Bright Side

19 Stories of People Who Were Judged Based on Ridiculous Stereotypes

Albert Einstein once said, “If you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.” Time has shown that the scientist was right almost about everything. However, people often still form opinions about each other based on appearances and even handwriting. And Reddit users decided to share the examples of these experiences from their lives.

We at Bright Side felt pretty angry when we read these 19 stories where people were treated unfairly over some old stereotypes. And in the bonus, you will learn about what happens when people do this.

  • In high school, I was really good at debate and aced all my government classes. However, I had to take a pottery class for an art credit. I was bad. Really bad. My vase looked like some bees had taken something before they built their hive. The teacher legitimately thought I was special needs. 2 years later I was working retail to help put myself through college — I ran into the teacher one day. “It is so awesome you have a job! Good for you!”. © blubbertank
  • I was really good at art, but not much else in high school (I was a nervous kid and didn’t do much) so I was called a “savant” a lot (a note from the Bright Side team — savant syndrome is a condition when a person with a mental disorder has amazing abilities in a certain area). I also didn’t talk a lot, so some people within the community started taking that term literally. People were surprised when I got a job. Like I’m not low-functioning autistic, I can function in society independently. © TheSkyRamen
  • When I get introduced to a new person, but I’m not part of the conversation, I just sit and wait. Then I get told, “Oh you’re really quiet, huh?” No, I just didn’t want to interrupt, but... © weasel85

  • I was always told how bad sleeping in class was despite acing my classes, and teachers would complain to my parents about how much I slept. I felt horrible for so long and slept early almost every day, to no avail. Turns out I have narcolepsy. © x_vier
  • Playing sports growing up I would make these comically bad errors. The ball would hit me directly in the face or I would swing at a pitch waayyyyy too late. Everyone said I was terrible, even the coaches and parents. I kept playing because I enjoyed being active and around my friends, but I never understood why no matter how much I practiced, I struggled with basic things that everyone else could do without thinking. I go to the eye doctor as an adult, and he tells me that I have a condition in one of my eyes which means I don’t have binocular vision and as a result have very poor depth perception. It’s physically impossible for me to track a moving object in space like everyone else. © Nice_Marmot

  • I’m 6’6," and no, I can’t play basketball. © WelcomeMachine

  • Had an English teacher that said any stories I wrote were bad. I always thought that I’d done a good job on them, so I showed them to a different English teacher who said they were brilliant, but I needed to spell check them. Turns out the first teacher basically didn’t read it, just saw the spelling errors. Several years later I got diagnosed with dyslexia. © anactualcharliehorse

  • Once my middle school art teacher called my parents because she thought I was purposefully mocking her by making bad art. I literally can’t draw beyond a 3rd grade level unless I am copying an object right in front of me. My parents basically cussed her out after they saw how hurt I was. © Rezzone

  • I was teased a lot in middle school/early high school for loving hockey. They said this wasn’t a hobby for a girl, especially one with my appearance. Joke’s on them, I’m an officially credentialed journalist by the NHL now and have personally spoken to more players than they could dream of buying autographs from. © ZajacingOfff

  • In kindergarten, we were learning penmanship and my teacher was telling us how to write the alphabet, but for some reason I could not write the letters no matter how hard I tried. Since I was able to write the alphabet before, I got very frustrated and start crying. Turns out she was showing the class how to do letters with your right hand and I was left-handed. © ___KP

  • My penmanship in my right hand is horrible and my left hand is even worse. My standardized math test scores were off the charts. In 7th grade, I missed one out of 100 questions. My reading test scores were high as well. Yet the school thought that I had to trace capital letters on paper. © hypnos1214

  • My grade school teacher said my handwriting was so bad that I probably thought I was training to be a doctor. Now I am one... © swanhunter

  • In childhood, I tried to learn how to tie my shoelaces. Every adult who tried to help me eventually gave up and I felt so stupid. Then one day my left-handed uncle showed left-handed me how to do it and I learned it immediately. © peeweemax

  • “Why don’t you just keep everything organized, so you don’t lose stuff...” Turns out, it’s because I’m ADHD, being disorganized and losing stuff is literally my natural state of being. © UUDDLRLRSelStar

  • I was told that I was pathetic because I didn’t know how to back up a trailer with a pick up at 29 years old. I grew up without a father and never had anyone to teach me really much of anything. The point I had to make to this guy was that nobody knows how to do anything until the first time they do it and that everyone’s lives are different. © cashflow605

  • This was basically my childhood, because I was bad at math. I guess most children go through this, which is very sad. It wasn’t until college that I realized that I didn’t have to be good at everything when I had a professor who spoke 13 languages, but who couldn’t figure out how much 5 + 4 was. He’s considered the best in his field. © mimieieieieie

  • A few months ago I got the chance to interview for an okay job. I finished all the tests with an almost 100% score and finished the first 2 interviews having done pretty well and when I got to the last one they started asking me questions that had nothing to do with my profession. I was completely silent, because they had nothing to do with what I studied. I think that I even looked like a fish gasping for air. After they started to make fun of me, I just walked out. © wissenshunger
  • A HR department at a company had me interview for a different position than I had applied for. The position they interviewed me for was one I knew nothing about, and told them this. Despite me telling them before each round of interviews that they had made a mistake, I still had to endure a full day of people asking me questions that I had no answer to. © skulltvhat
  • When I was in the Navy I used to get in fairly frequent trouble for the suggestions I made for improving operational efficiencies. As an outside contractor, they were quite happy to pay me $200 an hour to say the exact same thing. © actuallychrisgillen


  • I mostly judged myself. My whole life I pressured myself to be just as smart as my dad and brother who were phenomenal at math and engineering. My dad has an IQ of 138 and my brother always had straight A’s and made the Dean’s list in high school and college. I struggled so hard in math. I tried so so hard, exponentially more than any other kid because I felt like if I didn’t get good at math, or any subject for that matter, then I wasn’t smart. I was always a C+/B- student. Because I wasn’t good at something, I very much lived years feeling like I was stupid.
    Then as I grew older I realized that my skills in art were actually worth something. My art teachers were always very impressed. Soon it progressed to people making me offers. The school’s police officer even had me make him something. I had some artwork displayed at the city’s airport. And when I expressed to my dad that I felt like there were no jobs for me in my degree, he said to try something else. I asked what and he said “art,” which I thought was a little funny for the “starving artist” stereotype. At that moment, it felt like he equated my artistic skills to his intelligence and success. © HoneyCide

Have you ever been in a situation where you were judged, not by what you did, but based on stereotypes?

Preview photo credit blubbertank / Reddit