Some minds are as empty as the desert…
Interacting with stupid people is something you’ve probably grown very accustomed to. Whether it’s in your own home, in the workplace, or going out to buy groceries for the week; it’s just harder to avoid stupid people than you imagine. I don’t mean people who are ignorant or even people who lack a formal education; I mean people who are quite literally stupid. It’s become a known tendency for us to associate those who don’t have high-school diplomas or those who work low-paying jobs as “stupid,” yet rarely is this the case. That’s not to say those people can’t be stupid, but that alone doesn’t put somebody into the stupid person category.
The problem with stupid people is that they VASTLY outnumber the intelligent ones. I would easily guess that for every 1 intelligent person you stumble upon; you can probably find 10 or more stupid people nearby without even having to try. That being said, the point of this article isn’t to come across as brass or offensive, rather it’s to understand that this is a reality we must face and deal with on a daily basis. Assuming you’re an intelligent person reading this, learning how to communicate and deal with stupid people is a critical skill, as your interactions with them will generally be far different than your interactions with other intelligent people.
While it’s easy to develop the mindset that you’re just going to shun stupid people out of your life, because they’re so numerous, you’ll soon find that it’s hard to accomplish much of anything without running into them. To try and live life without interacting with stupid people would be near impossible, and in this case, resistance is futile.
Stupid People don’t know they’re Stupid
The issue with most stupid people is that they’re not consciously aware that they’re stupid. If they were, they wouldn’t be stupid in the first place. That being said, it’s often hard to fault them or point fingers, because, given the choice, they probably would’ve never opted to have been born stupid in the first place. Rather, most stupid people are brought into the world that way and have to make the best of their situation.
This, of course, creates some mixed feelings, as all people should be held accountable for their actions, yet it’s hard to get mad at somebody who possesses such low intellect that they can’t think on a smarter level. If the stupid person KNEW what they were doing was stupid, or KNEW that the choices they were making would lead them down a path they didn’t desire, then chances are high they wouldn’t have chosen them in the first place. This is what separates a lot of stupid people from the more intelligent ones, as smarter people can fully understand and react to the things that go on around them. Stupid people on the other hand are not, and generally they’re forced to make choices based on what they perceive as socially acceptable or through trial and error.
But if that’s the case, are there really that many stupid people around us? It certainly doesn’t seem like that many people are as clueless as you make them out to be, right?
A high percentage of people, whether actually stupid or intelligent, have a tendency to think of themselves as smart. The difference being that the intelligent people really are while the stupid people merely think they are.
Is Being Stupid the Same as Being Ignorant?
Most people easily confuse the two, and it’s easy to understand why. To be ignorant means, you simply don’t know something, as you’ve never had a chance to experience it, or you’ve never been taught. If you’ve never seen the inside of a computer in your life before, and all of a sudden you were asked to build one from scratch, not knowing how on your part certainly wouldn’t make you “stupid” by any means. You’ve simply never been taught how to do so, and so you’re ignorant on the subject. In truth, we’re ALL ignorant on a variety of subjects, as no one person could possibly hope to educate themselves on everything that’s out there.
What makes a person unintelligent (stupid) however, is that they’re unable to grasp on to certain concepts and think in a critical manner. They can repeat back what they’ve been told, but they lack the ability to formulate new ideas of their own.
While there are a million and one examples, it’s like reading a book and then having someone tell you the theme versus discovering it on your own. In both cases, you could repeat back to someone else what the theme was, but in each instance you came across it on different grounds. Being able to figure it out on your own represents a more intelligent approach while a stupid person may not have that option and thus, will have to rely on someone else to inform him or her.
Interacting with Stupid People
Most intelligent people get to a phase where they realize they possess a higher degree of intelligence than most of those around them. Not in a gloating or “I’m better than you” sort of way, but they begin to notice that they see the world through a different lens than most of their peers. This could come from a creative aspect, a more logical aspect, or even something entirely different. Regardless, their critical thinking skills develop at an increased rate, and it can often make the association with others more difficult.
That being said, most stupid people are able to interact with other stupid people very easily. Just like intelligent people are able to interact with other intelligent people very easily. There’s a lot of common ground, and it makes the discussion of ideas and thoughts feel very natural to both parties, sort of like they’re each speaking each other’s native language. Take an intelligent person and a stupid person, however, and it can come across much differently.
The biggest key to understanding when communicating with stupid people is never wanting to dumb yourself down. It can be easy to do, especially if you feel like the other person you’re speaking to is on a different level than you. Why you shouldn’t ever TRY to overwhelm others when speaking to them, don’t ever reduce your intellect just to please another individual. That’s become extremely common in our society today, and most intelligent people bring themselves down a notch when talking to stupid people. It’s certainly not going to help the situation in the long term, and at best it’ll only provide a temporary filter for the current conversation.
All that being said, the biggest thing to understand when dealing with stupid people is to keep it simple and to the point. Don’t put things in such layman terms that it comes across as insulting, but understand that if you try and reach too deep into the conversation a lot of your efforts or intentions might be lost.
Remember: people who are truly stupid don’t know they’re stupid.
A lot of people compensate for what they feel are shortcomings in their life. Physical shortcomings, monetary shortcomings, personal shortcomings, you name it. They blow up one section of their lifestyle to make up for another section that’s become deflated.
While a lot of people will admittedly compensate for some aspect of their life, few are as skilled at it as stupid people are. They’ve become very adept at masking their stupidity or other shortcomings in their life, usually promoting or boasting about something they have in an attempt to divert attention from their weaker area to their stronger area.
Take expensive cars or clothes for example. A lot of people like those things and there’s certainly nothing wrong with that; myself included. That being said; usually the big difference in the intelligent person and the stupid person owning the car is that the stupid person will try their hardest to show it off and make sure everyone sees it. It’s their method of saying “look what I have!” or “look what I can accomplish!” These sorts of things aren’t bought by stupid people because they truly like the item, but rather it’s their attempt to elevate their status in society and to gain a higher level of attention in the eyes of their peers. Generally, most intelligent people can see right through this, but other stupid people usually eat it up.
Sometimes stupid people will even go far out of their price range to make things like this a reality. Ever seen somebody who is very low-income driving a big, expensive, flashy SUV? Your first thought is usually why somebody would do that, especially when they’re already short on resources as it is. Once you can understand the nature of compensation, however, you can see why people make certain decisions like they do. It’s not a very SMART decision, and if you’re able to pick up on it, then it’s certainly not going to fool you into thinking this person is something they aren’t, but it’s there nonetheless.
Being Dependent on Stupid People
Being dependent on stupid people, whether it’s your boss at work or a friend you have to rely on, can lead to a lot of unneeded frustrations. Now that isn’t to say stupid people are unreliable, because many of them may be the exact opposite, but it’s still going to be a burden on you.
The problem with being dependent on stupid people is that they have a tendency to keep you from moving in the direction that you want to move in. In a nutshell, they sort of “stunt your growth” intellectually and keep you operating at their level. Since YOU’RE the one who has to rely on THEM, there’s very little you can do to avoid this. How can you possibly put your best skills to use if somebody in a position of power over you isn’t going to allow it? While stupid people won’t purposely try and prevent you from expanding intellectually, it’s still going to happen nonetheless
In short, the only thing you can really do is be consciously aware of the people you’re placing reliance in and adjust yourself accordingly. Don’t waste your efforts trying to impress or “prove” anything to these people, as generally it will net you very little.
What Motivates Stupid People
A lot of stupid people are motivated by the same things that intelligent people are driven by, despite carrying different undertones. As I mentioned above, a lot of stupid people place a huge reliance on what their peers think of them. They’re usually the ones that will unquestioningly follow the latest trends or styles all in an attempt to fit in. Uniqueness is thrown out the window, and Group Think takes control.
The biggest difference in motivation between stupid people and their intelligent counterparts is that most intelligent people choose their actions based on what they are, not on how they look. An intelligent person will rarely do something because it simply makes them LOOK a certain way, but rather they’re doing it because it’s what they want to do. That doesn’t mean all stupid people carry superficial motives behind their actions, but as I said, a lot of time and effort is spent compensating for certain aspects of their life.
Don’t confuse this for necessarily meaning money or image however. It doesn’t mean stupid people only act in ways that’ll make them appear to be something more than they are. It’s wider than that, and it can encompass a lot of different things. For example, if a stupid person has grouped themselves into a certain category or given themselves a certain identity, often they’ll act in a manner that they feel is in accordance to that identity. They may have classified themselves a “redneck” or as being “urban,” and so they base their decisions not on what they truly think is best or most appropriate, but rather how they’re “expected” to act after giving themselves such a label. Not only does this shed the individual of their uniqueness, but it explains why so many stupid people are reliant on what others think of them. It helps to feed the identity they’ve given themselves, even if it’s a negative one. Having an identity such as that gives stupid people a point of reference, a point in which they can use to base their decisions and actions on.
While to a lot of more intelligent people something such as that can be a bit scary, having your identity trapped or linked to a larger group image, to stupid people it provides a safety net. A means in which they can operate without having to risk feeling lost. Anytime something of question comes up; they can fall back on how they’re SUPPOSED TO ACT as opposed to how they really want to act. It’s a rather debilitating mindset to have, yet despite all that it’s still quite popular in our current society.
Swimming in a Sea of Stupidity
The point of all this information isn’t to get angry with stupid people or to get confused over what’s happening; rather it’s to better understand what makes them tick and how you can more effectively and efficiently deal with them. It’s near impossible to live on a day-to-day basis without having to interact with them somewhere, and the more equipped you are for such a situation, the better.
Besides, you may even find that dealing with stupid people isn’t so bad once you’ve learned what to expect.