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'Adults' are honestly confused by these 15 things the younger generations are into

Why do they love to record themselves crying?

gen z, gen alpha, generations

Teens staring at a pink phone.

Every generation is different from the one that came before. It makes sense. Every group grows up in different economic, cultural, and technological circumstances, so of course they’re going to have different tastes and values.

It’s also natural for younger generations to rebel against their parents and create their own unique identities.

However, these days, with the rapid changes in technology and culture spurned on by the internet, for some older people (Baby Boomers, Gen X), the younger generations (Millenials, Gen Z, Gen Alpha) are downright confusing.

Further, Gen Z and Gen Alpha were raised during the pandemic, the #MeToo movement, and the murder of George Floyd, which have had an enormous impact on how they see the world.


To help the older folks who may be confused by “kids these days” feel less alone, a Redditor named 5h0gKur4C4ndl posed a question to the AskReddit subforum, “What is something about the newer generations that you can't seem to understand?” A lot of the responses were centered around the younger generations’ relationship to technology.

The older generations also seem concerned that younger kids are a lot more prudish than their parents and should learn how to lighten up and have some fun — a big role reversal from previous generational wars.

Here are 15 things about the younger generations that older people don’t understand.

​1. Recording yourself crying

"THIS IS THE ONE. I do not know how intense your desire for external validation has to be for you to be in the midst of crying and think 'Lights, camera, action baby let's make sure as many people see this as possible.'" — Thrillmouse

"People who record themselves crying are already weird but posting it on the internet is weirder. imagine clicking 'post' to every social media they have. do they seriously not look at what they're posting online?" — TryContent4093


2. Poor grammar

"The emails I get from my students aged 18-25 are such a mess of incoherent garbage, I can't tell if they are lazy or if it's an actual literacy issue. And I'm barely older than they are so if this is a generational gap, it happened quickly!" — NefariousSalmander

"It's a block of text with no capitalization or punctuation. Imagine receiving 6 consecutive one-line texts at once. If you can figure out where the periods should go then you can make sense of it, but it's all texting abbreviations and slang. Something like, 'yo mr y u slow fixin my grade I trned in the lab last class my dad gonna take my phone lmk.'" — Ceesa


3. Learned helplessness

"I'm a middle school teacher. My kids will routinely claim they can't do anything and then shut down and do nothing. And then... It's easy and they do it. So basically it's the degree of learned helplessness. They know to ask when I go over, but if there are twenty kids and I get to them last, they will do nothing (no phones, nothing!) for twenty minutes and act surprised I'm irritated they didn't grab a damn pencil from the freeeee pencils on my desk. And then act surprised they're behind on the assignment!" — Scarletuba


4. The internet is forever

"The lack of understanding that things put on the internet are public forever." — Leading_Screen_4216


5. No self-confidence

"37-year-old attending college for the first time here. They have negative confidence. They barely speak above a mumble, especially when answering a question from the teacher. Most of them would rather die than talk to someone they're interested in. It's like 90% of them are cripplingly introverted." — Intelligent-Mud1437

6. They need attention

"We were saying what we would do if we won the big lottery jackpot. The new 22-year-old hire said he’d become an influencer. Can you imagine winning a billion at 22 and that’s what you would do? Not start a business, travel the world, charity, sports, property… Learn something… but become an influencer… with a billion dollars. I mean, like, he’s gonna hire a marketing company to fabricate interest in his social media? He’s gonna spend money on stupid things to make people cringe or rage comment? With a billion dollars." — Covercall


7. Put your phone down

"Why do you want to watch 100% of a concert, that you paid good money for, through your phone lens?" — LeluWater

"I was yesterday in a Linkin Park cover band concert, a fuckin blast. There was that one guy, that spent every song recording HIS FACE 'singing' along. Not the band, his face. Please wake me up in 1995." — pls_tell_me

8. Phone at the movies

"Why do they go to the movies only to scroll through their phone the entire time?" — IAmASurgeonDoctorHan

"My wife does this. Not at the theater, but we'll be watching a movie or TV show, and she'll be glued to her phone. Then when she looks up she doesn't get what's going on and we have to pause while I explain what just happened and why." — Project2R

9. Paranoia

"I’m in my forties and I manage a small group of people who are in their 20s to early thirties. What I notice most is how anxious and fearful they seem to be. Everyone is out to get them. I often get approached by subordinates who want me to do something about a colleague who is doing them wrong in some way. After I gather more information, it almost always is a case of poor assumption about someone else’s intentions, coupled with a desire to jump to the worst-case scenario. If I ask them a series of probing questions about other possible interpretations they often admit they didn’t consider those possibilities." — Reasonable_Human55

10. Putting on heirs

"I don't understand why most of them want to look rich with expensive s**t and most of them act like they run businesses or something.They take pictures with cars that are not theirs for example. Dude chill, you're 16." — Honest_Math7760

"Because they are indoctrinated by social media that tells them they are a failed human if they don’t become a multi-millionaire entrepreneur." — Outrageous_Glove_467

11. The new Puritans

"This weird new Puritan wave they are riding on. We struggled for generations to free ourselves from oppressive dogmas, and now they are all-in on the whole: 'if you like anything even remotely non-wholesome, you should be arrested and burn in hell.' ... Constantly calling for bans on anything that upsets them, instead of learning how to avoid the things that upset them." — SleepyCera

"The prudishness is so weird to me. Hearing young people talk about body counts' and how you should be married with kids by the age of 25, or you’re past your prime is absolutely insane. Even my Christian grandparents weren’t as sexually conservative as this generation. The complete demonization of partying, drinking, and going out is weird too—like I can see being traumatized by fentanyl and the general lack of safety around drugs, but I did most of my socializing as a young person by going to concerts and nightlife events and meeting people, and they seem to just…not do anything social?" — Counterboudd

12. Can't handle stress

"The absolute lack of capacity to deal with any emotional stress or upheaval without turning into a gibbering mess. ...I had someone messing around in a lecture, playing with their phone and being disruptive. I stopped the lecture and told them to put it away and pay attention or leave. They looked SHOCKED to have been called out and sat there quietly for the next 10-15 minutes until suddenly going all 'deer in the headlights' when asked a question in relation to the topic and then running the full length of the lecture hall and out the room. I was informed the following day that the student had went to counseling services to complain that I had 'put unreasonable pressure on him by asking him questions in class, and set off his anxiety.'" — Indiana_Harris

13. White socks with sneakers

"How pulling up white socks with sneakers was the most unfashionable middle-aged American dad clothing in the entire world. To being fashionable." — Awkward_Moments

"Socks with sandals too. And mustaches. Kids today think dressing like a dorky dad thirty years ago is cool. I laugh at them all the time." — IDigRollingRockBeer

14. Watching video games

"Why they'd rather watch someone else play a video game than play it themselves. That was a punishment when I was a kid, not entertainment." — DeadDevilMonkey

15. External stimulation

"Will never understand the constant need for external stimulation. I’m quite happy just to ponder my own thoughts. I love flying, because it gives me several hours to think on shit without distraction. Ask young people to put down their phone? It’s as if you asked them to chop off their left hand." — Midnight_Poet

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3 organic recipes that feed a family of 4 for under $7 a serving

O Organics is the rare brand that provides high-quality food at affordable prices.

A woman cooking up a nice pot of pasta.

Over the past few years, rising supermarket prices have forced many families to make compromises on ingredient quality when shopping for meals. A recent study published by Supermarket News found that 41% of families with children were more likely to switch to lower-quality groceries to deal with inflation.

By comparison, 29% of people without children have switched to lower-quality groceries to cope with rising prices.

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With some help from our friends at O Organics, Upworthy looked at the vast array of products available at our local store and created some tasty, affordable and healthy meals.

Here are 3 meals for a family of 4 that cost $7 and under, per serving. (Note: prices may vary by location and are calculated before sales tax.)

O Organic’s Tacos and Refried Beans ($6.41 Per Serving)

Few dishes can make a family rush to the dinner table quite like tacos. Here’s a healthy and affordable way to spice up your family’s Taco Tuesdays.

Prep time: 2 minutes

Cook time: 20 minutes

Total time: 22 minutes

Ingredients:

1 lb of O Organics Grass Fed Ground Beef ($7.99)

1 packet O Organics Taco Seasoning ($2.29)

O Organics Mexican-Style Cheese Blend Cheese ($4.79)

O Organics Chunky Salsa ($3.99)

O Organics Taco Shells ($4.29)

1 can of O Organics Refried Beans ($2.29)

Instructions:

1. Cook the ground beef in a skillet over medium heat until thoroughly browned; remove any excess grease.

2. Add 1 packet of taco seasoning to beef along with water [and cook as directed].

3. Add taco meat to the shell, top with cheese and salsa as desired.

4. Heat refried beans in a saucepan until cooked through, serve alongside tacos, top with cheese.

tacos, o organics, family recipesO Organics Mexican-style blend cheese.via O Organics

O Organics Hamburger Stew ($4.53 Per Serving)

Busy parents will love this recipe that allows them to prep in the morning and then serve a delicious, slow-cooked stew after work.

Prep time: 15 minutes

Cook time: 7 hours

Total time: 7 hours 15 minutes

Servings: 4

Ingredients:

1 lb of O Organics Grass Fed Ground Beef ($7.99)

1 ½ lbs O Organics Gold Potatoes ($4.49)

3 O Organics Carrots ($2.89)

1 tsp onion powder

I can O Organics Tomato Paste ($1.25)

2 cups water

1 yellow onion diced ($1.00)

1 clove garlic ($.50)

1 tsp salt

1/4 tsp pepper

2 tsp Italian seasoning or oregano

Instructions:

1. Cook the ground beef in a skillet over medium heat until thoroughly browned; remove any excess grease.

2. Transfer the cooked beef to a slow cooker with the potatoes, onions, carrots and garlic.

3. Mix the tomato paste, water, salt, pepper, onion powder and Italian seasoning in a separate bowl.

4. Drizzle the mixed sauce over the ingredients in the slow cooker and mix thoroughly.

5. Cover the slow cooker with its lid and set it on low for 7 to 8 hours, or until the potatoes are soft. Dish out into bowls and enjoy!

potatoes, o organics, hamburger stewO Organics baby gold potatoes.via O Organics


O Organics Ground Beef and Pasta Skillet ($4.32 Per Serving)

This one-pan dish is for all Italian lovers who are looking for a saucy, cheesy, and full-flavored comfort dish that takes less than 30 minutes to prepare.

Prep time: 2 minutes

Cook time: 25 minutes

Total time: 27 minutes

Servings: 4

Ingredients:

1 lb of O Organics Grass Fed Ground Beef ($7.99)

1 tbsp. olive oil

2 tsp dried basil

1 tsp garlic powder

1 can O Organics Diced Tomatoes ($2.00)

1 can O Organics Tomato Sauce ($2.29)

1 tbsp O Organics Tomato Paste ($1.25)

2 1/4 cups water

2 cups O Organics Rotini Pasta ($3.29)

1 cup O Organics Mozzarella cheese ($4.79)

Instructions:

1. Brown ground beef in a skillet, breaking it up as it cooks.

2. Sprinkle with salt, pepper and garlic powder

3. Add tomato paste, sauce and diced tomatoes to the skillet. Stir in water and bring to a light boil.

4. Add pasta to the skillet, ensuring it is well coated. Cover and cook for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

5. Remove the lid, sprinkle with cheese and allow it to cool.

o organics, tomato basil pasta sauce, olive oilO Organics tomato basil pasta sauce and extra virgin olive oil.via O Organics

The grandmother was suspicious.

A grandmother always felt her middle granddaughter Lindsay, 15, looked slightly different from the rest of the family because she had blonde, curly hair, while the rest of her siblings’ hair was dark “I thought genetics was being weird and I love her,” she wrote on Reddit’s AITA forum.

But things became serious after Linday’s parents “banned” her from taking things a step further and getting a DNA test. If the family was sure their daughter was theirs, why would they forbid her from seeking clarity in the situation? After the parents laid down the law, the situation started to seem a little suspicious.

“I told my son and [daughter-in-law] that there was something fishy around her birth she needed to know. They denied it and told me to leave it alone,” the grandma wrote.


Lindsay wouldn’t give up her quest. She approached her biology teacher, who admitted that it was “odd” for her to have such different traits. This confusion was too much for Lindsay, so she went to her grandmother for help. “She came to me distressed, asking me to buy a DNA test since she needs to know,” the grandmother wrote.

dna tests, paternity tests, grandmothers

She had blonde, curly hair. But her siblings all had black hair.

via Allef Vinicius/Unsplash

The grandmother purchased a DNA test and it proved their suspicions. “Long story short, she is not her mother's kid,” the grandmother wrote. “My son got someone else pregnant and her bio mom gave her up.”

The interesting thing was that Lindsay was a middle child. So, the dad had a baby with another woman while he was with his wife. This revelation begs the question: How did the family suddenly have a baby out of nowhere without people being suspicious?

“They were on the other side of the country when she was born, and I met Lindsey when she was about 6 months old. Really not hard to hide the whole thing,” the grandmother wrote. “Our family has a history of miscarriages, so it’s common to drop news about a baby late in the pregnancy. They did the same with their oldest and didn't think anything about it.”

The big revelation has caused friction in the family. The family no longer talks to the grandmother, which makes Lindsay even more furious about the situation.

Should the grandmother have taken such drastic steps if she knew what could happen if her suspicions were true? The commenters on Reddit overwhelmingly supported the grandmother’s decision. The big reason was that Lindsay needed to know her family history for medical reasons.

"Your son and his wife suck for lying to her until she is 15 about something so important and trying to keep lying to her even after she obviously started to question things. There are medical reasons a person might need to know what their genetics are/are not, and if you hadn’t helped her, she would have found out some other way," Shake_Speare423 wrote.

Another commenter noted that protecting the parents’ lie wasn’t nearly as important as Lindsay’s mental health.

"People have a right to know their genetic heritage. Lying about adoption is linked to increased suicidal ideation, anxiety, and depression. You put her safety and comfort ahead of your son’s preferences. Parental rights do not have greater value than a child’s right to access comprehensive medical care, and hiding an adoption does precisely that. Maybe some things, like a child staying healthy, should matter more than a parent's right to lie, gaslight and manipulate their child as they see fit," RemembrancerLirael added.

The commenters overwhelmingly supported the grandma for putting herself into an uncomfortable situation to protect her granddaughter’s mental and physical health. However, one commenter noted that she could have gone about it in a less polarizing way.

“Bit out of the norm for the responses here, but you should have gone through your son [and daughter-in-law] and convinced them. Told them that the biology teacher had highlighted that she had traits that didn't make sense, etc. and convinced them that Lindsey would find out either way,” PhilMcGraw wrote. “It would have allowed them to find a way to tell her without it being forced on them angrily. A DNA test is the absolute worst way to be told. I'm sure they would have much rather told her than let her find out by a DNA test if that is what was coming.”


This article originally appeared on 11.29.23

Images provided by P&G

Three winners will be selected to receive $1000 donated to the charity of their choice.

True

Doing good is its own reward, but sometimes recognizing these acts of kindness helps bring even more good into the world. That’s why we’re excited to partner with P&G again on the #ActsOfGood Awards.

The #ActsOfGood Awards recognize individuals who actively support their communities. It could be a rockstar volunteer, an amazing community leader, or someone who shows up for others in special ways.

Do you know someone in your community doing #ActsOfGood? Nominate them between April 24th-June 3rdhere.Three winners will receive $1,000 dedicated to the charity of their choice, plus their story will be highlighted on Upworthy’s social channels. And yes, it’s totally fine to nominate yourself!

We want to see the good work you’re doing and most of all, we want to help you make a difference.

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That means be on the lookout for individuals who:

Strengthen their community

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Joy

Can you figure out what this doodle is?

Once you see it, you’ll never unsee it.

via Facebook

Do you see it?

Facebook user Savannah Root from Missouri stared at the photo above for hours before she finally figured out what it was.

Everyone that sees it either gets it right away or sits there stumped. The picture is so mystifying that after one week, it's been shared over 33,000 times.


For the solution, scroll down past the comments to reveal the hidden picture.

comments, social media, confusion

Is it formidable?

assets.rebelmouse.io

realization, challenge, solution

Amazing!

via Facebook

eureka, misconception, hallucination, image, puzzle

A light bulb moment.

via Facebook

shame, fear, stress

Stressing out.

via Facebook

talent, insect, cowboy

Not an insect.

via Facebook

It's a cowboy with half of his face obscured by a shadow. Facebook user Cristian-Dumitru Popescu created a cool graphic that explains it.

doodle, illusion, brain teaser.

The cowboy face breakdown.

via Facebook

This article originally appeared on 09.23.17

A husband admitted he tended to "trust" his mom's parenting advice more than his wife's.

A dad who goes by @sergey.be.be on TikTok reached out to viewers in hopes of better navigating a perpetual argument with his wife.

In the clip, he shared that his wife is “frequently offended” that he seeks advice from his mother on how to raise their daughter. But since his mom has had “experience raising three children” compared to his wife’s first time at motherhood, he “tends to trust” mom’s advice more.

Unsurprisingly, this has led to frequent quarrels, and has persisted after the baby was born.


The dad went on to explain that, unlike his mother, his wife “insists she knows everything, suggesting we can always look things up on Google if needed.”

He then offered this example: “when I inquired about swaddling for our newborn, my mother recommended swaddling with straightened legs because if you don't swaddle your baby, his legs will be crooked, while my wife disagreed, saying it was a thing of the past."

@sergey.be.be My wife is frequently offended when I seek advice from my mother regarding raising our daughter. Our differing opinions have led to frequent quarrels. How can I navigate this situation? #newborn #momanddaughter #baby #babylove ♬ Surrender - Natalie Taylor

Well, not taking sides here, but a quick Google search does in fact list several resources which state that straight-leg swaddling is, in fact, not recommended, and considered potentially harmful. So it’s understandable that this man’s wife might be frustrated that her husband actively chooses his mother’s objectively inaccurate opinion over her own research.

Viewers unanimously agreed with this sentiment, though the responses ranged somewhere between gentle and brutally blunt.

“I guess he is TRYING to get divorced,” one person wrote.

Another quipped, “You should marry your mom 💕 hope this helps!”

Others tried to help illuminate the wife’s point of view, and point out why this husband’s action might be so upsetting.

“Your wife probably did HOURs, DAYS MONTHS of researching the current safe ways of doing things,” one person argued. “If you aren't’ going to trust her, at least ask to read what she’s reading so you can get insight. Then, if after reading you still have doubts, talk to your wife. Do not bring up your mom’s opinion.”

Another reasoned, “that’s like her asking her dad how you should be a father.”

Professionals also weighed in. A NICU nurse wrote, “things have changed in the last 3 years alone. Your mother doesn’t know. This is the woman you chose, learn and grow with her.”

And finally, I think this warning from a couples therapist really sums it all up: “prioritize your new family over your old family.”

If this man was indeed seeking advice (and not justification for his actions) then he certainly got what he asked for. Either way, the conversation can hopefully help put things into perspective for others.

All photos courtesy of Dalton Ross, used with permission.

A collage of Dalton Ross .


Dalton Ross wanted to make sure his family didn't miss him too badly while he was studying abroad in London.

To help them cope, the 22-year-old Tennessee native did what any selfless college student would do...


He sent his mom a life-size cutout of himself.

art, imaginative, artistic, family dynamics

The life-size cutout of Dalton Ross.

All photos courtesy of Dalton Ross, used with permission.

"I thought maybe they'd put it in the living room corner until I got back to remember I exist," he explained about the cutout, which came with a short note: "You're welcome.”

But like any clever mom, Susan Talley couldn't just stash this amazing piece of work away when it arrived about two months ago.

tomfoolery, family tradition, clowning

Guess who’s coming to dinner.

All photos courtesy of Dalton Ross, used with permission.

No, no — she had better plans in mind.

Talley decided the cardboard version of her son could be a great companion "while the real one is in Europe." So she brought him along with her to events, like basketball games ...

Can you spot cardboard Dalton in the stands?

farce, levity, witticism

Defense! Defense!

All photos courtesy of Dalton Ross, used with permission.

... trips to the doctor's office ...

doctor visit, hilarious gags, connection

Hello doc.

All photos courtesy of Dalton Ross, used with permission.

... and sub sandwich runs.

sub sandwich, family pranks, photography

One meatball sub please.

All photos courtesy of Dalton Ross, used with permission.

Fake Dalton celebrated Valentine's Day with a fellow inanimate object.

Valentine\u2019s Day, inanimate object, dating

The strange and uncomfortable.

All photos courtesy of Dalton Ross, used with permission.

He enjoyed playing with a furry, four-legged friend in the sunshine.

dogs, parks, family pets

Some complicated fetching.

All photos courtesy of Dalton Ross, used with permission.

And he appreciated a good bedtime story, just like the rest of us.

Dr. Seuess, bedtime story, community

Reading Dr. Seuss, “Oh, the Places You’ll Go!"

All photos courtesy of Dalton Ross, used with permission.

The photos of fake Dalton are spreading like wildfire.

sons, Facebook, Imgur

Out and about for lunch.

All photos courtesy of Dalton Ross, used with permission.

Without showing her son the photos first, Talley went ahead and uploaded them to Facebook. And after Dalton shared them on Imgur — explaining his mom "seems to be entertaining herself" while he's gone — the story sent the Internet into a buzzy frenzy.

"The attention is crazy," Ross told Upworthy, noting the story has gained so much traction that a restaurant featured in one of the photos, O'Charley's, sent the family a gift card.

"I hope my mom's holding up all right," he said. "It's awesome though.”

Fake Dalton has been hitting the batting cages...

batting cages, unique travel, fun activities

Batter up.

All photos courtesy of Dalton Ross, used with permission.

... taking in some nightlife...

entertaining, Dalton Ross, family love

Out on the town.

All photos courtesy of Dalton Ross, used with permission.

... and celebrated Easter with his family.

Easter, connections, life abroad

Easter with the Ross family.

All photos courtesy of Dalton Ross, used with permission.

Although the viral reaction to the photos has been a bit nuts, Ross isn't all that surprised his mom was up for a good laugh.

mom, life-size, humor

Out and about.

All photos courtesy of Dalton Ross, used with permission.

"Oh yeah, my mom is very funny," he explained to Upworthy. And it's a good thing, too: Laughter can be a great tool in improving the quality of family dynamics and boosting a loved one's emotional health. (A student studying abroad should especially keep that in mind, considering being away from loved ones and familiarity can be tough.)

"We're a big family of jokesters."

Bravo, mom, for setting the bar very high ahead of April Fools' Day.

uplifting, parents, laughter

Let’s clean it up.

All photos courtesy of Dalton Ross, used with permission.

This article originally appeared on 03.30.16

I’m late.


This post was written by Tim Urban and originally published on Wait But Why.

I woke up this morning to a text. It was a link:

"optimistic-people-have-one-thing-common-always-late.”

Intriguing. Nothing's better than the headline: "The reason people are [bad quality that describes you] is actually because they're [good quality]."

I got to reading. And as it turns out, according to the article, late people are actually the best people ever.They're optimistic and hopeful:

"People who are continuously late are actually just more optimistic. They believe they can fit more tasks into a limited amount of time more than other people and thrive when they're multitasking. Simply put, they're fundamentally hopeful."

They're big-thinking:

"People who are habitually late don't sweat over the small stuff, they concentrate on the big picture and see the future as full of infinite possibilities."

Late people just get it:

"People with a tendency for tardiness like to stop and smell the roses…life was never meant to be planned down to the last detail. Remaining excessively attached to timetables signifies an inability to enjoy the moment."

By the end of the article, I had never felt prouder to be a chronically late person.

But also, what the hell is going on? Late people are the worst. It's the quality I like least in myself. And I'm not late because I like to smell the roses or because I can see the big picture or because the future is full of infinite possibilities. I'm late because I'm insane.

So I thought about this for a minute, and I think I figured out what's going on. The issue is that there are two kinds of lateness:

1. OK lateness. This is when the late person being late does not negatively impact anyone else — like being late to a group hangout or a party. Things can start on time and proceed as normal with or without the late person being there yet.

2. Not-OK lateness. This is when the late person being late does negatively impact others — like being late to a two-person dinner or meeting or anything else that simply can't start until the late party arrives.

John Haltiwanger's Elite Daily article is (I hope) talking mostly about OK lateness. In which case, sure, maybe those people are the best, who knows.

But if you read the comment section under Haltiwanger's article, people are furious with him for portraying lateness in a positive light. And that's because they're thinking about the far less excusable not-OK lateness.

1. OK lateness. This is when the late person being late does not negatively impact anyone else — like being late to a group hangout or a party. Things can start on time and proceed as normal with or without the late person being there yet.

2. Not-OK lateness. This is when the late person being late does negatively impact others — like being late to a two-person dinner or meeting or anything else that simply can't start until the late party arrives.

John Haltiwanger's Elite Daily article is (I hope) talking mostly about OK lateness. In which case, sure, maybe those people are the best, who knows.

But if you read the comment section under Haltiwanger's article, people are furious with him for portraying lateness in a positive light. And that's because they're thinking about the far less excusable not-OK lateness.

All of this has kind of left me with no choice but to take a quick nine-hour break from working on a gargantuan SpaceX post to discuss not-OK late people.

When it comes to people who are chronically not-OK late, I think there are two subgroups:

Group 1: Those who don't feel bad or wrong about it. These people are assholes.

Group 2: Those who feel terrible and self-loathing about it. These people have problems.

Group 1 is simple. They think they're a little more special than everyone else, like the zero-remorse narcissist at the top of Haltiwanger's article. They're unappealing. Not much else to discuss here.

Punctual people think all not-OK late people are in Group 1 (as the comments on this post will show) — because they're assuming all late people are sane people.

When a sane person thinks a certain kind of behavior is fine, they do it. When they think it's wrong, they don't do it. So to a punctual person — one who shows up on time because they believe showing up late is the wrong thing to do — someone who's chronically late must be an asshole who thinks being late is OK.

But that's misunderstanding the entire second group, who, despite being consistently late, usually detest the concept of making other people wait. Let call them CLIPs (Chronically Late Insane Persons).

While both groups of not-OK late people end up regularly frustrating others, a reliable way to identify a Group 2 CLIP is a bizarre compulsion to defeat themselves — some deep inner drive to inexplicably miss the beginning of movies, endure psychotic stress running to catch the train, crush their own reputation at work, etc., etc. As much as they may hurt others, they usually hurt themselves even more.

I spent around 15% of my youth standing on some sidewalk alone, angrily kicking rocks, because yet again, all the other kids had gotten picked up and I was still waiting for my mom. When she finally arrived, instead of being able to have a pleasant conversation with her, I'd get into the car seething. She always felt terrible. She has problems.

My sister once missed an early morning flight, so they rescheduled her for the following morning. She managed to miss that one too, so they put her on a flight five hours later. Killing time during the long layover, she got distracted on a long phone call and missed that flight too. She has problems.

I've been a CLIP my whole life. I've made a bunch of friends mad at me, I've embarrassed myself again and again in professional situations, and I've run a cumulative marathon through airport terminals.

When I'm late, it's often the same story, something like this:

I'll be meeting someone, maybe a professional contact, at, say, a coffee place at 3:00. When I lay out my schedule for the day, I'll have the perfect plan. I'll leave early, arrive early, and get there around 2:45. That takes all the stress out of the situation, and that's ideal because non-stressful commutes are one of my favorite things. It'll be great — I'll stroll out, put on a podcast, and head to the subway. Once I'm off the subway, with time to spare, I'll take a few minutes to peruse storefronts, grab a lemonade from a street vendor, and enjoy New York. It'll be such a joy to look up at the architecture, listen to the sounds, and feel the swell of people rushing by — oh magnificent city!

All I have to do is be off the subway by 2:45. To do that, I need to be on the subway by 2:25, so I decide to be safe and get to the subway by 2:15. So I have to leave my apartment by 2:07 or earlier, and I'm set. What a plan.

Here's how it'll play out (if you're new to WBW, you're advised to check this out before proceeding):

lateness, behavior, science

Making plans on time.

psychology, procrastination, patient

Maybe some procrastination.

avoidance, mental health, mistakes

Avoiding the issues.

delay, loafing, trifling

Arguing over avoiding the issues.

toying, delaying, loitering

Some dawdling.

dabbling, frittering, dilly-dallying

Some more dawdling.

frizzling, puttering, excuses

And some lingering.

last-minute, slow, delayed

And some more lingering.

belated, tardy, jammed

Is this dragging my feet?

lagging, dilatory, unpunctual

This is dragging my feet.

held up, in a bind, missed the boat

This is becoming a problem.

tired, worn, strained

This is feeling uncomfortable.

thin, peaked, pinched

This IS uncomfortable.

fraught, haggard, worn

This IS a problem.

dependable, accurate, conscientious

But I’m cool.

periodic, timely, ready

So cool.

quick, reliable, heedful, meticulous

Ice cold like a fighter pilot.

minutes, seconds, careful

I’m a chillin’.

lag, postpone, setback

Now worries my way.

stoppage, filibuster, hindrance

Not thinking about it.

bind, lingering, tarrying

Positive thoughts.

stoppage, difficulty, gridlock

Positive action... well now.

obstinate, customs, method

It will all workout.

madness, mental health, regulations

Maybe I’m gonna be late.

anxiety, despair, dismay

I’m gonna be late.

aversion, disquiet, distress

Oopsie.

fearless, logjam, impasse

And that’s the traffic.

furious, frantic, rash, audacious

It’s the traffics fault.

careless, foolhardy, hopp

This map is broken.

denial, circumstances, schedule, madcap, impetu

Perfect timing on being late. Nailed it.

CLIPs are strange people. I'm sure each CLIP is insane in their own special way, and to understand how they work, you'll usually have to get to some dark inner psychology.

For me, it's some mix of these three odd traits:

1. I'm late because I'm in denial about how time works.

The propensity of CLIPs to underestimate how long things take comes out of some habitual delusional optimism. Usually what happens is, of all the times the CLIP has done a certain activity or commute, what they remember is that one time things went the quickest. And that amount of time is what sticks in their head as how long that thing takes. I don't think there's anything that will get me to internalize that packing for a weeklong trip takes 20 minutes. In my head, it's eternally a five-minute task. You just take out the bag, throw some clothes in it, throw your toiletries in, zip it up, and done. Five minutes. The empirical data that shows that there are actually a lot of little things to think about when you pack and that it takes 20 minutes every time is irrelevant. Packing is clearly a five-minute task. As I type this, that's what I believe.

2. I'm late because I have a weird aversion to changing circumstances.

Not sure what the deal is with this, but something in me is strangely appalled by the idea of transitioning from what I'm currently doing to doing something else. When I'm at home working, I hate when there's something on my schedule that I have to stop everything for to go outside and do. It's not that I hate the activity — once I'm there I'm often pleased to be there — it's an irrational resistance to the transition. The positive side of this is it usually means I'm highly present when I finally do haul my ass somewhere, and I'm often among the last to leave.

3. Finally, I'm late because I'm mad at myself.

There's a pretty strong correlation here — the worse I feel about my productivity so far that day, the more likely I am to be late. When I'm pleased with how I've lived the day so far, the Rational Decision-Maker has a much easier time taking control of the wheel. I feel like an adult, so it's easy to act like an adult. But times when the monkey had his way with me all day, when the time rolls around that I need to stop working and head out somewhere, I can't believe that this is all I've gotten done. So my brain throws a little tantrum, refusing to accept the regrettable circumstances, and stages a self-flagellating protest, saying, "NO. This cannot be the situation. Nope. You didn't do what you were supposed to do, and now you'll sit here and get more done, even if it makes you late.”

So yeah, that's why I'm late. Because I have problems.

Don't excuse the CLIPs in your life — it's not OK, and they need to fix it. But remember: It's not about you. They have problems.


This article originally appeared on 04.07.16