“The world is a vicious and brutal place. We think we’re civilized. In truth, it’s a cruel world and people are ruthless. They act nice to your face, but underneath they’re out to kill you. Even your friends are out to get you: they want your job, they want your house, they want your money, they want your wife, and they even want your dog. Those are your friends; your enemies are even worse!” – Donald Trump, 45th US President
Last Sunday, Stephen Paddock, a 64 year old retired accountant, shocked the world when he shot at an estimated crowd of 22,000 people attending a country music festival with an AK-47 and an AR-15 Assault rifle from his hotel room on the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas, killing 58 and wounding 489 others, triggering a stampede in the deadliest massacre in American history.
Why did he do it? No one knows.
What I do know is that mass shootings in America are on the rise, and the Las Vegas strip shooting was just one of more than 1500 mass shootings that have occurred in America in the last 5 years.
This year alone there have been more than 345 mass shootings in America (the number grows larger every day), and that includes more than 10 since the Las Vegas strip shooting last week. These numbers are on par to the 383 mass shootings that occurred in America in 2016, and the 333 mass shootings that occurred in 2015.
Fact: There are more mass shootings in America than there are days in the year.
Mass shootings however, are just one of the many problems of our modern age. Natural disasters are on the rise, anxiety, depression and stress is at an all time high, and then we’ve got assholes like Al-Qaeda flying planes into buildings, or pieces of shit like ISIS cutting people’s heads off, throwing them off the tops of buildings and burning them alive in cages.
“Since 2000, there have been over 61,000 terrorist attacks, killing more than 140,000 people.” – Global Peace Index
Most people don’t like to think about these things and I understand why. They’re uncomfortable. They can be depressing. No one wants to think about mass shootings, terrorism or death. They’re not exactly feel good topics. But I think tragic events and the ugly side of life can actually serve as a wake up call.
There are certain ugly truths about life that no one likes to admit: Life isn’t fair, the bad guys often win, everyone is lying to you, and the only thing guaranteed is death.
We all know it and now I’m saying it.
This article is going to be honest. Brutally honest. Probably more honest than you’re comfortable with, and a lot more real than you’re used to.
Don’t read this article if you’re easily offended or upset, or if you’re currently feeling depressed or sad, because it’s likely to push a lot of your buttons and only make you feel worse.
However, if you’re a truth seeker like me, and you want the facts more than you want to feel good, then this article is for you. Because I’m going to share with you a number of harsh truths that you probably don’t want to hear, but you’re better off knowing. Because ignorance ISN’T bliss. Turning a blind eye to your problems WON’T help you. It’s better to face facts and to see things the way they really are, even if “the truth hurts” and is “a bitter pill to swallow.”
Knowledge is power and if you know something you can do something.
The sooner you can accept these harsh facts of life the better.
Here are the 50 harsh facts of life…
50. YOU WERE PROBABLY AN ACCIDENT
Let’s be honest: You were probably an accident. Most parents aren’t exactly conscious creators.
“Approximately 50 percent of all pregnancies in the United States are unplanned, and of these, 43 percent will end in abortion.” – Shriverreport
Worldwide the stats aren’t much different. There are more than 50 million abortions performed around the world each year (125, 000 per day/one per second). These stats probably explain why so many parents are crappy and selfish and could seem to care less about their children. They didn’t really want them in the first place. They just wanted unprotected sex and a happy ending without consequences.
Let’s be honest: Your parents didn’t ask for “you”. They didn’t choose “you”. They didn’t even know they were going to get “you”. They had no idea what you would be like, what you would look like, what kind of personality you would have, if you would be a boy or girl (at least not at first), or anything else.
Even if your parents planned to start a family, and really wanted children, it was never about “you”. Your mother simply wanted “a baby”, in the same way a woman wants “a man”. But they didn’t ask for “you”. They didn’t choose “you”. “You” could have been anyone.
49. YOUR PARENTS SUCK
“Everybody knows how to raise children, except the people who have them.” – P.J. O’Rourke
Lots of kids grow up hating their parents and it’s not hard to understand why.
Let’s be honest: Most parents suck. They don’t do a good job of raising their kids and they don’t prepare them well for the real world. They don’t know what they’re doing, and worst of all they don’t care. No wonder their kids hate them.
Most adults/parents are still children themselves, selfish and self-centered, childish and egotistical, even if they are in adult bodies and happen to have grey hair. It’s not like they had to qualify for the job either. Let’s face it: Parents are just regular people that fucked without protection. Any idiot could have done it. Most idiots do.
“The average 70-year-old, is just an 11-year-old with 59 years of experience.” – Jed McKenna
I’m sick of the bullshit lie: “Your parents did the best they could”.
What a fucking load of shit. Really? ALL parents? Yes I’m sure some parents did the best they could, but let’s be honest: MOST didn’t. Most parents were average at best. Some parents abused their children. Some molested their children. Some tortured their children. Some murdered their children.
Tell me which of these two statements is true in your experience:
a) Your parents did the best they could
b) Your parents did whatever they felt like doing, depending on how they were feeling in the moment
How many people do you know that are great parents anyway? Some? A few? Any?
Look around you at the people you know that have kids, including your friends and family, and ask yourself: Would you have liked them as your parents?
The answer is probably “NO.”
Why? Because most adults are still children themselves, childish and egotistical, selfish and stupid. Not exactly what you’re looking for in an ideal parent.
Not only do most parents suck but they have children for all the wrong reasons too.
Stupid reasons people have children:
- I’m lonely
- I don’t want to be lonely later on in life
- I don’t want to look back one day and realise I missed out
- My biological clock is ticking
- My friends have children
- My parents want grandchildren
- My family are nagging me
- It’s our culture
- A baby will save my marriage
- My partner is threatening to leave and it will make them stay
- It’s what people do
In my experience:
- Generally speaking, it’s the people that shouldn’t have kids that have the most kids, they then either completely neglect them, or do a shitty job of raising them
- Most people who have children do so for all the wrong reasons (see above), and haven’t really thought it through. They like the idea of having children, but they’re not ready for the reality of children. They imagine the cute 4 year old, but not the difficult teenager, or the LIFELONG COMMITMENT that having a child entails
- It’s generally the woman that wants “a baby”, not the man. Most men are indifferent towards having children. They don’t care either way. This probably explains why there are so many crappy fathers in the world. They didn’t really want kids in the first place. They just stupidly got a woman pregnant and then went along with it
- Most women are far more concerned with being perceived as a “good mother”, than they are in actually being a good mother.
- Most men would prefer the single life and freedom, than to being fathers and spending time with their kids
- Not only do most parents not know what they’re doing, most of them don’t care, and they seek out little to no education on parenting, whilst simultaneously refusing to be told by anyone else. “Don’t tell me how to raise my kids!”
If you’re wondering whether you’re a good parent, or if your parents were good parents, consider the following…
Signs of bad parenting:
- Abuse of any kind: physical, mental, emotional, verbal
- Being overly critical
- Being selfish and putting your own needs before those of your children
- Comparing your child with other children, or with their siblings
- Lack of compliments and praise
- Lack of discipline/too much discipline
- Neglecting your child/not spending enough quality time with your children, and always being too busy and emotionally unavailable
- Not allowing your child to express anger or any other ‘negative’ emotions
- Not consciously raising your child to be an adult man or woman/Not preparing your child for the real world (allowing them to stay a child)
- Publicly embarrassing or shaming your child in front of others
- Trying to control and manipulate your child with fear, guilt, or shame
- Trying to force hobbies and interests down your childs throat
- Withholding love and affection from your child whenever you don’t get your way
I’d love to see some kind of parental screening test in place to prevent shitty people from becoming shitty parents who raise shitty kids, who will grow up one day to become shitty parents once again repeating the cycle.
- Don’t have kids if you’re still a kid yourself
- Don’t have kids if you value your alone time or quiet time
- Don’t have kids if you’re deeply in debt and/or don’t have any money
- Don’t have kids if you still have major goals you wish to achieve e.g. starting a business or traveling the world
- Don’t have kids if you’re selfish and unwilling to put them first
- Don’t have kids to try to save your marriage or your relationship
- Men don’t just have children to make your girlfriend or wife happy. Have children because YOU want to have children. And know WHY you want to have children.
- If you do have kids, do a better job than you parents did – even if they did a great job. Learn from the mistakes of your parents and from other parents and try not to make them yourself.
- Raise your children to be confident, intelligent, self-sufficient adults. Don’t be selfish. Put the needs of your children before your own.
I remember something Larry Moss a famous acting coach from Los Angeles said at an acting masterclass I attended:
“You don’t owe your parents anything, but you owe your children everything”.
I agree 100%.
“Before I got married I had six theories about raising children; now, I have six children and no theories.” – John Wilmot
PS: I do think most parents are getting better each generation. My parents were better than their parents who I’m sure were better than their parents. Still, we’ve got a long way to go.
48. YOU WON’T FIND YOUR SOUL MATE
“There’s no such thing as the perfect soul mate. If you meet someone and you think they’re perfect, you better run as fast as you can in the other direction. ‘Cos your soulmate is the person that pushes all your buttons, pisses you off on a regular basis, and makes you face your shit.” – Madonna
Are you looking for your soul mate?
Sorry to break it to you but you’ll never find your ‘soul mate’ because there is no such thing as a ‘soul mate’. There is probably no one on earth that you are perfectly compatible with.
Yes, there are certain personality types that you will always be more compatible with, and certain physical features that you will always be more attracted to, but let’s not confuse attraction and compatibility with the Hollywood myth of a ‘soul mate’ because it doesn’t exist.
If you’re a teenager or someone in your early twenties reading this, you probably don’t believe me, or want to believe me, but answer this question:
How many people do you know that are with their ‘soul mate’?
If soulmates existed surely you or I would know of some famous Hollywood celebrity that was with their soulmate.
But can you name anyone?
Yes, I know people get married and lie to themselves and others, and tell everyone they know that they got ‘the one’ they really wanted and OMG they couldn’t be happier!
…But most of the time they didn’t. They just settled for whoever they could get.
I’m 37 and the truth is most people my age have given up looking for ‘the one’ long ago. They couldn’t get ‘the one’ – so they just settled for any-one. It sounds desperate and sad, but it’s true.
The truth is that when people get to a certain age (the age differs depending on the person), they get tired of looking and just want to settle down. So their standards drop dramatically (especially women) and they settle for whoever they can get. Seriously, whoever is around at the time and is willing to settle down, get married, and/or have a family.
I’ve seen a ton of good looking women with the highest of standards, that thought they were too good for anyone, hit a certain age (early – mid thirties) and then BOOM! Their standards PLUMMETED and almost any guy could get them, so long as they were willing to settle down and make a commitment of some kind.
Believe it or not this is how lots of families start and depending on your age and where you come from, it might be the way your parents started your family too, with one (or both), of your parents sick and tired of looking, and just deciding to settle down for whoever was around at the time.
47. YOUR MARRIAGE WON’T LAST
An estimated 50% of first marriages, 67% of second marriages, and 73% of third marriages end in divorce. (These stats are way lower for arranged marriages which westerners often mock but are way more successful and only have a 5% divorce rate).
But the marriage you choose, yeah the odds of that marriage lasting aren’t good.
Even perfect celebrity fairy tale marriages don’t last. Someone either cheats or something goes wrong, or people just grow apart over time.
- Charles and Diana’s marriage didn’t last
- Michael Jackson’s marriage didn’t last
- Michael Jordan’s marriage didn’t last
- Paul McCartney’s marriage didn’t last
- Tiger Woods marriage didn’t last
- Madonna’s marriage didn’t last
- Brad Pitt and Angela Jolie ‘Brangelina’ didn’t last
- + Every other celebrity marriage didn’t last
Your parents’ marriage probably didn’t last either and that’s why you probably have step parents.
If you’re not careful your marriage (if you get married) won’t last either.
So what’s the solution? Sometimes there is no solution. Sometimes people who were once perfectly compatible just slowly grow apart over time.
My advice: Take your time to get married. Don’t just rush into it. Live with your partner for at least one year beforehand. Accept the person for who they are and don’t try to change them. Communicate openly and honestly and if there is something you don’t like, don’t turn a blind eye to it and pretend it’s not happening.
***Men get a prenuptial agreement***
46. YOUR HUSBAND/WIFE WILL CHEAT ON YOU
My parents cheated on each other. (Leading to the breakup of their marriage)
Your parents probably cheated on each other too. (Maybe breaking up their marriage)
And if you get married/are married, it’s more than likely that either you or your partner (or both) will cheat on each other.
Although 50% of men and women admit to cheating in their marriages, I think the real number is much higher. Most marriages are unfaithful.
What constitutes cheating anyway?
Isn’t flirting with the opposite sex when you’re already in a committed relationship a kind of cheating?
I think if you don’t want your partner to find out about it, then it’s a sign of unfaithfulness.
Why do people cheat?
I can’t speak for women but I can tell you why men cheat…
The biggest reason men cheat, (apart from the fact that men love sex) is they want sexual variety.
It doesn’t matter how beautiful a woman is, even if a man is married to Ms Universe or the sexiest woman who ever lived, he’ll still fantasize about sleeping with other women. Why? Because he wants sexual variety. If he’s sleeping with a blonde, he’ll fantasize about brunettes. If he’s sleeping with a brunette, he’ll fantasize about blondes. Or Asians. Or Black girls. Or whatever. Something different.
Even if a man is married to a ‘perfect 10’, he’ll fantasize about other ‘perfect 10s’, or just regular ‘average’ looking women. In fact, men cheat on their beautiful wives and hot girlfriends all the time with average looking women. They just want variety.
When a man cheats it’s nothing personal, and men don’t do it to hurt, they just want sexual variety. (I’m not condoning cheating)
PS: Obviously if a man is in a sexless marriage he’s going to cheat because men have needs and if he can’t get it at home, he’ll be forced to get it elsewhere.
45. NO ONE WANTS YOU TO BE YOURSELF
“No one wants you to be yourself. They want you to be the version of yourself that they like” – Marie Lu
Most of us have heard the single worst piece of dating advice ever: “Just be yourself!”
What terrible advice. No one wants you to be yourself. Everyone wants you to be whoever they want you to be. That’s why people are always trying to influence, persuade, manipulate and change you.
How many people do you know (including your friends, family, boyfriend/girlfriend) that accept you for who you are warts and all without trying to change you?
“Just be yourself” is worthless advice. It’s like saying “Don’t make any effort at all”. Because who would need to make an effort to be themselves? You already are yourself.
Instead of being yourself: I say be the best you can be.
Another reason “just be yourself” is worthless advice: What if someone is an asshole? What if they’re a bitch or a bully? What if they’re just a terrible and nasty person? What if they have an anti-social disorder, or psychotic or sociopathic tendencies? What if they love to insult and hurt people? Should they just “be themselves”?
I’d rather they didn’t.
“Just be yourself’ is about the worst advice you can give some people.” – Alain de Botton
44. NO ONE IS LISTENING TO YOU
“Advice unearned tends to go unheeded.” – Druidic saying
When I was younger I was a talker. I loved to dominate conversations and tell people what I thought about things.
Until one day I realized something: No one’s listening and no one cares.
Seriously 99% of the people you offer advice to:
- Aren’t listening
- Don’t want to hear it
- Don’t care what you think
- Have already made their mind up
- Are just waiting for their turn to talk
- Won’t remember it later
- Won’t take action on it
So why waste your breath?
It took me a long time to realise the following:
- Advice unearned tends to go unheeded
- If someone isn’t (yet) suffering because of their ignorance, they often don’t appreciate good advice when it comes their way
- Even if you give someone the greatest advice of all time, if they’re not ready or willing to listen, they won’t. It doesn’t matter how incredible or life changing your advice may be.
- Sometimes people just aren’t ready for what you have to tell them. Maybe they will be in a few years, or in a decade from now, but maybe right now they just need to make their own mistakes and suffer the consequences of their ignorance a little bit, before they will start to listen.
Isn’t this true in your experience?
Have you ever regretted wasting time trying to help someone who didn’t want to be helped, or trying to talk to someone who didn’t want to listen?
I know I have.
I’ve wasted thousands of hours trying to help people who didn’t want to be helped. Especially family members and friends.
- Don’t offer advice or try to talk to people who don’t want to listen
- Don’t try to help someone who doesn’t want to be helped and/or won’t do anything to help themselves
- Don’t waste your time and energy where it’s not wanted or appreciated
If someone asks for your advice, test them: Offer them a small suggestion, and then pay close attention to see if they take it or not.
If they take your advice – offer more advice.
If they ignore your advice – don’t waste your breath offering them any more advice.
Because if they’re not even willing to do the little things, they definitely won’t do the big things, and there is absolutely no point in wasting your precious time and energy on someone who doesn’t appreciate it.
43. NO ONE IS SORRY FOR THE WAY THEY’VE TREATED YOU
“Apologies are great, but they don’t really change anything. You know what does? Action.” – Stella Young
How empty and insincere these words often are.
When most people say “I’m sorry”, or even more condescendingly “I’m sorry you feel that way”, what they really mean is they’re sorry they got caught, and they’re hoping that the word “sorry” can be used as some kind of magical get out of jail free card, to escape the consequences of their actions, to avoid any uncomfortable conversations, and to excuse them from any and all unacceptable behavior.
“A non-apology apology, is a statement in the form of an apology that does not express remorse. Saying “I’m sorry you feel that way” to someone who has been offended by a statement is a non-apology apology. It does not admit there was anything wrong with the remarks made, and may imply the person took offense for hypersensitive or irrational reasons.” – Wikipedia
Or, if they’ve screwed up really bad (like if they’ve back-stabbed you, cheated on you, or stolen from you), they might try to use the word “sorry”, in a pathetic last minute attempt to avoid an argument or a fight, or to save the friendship/relationship.
The truth is most people are NOT sorry for what they’ve done or for the way they’ve treated you. They don’t feel bad about it and they don’t regret it. They knew exactly what they were doing when they did it, and there was nothing accidental or unintentional about it. In fact, it was done consciously and deliberately with intent.
In reality, given the exact same circumstances, 95% would do the exact same thing all over again in a heartbeat, even if it would hurt or upset you.
If someone won’t apologize and change their behavior until you get mad and call them out on their crap, or until they’re caught in the act and threatened with consequences and punishment, they’re not really sorry, and you shouldn’t accept their bullshit apology.
42. YOU HAVE NO FRIENDS
Not many real ones anyway.
Most friendships are based purely on convenience and on what one ‘friend’ can get from the other ‘friend’.
However as soon as one ‘friend’ isn’t getting what they want from the other ‘friend’ the ‘friendship’ is over.
How many friends do you have that truly accept and love you for you?
How many friends do you have that put your needs before their own?
Not many. Unlike Facebook friends, real friends are hard to come by.
Most of your so-called ‘friends’, are nothing more than acquaintances, or fake friends disguised as real ones.
Signs of a fake friend:
- They only contact you when they need something
- They only hang out when it’s convenient for them
- They talk crap and gossip about you behind your back
- They’re always trying to change you or manipulate you
- They’re constantly criticizing you and talking down to you
- They only want to talk about themselves and their problems, but never about you or what’s going on in your life
- They’re selfish and self-centered and will never put your desires, wants or needs before their own
- You can never depend on rely upon them
- They won’t hesitate to break a commitment or a promise the second it suits them
- They’re never there for you when times are tough and you need them most
- You find it difficult to be yourself and lower your guard when you’re around them
- After an argument, disagreement or fight, they stop talking to you
- You make all of the effort and they make none
My advice is this: If you want a friend, be a friend. Be the kind of friend you would like to have. Be the kind of person you would like to meet. Speak to others the way you would like to be spoken to. Treat others the way you would like to be treated.
Don’t put up with fake friends or tolerate any kind of bad behavior from people who call themselves your ‘friends’. Even if you’ve been ‘friends’ for several years.
Remember: Just because someone is friendly, that doesn’t mean they’re your friend.
And if someone is being a shitty friend – tell them. If they don’t listen or don’t change their behavior (which they probably won’t if they’re selfish), cut them off. Believe me you’re better off without them. You lose nothing when you lose fake friends. I’ve cut off many fake friends in the past and I’ve always been glad I did. In fact, I’ve often wished I’d done it sooner. Good riddance to bad rubbish I say!
“You don’t lose when you lose fake friends.” – Joan Jett
41. EVERYONE IS LYING TO YOU
“Deceit makes our world go round. Without lies, marriages would crumble, workers would be fired, egos would be shattered, governments would collapse.” – A. J. Jacobs
When you’re younger you tend to believe everything people say.
But as you get older you start to realize something… Everyone is lying to you! Friends, family, parents, teachers, schoolmates, workmates, bosses, neighbors, strangers, advertisers, businesses, celebrities, the police, politicians, the government, gurus, religious and spiritual leaders etc. everyone is full of shit!
Everyone lies all the time about everything. People lie to your face. They lie on their CVs. They lie at job interviews. They lie on dates. They lie under oath. They swear to God and lie. Men lie. Women lie. Children lie. Celebrities lie. Presidents lie.
Why do people lie?
- To avoid taking responsibility
- To avoid embarrassment and save face
- To avoid having to do someone else a favor
- To avoid hurting someone else’s feelings
- To avoid punishment
- To sound important/impressive
- To influence/persuade/manipulate you
- To get what they want
- To get out of something they don’t want to do
- They even lie for no reason! (Because they’re addicted to it)
Instead of telling you the truth, most people tell you:
- What they want you to hear
- What they want you to believe
- What they think you want to hear
- What they think will produce the desired result
- Whatever it takes to cover their ass or to make you shut up and stop asking questions
My advice: Don’t trust anyone to tell you the truth, or to do what they say they were ‘gonna’ do. Instead, trust people to be themselves, to act in their own best interests, and above all, to do what they’ve always done.
…And if you want to know what someone really thinks, pay more attention to what they do than to what they say, and listen with your eyes and not just with your ears, because people may lie with their words but they NEVER lie with their actions.
Let’s do a quick recap of 50-41:
50. You were probably an accident
49. Your parents suck
48. You won’t find your soul mate
47. Your marriage won’t last
46. Your husband/wife will cheat on you
45. No one wants you to be yourself
44. No one is listening to you
43. No one is sorry for the way they’ve treated you
42. You have no friends
41. Everyone is lying to you
This is part 1 of a 5 part series: 50 Harsh Facts of Life.
If you would like to read the other articles in the series here they are:
Or if you would like to read my other articles: Life Lessons All Articles
This series isn’t about being negative or pessimistic, nor is it about seeing the worst in other people or in life itself. Rather, it’s about seeing things as they are and dealing with them as they are, even if the truth is sometimes ugly and unpleasant.
The information presented in this article will upset or depress you to the degree that you resist it.
However, if you can accept the worst that life has to offer, not just the good, but the bad and the ugly too, without avoiding it, denying it, lying about it, resisting it or turning a blind eye to it, not only will you not suffer, but you will become smarter and wiser in the process.
Remember: Knowledge is power. If you know something you can do something.
Angelina Jolie/Brad Pitt image credit: Jaguar PS / Shutterstock.com Bill & Hillary Clinton image credit: Anthony Correia / Shutterstock.com Jim Carrey image credit: Everett Collection / Shutterstock.com Madonna image credit: Denis Makarenko / Shutterstock.com
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