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30 Casual Things That People Learned Embarrassingly Late
We all might have more in common than we think, especially when it comes to getting embarrassed over something we thought we knew (but really didn't).
30 Casual Things That People Learned Embarrassingly Late
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We all might have more in common than we think, especially when it comes to getting embarrassed over something we thought we knew (but really didn't). Reddit user LightningCole asked the members of the online community to share some of the things that they learned embarrassingly late. With over 18.6k comments in the thread, we can say for sure that it’s one of those universal secrets that nearly everyone can relate to. What’s obvious to you might not be obvious to us!

Remember to upvote your fave answers as you chuckle your way down this list. After you’re done, let us know in the comments what things you learned embarrassingly late in life, dear Pandas! Did you think that chocolate milk comes from brown cows until you were 30? Maybe you thought that the European Council and the Council of the European Union were one and the same at some point in your life? We can’t wait to read what you have to share.

Bored Panda spoke about embarrassing knowledge blind spots and why they're, well, embarrassing with Vanessa Bohns, Associate Professor of Organizational Behavior at Cornell University. Bohns also explained what the healthiest way to react to embarrassment is. Scroll down and have a read.

"We spend a lot of time and effort presenting an ideal version of ourselves to other people. When something happens that contrasts with the image we’ve been projecting—when we say or do something that shows we actually aren’t as graceful or as smart as we’d like people to believe—we feel embarrassed," Bohns said.

"Discovering you were wrong about something most everyone else around you has long known to be true is one of those moments. In that moment we learn, 'Wait a minute, maybe I haven’t been presenting the image of being smart or worldly that I thought I was presenting all this time,' which is embarrassing."

Bohns pointed out to Bored Panda that embarrassment has its positive sides—it’s not all bad like some of us believe.

“One thing that’s interesting about embarrassment is that, for as much as we might experience it as painful in the moment, it’s actually very socially adaptive. Being embarrassed signals to other people that you care about what they think. And that actually draws people in to you,” she said.

“So blushing, burying your head in your hands, laughing, acknowledging how embarrassing something was, are all totally healthy ways to react,” Bohns explained to us that we shouldn’t feel embarrassed about, well, feeling embarrassed.

“The unhealthy way to react is to pretend you’re not embarrassed, that you didn’t make a mistake, or to get angry. Those things undo the positive effect of embarrassment typically has on other people by conveying insincerity and pushing people away rather than drawing them in,” Bohns said.

Knowledge blind spots are something that we’ll always have. To some extent. We’ll never be able to get rid of all of them but we should do our best to improve ourselves constantly.

However, the problem isn’t so easy because you don’t know what you don’t know or what you’re wrong about. It’s not like we spend every single second of every day analyzing every bit of knowledge in our minds. Nobody’s got that kind of time—we’ve got other things to do!

Some blind spots are related to a lack of education and worldliness and can be corrected by actively seeking out new information and perspectives, bit by bit. Reading new books, watching films, going to lectures, meeting new people—all of these things slowly fill in any gaps in knowledge that we might have. It’s a long and involved process but it might just be the easy part.

Other blind spots that we have are related to our assumptions and preconceptions about the world which might not always be right. However, we’re so emotionally invested in holding on to these ideas that we don’t want to let go. Because it feels like we’re losing a part of ourselves.

If we’re truly sincere about wanting to get rid of our blind spots, then we have to put our points of view out there and be prepared to learn that we’re wrong. Over and over again. It’s a painful process (it’s bound to bruise our egos) but it’s the quickest way to learn.

So if you’re prepared to take the temporary hits to your self-esteem, even learning new things embarrassingly late doesn’t have to be embarrassing!

Comments (106)
Daniel Lewis
I used to think that the job of law enforcement officers was to protect and serve the public. That is not true. Courts, including the Supreme Court of the United States, have ruled that law enforcement officers do not have any obligation to protect or provide aid to anyone. In fact, their only job is to enforce laws - as is indicated by the term “law enforcement” officers.
Leo Domitrix
I'm kinda terrified that people needed till adulthood to figure out some of these...
Daria Z
I think it's not the lack of knowledge itself but the lack of willingness to learn that is shameful. These people learned the truth eventually and it's great!
Francesca Annoni
In italy you say "a caval donato non si guarda in bocca " ..it means "you don't look in the mouth of a given horse" You can say the age (and value of it) counting the teeth, so you don't judge the value of a horse (or anything else) you receive as a gift. The problem is that in Italy Donato is also a name of a person . My father discovered it by his 50.. "i always wondered why this horse was called Donato and what was the meaning of it.. "
Shelp
Lots of Americans here. Not very relatable
Arnold Cohen
I never knew until a few years ago (I'm currently 77) that black olives and green olives are the same fruit at different stages of ripening.
Sarah
My father, who besides being an attentive husband is a brilliant man, nevertheless found out from me in his sixties, after over forty years of marriage, that a skirt and a dress are not the same thing. I take part of the blame, as I had spent my whole life wondering why he interchanged the terms and I never said anything.
Troux
Mine was: Marshall Mathers = M.M. -> Similar to M&M (candy) -> Sounds like Eminem
James Gallegos
I used to think that the world was in black in white back in the day when I watched black and white tv shows and movies. Yeah my dad had to correct me on that.
blu minx
Soooo it turns out that not all animals have genitalia and separate places for excretion and urination. Many have a single combined orifice for all these functions called a cloaca. I learned this the other day at the age of 36. To be fair, none of my friends knew either.
Bipolar Bear
I have a great oh moment...I'm a girl and I was 16, and I'm at a family event. I'm around my grandmother, my aunt, and my mom when they started mentioning that my 7 year old cousin had wet the bed recently.. And I say, "oh, isn't he a little old for wet dreams?" Totally thought that was a phrase for wetting the bed. Everyone goes really quiet and they stare at me..then kind of start talking again after I have this total look of confusion on my face. I figured out what the term really meant soon after and boy am I embarrassed af...
Sage
I cringed so much while reading this...
Debbie
Some Dutch stores.... I thought V&D and Vroom & Dreesman where two different stores. And only last year I realized about the store C&A - they sell different brands clothing. Canda is one of them. I only realized this year Canda is not Can-da, but C-and-a... Also, Hennes and Mauritz being the same as H&M. I don't trust abbreviations anymore...
Daniel Lewis
For a long time, I thought bananas and coconuts grow on trees. They don't.
LottieH
Me age 8, singing along with my mum to Meatloafs bat out of hell, "cilla black found on a bike" my mum laughed hysterically, didn't tell me for another 4 years that it was in fact "silver black phantom bike".
Jane Smith
I was 25 when I learned that fleas aren’t just cartoon pests. Had a boyfriend over after moving to Seattle (from NW Montana, where we don’t have as many insect problems due to the winters) and he’s told me the cat had fleas. I didn’t believe him, but was embarrassed he thought my cat was dirty, so have him a bath. White short hair cat fur becomes see through when wet.....and that’s when I realized the thousand of black bugs that suddenly became visible weren’t from a cartoon. Burned all my furniture and shaved all my cats, totally traumatized. Likewise, I was 35 when I was talking with a co-worker, looked at something on the ceiling....and discovered cockroaches are also real and not just a made for TV bug... I’m a doctor.
Nanette Kettle
I love Meatloaf, and always used to listen to and sing along to "Paradise by the Dashboard Light" growing up. I especially liked the Baseball announcer part. I thought the guy was playing baseball and the girl interrupts the game before he reaches home base. Then when I was 45, I was driving to work listening to the song on the radio, and I actually said out loud "He's talking about sex". Lol, I'm embarrassed to say I never clued in before that.
Anne Easterling
My guess is that many of these things were taught at school and the individual (1) failed the test or (2) forgot. In any case, I'm sure plenty of teachers are rolling over in their graves.
elia 84631
You can't consume fish with dairy products unitl i ate salmon with cream cheese
Pseudo Puppy
It never ceases to amaze me just how bad our educational systems are / how stupid humans can be. Wowsers!!
Julie C Rose
“The unhealthy way to react is to pretend you’re not embarrassed, that you didn’t make a mistake, or to get angry. Those things undo the positive effect of embarrassment typically has on other people by conveying insincerity and pushing people away rather than drawing them in,” Bohns said.” The other extreme bugs me too. There’s been this trend of performative self-deprecation in recent years and it drives me nuts because I never asked anyone to insult themselves for not knowing some innocent thing or for not being super productive during lockdown or what have you. I don’t want to deal with someone who can never admit that they’re wrong, but I’m all for a happy medium.
Krazy Kanuck
This comment has been deleted.
Dianna Siever
It's not "Chester Drawers" it's "Chest of Drawers" - 17 "Crock Pot" is so called because it's a pot that holds a crock - 26 The direction North, is not streight up to the sky - 8 It's not called "Morris Code" - 35
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