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AIBU to think that everything does NOT happen for a sodding reason?

(45 Posts)
GrandDesespoir Sun 05-Mar-17 19:11:22

IMO: Things happen because they are intentional or unintentional consequences of people's actions; because of a coincidence of related or unrelated events; because of a natural or man-made disaster; because of a simple accident; because of a combination of both an intentional or unintentional event and an accident; because of biology, sheer fluke - etc., etc.

There's no "reason" - as in "higher purpose" - as to why one person gets cancer while another smokes all their life and remains healthy; why one person has unexplained infertility and another gets pregnant the first month of trying; why someone dies in a plane crash, another wins the lottery, another's house burns down; why one person meets their life partner at 18 and another remains single all their life. Even if someone has a sliding-doors-style "near miss" (i.e. not getting on the plane that then crashes), the reason is simply that they missed their flight, or changed their mind, not because it was preordained that they wouldn't be on that flight. Even if you believe in God, surely you can't think that he's looking out for the lucky person who somehow ended up not getting on the flight, and to hell (or heaven, I suppose) with the other 200 unfortunate buggers who did?

Things happen because of a reason, yes, but not for one.

As you can probably tell, I'm not a big fan of the phrase, 'Everything happens for a reason'... hmm

TrollTheRespawnJeremy Sun 05-Mar-17 19:20:08

Have you been smoking the wacky baccy?

It's just an idiom. Just a thing people say to placate people when things are shit.

ladyballs Sun 05-Mar-17 19:21:40


Lules Sun 05-Mar-17 19:23:03

Yes it's just an idiom but it's a really annoying one. It doesn't help the person in any way and is bollocks.

charlestrenet Sun 05-Mar-17 19:23:23

I don't think everything happens for a reason. But I do think that everything that happens was meant to happen. Because it happened. And that's about as much - or actually more accurately as little - reason as you're likely to get. Ie none.

70ontheinside Sun 05-Mar-17 19:27:11

YANBU and it's complete bollocks. Although some things do happen for a reason, dear friend: the reason for your baby's health problems is not some woo shite but the fact that you smoked like a chimney throughout your pregnancy.

<aaah, that feels better>

TrollTheRespawnJeremy Sun 05-Mar-17 19:27:44

It doesn't help but it's a 'nice' thing to say instead of ' Yes this is shit. You should be crying, your life is terrible and if I were you I'd be suicidal.'

LoveMyLittleSuperhero Sun 05-Mar-17 19:30:45

YANBU, this phrase really winds me up. I think it was the worst when my daughter died, the amount of people who felt saying it would make me feel better was ridiculous. No it doesn't help.

I think a "I'm sorry this has happened" or similar is much better.

olddogsnewtricks Sun 05-Mar-17 19:31:36

If someone says that to me, I always silently think this.

LoveMyLittleSuperhero Sun 05-Mar-17 19:31:41

A simple "I'm sorry**

AlecTrevelyan006 Sun 05-Mar-17 19:33:48


olddogsnewtricks Sun 05-Mar-17 19:34:02

Lovemylittlesuperhero - so sorry for the cross post! I definitely wouldn't think it in your case. flowers People often said it to me when my best friend died too - the reason wasn't fate. It was that some idiot drove into the back of him. Putting it down to fate, or worse "God's will" is really upsetting.

tigermoll Sun 05-Mar-17 19:34:07

I totally agree - it's not just an unhelpful thing to say to someone, it's downright offensive in some cases. If you are the one who (for example) didn't get on the plane that crashed and that is "the universe looking out for you", what about all the other people who did get on it? Does the universe just not GAF about them?

Ditto people who talk about "staying positive" or "not giving up" through serious illness as a way to affect the outcome. The logical flipside is that anyone who dies just didn't try hard enough, which is obviously massively untrue and offensive.

Birdsbeesandtrees Sun 05-Mar-17 19:34:38

I fucking hate that phrase. Really really do.

DJBaggySmalls Sun 05-Mar-17 19:35:09

YANBU, when something bad happens I dont want to hear a trite cliche thats designed to make the giver sound wise and profound. Its for the benefit of the giver. It fobs off those who are suffering with little effort and leaves nice warm fuzzies.

Ididtry Sun 05-Mar-17 19:37:26

I'm not sure there's an actual reason but I do think, looking back, it's amazing how often things that seemed awful at the time work out for the best.

ollieplimsoles Sun 05-Mar-17 19:43:33


My friends are evangelical Christians and firmly believe they are entangled in God's complex 'plan'. They frequently use this phrase to comfort themselves in the sense that ' things may be awful now, but god knows what he is doing...'

I think it can be a useful thing to ponder in very select circumstances, if you take the initiative to actively seek out the 'reasons' things happen- but you can get that from having an optimistic outlook on life. For example- my father left my mother for an ow when we were young. My mum was depressed and angry, but is very optimistic and quickly started looking for the possible positive 'reasons' behind this happening, she came to the conclusion that it happened so she could meet my step dad, who is wonderful and she is very happy with.

But assuming things happen for a reason is also assuming some cosmic force is at work against your will, and personally I don't think that is a helpful thing to insinuate to anybody

EssentialHummus Sun 05-Mar-17 19:50:20

I think some people can find comfort from this idea. IMO the only thing you can do is make the best of the situation you find yourself in (or "You can only piss with the willy you've got", as I once heard).

olddogsnewtricks Sun 05-Mar-17 19:51:50

Funny you should say that Ollie - our nextdoor neighbour was an evangelical Christian. Lovely bloke but I admit to a bit of eyerolling when he insisted that him burning the kitchen down by leaving a pan on the stove was all part of God's plan.

Secretsquirrel252 Sun 05-Mar-17 19:54:16

Jesus thought he needed a new kitchen? He could have just popped a catalogue through the door.

BatSegundo Sun 05-Mar-17 19:54:32

troll (feel accusatory writing that!) I have actually found it helpful when someone has said "that's really shit" when something shit has happened. It doesn't try to minimise how awful something is and acknowledges the unfairness of it.

Platitudes are generally for the social/emotional comfort of the utterer not the recipient in my experience.

ollieplimsoles Sun 05-Mar-17 19:58:33

These are also my neighbours odd !

Me and my husband are both atheist and told them so when they asked for the millionth time what faith we are. They joked that it was God's plan that they should move in next to us so they can convert us. Dh then said it was more Satan's plan that they came to live next door, and it would be better for them to pray to god to get them out of here grin

2 years on and they are still presenting us with un-requested 'evidence' that the earth is under 10,000 years old... Lovely people otherwise.

IonaNE Sun 05-Mar-17 20:02:04

It depends on whether you believe in God or not.

MargotFenring Sun 05-Mar-17 20:02:25

I cannot be one of these people that attract it though, as I have had and continue to go through an unbelievable and shitty time and several people have said to me that they would hate to have my life right now. No dressing it up. Just affirmation that it is truly awful.

I do tend to rant about karma also being bollocks so maybe that's it.
If someone dared say it, they would be firmly fixed with the death stare and asked to remove themselves from my presence.

bookworm14 Sun 05-Mar-17 20:07:49

YANBU - it is infuriating. People said it when I had my miscarriages and I wanted to murder them.

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