12 False Truths Imposed on Us by Society That We Should Stop Believing In

There are some phrases that people use as guidelines in their lives. But very often, our experience tells us that they are not really true. Of course, phrases like, “Looks don’t matter,” or “If you tell me the truth you won’t get into trouble,” are partially true, but there are a lot of nuances.

We at Bright Side came across this Reddit thread where people talk honestly about phrases that are actually not true. And we’ve also illustrated some of these situations based on our own experiences. And the bonus shows how society influences us for years and then requires us to act vice versa.

1. “If you tell me the truth you won’t get into trouble”

  • I learned as a kid that if I lied well enough to get away with it, there would be no punishment. I’m cautious about punishing my children when they are honest with me because I do not want them to associate honesty with punishment, albeit a lesser punishment than lying. © CinnamonBits2 / Reddit

  • I tell my 7-year-old, “If you tell me the truth the punishment won’t be as bad,” when he follows through he still gets punished, but I explain what would have happened if he’d lied. Tell the truth? 10 minute time out in the corner. Lie? Grounded for the entire night. Works pretty well. © Inconspicuously_here / Reddit

  • When I was a child, my mom told me off for lying to her and told me to never lie to her again. 2 hours later, her boss called our home and my mom asked me to pick up the phone and say she wasn’t at home. I said, “Hello, my mom is not at home but I can’t lie, so I’ll give her the phone right now.” I gave the phone to my mom and went to my room. She didn’t tell me off, she just laughed. © WotkiDay / Pikabu

2. “Good things come to those who wait.”

  • Please stop waiting and make good things happen for yourself. I waited for more than 2 years because I was promised that good things would happen to me one day and it would all get better. When you hit rock bottom, there’s nowhere to go but up, right? Right, but you’ll also soon find that the ocean is so much deeper than you’ve ever imagined and unless you start to swim up, you’ll keep on sinking. © fudge_suprem / Reddit

  • Those who wait and do nothing might not have enough time. If you want something really bad, you have to do something to make it happen. And good things come to those that deserve them, not to those who just sit and wait. © Dmytryi Lotov / Bolshoyvopros

3. “If you can’t handle me at my worst you don’t deserve me at my best.”

4. “It doesn’t matter who started it.”

  • Of course, it does. Even legally the concept of who did what first is recognized as vital. © ActualTymell / Reddit

  • Fun story, in high school I was bullied daily by the same girls. It went on for months, I did everything you’re “supposed” to do. My principal’s advice was to get an older student to walk around with me... They finally cornered me and beat me up. I was suspended because I was involved in a fight. They used the “doesn’t matter who started it” line on me too, it was my fault because I just happened to get beaten. © MJHansen17 / Reddit

  • I’ve always hated that phrase in school. What did they expect the second to do, get hit by the bully? © camilopezo / Reddit

5. “You don’t need money to be happy.”

  • Usually this quote is being used by those who are already filthy rich. © dothisnowww / Reddit

  • You don’t need money to be happy but you do need shelter, warmth, food, and water to be happy and those things cost a fortune right now. © swallowyoursadness / Reddit

  • Had an argument with a coworker over this. He’s one of those, you need kids to live a happy life... He said this line to me and I said, “I disagree, I upgraded to at 65 in TV and that made me happy. I also bought my niece art supplies and she looked pretty happy when she got it.” We created memories with the things we bought, with the gifts we gave. I’m not saying you have to be rich, but money definitely helps. © korrasami253 / Reddit

6. “You can achieve anything you set your mind to.”

  • I have 320,000 Instagram subscribers. Whatever people tell you, it’s really hard to start developing without investing money. With collaborations, you’ll be progressive at light speed. You can invest a little money at the beginning, start earning money, and invest what you earn into your blog. That’s what I did. © Marya Nikitina / nikitina.social

  • How many of those people started off with rich parents, or rich friends to fund their lifestyle/business/idea, or they “worked their way up” in a family business or a business owned by friends of the family. © Geminii27 / Reddit

  • Always annoying to hear successful/famous people say that if you believe in yourself and try hard enough you will succeed. Well yes, you succeeded, but for you, there are thousands of others that worked just as hard and believed just as much in themselves but didn’t make it© 53bvo / Reddit

  • All of that is so stupid. I can’t be a NASA astronaut if I’ve got some sort of lung issue. And I can’t cure it if I just believe in myself. © Matt872000 / Reddit

7. “Good grades mean you’re smart.”

  • An example from my own life. My husband did terribly in school, he barely finished it and now he’s a great pilot. And I was a great student but now I’m on my second maternity leave and I don’t want to work. © MkMurMur / Pikabu

  • When I was in school, I had a classmate named Mike. He wasn’t terrible at school, but he was also pretty smart. He was sitting behind me and often copied my work. I was happy because when he copied my work, he always found the mistakes I had made and fixed them. He was a wizard! © *** / Pikabu

8. “Sleep is for the weak.”

  • Not sleeping is making you weaker and decreasing your lifespan as you gloat about it right now. Sleep is essential for people. © byawaworht / Reddit

  • It bothers me so much when I say I’m tired and someone else starts bragging about how they only got 2 hours of sleep, so they are clearly more tired than I am because I got 6 hours. © Madi27 / Reddit

  • I’m very careful about driving at night especially after something happened to me once. Around 8 years ago, I was coming back home really exhausted at 2 AM. I did several things: I drank lots of coffee, turned on the music, and opened all the windows. But 10 miles away from my destination, I realized I couldn’t keep going any longer. I drove off the road, pulled the chair back, and fell asleep... I was dreaming of something really creepy, there was screaming, and some metal noises. And when I opened my eyes, I realized that there were birds in my car... I got out of the car and started screaming waving my arms and scaring the birds. 10 minutes later, I was already at home. Now I never drive when I’m tired. © SirGrumpselot / Pikabu

9. “What you look like doesn’t matter.”

  • I used to be 400 pounds when I was in my 20s. A few years ago I hit around 180 and the number of doors that opened... was insane. Everyone was suddenly nicer to me, I was able to find jobs with ease, just everything was easier. Looks definitely matter... © Fenixfrost / Reddit
  • People would tell me that potential employers decide if a person is the right fit for the job within the first 5 seconds of the interview. For years I thought it was not true until I was on the other side of the table. A candidate who walks into the room wearing a suit and carries themselves in a confident demeanor is going to make me much more comfortable than someone with a perpetual slouch wearing a polo and jeans, even if the latter is 10x more qualified. I wish we as humans had more control over that, but it’s just instinctual. © monkey_scandal / Reddit

10. “I am what I am.”

  • Personally, I think “be yourself” means more that you shouldn’t change according to other people’s expectations or preferences, although I agree the most literal reading is that you shouldn’t ever change or grow at all, which is obviously unhealthy and just an excuse to maintain toxic behavior. © MayBeAGayBee / Reddit

  • I have seen many people that use this phrase to hide their laziness and the fact that they don’t want to do anything about it. They say things like, “I’m late again, but you know me!” or “I know I promised, but this is what I am!” People fight for their right to remain who they are. “I am what I am and I’m not going to change.” And it’s obvious that there’s so much room for improvement!

11. “Do what makes you happy” in regards to searching for a career.

  • I have come to find that people tend to not be passionate about their jobs. Sure, there are some who enjoy it, but it isn’t something they’re passionate about. I personally believe that any hobby you turn into a necessity kills your love for said hobby. I would prefer the saying, “Do what you find tolerable and use the money to pursue what you actually love.” Also, some passions cannot be turned into careers and some people just don’t have passions, my passion for running isn’t something I can make a reliable income with. It’s something else I recognized and I remember lots of people in my HS did not know what to pursue after HS because they did not have any passions in any fields, or in general. © TheSupremeGrape / Reddit

  • A lot of people mistake turning a passion into a career with turning a hobby into a career. By nature, hobbies are what you do to de-stress, to unwind, to feel better, to reconnect with yourself. You can put them down forever and pick them back up when you need, no problem. If you turn that into a job, something required to perform for your livelihood, you will (usually! There are always exceptions!) come to dislike your hobby and seek something else to recharge with. © koreiryuu / Reddit

  • The fundamental assumption that everybody has a passion is flawed. For most people, it is not the case that there is some activity they’ll enjoy having to force themselves to do for many long hours every single day of their lives, dawn to dusk, year after year, and decade after decade, and still come back wanting more. Some people are insane enough to have such a psychotically obsessive passion, but they shouldn’t be held up as role models. Most people simply end up dying a little inside just to tolerate the fact that living our lives is nothing but a chore we all have to do. © Cybyss / Reddit

12. “I’m just being honest.”

  • The people who say they are “brutally honest” — it’s usually more about the brutality than the honesty. © jediciahquinn / Reddit

  • Have you ever noticed how people who “tell it like it is” usually don’t like being told how it is? © distantapplause / Reddit

  • There’s this idea some people have that being sympathetic or thoughtful in your choice of words is a sign of weakness... No, it’s a sign of being a decent person to choose your words in a way that doesn’t hurt or upset someone unnecessarily. There’s a reason why, when my girlfriend gained some weight, I tactfully suggested we start exercising together and didn’t just say, “Wow, you’re fat,” as I clapped my hands and made walrus noises. © LukewarmCola / Reddit

Bonus: It’s so unfair!

Are there any famous sayings that you found out are actually not true?

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