I’m a 16 y/o girl in an internship that is mixed ages and genders ranging from high school kids to adults, there is an older guy maybe 45 or so idk he’s going bald tho lmao. Anyways he was always courteous and stuff he would offer me rides home if I ever needed, I never accepted though because I’m not an idiot. Today I was talking with him and another kid around my age about internship stuff when he asks me again if I need a ride home except this time he follows it by asking if we could “have a further relationship” and like grinned at me? So I was like “I’m literally 16” AND THIS MOTHERFUCKER JUST SMILES AND GOES “well that’s fine” so me and the other kid just stand there in shock looking at each other like “did this motherfucker just admit he’s a pedophile”(after the old guy left the kid checked up on me and asked if I wanted to report it to someone or something which was nice of him) During the moment I was sufficiently creeped out but after the shock subsided I just got pissed and felt disgusted (with the man not myself I didn’t do shit wrong lol) because there is no way I would be mistaken for an adult and I’ve mentioned being in high school before. I am kinda muscular but still quite short, around 5’ and I look rather young for my age and I just got so mad because I know I get this kind of attention from creeps because I look “young and submissive” and all these grown ass men are into that shit. I’m also pissed because I can’t go two fucking weeks without being harassed by old dudes. (My friends and I got screamed at at the beach a bit ago). I carry mace and I only have one day left of this internship but I’m just fucking livid because so many old men have the gall to expect sex and whatever else from LITERAL FUCKING CHILDREN.
She could be crying and I'll just say to her ''well, you better suck it up, crying won't bring them back.'' or ''Oh, that sucks.'' or ''why not get a new friend?'' in the most monotone, emotionless voice, and then try and change the subject.
I had a friend die from drowning and another friend who died from a diabetic attack that made him fall head-first down a flight of stairs, which killed him. As you can imagine, a 16-year old learning their friend just died from drowning or a 19-year old finding out their best friend died from falling down the stairs won't be subtle.
edit - i posted this in more detail on confessions, its the 'im a mutant and despise humans' one this post made me feel like opening up more abt my family
Seriously, there seems to be a trend among some parts of the internet and real life to just flash faux motivational feel-good phrases like these to get cheap emotional responses from people who are truly desperate enough to believe that somewhere on the internet or in their vague proximity there is a person who actually genuinely cares about them. Sorry to break it to you, but they probably can't. How can you care about someone you don't even know personally? They have no idea who you are and you have no idea who they are. You are therefore completely blind to any reasons why you are truly loved by anyone, which makes perceiving this feeling as genuine extremely difficult, and impossible for me.
The sort of people who would actually unironically find these phrases motivational are so devoid of any positive social interaction (which I am not saying NEVER happens but is such a desperate situation) that any string of words vaguely resembling a heartfelt compliment brightens their day. The trouble is that these phrases masquerade as heartfelt compliments but are such cheap emotional signalling that anyone utilising a sliver of their human observation and reasoning can see that they are being emotionally manipulated.
The other day at school, I saw a message scribbled on my desk that said "Whoever sits at this seat, know that you are loved #SpreadPositivity". The vagueness in the wording baffled me. If someone sits at this seat, by virtue of just being there, they are loved, and I, sitting in another spot, am no longer told that I'm loved? If I am truly loved by anyone in particular, then the message would have been a lot more personal, and due to the circumstances in which that message is being presented, it could not be. That message would have had some positive effect on me if that were the seat I was assigned to (which would make the message take on a new meaning, hence why here it was used so generically), but no, it was a classroom shared by 4 grades above and below mine and due to COVID we have free seating. The message is not personal; I don't think the writer even knows who I am, and even if they did, it was not targeted at me, so I cannot personally feel good about anything in the message. If anything, seeing that message made me upset, knowing that my feelings have been pandered to in an attempt to have a cheap emotional response elicited from me. I felt manipulated. It was insulting, too; I do not need anyone to remind me that I am loved, especially not from an anonymous entity I don't even know. The message implies that the only criterion that I have to fulfil to be loved is to sit at that particular seat, which makes me feel that I do not actually deserve the praise, since I have not done anything worthy of that praise. I have to work my ass off to get the grades to make my teachers and parents happy, be funny and genuine with my friends to make them happy, and meticulously plan every encounter to make my girlfriend happy. I know that in order to be loved you must be willing to put in the effort, and any "free love" you get is not at all genuine. Consider this to be akin to an infinite fountain of counterfeit cash: while you can take as much as you want, all you get in the end is some free paper in case you run out of tissue or toilet roll.
This is a wider problem on the internet, where out-of-touch celebrities, influencers and even some of you on Reddit collectively tell us that we matter or that we are loved blah blah blah. Alright then, if we truly matter, then we don't need you to tell us that we do because we should be able to feel that every day! If our feelings need to be validated in such a way, would that not suggest that we are in fact not loved by many or do not matter to all but one or two? I do not feel any better after reading your post, nor do I appreciate that somehow I am targeted to be emotionally pacified. You only use such generic phrases because you are sure that it would apply to everyone, just as if you were tasked with buying me a shirt without knowing who I am you would probably just buy a plain black or white V-neck because it's such a safe choice, with no polarising or remarkable elements. I have no interest in what you say about me without knowing who I am. I do not deserve to be loved simply because I exist, I should be loved because of who I am and what I do, and if being who I am means that I will grind more people's gears, so be it. Being who I am is expressing my personality. Existing is not a personality.
A big part of what makes a compliment special is how personal it is. I cannot be made to believe that any celebrity, any influencer, or even that Redditor I have never interacted with before know me enough to genuinely compliment me. I know your intentions: You want to scribble something in real life or online, in the hope that someone would stumble upon it and you would brighten their day. But you did not brighten their day. It's an insulting, condescending and frankly manipulative genre of phrase that serves absolutely no purpose.
Anyway, I am by no means saying that we should just stop spreading any form of positivity and self-love. I understand some people are going through tough times in their life and need any emotional support they can get. In that case, establish connections with them in private, make them feel like you give a shit (even if you don't!), DM them, make them feel better as a person with lived experiences, not a publicity stuntman because you either want some Internet brownie points or just want to demonstrate to the world how virtuous and caring you are. Promoting love and positivity only works well if there is even a façade of reciprocity. If you were talking to a friend in great mental distress, your magnum opus surely would not be such a simple phrase overused to shit. So, treat people online as you would people in real life. Have a genuine two-sided conversation and step outside the box of virtue-signalling.
This new genre of feel-good phrases just doesn't work for me, and I'm very sure many other people feel the same way. I just don't see the majority of the Internet agreeing with this though (with all the positivity movements and shit), but hey, that's why I'm here ranting and you're here reading (hopefully). Thanks for listening :)
tl;dr: What makes a compliment special is how personal it is. Phrases like the ones in the title used between strangers are so generic that they lose any sincerity left in them. Therefore, the people who use these phrases are (willfully or not) engaging in emotional manipulation and the person who unironically feels good in the face of these phrases are really, really fucking desperate and they might need actual help. In that case, stop and talk to them as a person.
Edit 1: I see a lot of you in the comments commenting about how this is a symptom of a lack of empathy. I disagree. Empathy is when you can connect with someone's lived experiences because your imagination and lived experiences allow you to do that. In my case there is a complete lack of information: I don't know who wrote that on my table and the person who wrote it on my table don't know who I am (or even if they do, they most likely don't know I'm going to read it). When there is a complete lack of information, there is nothing to base empathy on.
Edit 2: To clarify, there is a difference (which I have probably not made very clear in my original post) between a conversation between two individuals that one appreciate the other and someone being told by an anonymous random message that they are loved. When this message means the same to everyone, it means nothing to everyone. Telling someone that they are loved (or equivalent) is a personal sentiment. When you, while writing the message, don't care if it ends up in the hands of any person, it brings no value to anyone in particular because it brings everyone else the same value. Then, the message ceases to be personal because it means that nobody feels special after reading it.
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