Many of us do things to impress others. We are social creatures, and what other people think matters at least a little.
However, some folks take their need to impress too far and end up doing things they think make them look good, but that really make us cringe.
While enjoying Reddit, I found a thread asking users to share the behaviors people think are virtuous but are actually pointless.
Here are some of the top responses.
Lack of Sleep
People love to brag about how little sleep they get. They’ll one-up each other, vying for some weird trophy about who sleeps the least.
Not sleeping isn’t virtuous, and it’s not good for you.
“Never will I understand how that’s something people brag about,” said one user.
“I’ve been averaging 4hrs a night for a while, and I’m a hot mess,” admitted another.
Never Missing Work
Our toxic work culture makes people feel guilty for missing work, so instead, they brag about how they never take a day off.
It’s not something to be proud of.
“Not only is there nothing wrong with taking a personal or sick day, odds are you care way more than your employer does,” stated one user.
Some said it’s not the individual’s fault but the culture’s. “We’ve been conditioned since early education to become obedient workers who prioritize showing up and working over their personal and family’s well-being,” they said.
If people aren’t bragging about never missing work, they’re bragging about the long hours they put in.
One user lamented people “bragging about how hard they grind to make money to buy things they don’t need to impress people they don’t like to gain “status” that will be soon forgotten.”
“Ah yes, the “busier than thou” crowd can be quite sanctimonious about how much time they spend at work,” replied another user.
Social Media Clout
Some people live in an online bubble and truly believe their social media presence matters.
“The incentives of social media are terrible and bring out the worst tendencies in people trying to claw for specialness in a rather bleak world,” observed one user.
Another pointed out that some people can make good money from social media.
Social Media Virtue Signaling
Many people literally virtue single on social media by changing their profile photos to reflect the cause du jour.
It has no effect and isn’t the flex they think it is.
“But how else will the kid you went to middle school with 20 years ago know that you support whatever hot topic has the world’s attention at the moment,” asked one user sarcastically.
Another mocked what they called “social media heroes,” saying, “I changed my profile to Ukrainian flag to show my support, but I’m not gonna send money to Ukrainian charity.”
Society created a weird idea that someone’s job can tell you about them as a person. Teachers, firefighters, cops, and doctors are good, while janitors, lawyers, and service workers are bad.
In reality, a person’s job has no bearing on whether someone is a good person.
“My personal filter is that status rarely equals virtue,” explained one user.
“In the end of day, that’s another human being,” stated another, saying the adage “treat janitor the same as Ceo” goes a long way in terms of respect.”
Good Deeds for Recognition
More people should go out of their way to help others, whether holding doors, giving food to people experiencing homelessness, or volunteering with a charity.
Unfortunately, some folks do it for follows rather than out of the goodness of their hearts, and others can smell the deception from miles away.
“There isn’t anything as classy as doing something nice for someone and not saying *** about it,” stated one user.
Others are torn on the issue. “Yeah, I mean, it’s kinda trashy, but also they did actually do the thing,” said one.
Following a religion doesn’t automatically make you a good person, though some seem to think that’s all it takes.
One user lamented the poor treatment they received while working at a coffee shop for a megachurch, saying, “They’ll know we are Christian by how we brag about the good we do, not by how we treat service workers, right?”
“God-fearing” doesn’t make you a good person or make good choices. It just makes you fearful of the vengeance from the diety that you pray to,” said another.
Southern states are known for their charming hospitality, but one user pointed out it’s all fake to make people feel good about themselves.
“I can’t tell you how many times I watched someone be all polite and friendly to someone, just to turn around and say nasty terrible things behind their back,” said one user, adding, “Down here, it’s like some horror movie of overly nice smiling creeps.”
“Southern hospitality is about being kind to your face for the sake of being civil. It’s not about actually being a good person,” said another.
Some folks pride themselves on their honesty, claiming they just tell it like it is. Many users agree that these folks just use honesty as an excuse to be jerks.
“My biases and preconceptions are the truth, and everybody should be grateful that I would bestow such truth upon them,” said one user, poking fun at people who think they’re “straight talkers.”
“A lot of people who are “brutally honest” have the interesting trend of leaning more on the brutality than the honesty,” replied another.
Want to Be Seen as Virtuous? Be a Good Person
People try way too hard to make others think they’re a good person. Rather than work to keep up appearances, they should just try being kind. Be nice, treat others with dignity and respect, and people will start seeing you as virtuous.
It doesn’t take all this other nonsense.
Melanie launched Partners in Fire in 2017 to document her quest for financial independence with a mix of finance, fun, and solving the world’s problems. She’s self educated in personal finance and passionate about fighting systematic problems that prevent others from achieving their own financial goals. She also loves travel, anthropology, gaming and her cats.