How to Deal With Dumb People
Lower your standards. This one is tough, but very important. Part of the reason that you may find yourself constantly frustrated by the stupidity in the world is because you have unrealistic expectations. Different people may have different backgrounds, different opinions or different priorities in their life. Remind yourself that the “average” person isn’t going to meet your high expectations of how a person should think and act, and lower your standards accordingly.
If you don’t expect people to be sharp, respectful people, then you’ll be pleasantly surprised when they are — instead of being constantly disappointed when they don’t meet your expectations.
Try to see any situation from their perspective. Another way to change your approach to the persons who are frustrating you is to consider the situation from their points of view. Sure, you may think that there’s only one way to view gun control, or that you just have to be right about being a vegetarian, but before you get set in your ways, make sure you have a reasonable grasp of the argument from the other side, and try to see that there really may be another side of the story.
Also, seeing where the person is coming from can help you understand his or her world view — if he grew up in a very conservative area while you grew up in Berkeley, then yeah, you’re not going to see eye-to-eye on all of the issues.
Understand that not everyone has the same advantages, genetically or environmentally. Both genetics and opportunities can make a difference to overall “smarts.” One of the reasons some people appear smarter than others may be that they came from a hard working environment, got good marks in school, and that they started many things from scratch and/or have been stuck having to take care of family members, working a part-time job in high school, or taking on other responsibilities that kept them from spending so much time becoming a smarty pants. On the other side we can see the people who don’t appear so smart, they had difficulties to understand things so quick, even when they were kids, they never cared about education and getting good marks at school. When a stupid person frustrates you, just ask yourself if he had all of the best opportunities — chances are, you’ll see that this is not the case, would he use it the same you did. If he did he will not be considered as non smart person.
Intelligence is not determined by family or wealth or love. However, development of skills and knowledge can be influenced by one’s life experiences and opportunities.
Reminding yourself to take each person on a case-by-case basis will make you less frustrated, because you’ll stop constantly asking yourself why this person isn’t acting just like you are.
Don’t judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree. As Albert Einstein once said, “Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.” This means that you should consider the fact that the person you’re dealing with isn’t really dumb, though he or she may be dumb in the one or two areas where you expect him to be smart. The person next to you in your math class who can’t add may be a wonderful poet; the person who can’t get your latte order right may be a killer musician. Stop thinking that there’s only one way to be smart or dumb and you’ll start to see that people are capable of more than you think.
Think about it: if people can be only smart or dumb in one regard, then there may be people out there who don’t think you are very smart. And that can’t be true, can it?
Understand that you probably won’t be able to change their minds. This is another important point to get before you get yourself mixed up with people you disagree with, especially if they are close-minded. You may think that reason or sheer facts will win out every time, and that the other person will walk away thinking, “Wow, I never thought of it that way…” after you’ve given him or her a double-dose of your logic. However, this is not always going to happen, and you may get frustrated over this.
If you realize that, while you may have very valid and reasonable opinions, you won’t be able to convince the person of your point of view very easily, then you will stop trying. And if you stop trying to make the other person see your point, then you will be much less likely to get frustrated.
Remember that your goal is not to make the close-minded person agree with you; it’s to make yourself stay calm and sane while dealing with him or her.