40 Times People Got So Mad About Something, They Just Had To Post It On The ‘Extremely Infuriating’ Online Group
While there are many reasons to keep your faith in humanity, there are some moments when we lose it completely. There are truly terrible people in the world who do God-awful things to others. Focusing just on them without seeing the kindness around us would be pessimistic, but it’s important to be aware of just how deep some people’s evil really goes. In short, being aware of the darker aspects of life gives us a more nuanced picture.
And there’s hardly a better place to see some things that might make your blood boil than the ‘Extremely Infuriating’ subreddit. It’s a 91.7k-member-strong online community that has been showing the internet the dark side of humanity all the way since 2012. Scroll down below for some of the worst things you’re likely to read all week. Let us know in the comments which of these things shocked you the most, Pandas. And if you’re up for it, tell us how you personally deal with negative news like this.
(Warning: this list really isn’t for you if you have high blood pressure and if you’d like to relax. For those that need some sunshine in your lives, we suggest you check out Bored Panda’s recent article about silly animals doing cute nonsense things right here.)
Bored Panda wanted to understand why we're so fascinated by some of the darker aspects of humanity and why being angry all the time might be bad for us, so we reached out to Suzanne Degges-White, a Licensed Counselor, Professor, and Chair at the Department of Counseling and Higher Education at Northern Illinois University.
“When it comes to hearing information about the darker aspects of humanity, our brains experience greater stimulation when we hear stories of depravity than of kindness. It also has a ‘feel-good aspect’ for some folks as it normalizes and minimizes their own dark aspects or negative traits,” the professor explained to Bored Panda why negative, dark, evil-related content might appeal to people.
According to Professor Degges-White from Northern Illinois University, information about the darker aspects of humanity allows the audience to create comparisons to their own behavior. As a result, we feel better about those traits that we might not like in ourselves.
“Whether it's greed, anger, promiscuity, and so on, when we hear just how bad someone else has been, it can make us feel better about our own tendencies towards the dark side traits. It also lets us imagine vicariously what it would be like to be ‘that bad.’”
She continued: “It's kind of like watching all the true crime shows—we enjoy being scared, we enjoy seeing into the minds of people doing things we never would, and it's exciting and novel to see just how far people can go in terms of their dark sides.”
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The professor warned us that living in constant anger (e.g. being angry at how unjust the world is all the time) can have very negative effects on our bodies.
“Constant anger can lead to metabolic diseases, cardiovascular problems, and digestive issues. For some people, health concerns are the reason that they may learn to let go of anger,” she said.
“While being angry can lead to social change and begin to topple barriers and other aspects of injustice, we also know that anger isn't going to be the best choice to build alliances or convince others of the need for change. Finding common ground is essential in making true, collaborative change. This requires us to let go of anger, whether that is finding a way to sublimate it or overcome it, or just put it aside for the time being,” the professor explained that anger, while useful, isn’t the answer to everything. It has a place and a time.
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Despite the fact that the r/extremelyinfuriating subreddit is all about sharing and commenting on infuriating content, the community isn’t about directing this anger against the perpetrators of terrible and heinous acts. It’s not about becoming a vigilante.
The moderators stress time and time again that the subreddit isn’t about starting witch hunts or wishing someone else harm. As such, you should avoid posting any identifying information that could lead to someone getting hurt. (Even if you might personally think that Karma might need a helping hand.)
“This subreddit is about things that are extremely infuriating. This often includes terrible people doing terrible things. But witch hunts and doxxing will not be tolerated, and anyone who provides or attempts to discover the identity (including, but not limited to, real name, Reddit username, Twitter handle, etc.) of anyone involved in a submission will be banned,” the mods of r/extremelyinfuriating explain.
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The team behind the subreddit also points out that disagreements are fine, but hostility and insults are definitely not. It’s vital to stay civil even when talking about emotional topics. Taking part in polite discussion lies at the core of the online group, even if the subject matter is extremely infuriating to most people.
What’s more, the mods point out that it’s never okay to wish harm on someone. “You can express your frustration or dislike for someone without advocating for them to be physically harmed or murdered,” they write.
Something that can’t be denied is that many people have a strange fascination with the darker aspects of humanity. Bored Panda spoke to psychologist Lee Chambers about this in detail, with regards to the popularity of the true-crime genre, as well as why people enjoy viewing media that portrays violence and evil.
"When considering why the darker side of humanity and entertainment are so compelling, we have to first look at our evolutionary journey as human beings. For the majority of our existence, we were prey and always hyperaware of threats to our safety, which created a negativity bias that we are drawn towards," the psychologist began.
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"But in today's safe and often sanitized world, we are rarely threatened significantly, and the ability to explore evil, frightening and gruesome entertainment is one of the few ways we can visit this part of humanity while remaining safe and comfortable,” he told us.
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“There is a level of novelty to it, it removes boredom quickly, and it helps us to discover our emotional limits while understanding the minds of those who go beyond social norms and potentially gaining knowledge of how we might avoid being victims ourselves. They also offer closure, with many stories ending with the mystery being solved, and the criminal being brought to a level of justice," Lee said.
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As strange and uncomfortable as it sounds, seeing evil things done by and to people who are not us while we’re safe at home in front of the screen has a certain “comforting element” to it.
"It can take us on an emotional rollercoaster, have us trying to solve the puzzle and test our fear in a controlled way. The permission to explore evil is powerful, as we so rarely get the chance elsewhere, and in itself, it is healthy and normal in moderation," he said, stressing that moderation is the key. Consuming too much negativity and violence in the media can affect us in ways that we don’t want.
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"The challenge we face is the fact that consuming too much of this can desensitize us, and cause us to become less empathetic to the suffering of others, more fearful of our own environment, and potentially be more likely to use aggression ourselves. It can also cause us to be triggered by our own previous adverse experiences, make it harder to manage our own emotional balance, and increase our stress levels, so moderating our consumption is something we should have front of mind, even when we get embroiled in the latest series that is pulling us in."
According to the psychologist, consuming media like television shows can be a way to relax, explore ourselves in new contexts, and to start conversations with our social circles. However, we have to seriously dial back on this type of entertainment when we see it impacting our life.
“As soon as it starts to invade your sleep, impact what you eat, and how much you move your body, it starts subtracting from the fundamentals that keep us in an optimal place as human beings," he said that we should check in with ourselves to see if we’re not spending far too much time in front of a screen.
"A lack of sleep compounds in a variety of negative ways, and we are well aware of the challenges we face as a society around eating and movement. We also need to consider the mental and psychological benefits of watching some TV and taking ownership; being in control of what you watch is a great place to be, so ensure you are the master of the TV and don't let the TV become the master of you," he said.
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"If you notice yourself starting to delay your sleep, take shortcuts socializing, eating, or keeping fit to keep your TV company, or feel like it's in control of you, it's time to take a step back and build a routine that you can control while still enjoying your favorite shows in moderation. It can even be a lot of fun to take it more slowly and build up excitement and anticipation for the next episode!"