Common Sayings That Are Totally Wrong

We love offering platitudes when we have nothing else to say. However, a lot of these common sayings are downright false. 

Here are some things we say and hear constantly that aren’t even true. 

You Only Use 10% of Your Brain

Pretty woman with her hands on her head looking like she forgot something
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People love repeating the myth that you only use 10% of your brain, but it’s factually incorrect. We may not be fully aware of it, but we use a good deal of our brain power to keep our bodies alive. Tasks like breathing, blood flow, and information processing happen behind the scenes but use a lot of energy. 

Sweating Like a Pig

woman working out at a gym by lifting free weights
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We say we’re sweating like a pig because sweat is gross, and pigs are gross (in theory). Yet, the saying is factually incorrect because pigs’ paltry sweat glands don’t allow them to sweat like people.  

Just Ignore Them

Young woman pointing and laughing in a mean way as if she just did a mean prank.
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Parents love telling their children that if they ignore their tormentors, they’ll be left alone. Unfortunately, that’s rarely true. Some bullies will do whatever it takes to get a rise out of their victim, including escalating when ignored. 

Good Things Come To Those Who Wait

Sad unsure man scratching his head and doubting himself.
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Although this saying originally spoke to patience, many take it wrong and believe that if they just sit back and do nothing, good things will come. Life doesn’t work that way. Good things come to those who work long and hard for them. The saying really means that you shouldn’t expect immediate results. 

You Won’t Always Have a Calculator

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Twenty years ago, this was absolutely true. Our parents and teachers couldn’t have known that technology would advance so far that everyone would carry a tiny computer in their pockets everywhere they go. 

The Customer is Always Right

An angry older woman yelling into her wired home phone.
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Retail workers hate this saying, which customers try to take as literally as possible. Customers think they should get things for free because they’re the customer, and they said so. 

What everyone gets wrong is that it was never intended to force companies to bend over backward in an attempt to appease rude customers. It spoke to customer desires, meaning the store should stock trendy items customers want to buy. 

One Bad Apple

apple orchard with fresh ripe apples on the tree
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People love to say it’s just “one bad apple,” especially when discussing critical employees like police officers and soldiers. They use it to excuse the behavior of the bad actor. 

They always forget that the saying goes, “One bad apple spoils the whole bunch,” meaning if you have one bad cop, the rest of that force may be rotten too. 

Everything Happens for a Reason

Man shrugging his shoulders like he doesn't care at all.
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Those invested in the Just World Fallacy can’t fathom a reality where bad things happen randomly. They believe that everything has a reason or a root cause. 

Real life doesn’t work that way. The universe doesn’t care. Sometimes things just happen. 

You Can Be Anything

Happy carefree woman outside in the sunshine with her hands in the air.
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Millions of children had their childhood dreams dashed when the harsh realities of adulthood set in. Most of us can’t be whatever we want. Many careers require years of expensive schooling, which most of us can’t afford, or only offer positions based on nepotism. Hard work and talent aren’t always enough. 

Money Can’t Buy Happiness

Man holding money in one hand but shrugging with the other and making a face as if to say it doesn't matter.
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Money doesn’t exactly buy happiness, but it’s impossible to find happiness when you’re struggling to keep a roof over your head. The reality is that money can buy a little happiness, but most of us can’t afford it. 

Pull Yourself Up By Your Bootstraps

Man tilting his head and making a confused face.
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People literally tell you to do the impossible with a straight face. It’s not possible to pull yourself up by your bootstraps. The original quote was intended satirically. But people run around saying it, pretending everyone has the same opportunities to succeed. 

Elevating Work Above All Else

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It’s not a saying, but a mindset, and it’s wrong. People elevate work above else ignoring how toxic our work culture is.

Here’s the truth: America’s Toxic Work Culture

Don’t Miss Anything Life Has To Offer

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The world abounds with opportunity. There’s tons of stuff to do and see in the world. 

Check out our epic list of over 200 bucket list ideas to find adventures to enhance your life. 

Legal Scams We All Have To Deal With

woman with mad and confused facial expression holding one hand up as if to say "what?".
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Society is ripe with folks legally scamming you out of your hard earned cash.

Here are the top scams we all just accepted as normal. 

Why No One Wants To Work Anymore

woman throwing papers behind her as she quits her job.
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The common boomer refrain derides younger generations for refusing awful working conditions. Are they right?

Find out why no one wants to work anymore

Are You Boring? Tedious Behaviors Your Friends All Want You To Stop

bored woman on pink background
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We can’t always tell when we’re being a bore. Do you engage in these tedious behaviors that make people lose interest?

Find out here: 10 Tedious Behaviours We Wish You’d Stop

Source: Reddit