People Share The Worst Thing They've Accidently Overheard About Themselves

People Share The Worst Thing They've Accidently Overheard About Themselves

If your feelings are easily hurt, you might want to invest in some earplugs. Accidentally overhearing your coworkers, significant other, or your family saying something you weren't supposed to hear can be scarring. When it's about you, it's even worse. We asked people to tell us the worst things they accidentally overheard about themselves. Prepare for an onslaught of "Ouch."

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40. Sweet as a bell.

When I was in middle school art class something funny happened and I let out a loud laugh. I then overheard one of my childhood best friends whisper to another person “God I hate his laugh.” I immediately looked at him and said “What?” And he just looked down at the table like he didn’t hear me.

This actually made me change my laugh. It’s completely different from what it used to be.


39. The ultimate betrayal.

I was at Thanksgiving dinner and overheard my grandparents whispering at the table about how terrible I am and how I'm a real mess. Then they acted all normal and cozy to me. I was 14. I guess they forgot how well young people can hear.


38. Offhand comment turns into a manhunt.

This happened many years ago when I was quite new to management. I was copied into an email conversation where about ten messages earlier one of my employees had described me as an idiot and suggested to the recipients that they didn’t get me involved in the situation they were discussing. I’d always thought we got on well and it knocked my confidence.

I eventually talked with the lady who sent the email and she was extremely embarrassed and apologetic. Then when we talked more it came out that one of her colleagues was also speaking badly about me and she hadn’t questioned what was being said. It took months to get rid of the real problem causer (this wasn’t in the USA, it’s difficult to fire people where I am) and the real confidence crusher was knowing that he was poisoning the well that whole time. Things were much better once he was gone.

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37. Way to parent, dad.

I overheard my dad saying to a family friend that he expected my twin sister to do great things. Not so bad until he followed it up with “I don’t know what we’ll do about [my name], though.” He still doesn’t know I heard that and I plan to keep it that way.

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36. A haunting message.

I had just moved into my dorm for my second year of college. My roommate was my best friend since 9th grade. My stuff hadn't arrived yet, and it was my time to register, so I asked him if I could use his computer. He said sure.

I sat down, and he had AIM open to a conversation with another friend of ours. I didn't scroll up, but from what was just visible on screen, they were talking about how weird I was and how awful it would be rooming with me.

I closed it so he wouldn't realize later I'd seen it, registered, and left. We still lived together that year, but we didn't hang out at all. We just cohabited. I never asked him to hang out as friends, he never asked me.

Move-out day that year was the last time we spoke. That was over ten years ago. We chatted every day for six years, then haven't spoken since.

I still don't know if I did or said something to flip how he felt about me, or if he never really liked me to begin with. The possibility of the latter really messes up your future friendships. Hell, the former does too, knowing apparently you're capable of unknowingly saying or doing something to throw away a five-year friendship.

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35. Get one with a lock.

I overheard everyone I'd invited to my first sleepover laughing while reading my diary entries about how my dad had been abusing me (I'd left the room and one had gone snooping). It was worse when they wouldn't stop or give it back when I burst in and pleaded with them to, then everyone laughed even harder. That was the first and last time I wrote anything real like that in a diary.

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34. Grief makes people say terrible things.

When my oldest sister Jackie died, my other sister was crying to my mother about how she felt alone. My mother was trying to reassure her and said, "You still have [my name] though." But my sister said, "Who cares about her? I want Jackie back." I kinda get it... but this was around the same time my mother told me to my face that it should have been me who died instead because I don't have a husband or kids like my oldest sister did. It seemed like absolutely no one wanted me in my family and they all wished I could have switched places with the one we lost.

People wonder why I'm depressed now...

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33. Don't share that password with anybody.

My coworker told me my other coworker told her she’d “quit immediately” if I got hired onto the position they’re currently at. As in, promoted. Up until this point, I thought this girl and I were best friends. I even shared my Netflix password with her.


32. Parents of the year over here.

I went to school with a black eye and busted nose from my dear old dad. Child services was called to do a home check. My dad and mom told the worker I'd done it to myself and I was suicidal and that I'd written in my diary that I wanted to kill my little brother. I didn't even have a diary and of all the people I was close to, my little brother was #1. It got me a blacker eye and an involuntary stay in a locked ward. I bailed ASAP.

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31. Possibly the worst thing anyone could overhear.

I'm 12 years younger than my older sisters and I was unplanned. At age 7, I overheard my mom crying and saying I was the reason she didn't love my dad anymore, the reason we were poor, AND the reason why why she isn't happy and that she didn't want to be a mom anymore. She said she 'didn't know how to love someone who ruined her entire life'. It was Christmas eve and she was wasted and talking to her best friend on the phone. It broke my heart/spirit and that was only the beginning of my awful childhood. Side note: I'm 29 now and moved out when I was 15 to protect myself. I have no contact with my parents & I'm fully aware it wasn't my fault I was born.... But this memory still makes me sad.

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30. Poor Kerri.

I was born super premature, but I ended up completely fine (like you would never know unless you saw the pictures of when I was born). Anyways when I was around 8, I was at the top of the stairs, head peaking through the banister, secretly listening to my parents argue downstairs about how my dad was too hard on my brother for his grades. My mom says “well why aren’t you that hard on Kerri?? She doesn’t get straight A’s either!” And my dad responds “Kerri was born premature, she’s probably retarded.”

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29. Beware the online forum.

When I was a preteen, I posted a picture of myself online with a minor celebrity. I later found that it was reposted on a message board... and the majority of the comments talked about how ugly and pale I was. The only person who said anything nice said "don't say that, she posts here sometimes and she's really nice."


28. Inter-office politics.

At my first internship, I overheard one of my supervisors ask the others if I was genuinely mentally handicapped. That hurt, because she wasn't asking it with the politically correct meaning of the term. She 100% meant what she said, but not in a compassionate way. She not only insulted me, but insulted the undergrad program I came from for sending her someone so "incompetent." Nothing I did or didn't do justified her behavior. For example, she'd ask my opinion, then laugh in my face when I gave it. Or tell me a meeting was in one room, when it was in another, and snap at me for not being in the right place. That was 10 years ago. Now I have a few degrees and am happily employed in the same field at a company that values me.

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27. This one bites.

I was 7 and basically poor trailer trash, but I asked my friend if I could stay the night. He called his mom to ask and I overheard her say, “Tell him no, I don’t want roaches and lice in my house.”

Really cut me deep. To this day I have extreme anxiety about keeping my house clean. I couldn’t help if I was poor when I was little.


26. Even games can be mean.

I was in Middle School and I overheard one of the girls doing one of those paper fortune telling games with the boys and predicting who they were going to date. She opened up the paper and said, "Ugh, you're going to date [my name]," and the guy just said "Gross."

And that's how I found out that I wasn't really considered a catch.

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25. Managed to avoid a bad diagnosis.

I have epilepsy and I overheard my parents and neurologist talking about some of the effects my seizures would have if they continued. Basically it would have meant becoming dependent on them for everything, short and long term severe memory loss, and my IQ dropping a lot. It really hurt hearing that in a few years I would have gone from honors classes to special ed. Thankfully my seizures have stopped and the only lasting side effect is some memory loss but man that sent me spiraling for a long time.

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24. What is it with mother-in-law's?

My fiancée's mother trying to convince her to break up with me because I was a "lazy slob" as I was still recovering from injuries I sustained in Afghanistan that limited how active I could be.

The good news is, my recovery went well and I'm much better now both physically and mentally. While her mother is still pretty cold in general, it doesn't bother me any. I fought a war, what has she done?

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23. Why was this conversation even happening?

I overheard my dad's friend telling my dad that I, a sixteen-year-old girl, was "not that good looking." My friend's dad then asked my dad if he had saved up enough money to cover for my dowry, since no one would marry me otherwise.


22. Sweet, sweet payback... ?

I once overheard my friend's mom telling her son, who was my partner in our canoe trip, that the reason I was complaining about leg pain all day was that I was just wimpy and complain a lot. A few weeks later I found out I had a bone tumor on my leg. So, I was pretty vilified by that, but then again I did have cancer.

All's well now though!


21. The old blame it on mom trick.

I phoned my friend and asked him if he wanted to hang out (I was maybe 10). He said he had to ask his mom.

I heard him say, "My friend wants to do something. But I don't want to see him." I guess he either thought he muted the phone or did a bad job at muffling it or something. Then he came back to the phone and said, "Sorry my mom said I can't."

He was a terrible friend over the years.


20. Roommate rumble.

I saw two girls that I roomed with for a short while in college had been publicly posting on Facebook about how weird, annoying, and disrespectful I was. Their reasoning was that I was taking an 8:30am class and only weirdos do that, and that I made a ton of noise every morning and disrupted their sleep. It hurt because I tried really hard to not be disruptive. I wouldn't let my alarm go off, because I woke up naturally around the time it was scheduled and would just turn it off before it beeped (this was partially out of anxiety). I changed clothes in the bathroom, tiptoed everywhere, and wouldn't even EAT or ZIP MY BACKPACK in the room because I wanted to be quiet. As far as I knew, neither of them woke up any of those mornings - and they never said anything to me about it.

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19. If only chef's hats came with earplugs.

I went to school for a year for baking and pastry arts. There was a program-wide competition, and I was one of the only people in our section that wanted to compete. During an exam, I was waiting for some sugar to boil so I'm standing by the front of the room at a burner, and the other chef in charge of the competition comes in to talk to our chef. They're whispering to each other for a few seconds, and then I clearly hear our chef say "Well, it's not that she's bad-" He shoulder checks, sees that I'm staring right at him, and they step out of the room.

Looking back at it now, they were probably just surprised I had wanted to compete, since I'm definitely not the most outgoing person in the universe, but at the time I was devastated.

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18. Go ahead and bite the hand that feeds you.

I overheard my dad telling my mom that he didn’t expect my brother and I to get accepted at university. A month ago I flaunted that acceptance packet right in his face, but he’s also told me that I probably won’t amount to much or be a failure, as well as his plans for me if such thing were to occur in order to cause him the least amount of embarrassment.


17. Can you overhear a Facebook post?

I was in college in the earlier days of Facebook when the feed was a new feature. In my feed, I see that these girls I was friendly with posted a picture album of themselves posing with a hanging mobile that they made like an art project. In the mobile, hanging there from a coat hanger, were photos of really creepy, skeevy guys, and also pictures of guys at our school that were generally known to be a little weird. I saw a picture of myself hanging from it too, and was devastated. These were girls I knew who were friends of mine.

I wrote them a note confronting them about it, but did it in a nice way telling them I was deeply hurt to see myself on there and apologizing if I ever offended them in any way. They were super embarrassed but also maturely apologetic and insisted they would prefer to be my friend. They also rightfully pointed out character traits in me that led them to want to put my picture there in the first place, and it gave me some good introspection to change myself for the better.

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16. Not exactly a pick-me-up.

I had just finished a phone call and was walking back into the room with a couple of friends. Before I hit the doorway, one of friends asked my then-best-friend why we weren't dating yet. He responded with "I only date girls I can pick up when I'm making out with them." I'm not fat, but I'm not stick thin either, and it has really messed me up; I struggle with body image issues to this day.

I later confronted him about it and he told me I shouldn't have eavesdropped. A bunch of other things happened and we aren't close friends anymore, but that hurt to hear. Especially from someone I cared about so much.


15. Tiger moms have claws.

I was a youth pastor. Overheard a parent of one of my youths talking with one of my coworkers about how overweight I was and how I didn’t care about my life. They talked about how I was setting a terrible example for the youth and how I just disregarded my own health. They said I was gonna die by age 30 (I’m 27) and then the mom said that the only reason she got onto SPRC (Staff parish relations committee, the committee who does all the hiring at the church) just so she could get me fired cause I was overweight. She said she manipulated the pastor to get elected to the committee just to make me sign a contract that if I didn’t lose the weight, I would be fired. Needless to say, I don’t work there anymore cause I left on my own.

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14. Nasty nurses - not the good kind.

I overheard one of my coworkers say to another, ‘If another nurse had been taking care of him, he’d be alive right now.’

I'd spent the entire night running around trying to stabilize a patient, and my coworker sat there talking with my other coworker loudly about how incompetent I was the entire time. Neither of them lifted a finger to help. When the patient crashed, both of them magically disappeared and it was nurses from the other side of the hallway who came to help with the code. They came after all was said and done and then I overheard one of them say that. Then they proceeded to tell the unit manager I was incompetent and crying at the bedside. Thankfully neither of them work on the unit anymore.

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13. Some mementos aren't worth keeping.

This seems super small and weird, but my best friend growing up recently found her old hard drive from when we were in grade 6 or 7, and we were going through it together. She was letting me go through whatever because it was all so old (I'm twenty now) so it didn't really seem to matter. I found a lot of old MSN chat logs (throwback) where she and other people from my middle school class were just ripping me to shreds, calling me ugly, annoying, fat, all that good stuff. Fun times!

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12. When you're the family punching bag.

My mother passed away suddenly and I received a file from my father that she was meaning to give to me. It was a psychological profile, along with it tests, personality tests and other stuff. This wasn't a surprise to me since I'm autistic and have been in therapy as a child.

There was a part however about my family and their trouble with living with me. Especially my brothers and my dad were having problems coping and learning how my existing pained them was difficult. My parents got divorced basically because of me. My brothers were embarrassed by me.

I'm doing better than expected. I was never supposed to be living in my own, there was talk about assisted living or even an institution, but somehow I managed to leave home as soon as I got 18. I got married, had kids and even though I struggle a lot, I get by.

I even have a good relationship with all my brothers, even though they still have trouble treating me as an adult. It's like always thinking everybody knows you're retarded except you. And then finding out it's true.


11. So that's what they talk about at the water cooler.

I overheard my boss mocking me to my entire team. The product I was working on was not working as intended so I kept getting farther and farther behind overall. When I brought up my concerns with production potentially contaminating my product and causing it to behave incorrectly he told me the the product wasn't the problem, I was because I wasn't working fast enough. I got extremely frustrated because I had zero support on this, massive pressure and needed to get this done so with frustration-tears running down my face I snapped something along the lines of, "Okay, fine, I guess this is just how we do business now. I'll push it through."

An hour later I heard him behind the hoods in his most high pitched, condescending, mocking, girl voice to everyone I work closely with (I'm the only female in on my team) repeating, "Okay, fine, I guess this is just how we do business now. I'll push it through.", while he incorrectly recounted our conversation making me look really bad.

The worst part though? There really was a problem with production, it was a huge one and he took credit for discovering it. My team does not respect me anymore after that, I'm now just talked down to. It feels so horrible that I let my emotions get the better of me just once and in the matter of five minutes everyone's perception of me changed so drastically that I can't get anyone to take anything I say seriously. It has gotten so bad that I'm looking for another job and I'm willing to take significantly lower pay just to escape the "emotional female" ghost that now haunts me.

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10. Even the professionals can't be trusted.

I have a weird neurological problem in my shoulder and arm that no one has ever been able to diagnose- during an intense flare-up I was referred to a physical therapist by a friend. The therapist saw me once and recommended surgery; I was very reluctant to take this advice, but I didn't say no (I called the surgeon she recommended, turned out he wasn't accepting new cases). The second appointment there was a scheduling error and I arrived 30 minutes too early....I sat in the front of the office and listened to the therapist making small talk with another patient about how 'her next patient' was a psycho trying to fabricate some kind of malpractice case and refusing to comply with her advice. The receptionist was sitting right in front of me, also listening, but she didn't run back to stop it... so it went on for quite a while.

If I had been a psycho trying to manufacture a legal case against her, she was kind enough to do all of the work for me.

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9. Things start looking up.

I was at a sleepover with my three best friends when I was a kid, and was woken by something in the night. While trying to get back to sleep I heard my name, so I obviously listened in.

Two of my 'friends' were discussing how to phase me out of the group. It felt like they talked for hours about it, how weird I was, how boring I was, how much of a chore I was... It was gutting.

On the positive side, I found new friends, told them about it all, and my previous friends were pretty much ignored by everyone outside of their little group. So they got what they wanted and I got what I didn't know I needed.

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8. Little pitchers have big ears.

My sister has always had a very tall, slim body type, whereas I take after our mum so I’m shorter and curvier. I had a lot of ‘puppy fat’ growing up. I once overheard my grandad make a comment when I was about 10, “Well one of them could be a model when she grows up, but the other one... such a shame.” I was devastated and spent the night crying and begging my mum to take me home. He still doesn’t know I heard him but that comment led to a lifetime of self-esteem issues. PLEASE be careful when talking about children and their weight.


7. Whatever happened to sibling solidarity?

A number of years ago, my sister's phone was super glitchy and would randomly call people. Once it called me and after I stopped singing and goofing off into the phone trying to get her attention, I just stopped to listen. She was talking to her mother in law about me. It was a really personal conversation including private details of my life. I honestly can't remember what exactly she was saying, but just the fact of who she was saying it to! This woman barely knows me! If it was one of our other siblings who we're close with, it wouldn't be that big of a deal.


6. Sounds like a Cinderella story waiting to happen.

I over heard my own mother telling a relative that I was useless, selfish, arrogant, ornery, and stupid for giving up on my education. I was 16. I had just transferred from a private college-prep school 7 miles away so I could go to public school 1 mile away (for both I walked & took public buses). I was my mom's caregiver, housekeeper, bill-payer, shopper, gardener, handyman, security service and courier service 24/7. I had no social life. And I worked. I had been doing this alone for 3 yrs, though I was the youngest of 7 siblings. I was floored. I felt like I had been sucker-punched. I stood there in my apron and rubber gloves, holding a laundry basket, and bawled my eyes out. It wasn't as much the content, which was bad, but the context. She was lying, and doing it to ensure that I looked bad enough to everyone that if I reached out for help, none would be forthcoming. Learned a hard life lesson that day.

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5. Turn off notifications, people.

I accidentally saw messages popping up on my mother-in-law’s iPad as she was texting her friend from another room about how I used to be attractive, that I was now fat, and that her son was basically a saint for still being with me. It broke my heart.

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4. At least you know karate.

I was walking into a karate class I had three times weekly when I was a young teenager. Right as I opened the door to walk in I heard someone say "Yeah, he just kinda looks pale and sickly-" and stopped immediately when he saw me, cue the entire room also turning and going completely quiet as they see me.

For context, I was an incredibly frail, pale kid with red hair and an eating disorder, so he was probably right but still, ouch. That happening on top of the normal middle school bullying was a real punch to my self esteem.

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3. People can be so cruel.

Went out to a bar with some friends for a birthday party for my ex-girlfriend. She really messed me up when she left me, like really bad, but I was trying to be nice since she invited me so I figured I’d go out and be there for a drink or two.

So, a mutual friend who had been broken up with a few days before and was there, so as I made the rounds I talked to her and tried to do whatever I could to let her know it would be ok. I’m no therapist, but I did my best ya know? I knew what a bad breakup felt like, as I was also going through one, so I tried to help.

Anyways, after I left the table I overheard her talking to my ex at the bar about me trying to give her advice and she said, “Well nobody has ever loved him so what does he know about any of this?” And they started laughing. Don’t think they know I heard, but I grabbed my coat immediately and took a long walk home.

I don’t need people like that in my life, haven’t willingly seen either of them since.

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2. Revenge is best served covered in bacteria.

In sophomore year of high school I had three girls who bullied me mercilessly. I heard a lot of things that hurt my feelings but the worst one was this one day when my dad was helping me carry things into school for a project. We passed by one of the girls with some of her friends who didn’t know me and I heard her go, “why does she dress like that? She’s so weird she’s literally always happy about every little thing it’s so annoying” really loud. My dad and I both heard it. He is very socially awkward so he couldn’t bring himself to say anything. He also didn’t want to acknowledge that he heard it because I think he thinks I didn’t want him to bring it up. I just kind of saw his heart break in his eyes. I can imagine his pain. I know I would break down in tears if someone ever said something mean about him whether he was there or not.

We both just kept walking and we stopped talking. It was a long and silent walk. I don’t know why she criticized what I was wearing. I was wearing leggings and a plain T-shirt.

Later on, one of them tried to sabotage me in senior year by taking my project I worked for months on and tore it to shreds. It was a trifold board and she ripped everything off of it and scribbled on it. The principal knew what I was going through and told me that if I thought it was sabotage they would treat it as such, which is reason to suspend or even expel. I believe in karma so I told them I believed her that it was an accident and she was let go with a detention.

Well karma did get them. One of them was arrested a few weeks after graduation. Another was dumped by her boyfriend and is randomly suffering from hair loss. The third dropped out of college (or was kicked out which is likely for her). But I did of course get my own little revenge on the girl who wrecked my project before graduation. We were friends for a few months in freshman year when we were both new. I had a stick of concealer in my backpack that she always borrowed. One day I realized it was what made me break out. I kept it in the bottom of my bag for four years without a cap collecting crumbs and dirt and bacteria. I had completely forgotten about it. Well this girl has the nerve to ask me to borrow it one day in senior year after wrecking my project. I gently wiped the top of it off so it appeared clean and let her borrow it. She came in later that week with horrible skin. She had broken out EVERYWHERE. I didn’t even feel bad.


1. Bad friends found out.

My wife had a falling out with some friends of mine that she met through me. We had known them a long time but I had known them for much longer. I was upset with her one night, because they were always asking why she never came around anymore, but she absolutely refused to see them. I always thought it was because of this little side business project they went into together that didn't work out.

So I'm driving my wife somewhere, and I just start getting upset with her that she won't make up with them and move past it like they did, and it sucks that she never comes with when I go over there. So she finally broke and told me the truth.

Every time she went over there without me, they would talk crap about me, putting down my personality, my humor, and much more. I guess they thought she would be ok with it, like a joking "haha my husband can be such a [insert something], right?" But she wasn't ok with it. She's not a confrontational person, so she never really spoke up, but she was disgusted by the way they spoke about me behind my back, and refused to have anything to do with them. She had been letting me think it was all her fault and she took it because she knew the truth would hurt my feelings. And it did.

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