout all of school and the only one to stand up for me against bullies.
We were…close, and I eventually developed some very strong feelings for her. But having zero self-confidence, I kept my mouth shut, thinking that I’d been friend-zoned.
As we moved through school, we were split up and put into different classes. We tried to keep up but eventually drifted apart (this was pre-social media and mobile phones), and eventually, our lives took different paths.
We bumped into each other now and then, but she was always involved with someone at the time, so we kept things pleasant and went our ways. We both got on with our lives, moved on, and soon settled down, starting families of our own.
Fast forward a decade or two and we end up applying for the same job so now we work closely together. It was like 25yrs hadn’t happened, and we went straight back to being best friends. She confessed to having unresolved feelings for me too and that she never made a move because she also thought she’d been friend-zoned.
Had either of us said something, the course of our lives could have been very different. For now, we’ve talked it through and agreed on boundaries, lines that can never be crossed. Still hurts, though.”
So, it’s pretty important to verbalize your emotions and not have any regrets.
16. Wasting Money
A person commented, “My Mom died. I got over 80k in life insurance money. After paying for her funeral and paying off debt, I bought a new car and looked at some houses but never got offers accepted. I wasted the rest of the money mostly on weed and alcohol just trying to feel better. Now I’m broke. But I’m 28 days clean and trying to pull myself out of my funk and live better. I am 2 months into a new job and plan on seeking help when I get health insurance again. I’m also considering finding a new job with higher pay.”
Another responded, “Shopping at high-end stores, wasting money on magazines, and high credit card and bank fees are easy ways to waste money. Stay on alert, guys.”
Think about it: those wasted bucks could’ve been your ticket to a dream college, your way to starting a business, or your rainy day fund when life throws a curveball.
We all go through tough times, and life can feel like a sack of bricks sometimes. But here’s the kicker- there’s a whole lot of unknowns ahead in your life, and you’re missing out on them.
Someone said, “Killing myself. I had attempted MULTIPLE times and landed in the ICU several of those times.”
Another person shared similar thoughts and mentioned, “I succeeded once. (I was revived.) After I was revived, I got into a treatment program that actually worked. (I’d been in and out of mental treatment for 15+ years) I entered recovery 10 years and 2 days ago. My life is amazing now. I was p****d as h*ll when I was un-un-alived, but it would have been such a huge mistake.
I love being alive. I am thriving. I am happy. I still have severe depression, but I am now equipped with the tools and skills to conquer it. I have depression, but I do not suffer from it. Life is worth living, folks. It /does/ get better if you let it.”
18. Mental Health
Let’s get real about this mental health stuff. It’s like maintaining your car- you wouldn’t skip oil changes and hope it still runs smoothly, right? Ignoring your mental health is like leaving your car in the garage until it rusts away. It’s not just a bad idea; it’s a disaster waiting to happen.
Someone wrote, “Years of untreated mental illness. The mental health care system in America is such a nightmare it only made things worse, and I regret even trying.”
Another replied, “For me, this is a struggle because my mental illness revolves around narcissism and fantastical, whimsical daydreaming (Pisces). It’s not like I CAN’T get better; it’s that mistakes were already made, and my narcissism wants me to be better looking. I really wish I had some awareness about the imp of mental health.”
19. Missing Out on Good Food
A person commented, “I once had to cancel a reservation at a Michelin star bistro. Worst missed steak of my life.”
Another added, “A few years ago my mom gave us a steakhouse gift card with an ornament for Christmas. I found the gift card a couple of Christmases later and texted her “I guess that was a missed steak,” and she wrote back “Jeez do you think you should be more organized?!” TOTALLY not appreciating what I thought was the most excellent pun.”
So, what’s the bottom line? Skipping out on good food is like skipping out on life’s tastiest moments. Try new dishes, explore different cuisines, and treat your taste buds to a world of delights.
20. Not Treating Animals Right
A Redditor said, “I left a gate open, and a puppy died. I’ll never forgive myself.”
Another responded, “When I was very young, I put a toad in the freezer since I believed that he would just hibernate, and then I wanted to wake him up. Well, he died, and one of his eyes (open) was stuck to the inside wall of the freezer. I dreamt about that toad several times. I don´t know if we deserve to forgive ourselves.”
Whether it’s your pet or a wild critter, kindness is the secret sauce that makes life’s interactions flavorful.
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This article was produced and syndicated by A Dime Saved.