What’s something you can’t believe you had to explain to another adult?

Updated Fri, Dec 27, 2019

So many things I have found myself explaining to (alleged) adults…

  • It is possible for an adult to live someplace that is a long distance from the town where they were born, or from anywhere they lived as a child. Actually living in that place, not merely a brief, temporary vacation.
  • Extended from the previous item, it is possible for an adult to pack up and move to a new town, city, state/province, or even country. To actually live, not a vacation.
  • The US military has a pervasive practice of requiring servicemembers (and, by extension, their children) to pack up and move to new places, long distances, repeatedly. It is normal within the context.
  • There are other job fields involving high rates of geographic mobility. Which results in children becoming accustomed to the concept of relocation.
  • When an adult relocates to another country, she will generally continue speaking with an accent from her original country. It doesn’t instantly change, and she isn’t obligated to change it. She gets tired of hearing, “You have an accent” over and over. Also, claiming that, native-born New Zealanders don’t speak with any accent is totally ignorant.
  • Some people’s parents don’t live together. Or anywhere near each other.
  • If you are eighteen, and your mother is moving to rural NothingTown, with very poor job prospects, it is reasonable and legitimate to move a long distance to your father, who lives in a city with much better job prospects. There is nothing wrong with this, and it is the mature, responsible thing for some people to do.
  • There are eighteen-year-olds who are mature and responsible enough to be living completely independently of their parents, voluntarily. Working, paying the rent, etc. And, being eighteen, they are legally adults, and within their rights to act like it. Some people have to start supporting themselves younger than that.
  • It is possible for an adult to live a long distance from her mother, and to be quite satisfied with that situation.
  • Extended from previous item, it is possible for an adult to permanently refuse any contact of any kind with her mother. And to be quite satisfied with that situation.
  • There are mothers who don’t love their children. There are mothers who physically beat their children in a manner that constitutes a crime. Denial and victim-blaming are completely inappropriate, and make you into a moral accomplice to the abuse.
  • It is possible to travel to an unfamiliar area, whether across town, or to a new city. And to navigate one’s self, without another person giving directions. This involves the use of a thing called a map, which some people actually possess the basic skill to use.
  • Rubbish and recycling pickup may be scheduled for very early in the morning (so the truck is no longer blocking the street by the time people are driving to work). A neighbour knew this, since she stated that, she had attempted to put her rubbish out on the way to work, but the truck had already been past. It happened at least twice. She saw me placing my rubbish out on the evening before pickup day, and said, “That’s a really good idea”. She hadn’t bothered to read the printing on the official council bags that said you could put them out starting 5PM the evening before. She was in her 40s, and my guess had been dependent on her now-former husband for this simple task and knowledge.
  • When at a retail store, you may need to wait your turn in line to checkout. Barging up to the counter, demanding that the cashier stop in the middle of a transaction with the person ahead of you, and let you proceed first, is unrealistic.
  • There are jobs that pay more than minimum wage. Often in exchange for more than minimum effort, skills, and attitude.
  • There are jobs that pay for more than 8 hours x 5 days/week of work. This is perfectly legal (with some safety limitations, e.g. transportation), and there are employees who are actually willing to do this. The fact that you aren’t willing to do so is irrelevant.
  • There are jobs (e.g. courier services) that involve physically going to different locations throughout the day. Including on-demand orders, without any fixed route or pre-set itinerary. The worker may even go to locations that she has never been to previously (see item regarding maps). The fact that you cannot psychologically handle such a job is irrelevant.
  • There are jobs that pay on productivity (commission, piecework, etc), without any hourly wage. And, with some of these jobs, it is possible to earn enough money to support one’s self. The fact that you don’t feel willing or able to do so is irrelevant.
  • Even on an hourly wage, it is reasonable that an employer will expect you get a commensurate dollar-value worth of work done. There isn’t any rule requiring them to pay you to just show up and sit around all day long.
  • There are jobs that involve working at night, so the person must sleep during the day. Calling them on the phone in the daytime, and being informed that you woke them from sleep, does not somehow indicate that they are lazy.
  • Generally, a telephone is not a leash for you to randomly jerk. If you call an acquaintance, or your “booty-call” person, without prior agreement, you might receive the voicemail, for a variety of reasons. Acting offended or victimsed is inappropriate.
  • Depending on income and expenses, it is possible to put a portion of one’s income into a savings account, and leave it there. Then gradually build up savings over time. Without just compulsively spending every dollar between paycheques.
  • When someone requires her car to get to work, or during the workday, she should prioritise finances to keep it running. Saving aside money for the next possible repair does not mean she “wants” the car to break down. It also does not mean she chooses to be constantly miserable.
  • Buying lottery tickets is a very poor strategy for attempting to improve one’s finances, or to pursue financial goals. Claiming that it is the only viable strategy, and denigrating someone who doesn’t buy lottery tickets is inappropriate.
  • Some people live in bad neighbourhoods because they are working poor with a low income. Not because they are somehow bad people who enjoy the atmosphere. Not everyone can afford to live in a nice, middle-class neighbourhood.
  • There are adults who can not simply call the Bank Of Mommy And Daddy for a withdrawal anytime they are short on cash. And this does not automatically make them bad people.
  • There are people who don’t use any recreational/addictive drugs, and don’t drink alcohol to excess.
  • When you openly throw large numbers of cigarette butts around the outside of a small apartment building, your neighbours have the right to react negatively. This includes when your butts keep landing in your neighbour’s vegetable garden. When you flick still-burning butts onto the grass, you are creating a fire hazard. Don’t lie and claim that they aren’t your butts, when you do it openly, are the only person in the building who smokes, and there is a trail from your parking space to your door.
  • Some people have views on religion that are different to yours. For example, some don’t believe in any god or afterlife. And that doesn’t automatically make them evil or dangerous.
  • People have the right to refuse to have sex with you. In a specific manner, on a specific occasion, or at all. They have the right to assert boundaries (sexual or otherwise) within a sexual relationship, including the right to unilaterally terminate the relationship. I once explained this to a middle-aged woman, who still refused to understand.
  • Within a relationship, a person has the right to respond negatively when you attempt sexual coercion or assault. Including dumping you to prevent a repeat.
  • Ordering your sex partner (“booty-call”) to barge into her doctor’s office, and coerce a prescription for magical breast-enlargement pills is inappropriate. She isn’t somehow victimsing you by refusing to comply with this demand.
  • There are some females who sexually abuse and assault (sexually and/or non-sexually) their female partners. Denial and victim-blaming are completely inappropriate, and make you into a moral accomplice to the abuse.
  • There are people who socialise and try to meet new people for platonic friendships, and not necessarily for sexual relationships.
  • People have the right to refuse to be friends with someone they don’t like.
  • If you want to establish or maintain a friendship or relationship, it is reasonable that you will be required to contribute positively to the other person’s life. And required to not use or abuse them. See previous items.
  • When meeting a new person socially, immediately saying, “I can only talk to you if you promise that, anytime I tell you to do something, you will do it”, is a very poor strategy for making new friends.
  • Empathy, kindness, openness, and generosity are not a deliberate invitation to use and abuse the person. Those things are also limited, and may be exhausted or withdrawn.
  • It is reasonable to pay one’s credit card and other bills, in order to maintain a positive credit history, which is a valuable thing to have.
  • In a classroom full of adult students, it is reasonable to expect them to behave in a civilised, respectful manner. Such a not continuously carrying on irrelevant conversations at the top of their lungs. A more civilised student has the right to respond negatively to out-of-control classmates who degrade the education for which she is paying in money/time/stress.
  • There are people who don’t attend any formal schooling as children, and who still learn the same amounts and types of skills and information. Such as partly being taught (e.g. a parent teaching the child to read), and also by independently reading and studying.
  • Don’t physically touch an acquaintance, classmate, coworker, etc, without their consent. They have the right to respond negatively if you do this.
  • There are women who have never done sexual activity in exchange for money.
  • There are women who never have any children, and are quite satisfied with being childfree. And this is not a deliberate affront against you. There is zero obligation to have unplanned children just because somebody else did.
  • There are women who remain single (not married or partnered), without just desperately marrying/partnering with any random available person.
  • It isn’t reasonable or realistic to expect people to just hand you resources, merely because you believe that they possess those resources.
  • The fact that a person has a job does not automatically mean that they can afford to, or are obligated to, hand you any amount of cash you feel entitled to.
  • The fact that another person possesses a car does not automatically make them your personal, on-demand, free limousine.
  • When you are a passenger in a moving car, it is highly inappropriate to suddenly waive your hand in the driver’s face, so that she has to quickly jerk her head back to avoid being hit. When I was a teenager, I had to explain this to my middle-aged mother.
  • When you are living on someone else’s couch, openly abusing and threatening them is conducive to being thrown out on the street. If you don’t like the conditions, rules, or host, your recourse is to go out and find a living situation that you feel is more satisfactory.
  • When you threaten to commit a violent crime against someone, it is reasonable to expect that they will take steps to avoid that. Which may include contacting the police.
  • Physically beating someone is still a crime, even if you don’t put them in the hospital.
  • There exist people who actually will start an unprovoked confrontation with a stranger on the street, which may escalate to an unprovoked physical assault. Denial and victim-blaming are completely inappropriate.
  • If you want to reduce your future chances of arrest and incarceration, you should consider reducing the amount of idiotic crimes that you commit.
  • Your manner of dress and hairstyle will affect your chances of being hired for a job. Deliberately wearing dirty clothes, refusing to bathe daily (despite access to facilities), and stinking up the area will affect many people’s willingness to interact with you in any way.
  • If you walk into a store and attempt to steal something, the employees and owner have a reasonable position to prevent you from doing so, or to otherwise respond negatively.
  • Your drug problem is just that – yours. Other people don’t just exist to enable you.
  • If you approach a taxicab driver, wanting a free ride, it is reasonable that s/he will refuse. If you take a cab ride and then evade payment, it is reasonable for the driver to respond negatively. If s/he suspects that you are likely to do this, there are regulations stating that s/he may require an estimated payment before the trip starts.
  • There are passengers who take taxicab rides to score drugs. And, no, driving them to the police station isn’t a smart idea. And some other passengers will rob and/or assault the driver, who has the right to be paranoid.
  • It is possible and allowable for a middle-aged person to go to university.
  • It is possible for a person to learn new skills and procedures, for a new job.
  • It is viable to live in an apartment that consists of a single room plus bathroom. It is possible to sleep and to prepare food in the same room. And no, this is not somehow equivalent to living in a cardboard box on the street.
  • Stealth camping on public land, for an extended period, is a viable option for some people.
  • It is possible to resign from a job for legitimate reasons, and is not automatically lazy or irresponsible. For example, moving to another city, enrolling at university, or just getting a better job.
  • If your employer is having lowered profits, and shrinking (e.g. a retail chain that shuts down some store locations), it is perfectly legal for them to make you redundant/laid-off, and no longer employed there. You can lose your job without personally doing anything wrong, and you have zero recourse.
  • The fact that someone else feels stuck in a job they hate, or a location they don’t like, or other miserable life situation, does not obligate everyone else to set their lives up that way.
  • Openly insulting someone you just met is not a good way to make friends and receive admiration.
  • Demanding financial information, medical information, or similar private information from someone you just met socially is inappropriate.
  • A person’s money is theirs, to use in the manner that they choose, without being dictated to by some random acquaintance, such as you.
  • A person’s time, physical body (including medical care), sexuality, physical appearance, and tastes/preferences belong entirely to them, without being dictated to by some random acquaintance, such as you.
  • People have the right to walk down a public street, minding their own business. The fact that you don’t like their physical appearance is irrelevant.
  • It is viable to live without owning a television set. Including long before the World Wide Web or video streaming were invented. Even with a computer, it is viable to simply not watch mass-market television shows. There are actually other activities that can be done in one’s leisure time.
  • There are adults who voluntarily read books, nonfiction, adult-level. Some people actually enjoy reading.
  • When you blatantly lie to someone, it is reasonable that they will never trust you on that issue, or anything else.
  • The limits of your life are yours. What you have or haven’t experienced or witnessed, what you feel capable of, etc, are not the universal limits of everyone else’s life.
  • There is only one guarantee in life – that it will eventually end. Everything else involves some level of ambiguity. And that fact is not a personal vicitimisation against you.
  • Different behaviours are conducive to different results. Things don’t just “happen”.

In some cases, multiple different items above were explained to one person. Some items were explained to multiple different people.

Even when explaining these principles, some people still didn’t comprehend. Some adamantly argued, and insisted that I was the ignorant one.

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