When asking for advice, I usually get some sort of phrase that might help me deal with my problem. I started noticing that a lot of these advice are actually pretty gruesome if taken literally. So I decided to do just that, in an experiment I like to call "Taking phrases literally". DO NOT TRY THIS AT HOME!

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Meaning: An expression of encouragement for someone who is going through hard times.

How I took it literally: I kept my head tilted and my chin up for 36 hours straight.

Pain Scale: 1. The pain wasn't too bad, but it was more of a discomfort. Keeping your chin up makes it harder to see, so I bumped into people and fell down a few times. Eating was a hassle, as liquids tended to drip down my chin. I also missed an episode of Scandal because I couldn't see the TV. After about a day I also strained my neck.

 

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Meaning: To complete the first step in a process. Usually used as an idiom for entering an organization at a low level, with potential to advance.

How I took it literally: I kicked a door extremely hard with my foot. It did not break the door, nor my foot.

Pain Scale: 2. I got my foot in the door a few times before, as I'm sure everyone had. Just bumping in a door or a piece of furniture with your pinky toe. It hurts, but we can handle it.

 

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Meaning: To show something not just with words, but with actions. Usually used to get someone to prove he's serious and not just talking hypothetically.

How I took it literally: I stuck a bunch of bills and coins inside my mouth.

Pain Scale: 4. Some of the bills caused me to get multiple paper cuts in my tongue and gums. There was blood, but it was containable and stopped pretty quickly. The coins were more of a problem, as I accidentally swallowed a couple. They came out a few days later, but not very smoothly.

 

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Meaning: To advance over a a metaphorical barrier that prevents women and minorities from reaching upper levels of management.

How I took it literally: I constructed a celling made of glass in my house, then got up on a ladder and jumped through it, smashing it with my body.

Pain Scale: 6. The majority of the pain was caused by glass shredding my skin and getting lodged in my flesh. The cuts in the face were the worst, which led me to believe that maybe I shouldn't have jumped head first. But diving in head first is a risk people have to take if they want to advance at their job.

 

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Meaning: To get rid of something, usually an injury, by not letting it affect you. Also a popular song by Taylor Swift that gets stuck in your head the whole weekend.

How I took it literally: I cut my finger half way off, and then shook it until it got detached from my palm and fell on the ground.

Pain Scale: 8. The sawing of the finger was the really painful part. Once the finger was hanging loosely from palm, the discomfort made me want it to fall quickly and get it over with. Although, a loosely dangling finger did prove to freak people out on the street.

 

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Meaning: To ignore or hide from a problem or a sign of danger. Alludes to an Ostrich habit of hiding when faced with a predator.

How I took it literally: I dug a hole in my back yard and stuck my head inside, while my friend Steve covered the hole with sand, locking me in.

Pain Scale: 9. The first pain was the sand getting in my eyes and throat, making my eyes burn and causing to to cough uncontrollably. I was able to hold my breath for about 40 seconds before starting to gag and being unable to breath. I fainted, which numbed the pain for a while. I woke up in the hospital, where the pain resurfaced. I also swallowed a large amount of sand and needed to get my stomach pumped.

 

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Meaning: Display your emotions openly

How I took it literally: I had an amateur surgical intern take out my heart in an extremely illegal operation, and than staple it to the sleeve of my red sweater.

Pain Scale: 10. Since this procedure was illegal, we couldn't use a hospital, so we had no anesthetic. Taking out the heart was extremely painful. I died for a few minutes, but came to shortly after. You'd think once my heart was out I wouldn't be able to feel it anymore, but stapling it to my sweater was very painful still.

 

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Meaning: Allowing yourself to accept the love of others.

How I took it literally: I cut myself in half right down the middle and let my friends and family climb inside my corpse. It was painful but also very warm and cuddly.

Pain Scale: Oh dear god why?!