No one likes having to deal with stupid people, but the truth is most of us have to interact with people who we find to be stupid on a daily basis.
This article will give you some sound tips for handling “stupid people” more friendly and effectively, while minimizing conflict and hostility.
Without being too judgmental, I think we can all agree that everyone has varying degrees of intelligence in certain domains of life.
The wizard mathematician may be socially inept. The virtuoso guitar player may be scientifically illiterate. And the all-star athlete may be emotionally immature.
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.”
I agree with Einstein in the sense that I believe everyone has their strengths. At the same time, everyone has their weakness too. And when we find ourselves to be significantly more intelligent in something than another person, it can sometimes be difficult to deal with that person because our differences are so great.
Despite these differences, however, we still have to deal with “stupid people” every now and then. The fact is we are social animals, we need to cooperate with others to get along and be civilized, yet by simple chance we are going to occasionally come across people who we find stubborn, irrational, or just plain annoying. Here are some helpful tips to deal with these so-called “stupid people” more effectively:
Try to see from their worldview
Empathy is our ability to think and feel from another person’s perspective. It is one of the best ways to diminish hostility and intolerance toward others.
When we actively step outside of our limited worldview, and instead look through the eyes of others, we often find that their worldview isn’t as irrational or nonsensical as we may have first thought. When we are willing to step into another person’s perspective, we better understand why they think, feel, and behave the way they do.
And once we gain a better understanding into that person’s mental state, it is often much easier to accept the differences we may have with them, and perhaps even admire them.
Acknowledge their strengths
I advocate as much as possible that we try to find the good in everyone. Because as I mentioned before, “stupid people” can often have their own strengths and talents.
There are hundreds of children who have severe ADHD and very poor test grades, yet they can probably kick anyone’s ass in the Xbox game Call of Duty. The simple truth is everyone has the capacity to become really good at something, especially when they find an activity that they have an intrinsic interest and passion for.
Once you understand this, you are much more capable of finding strengths in others. You may even be surprised by how talented most people are when they find something they enjoy doing. So the next time you find yourself labeling “stupid people,” see it as a personal challenge to find something good about that person.
Be respectful for no good reason
Let’s pretend you can’t understand a certain person no matter how hard you try to empathize with them. You also tried to find their strengths, but failed to find any redeeming qualities. In such a case, sometimes you should just be the “better man” for no good reason.
More times than not, it’s worth it to just be respectful and tolerant for no other reason than to keep the peace and stay civilized as human beings. Instigating conflict rarely ends well, even when we truly believe we are smarter and more capable than the other person. Sometimes a simple smile and nod of the head is all you need to do to diffuse your ill feelings.
If you absolutely have to – just walk away
It’s possible that you will cross paths with people in your life who are absolutely unbearable. It happens. We are a very diverse species – with different knowledge, values, interests, and goals – so it makes sense that there will be some people who you just won’t mesh with no matter how hard you try.
The important thing to remember is that it’s perfectly alright not to get along with everyone. The smartest thing you can do sometimes is just ignore the other person, break any contact with them, and avoid conflict as much as possible. When it comes down to it, sometimes “walking away” is the best solution for both people.
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