Today, we’re gonna get all intellectual and raw and talk about morality.

Parsing out what is noble and ignoble behavior is definitely nothing new. It’s been the obsession of religion and philosophy for pretty much as long as we’ve been able to put thoughts into words.

But as time goes on, and fields like psychology become more robust and accessible, the discussion around what’s good and bad behavior has stopped being the exclusive realm of a few, and has become more democratized, with a larger conversation opening up in the general public. A great example of that phenomenon is this post on r/AskReddit by user darkwulf1:

What is a toxic behavior that is disguised as virtue?
byu/darkwulf1 inAskReddit

It’s a great question, and it prompted a lot of pretty thoughtful answers.

Here are some of the more interesting ones to consider. Take it away, Reddit.

1. I’ve heard this referred to as a sort of martyr mentality.

I had an in-law who talked constantly about how generous and compassionate she was.

She could be both… But she had a tendency to get carried away by what she wanted for you rather than what you actually wanted.

She was the kind of person who would throw a big party for you when you explicitly told her you didn’t want a party, and she would talk constantly about how overwhelmed she was planning the party and how you should help in all these ways because, “I can’t do this on my own.”

– Squiddification

2. Know when you’re needed.

Mum says several people on her facebook are ANGRY that they were told their services weren’t needed when they signed up to the towns volunteer service to help folk during this crisis (we had an amazing number of people come forward).

They’re mad because they “want to help” and “do their bit” and honestly she realised so many of them are the ones who do charity drives and stuff like that just to show off how much of a #GoodPerson they are and to have others praise them for being a #GoodPerson

The ones we know who are helping are getting on and doing it. Odd picture or post but certainly not what these people would be doing.

– VulcanHullo

3. Support where it’s due.

Supporting a person to a fault. In other words, being an enabler.

– mingmingcat

4. You’re nobody’s referee.

When people get involved in and regulate other people’s relationships.

They try to act like they’re helping but they always make it worse.

– IDressUpAsBroccoli

5. Romanticism has given us a lot of bad ideas.

Grand “romantic” gestures.

I teach high school and it’s crazy how many times you see a kid basically bully their crush into being with them.

They make this huge public display and the kid is too shy to say no in front of everyone. It’s embarrassing and distressing for that poor kid.

– PanoramicTrouble

6. As a former academic over-achiever, oof.

Over-studying, over-burdening, and excessive academic anxiety/self-doubt does not make for a dedicated pupil, but an unbalanced and miserable human being.

– DudeAbides101

7. Suffering is not a contest.

When you tell people about how you’re feeling (to vent or when they ask how you’re doing in general) and they one-up you to make you feel like you don’t get to feel tired or sad or stressed etc cause they’re clearly having it harder than you are.

I was tired from school and work one day and I told my old roommate that I was feeling a little tired, and he hits me with “Oh YOU’RE tired? I only had 5 hours of sleep and I had to wake up early this morning cause I had PT (he’s in ROTC)”

– japanesepopstars

8. Don’t validate yourself at the expense of others.

Telling kids that they are so different than everyone else while implying that they are somehow better.

The actual healthy thing to do is to stress that everyone is unique, and the kid’s natural gifts make them who you are just like other kids’ gifts make them unique.

– InnocuousDaisy

9. As a freelance artist: SCREW. THIS.

Working for “exposure”.

This one gets me because companies use it as an excuse to not pay someone or not pay them the amount they deserve.

They claim “exposure is your payment” but last I checked exposure doesn’t pay the bills.

– christian_daddy1

10. “Strong” can be a euphemism.

The entire “I hAvE sTrOnG pErSoNaLiTy” kind of people

– JSteus

11. The American worth ethic in a nutshell.

The rise and grind mentality, saying if you’re not working towards something you’re wasting your time.

It’s important to take time to just relax or pursue a passion without monetary gain.

But society as a whole has deemed this as wasting your time.

– RedditRum87

12. Blood doesn’t necessarily mean devotion.

“Family comes first.”

I grew up thinking that I had a very close extended family until I realized just how sh^tty and miserable most of them were.

I have cut them out and feel so much better about it.

– cosmonaut205

13. Not all that glitters is gold.

Toxic positivity, ie: people who try to find the good in everything.

There’s a lot to be said for having a positive outlook but it quickly becomes toxic when you start defending abusers (I’m sure your parents still loved you in their own way) or trivializing people’s sadness (so you got fired – it just means you get to pursue a new opportunity!).

Sometimes the appropriate answer to a situation is to just acknowledge that things suck.

– schnit123

14. Corporate morality is literally “what can I get away with?”

Corporate passive aggressive behavior.

Yes, you’re saying all the right things and everything checks out if read back on a transcript, but you and I both know you’ve simply found a way to abuse the rules for your own gain.

– InternetKidsAreMean

15. You’re not special for being mean.

People who say ” This is just the way I am; If you can’t handle that, oh well”.

Like… No. You’re wrong.

I understand to an extent that if people don’t like you for being yourself, they can go f**k themselves; BUT, if you are a person who seriously does not know how to speak to people or are just rude in general and claim “that’s just how I am”, you’re wrong.

People need to know it is not okay to be rude or obnoxious and that you should be able to know the difference of being yourself and just being a d%ck.

– Dos_Henny

16. Do you work to live or live to work?

The workaholic.

It’s fine to work hard at something you love, but not at the expense of everything else.

– kazu-sama

17. Don’t take autonomy.

People saying they did stuff that directly affects us without our permission for ‘looking after your best interests’

– dhavalaa123

18. “Chasing” can be pretty creepy.

Persistence in relationships.

It’s always sold in Rom-coms and in relationships.

But usually your persistence is a complete lack of respect for other people’s boundaries or holding onto things that aren’t working out.

– fishnugget1

19. Good action, bad motive.

People that do good deeds so they can brag about it or use it to their own advantage.

“Look at me, I’m such a good person! I do all these nice things, not because I wanted to be a good person or anything, nope!

Just so I could tell everyone about all the good things I do! Repeatedly. Like all the time. Because I’m a good person, remember?

Hey by the way, could you do me a fav-.”

– bayleaf0098

20. We’re not all on an even playing field.

That kind of Hustle Culture where successful people give “motivational” speeches (or more often Instagram captions) where they say stuff like “if you’re not succeeding you’re not working hard enough” or “we all have the same 24 hours.” We don’t all have the same 24 hours.

If you have kids, subtract a couple hours. If you have kids without a live in nanny subtract a bunch of hours. If you have to work a minimum wage job to make rent subtract hours. If you don’t have help to cook/clean/grocery shop/etc, subtract hours.

That’s part of why Kylie Jenner’s whole “self-made millionaire” think bugs me. Even IF she came up with her own ideas and did her portion of the work, she never had to worry about financial support to start her brand, or childcare while she was working, or who was going to cook meals for her and her kid or clean her house. Her lip fillers alone, which are a huge portion of her brand, can cost up to 2000 dollars a pop.

You’re not “self-made” if you couldn’t have done it without your parent’s money.

– tomis2003

21. This is called being an enabler.

Being the “supportive” friend/significant other who will never say no even if it’s a really bad idea.

– SoundedDoughnut

22. Nothing special about being mean.

People that say they’re always 100% honest and aren’t afraid to speak their mind.

It’s definitely useful when needed, but all the time just makes the person seem insufferable and rude.

– RackingRods

23. Don’t speak for me.

Being offended on behalf of another person without knowing or wanting to know their opinion.

– Dr-Sateen

24. Corporate morals are profit-driven.

Woke companies.

They are literally just trying to sell more sh^t by piggybacking onto whatever is the cause of the day.

– Trip_The_3rd

25. Back off a little.

Helicopter parenting, that sh^t scars you, makes you unable to function like a normal adult and struggle to make your own decisions when it comes to responsibility.

– bovineexcrement

26. Be real with yourself.

Constant self-diminishing and downplaying of your abilities as “humility”.

Just accept and recognize that you’re pretty skilled / have a lot of experience in something, instead of saying that it’s easy, that anyone could do the same and the list goes on.

– Chrysophren

27. Be vigilant around charisma.

Over-the-top kindness often masks agenda. Charisma goes a long way toward hiding darker traits.

– everysperm_is_sacred

28. Self-care vs selfishness.

Aggressive self-care — sometimes people use this as a hard stop to get out of things that they do not want to do because you can’t argue with someone saying that they need self-care.

But there’s a line between doing what you need to in order to bolster emotional and mental health and being lazy/taking advantage of people who want to support self-care more.

– BoundlessResonance

29. Your nihilism isn’t impressive.

The super ultra laid back mentality.

Not everything is ok. Not everything is a joke or is cool.

It’s good to have boundaries and to take things seriously.

– coldbloodedcreatures

30. This one’s called the “Golden Mean Fallacy.”

Accepting the objective truth in the form of a compromise.

IE If one person says the sky is blue, and another says the sky is yellow, the compromise would be that the sky is green (blue and yellow mixed), which is onviously not the objective truth.

– LondonDude123

It’s a pretty fascinating thread to get lost in, and there are thousands more comments to comb through if you want to check out the original page. Remember everybody, be kind. Don’t make excuses. Consider others.

What are some other examples of this sort of thing?

Tell us in the comments.