Human beings are disgusting. That is an absolute given. Whether it is denied or embraced depends on the person and where their standards lie or how little shame they have. Yet, despite our compulsions or bad habits that make us such uniquely gross creatures, we sometimes do vile things and don’t even realize it. What abnormal, gross, and absolutely repulsive things do we do which we are in fact oblivious to? A list of the top ten grossest things we do without even realizing it can answer that question. You might want a barf bag as you read this.
1). Dog Kisses
We love our dogs, right? Man’s (and woman’s) best friend is a furry bundle of joy who lives to please us. We’re certainly appreciative of all the love they show, especially when we get kisses.
But did you know that your canine’s mouth is actually a dump filled with nasty, wasty, deplorable bacteria which can give you gum disease or Salmonella (www.sheknows.com/pets-and-animals/articles/1129760/are-dog-kisses-gross)? OK, we all love our dogs because of course we do! But heed our warning when we say Twilight is a better romance than this.
2). Biting Your Nails
Ah yes, the inexpensive manicure of anxiety. We have all bitten our nails during our lifetime, usually as a bad habit during childhood. But there are some who will carry it into adulthood where the pressures of life are simply too much to handle. In the absence of a therapist, biting nails may be the very next best thing. However, biting your nails makes it onto this list, no matter whether you insist that you always wash your hands once or ten times in a row.
Consider the next time you’re about to snack on your little finger horns. A good way to catch the dreaded cold or spreading warts is through nail biting (www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/08/18/nail-biting-bad-for-you_n_5675467.html). We all have stressful days. Sometimes we might be the very last in a long, agonizing line to get coffee; other times, we might be stuck in a traffic jam that could result in being late to work. But drop this bad habit or you’ll have to drop by the nearest pharmacy for cold medicine.
3). Double Dipping
Double dippers are out there amongst us. These dastardly fiends treat dipping their half eaten chips into the salsa like it’s a heist; one wrong move and they’ll be caught. Are you one of these double dippers?
Double dipping goes beyond merely being a mission impossible in discreet lack of consideration for those sharing the dipping sauce. From chip to dip, that sauce everyone is snacking on at a party could have an extra ingredient consisting of germs as extreme as the influenza virus (https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/is-double-dipping-a-food-safety-problem-or-just-a-nasty-habit/). Although the act of double dipping is unfortunately legal, it should nonetheless be considered an injustice to our health.
Movies often make swapping spit the crowning moment of romance in their cinematic stories. But what is conveniently left out of such digital fairy tales are that kisses can put you in the doctor’s office, sick with a disease. Now imagine if that were the ending to a romantic comedy. Who wouldn’t want their money back?
The common cold might as well be the bane of our existence because it can be easily transferred from mouth to mouth. Even more concerning about mutual lip-o-suction is that it can transmit certain sexually transmitted diseases (www.teensadvisor.com/teen-dating/kissing.html).
5). Leaving Your Bed Sheets Unwashed
What cannot be said about a bed? It is a kingdom of heaven from which we rise and set like the sun. Safe within our fortress of slumber, we will often dream about wonderful things. However, it can turn into a nightmare when a weak point in our dream castle is exploited. Contracted skin conditions, invasive insects, and even diseases bring down the fort (https://www.yahoo.com/beauty/this-is-what-happens-when-you-don’t-wash-your-024516304.html). We are thus cast out into the moat, where our very bed sheets serve as an infectious swamp as we try to swim out.
Perhaps the analogy of a bed and castle was far too grandiose. Yet, most of us will admit to going for over a week without washing out sheets under intense interrogation. Plead no contest and put yourselves under house arrest until those sheets are clean!
6). The Five-Second Rule
We all have heard about this one yet we still treat is as if it were common sense. Drop an edible delight on the floor, pick it up within five seconds, and it’s still safe to eat. The Theory of Atlantis is more viable. Heck, ask any conspiracy theorist about the five-second rule and they’ll tell you to take off the tinfoil hat.
Foodborne illnesses and bacteria can be contracted from eating food that has been dropped on the floor (www.webmd.com/a-to-z-guides/featurs/5-second-rule-rules-sometimes-#1). It wouldn’t be surprising if the zombie apocalypse happened tomorrow due to the five-second rule.
7). Shaking Hands
It has long been a tradition to greet someone with what appears to be a harmless handshake. We even judge a person’s character depending on their handshake. Brutal wars were likely fought and lost over our leader’s handshakes. A lot can be said about a handshake but not enough is known about its effects on our health.
Germs are spread easier through physical contact. Considering what our hands reach into and everything we touch every day, is it any wonder that people are more susceptible to getting sick? If you’re killing it at a card game but then you blow it all on one bad hand, you might not be walking away empty handed after all considering how many times that deck has been handled (https://www.bostonglobe.com/ideas/2013/02/17/handshakes-make-you-sick/3cMb08_WGkmM4IdZqfbpPJ/story.html).
8). Sharing Your Drink
The nightlife out on the town can be fun, even if a little impaired. Certainly, alcohol impairs our judgment. The consequences of our actions, if we’re not careful, may result in feelings getting hurt, deadly automobile accidents, or a shotgun wedding. Impaired judgment due to consumption of alcohol will also get us sick. We’re not talking about the inevitable hangover either. We can also get sick from sharing drinks with our friends.
Even if it isn’t alcohol, sharing any sort of drink with anyone can spread sickness and even diseases if we’re not careful (www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/10/02/sharing-gross-hygiene-personal-care_n_3983558.html). While we may know a Harry or Sally who we love and trust, obliging them when they’ll have what we’re having out of the same glass or cup might not always be a good idea.
9). Never Changing Clothes
We can apply the walk of shame to instances of snap judgments that lead to embarrassing mistakes and situations we are not proud of. Then there are those who take the walk of shame everyday due to all around laziness by habitually wearing the same clothes, especially if they can afford to wear a different outfit.
While some might not have a keen eye to detail and will miss the offender’s bad habit of wearing the same clothes, certainly their noses will notice. Remember when our mother’s told us to change our underwear everyday? We’d do well to heed their warnings. By continuing to wear dirty clothes, especially of the tighter styles and undergarments, aromas and stains due to bodily fluids are inevitable. It will make your colleagues wish they’d cross paths with a skunk rather than you during a lunch break (https://www.bustle.com/articles/151194-6-gross-things-that-happen-when-you-don’t-wash-your-clothes-enough).
Everyone sneezes and nobody is getting a medal for holding one in. However, when we sneeze, our first instinct is to cover our mouths. In a split second decision, we’ll sometimes use our hands or simply choose to let it blow, shrugging it off as simply being a case of YOLO. Neither is correct, whether it’s a simple lapse in judgment or a calculated assault with an oral cannon.
Failing to use a tissue or sleeve can spread germs. It can be close range if you use your hands, or long range by sneezing into the open (www.cdc.gov/healthywater/hygiene/etiquette/coughing_sneezing.html). What we don’t realize is that our homes, offices, and social gatherings serve as battlefields for everyday biological warfare that we unwittingly wage every day.
Coy, Whitney. “6 Gross Reasons Why You Should Stop Letting Your Dog Kiss You. November, 2016. www.sheknows.com/pets-and-animals/articles/1129760/are-dog-kisses-gross
Chan, Amanda L. Why Biting Your Nails Is More Than Just A Bad Habit. 2014, August 18th. www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/08/18/nail-biting-bad-for-you_n_5675467.html
Dawson, Paul. Is Double-Dipping A Food Safety Problem Or Just A Nasty Habit? 2015, November 25th. https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/is-double-dipping-a-food-safety-problem-or-just-a-nasty-habit/
Advisor, Teen. Kissing. 2003-2008. www.teensadvisor.com/teen-dating/kissing.html
Capetta, Amy. This Is What Happens When You Don’t Wash Your Sheets. 2015, November 17th. https://www.yahoo.com/beauty/this-is-what-happens-when-you-don’t-wash-your-024516304.html
Skarnulis, Leanna. ‘5-Second Rule’ Rules, Sometimes. 2007. www.webmd.com/a-to-z-guides/featurs/5-second-rule-rules-sometimes-#1
Neyfakh, Leon. Do Handshakes Make You Sick? 2013, February 17th. https://www.bostonglobe.com/ideas/2013/02/17/handshakes-make-you-sick/3cMb08_WGkmM4IdZqfbpPJ/story.html
Klein, Sarah. 10 Things You Probably Don’t Want To Share. 2013, October 2nd. www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/10/02/sharing-gross-hygiene-personal-care_n_3983558.html
Steber, Carolyn. 6 Gross Things That Happen When You Don’t Wash Your Clothes Enough. 2016, March 31st. https://www.bustle.com/articles/151194-6-gross-things-that-happen-when-you-don’t-wash-your-clothes-enough
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Coughing and Sneezing 2009, December 28th. www.cdc.gov/healthywater/hygiene/etiquette/coughing_sneezing.html