“You Should Know”: 25 General Things That’ll Help Navigate Life Better

Published 2 months ago

The Internet serves as a vast reservoir of knowledge, offering far more than just fascinating facts. Within various online communities, individuals come together to share insights and advice on everyday topics that might otherwise go unnoticed. 

One such community, r/YouShouldKnow, has gained popularity as a hub for sharing valuable tips and tricks aimed at enhancing skills, activities, and various tasks. From life hacks to practical advice, members of this community strive to empower one another with knowledge that can improve daily life.

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#1 YSK that if you have children, or even just someone who really loves you, you shouldn’t avoid being in pictures.

Image source: alexsangthat, Nicole Michalou / Pexels

My mom was the type of person who HATED pictures. She thought she was ugly so she avoided them like the plague. Most memories I have involve her behind the camera, not in front of it.

She passed away unexpectedly 5 years ago, yesterday was the anniversary, and when she died my siblings and I combed through family photos, online pictures, anything we could think of to find some way to see our mom again. There are only 3, two of which are a side view and the other is blurry.

I keep her driver’s license because it’s the only head-on, smiling picture I have to remember her by.

Please don’t avoid taking pictures if you have children. Because I promise you we do not see ugly, we do not see fat, we do not see flaws…we see our parents, our mommy, the person we love so much and will miss so much when you pass. Let us have a way to look at you again even after you’re gone.

#2 YSK if you randomly see a dryer sheet in the back of your mailbox, your mail carrier put it there for a reason.

Image source: istrx13, Abstrakt Xxcellence Studios / Pexels

Why YSK: it could save your carrier from being stung

Letter Carrier here.

We’re almost to the month of May which means nice weather, hanging out outside, school closing for the summer, and the return of those dastardly devils: Yellowjackets and Wasps.

I’m sure you’ve noticed. But just in case you haven’t, this time of the year wasps and Yellowjackets (especially Yellowjackets) like to make nests inside of mailboxes. In a lot of places this time of the year, it’s just beginning to warm up outside, but it’s still fairly cold at night. So mailboxes provide nice, easy shelter for them.

I can’t tell you how many times, especially during this part of the year, where I’ve opened up a box to see a little nest with 3-5 Yellowjackets just chillin. If I’m really unlucky, they will have made their nest at the very back of the box so I wind up sticking my hand in not knowing they are there. We all know how temperamental these little douchebags are and merely existing in their presence is enough to piss them off. Last year alone I was stung 10 times on 10 separate occasions.

Getting to my point. We’ve found that they hate scented dryer sheets. If we encounter a box that is a problem for nests, we’ll often put one in there and it does the trick.

So please, if you one day randomly see a dryer sheet at the back of your mailbox, just know that your carrier more than likely put it there to deter these Satanic creatures from building their home in it.

#3 YSK that letting your dog sniff on walks is very enriching, interesting, and stimulating for them. Your dog sniffing every little thing in the neighborhood is equivalent to us reading the newspaper; its how they absorb information, and will give you a calmer dog!

Image source: SalzyJ, Sam Lion / Pexels

Why YSK: Dogs learn about their surroundings through their noses. What dog has been here? What is this interesting smell emanating from this green bin? Oh is that what snails smell like? There is a great misconception about walking dogs, that owners think the enriching part of the walk is the act of walking itself, when in fact its the sniffing your dog gets to do!

Your dog gets the opportunity to think, learn, and satisfy an innate behaviour. Think of it this way, you get satisfaction by scrolling through reddit, but if someone made you sit too far away from the screen, and scrolled by things that appear to be potentially interesting, it wouldn’t relax you, it would likely do the opposite!

Next time you’re out with your dog, try giving them ample sniffing time, you’ll likely end up with a happy, calmer pup!

#4 YSK that Amazon has a serious problem with counterfeit products, and it’s all because of something called “commingled inventory.”

Image source: SolitaryEgg, Robert So / Pexels

Anecdotally, the problem is getting severe. I used to buy all my household basics on Amazon (shampoo, toothpaste, etc), and I’ve gotten a very high rate of fake products over the past 2 years or so, specifically.

Most recently, I bought a bottle of shampoo that seemed really odd and gave me a pretty serious rash on my scalp. I contacted the manufacturer, and they confirmed it was a fake. Amazon will offer to give your money back if you send it back, but that’s all the protection you have as a buyer.

Since I started noticing this issue, I’ve gotten counterfeit batteries, counterfeit shampoo, and counterfeit guitar strings, and they were all sold by Amazon.com. It got so bad that I completely stopped using Amazon.

The bigger question is “what the hell is going on?” This didn’t seem to be a problem, say, 5 years ago. I started looking into why this was the case, and I found a pretty clear answer: commingled inventory.

#5 YSK that Harvard offers a free certificate for its Intro to Computer Science & Programming.

Image source: manocormen, Manu Ros / Unsplash

Why YSK: Harvard is one of the world’s top universities. But it’s very expensive and selective. So very few people get to enjoy the education they offer.

However, they’ve made CS50, Harvard’s Introduction to Computer Science and Programming, available online for free. And upon completion, you even get a free certificate from Harvard.

I can’t overstate how good the course is. The professor is super engaging. The lectures are recorded annually, so the curriculum is always up to date. And it’s very interactive, with weekly assignments that you complete through an in-browser code editor.

To top it all off, once you complete the course, you get a free certificate of completion from Harvard. Very few online courses offer free certificates nowadays, especially from top universities.

#6 YSK That there is a Youtuber called “Dad, how do I?” that explains everyday things that might need a father-figure to help you with.


Image source: AlphaSyncz, Dad, how do I? / Youtube

His Dad walked out on him when he was 12, he makes maintenance vides for people with no Dad. It’s just basic stuff but I know friends of mine that have watched his videos in the last couple of weeks and it has made a real positive difference to their life. He does videos from how to tie a tie to even how to check your car’s oil. Very helpful stuff that everyone who doesn’t have a dad or just wants some DIY tips should know.

#7 YSK that apologizing to your children and admitting when you’re wrong is what teaches them to have Integrity.

Image source: griftylifts, Gustavo Fring / Pexels

There are a lot of parents with this philosophy of “What I say goes, I’m the boss , everyone bow down to me, I can do no wrong”.

This approach is detrimental to raising children who take accountability for their own actions. They need to see you admit to your faults, and you do owe them an apology when you mess up, even if you happen to think that “seems stupid because they’re just a kid”.

Children learn by example, and they pick up on so many nuances, minutiae, and unspoken truths.

You aren’t fooling them into thinking you’re perfect by refusing to admit mistakes – you’re teaching them that to apologise is shameful and should be avoided at all costs. You cannot treat a child one way and then expect them to comport themselves in the opposite manner.

#8 YSK: The term “Genuine Leather”, it is not to reassure you that their product is made of leather, rather its the name of the lowest grade of leather a company can use.

Image source: metropolis702, nappy / Pexels

The term “Genuine Leather” is a marketing term to sell the lowest quality leather possible.

When purchasing a leather product, look for full grain leather or top grain leather instead. These will provide a much higher quality cut of leather that will look and feel much better and last for much longer.

#9 YSK: Apple Music deletes your original songs and replaces them with Apple-protected versions.

Why YSK: I recently made the mistake of allowing Apple Music to sync with my old iTunes library, which was full of mp3s and ripped CDs from over 10 years ago (aka my rightful files). After syncing the library so I could have my iTunes songs on my phone, I started noticing that some of them are no longer explicit versions and some are just plain missing from their folders.

In an attempt to save effort, Apple Music may replace your files with their own stored versions that are not necessarily identical to the ones you have. These files are protected and are not really “your” property anymore. And in some cases, if there’s any lapse in payment or something on their end messes up, you might lose your files forever. Like I did. I now have hundreds of songs missing and unrecoverable. Thought I would put this out there to save someone else some pain.

Image source: evilerutis

#10 YSK that if you are planning a surprise for someone on an important day that giving them a small treat at the beginning of the day to show you remembered will be a much better cover and positive experience for them than making them miserable thinking you forgot or didn’t care about them.

Soooo many people (three that I’ve read on Reddit today alone) think that it will be cool and a great cover to make the person think that they forgot or don’t care about a birthday or anniversary etc. All it does is make the person sad and miserable all day. And then when the surprise happens they feel guilty and ashamed for feeling sad and miserable. All around not good.

Image source: tmccrn

#11 YSK: that if something’s worth doing, it’s worth doing poorly.

Image source: minecart6, Andrea Piacquadio / Pexels

A wise man once said that, I can’t remember where I heard it, but it boils down to this: Why YSK: If something is important, it’s usually better to half-a*s it than it is to not do it at all. Some examples: Got a big test tomorrow and not up to studying? Study for 15 minutes. A 40 is much better than a 0. Don’t feel like working out today? Go for a walk. Too busy for breakfast? Drink a cup of milk. Stayed up too late? Go to bed right now. 3 hours of sleep is superior to none. The pile of dirty dishes too daunting? Wash 5. Can’t do the whole yard? Mow the front. The principle can be applied to various situations in life. Often times you may find that after you get started, you feel motivated to complete the task, but if not, hey…you did part of it, and that’s nothing to sneeze at (and it’s certainly better than nothing.)

#12 YSK: Just because someone doesn’t look sick/disabled, does not mean they are healthy.

Image source: ilovepastapizzapots, Royal Anwar / Pexels

Why YSK: I am chronically ill and have an autoimmune disorder, the amount of times people have said “WELL… yOU dOn’t LOOK sick” to me is astounding. I didn’t know all illnesses have to be visible to others! I’m sorry I can’t show you my internal organs or muscles deteriorating for you to believe that I’m sick. It makes people with health issues feel like they have to explain their situation when they don’t.

#13 YSK that lack of eye contact does not mean that a person is being rude. Autism, ADHD, PTSD and social anxiety can all make it difficult to look someone in the eye.

Image source: Over9000Mudkipz, Andrea Piacquadio / Pexels

If people with these conditions force themselves to make eye contact they will often find it so distracting they won’t be able to focus on what you are saying.

Also there are many cultures, including Hispanic, Asian, Middle Eastern, and Native American, where eye contact can be considered disrespectful. For example, Japanese children are taught to look at others’ necks to avoid making direct eye contact.

Consider that not all behaviors considered “rude” are intended to be, or even universally considered rude. This is especially important to remember if you are a parent, teacher, boss, or other authority figure.

#14 YSK Romanians are welcoming the Ukranian refugees with open arms and food. There are a lot of people who are renting their homes without any charge to the refugees. Also there is an animal shelter who is going to host the Ukranian pets of any kind.

Why YSK: Because Ukrainian civilians need to know about this.

Image source: BlackViper_13

#15 YSK that there is NEVER only one deer.

Never, ever ever.

If you’re driving at night and just saw a single deer cross the road at the edge of your headlights? SLOW DOWN ANYWAY. Slow to a crawl, if it’s safe to do so. A second deer is nearby and will follow it across, every time.

I’ve driven on rural Midwest highways my entire life. Just yesterday, for the first time ever, I actually saw a lone deer. But that’s not the norm, and that’s how they getcha.

Image source: SprocketSaga

#16 YSK that Sikh temples can provide a free meal, a safe place, or a temporary shelter if your ever need it. Anyone can visit the temple irrespective of their native language, sexual orientation or religious beliefs. Above all, they will never try to convert you.

Image source: nimblemind, cascayoyo / needpix

Why YSK: If you ever need any of these things, just look for the nearest Sikh temple. While you’re there, please respect their culture and cover your hair while you’re in the prayer hall or in “langar” hall. A langar hall is where the food is served. If you like you can also volunteer to help in the kitchen and elsewhere.

#17 YSK that people dealing with depression can find it incredibly hard to maintain contact with friends and family.

Image source: shortercrust, Maycon Marmo / pexels

If someone hasn’t been in touch for months don’t assume they’re a bad friend. Why YSK: Over the years I’ve known friends and family withdraw from the world for months on end because of depression or other illnesses. They often carry a lot of guilt about this and it becomes a self perpetuating issue because they’re afraid of the response they’ll get when they eventually do make contact again. You often won’t know what’s going on with them, they’ll just drop off the radar. But these people will need your friendship and support more than ever when they begin to engage with the world again. So if someone goes quiet don’t write them off as a ‘s***ty friend’. Be open minded about their reasons, give them space, time and understanding, and be ready to pick up the threads again when they’re ready. (Citation needed for sub rules about health flair? Here’s an NHS document that describes withdrawal from social activity as symptom of depression)

#18 YSK If you are a homeowner or renter, your home has a main water shut-off. The time to learn where it is, is right now.

Image source: grandlewis

When I bought my home 8 years ago, the prior owner made a big deal of showing me the water cut-off. It is in a closet. Today a pipe burst under my sink, and tons of water starting pouring everywhere. Luckily, I remembered where the cutoff was, and I killed the water to the whole house. Zero damage. Just a big mess to cleanup. If I didn’t know where that cutoff dial was, it would have been thousands of dollars of damage.

#19 YSK Declawing your Cats is like cutting off each of your fingers at the last knuckle.

Some people think that declawing is a simple surgery that removes a cats nails, this is not true. Declawing involves amputation of the last bone of each toe, removing claws changes the way a cats foot meets the ground and can cause pain similar to wearing an uncomfortable pair of shoes. There can also be regrowth of improperly removed claws, nerve damage and bone spurs. Most cats will become biters because they no longer have their claws as a defense. Cats scratch to remove dead husks from their claws, mark territory and stretch muscles.

Image source: blaqkrat

#20 YSK That if you are a Verizon Wireless customer in the US, a new program launched today called Verizon Custom Experience. It tracks every website you visit and every app you use. The program automatically enrolls all customers, who must specifically opt out if they don’t want to be tracked.

Image source: grandlewis, Mike Mozart / Flickr

Why YSK: If you prefer to keep your browsing habits private, you should consider opting out. There is essentially no benefit to giving away your information to Verizon Wireless. Unlike with other sites, where one can at least argue targeted ads pay for free services, with this Verizon program, you are essentially receiving nothing in return for giving up your privacy.

#21 YSK the easiest way to make sure your kid fights you on every chore is to avoid saying “thank you.”

Image source: thestashattacked, August de Richelieu / Pexels

I’m a teacher. Every year, I get at least one parent who tells me that they just expect their kids to do their chores, and they won’t ever say “thank you” for doing them. Then these parents wonder why their kids fight them on chores.

These same parents often tell me they don’t understand why their kids put so much effort into my class.

It’s really very easy. I thank them for their answers in class. I thank them for helping their classmates. I thank them for picking up after a lab. I thank them when they give their presentations.

Every opportunity I have to do it, I say “thank you.”

My mom always gave me an enthusiastic “thank you!” when my sister and I did chores. As a result, we always did them, often without being asked. We said “thank you” when she made dinner.

A home culture of saying “thank you” is a very easy and effective way to improve adult/teen relationships, and you’ll have happier teens too.

#22 YSK: Service Dog etiquette is to leave them alone as to not distract the dog’s focus. So if they come to you for attention, immediately locate their owner as they could be using a last ditch effort to get help.

Image source: KissAndControlx, Marcus Christensen / Pexels

#23 YSK THe “Face Mask Exemption Card” is fake and you are more than allowed to refuse service to someone using it.

Image source: Darkchyylde

So there are people using something called a “Face Mask Exemption Card” that claims they are exempt from wearing a mask under the ADA because of “mental and/or physical risk to me” and that refusal of service would be violating the ADA. These cards are completely fake, aren’t enforceable, and (at the time of this post) the website on the card doesn’t even exist. Take the card, inspect it carefully, and then throw it in the trash right before you throw the entitled Karen out of your establishment.

#24 YSK about the Fundamental Attribution Error, a key concept in psychology where we judge others based on their actions but ourselves based on our intent.

Image source: bearjew64, Anastasiya Lobanovskaya / Pexels

Why YSK: if someone is annoying you or does something that you disagree with, remember that you can’t see inside their thoughts.

When you cut someone off in traffic, it’s because you were being absentminded or because you’re late to sing lullabies to your newborn, right? But when someone cuts YOU off, it’s because they’re a jerk. You don’t know their inner thoughts, just the result of their actions in the world.

So: take it easy on your fellow people this holiday season, and remember the fundamental attribution error. You’ll be less stressed, less annoyed, and maybe even happier!

#25 YSK: If a nurse tells you that you’re entitled to a second opinion, we think you probably should.

If a nurse goes out of his or her way to tell you this, they either don’t like your doctor or don’t agree with him/her.

We can’t tell you this outright, because it’s unethical (in some circumstances) and could get us in hot water.

Edit: wow! Never expected this to get so big. Thank you for all the awards.

It should be mentioned that any advice from any nurse or doctor should be taken with a grain of salt and with consideration of your relationship to that person. It also depends on the setting you are in.

A second opinion isn’t a bad thing and often times doesn’t mean the diagnosis is incorrect BUT sometimes there is more than one way to deal with things. (Treatment for cancer, surgical vs. medical management etc ). Sometimes it’s just nice to have two docs saying the same thing, especially when it comes to significant issues.

I merely wanted to point out that because of the broken system sometimes things aren’t as they seem. Just know if you have reservations or concerns you have the right to address them.

Image source: NewtonsFig

Shanilou Perera

Shanilou has always loved reading and learning about the world we live in. While she enjoys fictional books and stories just as much, since childhood she was especially fascinated by encyclopaedias and strangely enough, self-help books. As a kid, she spent most of her time consuming as much knowledge as she could get her hands on and could always be found at the library. Now, she still enjoys finding out about all the amazing things that surround us in our day-to-day lives and is blessed to be able to write about them to share with the whole world as a profession.

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