There are few emotions more complex than guilt. On one hand, this self-policing mechanism can function as social glue, prompting individuals to act in the best interest of the community. On the other hand, it can make you feel miserable for eating an entire bag of pork rinds while watching aMagnum P.I. marathon. Who’s to say who’s right?

The point was addressed earlier this month on Reddit when a user named scarletsaint posted the following question: What is something that you don’t feel guilty about, that others say you should? That simple query has since resulted in tens of thousands of impassioned responses from users all around the globe. We sifted through the ensuing pile of remarks to find the top 11 most interesting ones.

11. Taking The Last Slice

What do you do at a party when there’s one last slice of pizza remaining in the box? If you’re anything like Reddit user tunit000, you swoop down upon it like a hungry vulture and gobble it right up. Tunit000 doesn’t believe anyone should feel guilty for taking the last item at a gathering, and we agree, assuming that enough time has passed and that everyone has had an equal shot at claiming it. In fact, by removing the item, you’re actually doing everyone else a favor by preventing them from ingesting any additional calories and eliminating a potential moral quandary. You’re a goddamn hero, and that last piece is your personal reward.

10. Not Liking Your Family

Reddit user Null_Reference is tired of being judged for not liking his family. “There is so much pressure to cherish your family ties in American culture but I refuse to go along with this obviously artificial idea of the familial bond,” he wrote. “I do not like these people. I am not giving them bonus points based on their genetic similarity to me or my wife. I don’t understand and thus reject this idea that they are an obligation I must maintain.” Null_Reference’s point of view isn’t often voiced, but it certainly has merit. Just because you share the same DNA as your family doesn’t mean you’re destined to get along. Just look at Cain and Abel or Jacob and Esau or J.R. And Bobby Ewing. These famous siblings may have had the same parents, but they had virtually nothing else in common. At the end of the day, differences between you and your family members can cause an enormous amount of friction and make for plenty of awkward exchanges at family reunions.

9. Doing Things Alone

Ramshell is one of many Reddit users who refuses to feel badly about engaging in activities alone. “I’m in college and sometimes people give me crap for going to the movies or getting food by myself,” he wrote. “I’m by no means an anti-social person, I’m just not one of those people who feels that everything should be done with other people.” We tend to agree, especially when it comes to movies. There are few places in the world better suited for a solo outing than a movie theater, since patrons are encouraged to remain perfectly quiet and the darkened surroundings make it virtually impossible to see or interact with anyone around you. As for dining alone, do you really want someone sitting two feet away from you while you gracelessly shove a slice of pizza into your pie hole? We rest our case.

8. Sneaking Food Into The Movie Theater

It’s not surprising that movie theaters try to make you feel guilty about bringing in outside food. After all, these price-gouging establishments make an 85% profit on every box of candy they sell. “Any time someone brings in outside food, that hurts their bottom line,” explains Warren Miller, a senior equity analyst who tracks sales at U.S. theater chains. “The more they enforce a no-outside-food policy, the better they’ll be from a financial perspective.”

Besides, the food that most people sneak in is far healthier than anything you can buy in a theater. A recent study found that a large tub of movie theater popcorn contains up to 1,200 calories, three days’ worth of saturated fat and 1,500 milligrams of sodium. That’s equivalent to the calorie and fat content of two Big Macs, or a pair of personal pizzas.

7. Tipping Less For Bad Service

Reddit user Barkingpanther didn’t feel guilty when he recently left a smaller tip after receiving substandard service. “I left a sh*tty tip the other night because the service was weak,” he wrote. “He forgot stuff until we reminded him, no refills, no bread basket was given. I still tipped, but it was definitely under 16%.” The fact that he tipped at all tells you how much tipping has become ingrained in America. The practice of giving your server a bonus was once something you did only when they went above and beyond the call of duty. These days, you do it almost as a reflex, regardless of the quality of service your receive. We’re not suggesting that tipping should be abolished altogether, but we do tend to agree with Mr. Pink, the tight-fisted Reservoir Dogs character who once memorably said, “If someone deserves a tip, if they really put forth an effort, I’ll give them something a little something extra. But this tipping automatically, it’s for the birds. As far as I’m concerned, they’re just doing their job.”

6. Swearing

We don’t know much about Reddit user ratthing, but we do know that we like the cut of his jib. “I’m highly educated but love to swear,” he writes. “I know all about the negative perceptions, but frankly I don’t give a sh*t.” And neither do we. Who’s to say that “feces” is a better word than “sh*t” or that “illegitimate” is any more valid than “bastard”? They’re all part of our communication toolbox and each one of them serves a purpose. Under no circumstances should you feel guilty about shouting an obscenity when you stub your toe in the middle of the night, or when a douchebag driver rudely cuts you off in traffic. That’s precisely what swear words were made for, and we’re proud to have them in our collective vocabulary.

5. Masturbating

Call her a hedonist if you will, but Reddit user Jumbajukiba refuses to feel guilty about her affinity for sex toys. “I have a few of em,” she wrote, “and good ones cost quite a bit.” We can’t vouch for the going price of a Wet Wabbit vibrator or a Hitachi Magic Wand, but we do know that masturbation is a totally normal and perfectly healthy practice. According to a study by University of Chicago, 61% of all American males aged 18 to 60 masturbate and many of them do it on a daily basis. In fact, some of them are probably doing it right now while reading this article. In addition to making you feel marvelous, masturbation can ward off prostate cancer, boost your immune system, tone your pelvic muscles and help you last longer in the sack. Why in the world would anyone feel guilty about something with so many amazing health benefits?

4. Not Having Children

Many Reddit users admitted to feeling guilt-free about their decision to abstain from bringing more ankle-biters into the world, and frankly, who can blame them? Childless couples get to travel, sleep in and pursue hobbies while their sleep-deprived counterparts step barefoot on misplaced Lego blocks and spend their evenings cleaning spit-up off ceiling fans. There’s nothing selfish about wanting to live your life on your own terms, and no one should be made to feel guilty about it.

3. Pirating Dead Musicians’ Music

There are two things in this world that Reddit user jessepaino refuses to feel guilt about: “Pirating music of dead musicians and making music about dead pirates.” We’re not so sure about the latter, but we definitely agree that no one should feel guilty about illegally downloading Jimi Hendrix’s Electric Ladyland album or anything from Robert Johnson’s extensive oeuvre. Both of these artists have been dead for decades now, and the only ones who stand to profit from their sales are their heirs and a bunch of fatcat record execs. Artists like Johnson and Hendrix (and others of their ilk) made their music to be heard and we’re certain they’d be pleased to know that today’s generation of music lovers are continuing to enjoy their tunes.

2. Playing Video Games

Reddit user bigedthebad echoed the sentiments of many of his fellow respondents when he insisted he shouldn’t feel guilty about playing video games. “I’m 59, a marathon runner, a retired Army SFC and have a successful career as an IT guy, have been happily married for 38 years and have three kids and seven grandkids,” he wrote. “Anyone who thinks I spend too much time playing video games can kiss my wrinkled old ball sack.” Bigedthebad isn’t alone in his shameless love for video games, though. According to research from the Pew Internet Project, 97% of all American teens and 53% of all adults say they play video games on a regular basis. It seems unfathomable to feel guilty about engaging in such a thoroughly mainstream practice.

1. Being Single

Are you sick and tired of feeling guilty about being single? You’re not alone. WaiveYourFlag was one of many Reddit users who took offence to how others perceived his dating status. “Between nagging parents wondering when the next girlfriend is coming along and friends whose sole goal in life seems to be getting laid, the thought that I’d spend a few years doing something else besides trying to meet a woman seems offensive to most people,” he wrote. WaiveYourFlag’s dilemma is more common than you think. According to a new study, there are 102 million single and unmarried adults in America, and they all have their own reasons for being on their own. Some are too busy for a relationship, while others are afraid of heartbreak. Either way, you’re entitled to live however you want without judgment.

11 Things Guys Should Never Be Ashamed Of


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