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19 Things Some People Wrongly Thought Are Basic Skills

Everyone was raised differently.

This means that some people don't possess basic skills, such as how to do laundry or wash dishes.

Some children weren't even taught the basics of personal hygiene by their parents. It's sad, really.

So to gain some perspective on what people do and don't know, Redditors shared the 19 things they wrongly thought are basic skills.

Being polite

Unsplash | Brett Jordan

The amount of people who don't say "please" and "thank you" is astonishing!

This goes beyond basic manners, such as being kind to others, holding doors open for people, and thinking before you speak.

Following written directions

Unsplash | Roselyn Tirado

"I'm shocked at how bad some people are at following written directions. Not travel, but like... assemble furniture, follow a recipe or experiment, read an instruction manual." - u/UnluckyObserver_1.

Building IKEA furniture shouldn't be so difficult!

Using a washing machine


While most of us have been doing our own laundry since we were kids, many haven't. This means that a lot of adults don't know to remove the lint from the dryer or even where the detergent goes.


Unsplash | Element5 Digital

"The simple ability to watch others do something and try to redo it yourself. Listening. Looking things up by yourself. And, goddamn, ASKING. All of these make up learning. Nowadays you'd have to add finding tutorials on youtube, but growing up I didn't have that." - u/bstabens


This Redditor understands the frustration of this firsthand.

He's the manager of a movie theatre, so he's seen teenagers who have never even HELD a broom, let alone successfully swept something. Their parents failed them.

Explaining things


"If I explain something and someone tells me they don't understand, I explain it again, but frame or phrase it differently. I will never understand why so many people think just saying the exact same words again in a more exasperated/condescending tone is at all effective." - u/GODDAMNUBERNICE


Unsplash | Mélissa Jeanty

It's very sad that a lot of parents didn't take the time to teach their children basic hygiene.

This includes how to shower (and actually scrub their bodies) and how to brush and floss their teeth regularly so they don't smell.

Basic awareness of when to call emergency services


"I recently saw a guy having a seizure on the ground on a busy street. There were 100+ people standing around watching him. I shouted 'has anyone called an ambulance?' and everyone looked at me blankly. People were recording with their phones but hadn't thought to call an ambulance for the guy." - u/UnwittingPlantKiller



"I had a terrible experience with some roommates, just couldn't clean up after themselves, forgot who's made the mess, and would constantly blame the house being dirty on me. ME. Who would literally wash every plate after I used it, never left a dish in the sink, would take out the trash a fairly often for everyone." - u/peaceful-otter



This Redditor feels like they need to be a lifeguard every time they go swimming.

That's because they watch some people flail wildly in the water they could just stand in. Knowing how to swim should be mandatory!

Using computers properly

Unsplash | Kari Shea

"I'm still amazed at how many people my age still can't use computers properly. I don't mean in the too old or too poor category, I'm talking about the sheer number of people in my age group who skipped past computers and went straight to smartphones." - u/Arcinbiblo12


Unsplash | Alyson McPhee

"It blew my mind the first time I saw that someone didn’t know that a cup was a unit of measurement not just a free for all, pick one from the cabinet. I still have to remind myself not be too shocked when people don’t know the difference between a dry and a wet cup." - u/andshewillbe

Properly washing dishes

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You would think this would be easy, but nope. Some people have the audacity to barely clean a plate and say that it's finished. Then, when you go to use it, there are food stains still all over it!

Reading a map

"I grew up traveling long before computers. I've handed several adults paper maps while driving and they didn't even know how to find where we were. I guess it isn't a skill you need anymore though." - u/scubagirl44



"The first peer-reviewed assignment I had in college was a major wake-up call. I could not believe that so many of my classmates could barely spell, punctuate, and use proper grammar--let alone approach making an actual argument in their essays." - u/TheAustinKnight

Basic DIY items

Unsplash | Jasmin Schreiber

This includes putting up pictures on the wall, knowing the right way to turn a screw to tighten it, and replacing lightbulbs. Understanding this is so important since you won't always have someone around to help.

The ability to tell a simple story

"Can’t believe how many people can’t tell an anecdote. They meander, leave out important details, and laugh at their own jokes. It’s excruciating. Not saying I’m Mark Twain, but I try to make sure if I’m gonna tell a story that I have a point, a few jokes, and one or two twists." - u/HelpfulNefariousness

Basic tool use

Unsplash | Julie Molliver

"Nothing fancy. Just hammers, nails, drills, screwdrivers, different kinds of pliers, duct tape and so on. My girlfriend knows none of this. My sister's husband couldn't fix a loose doorknob to save his life." - u/zOldGal

Bagging groceries

Unsplash | Maria Lin Kim

"I mean, isn't it common sense to put all the frozen items in one bag, produce in another, raw meat by itself in a bag, cleaners separate from food? Does it really have to be taught that you shouldn't put a cantaloupe on top of bread?" - u/biancanevenc