other people trying to make you feel dumb

Postby gomen » Sun May 18, 2008 12:03 am

sometimes i feel like other people are purposely trying to size up my intelligence, prove they are smart(er), or prove that i am dumb and they have nothing to worry about.

they seem to use the same method. usually they will dredge up some esoteric fact or throw out a sentence in a (mispronounced) foreign language, and be like 'you know what i am talking about right, huh??? no?? well let me explain to you...." or they will ask me for some fact that most people wouldnt know anyway like "what is the percent of japanese people in your city own yellow VW beetles made after 1995?' or 'what is 039458347589234 X 29384572398475?' and act apalled when i dont know, as if this is evidence that i am dumb. as i said, i feel like i am being rated, judged, with the intent of the other being able to say that i am dumb and the standards of education are downhill becaue i dont know massive amounts of trivia, and i havent memorized the first 400000 digits of pi.

it is not surprising that most of the people that do this seem to be highly insecure about their own intellgience. they seem to be people that insecurely regard themselves as intelligent. for example, professors NEVER need to do this. it is more like the guy that delivers the potato chips to the store, that just didnt quite get his phd in astrophysics, but feels the world needs to know he is 'smarter than you.' yet knowing this, that it comes from their insecurity, still does not stop me from getting mad. in the end, they are basically STILL just trying to put me down to my face. i feel like part of the reason is bc i am a woman.

anyway. does anyone else experience this? how do you deal with these people? why does it make me so angry?
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Postby liamjohn3147 » Sun May 18, 2008 11:00 pm

This may not be because you are a women but how you come across too these people, such as, your manor of dress.

If you wear a suit or dress in a "clean and smart" fashion people feeling insecure about their intellegance may use unusual facts to make a bad attempt at outsmarting you, to make them feel like they are smarter than someone who really looks the part. whereas if you are one of those people, like myself, who wear whatever is available at the time regardless of how you look. Then they may do the same, but judge your intelligance on what you wear again, but that you're either stupid or dumb, and want to make sure you don't know as much pointless crap as them.

peace xx
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Postby Improvements » Sun May 18, 2008 11:20 pm

People who try to make others feel dumb, are dummies basically.
Sometimes, their own negative feelings toward themselves can be felt by others. When this happens, it is easy to take on those feelings for yourself, and not to realize they are coming from others.
Realizing this can help instantly, as it can remind us, we are not dummies, unless we ourselves try to make others look dumb.
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Postby gomen » Mon May 19, 2008 12:59 am

thanks, i think you are both right. i dress a slob, but i have a nerd job. so there is that element that gets me targeted. also, they are insecure. and yeah, it sort of gets transferred to me. thanks xx
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Postby Dr.Strangelove » Mon May 19, 2008 8:52 am

Hey gomen, if it's worth anything to you.. You're one of the cooler and more down to earth chicks on this forum.

as for those wanna be intellectuals.. You already understand their actions stem from their insecurities, so learn to not care. You have nothing to prove.

but if you're in a bad mood, and at the receiving end of some worthless trivia just ask questions to illustrate the worthlessness of their trivia knowledge. Using the japan question as an example, ask how many germans russians and south africans there are in new zealand. When he's unable to answer, you can casually ask why is it if knows some random stat about japanese and not the rest of the world


edit, and those people dont make me angry
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Postby Mica » Mon May 19, 2008 12:49 pm

Ah.. my best friend, my father, my brother and my sisters all behave like that when I try to honestly say that "I don't know" or "I am not sure about particular issue". Seems like people are learned to fake the gaps in their knowledge rather than to learn to properly express these gaps. School does not learn you to say "I don't know". Which student benefits from saying "I don't know"?

People have different interests and therefore people build their knowledge differently. People cannot live by following same path. Our environments are different.

Absolutists usually operate only in very small groups where people share same interests. These small groups are "everything" for them.

I am "relativist" myself and I am not bound to any particular social group. I just want to accept differences.
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Postby mjr2k » Mon May 19, 2008 2:02 pm

I can tell you that I know quite a bit of quite a bit, but my lack of knowledge of canoes and kayak's made me the laughing stock of work:

I work at a Sam's Club and a customer came in and bought a canoe, and I was asked to pull it and bring it up front. So, I went to where I knew them to be, I pulled one from stock, put it on a flat-bed carriage and brought it up, I was laughed at by my manager,

"Mike, I thought you were pulling a canoe?"

"Isn't this a canoe", pointing to what I pulled

"No genius, that's a kayak", and the look on his face was that of "What are you, f**king stupid?".

I was then pointed to where the canoe's were and apparently it takes two people to bring one up due to it's size.

When I saw my manager again, he was snickering at me towards another associate, so I brought him aside and asked him what was so funny, and he replied "How do you not know the difference between a canoe and a kayak?" (Which IMO was very insulting).

Basically, I know almost nothing about water-sports and assertively explained to my manager that not everyone knows the difference and that he shouldn't be so insulting next time.
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Postby gomen » Thu May 22, 2008 1:02 am

aw, thanks doc. yeah, i do need to find a way to deal with those situations, until i learn not to get mad!
and mica, i do have interactions with people that operate in a very small group of knowledge, so i know what you mean. i think like you, i prefer not to be defined by one paricular group.
mjr2k, the canoe vs. kayak is a perfect example. the snickering and 'you should know...', that's the type of stuff that is so insulting.
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Postby psychofatale » Thu May 22, 2008 3:37 pm

I thought that to measure intelligence was to be able to say 'I dont know'.

A professor in physics cant possibly know everything about a vast array of subjects even though they will be extremely learned in their own chosen subject area. I for instance, could not explain to you how a car engine works!! But could explain the intricate workings of the brain!! and most genuine academically educated individuals do not have a problem admitting they dont have knowledge about something.

Those individuals who seek to put others down by trying to find gaps in their knowledge are indeed revealing much more about themselves and their intelligence.
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Postby JAKJRF » Thu May 22, 2008 5:24 pm

At some point in my life, I came to the realization that when someone makes me feel "bad", they make everyone feel bad. In other words, that person has a habit of interaction that is highly antisocial and the offending behavior is theirs. In a way, I'm just not that special to that person and am joining a host of others that that person has offended. Even if the latter statement is not true, perceiving it as true, frees the mind, allowing me to evaluate the input, based on its source, for truth.

Another technique I use when another infers that I should know a thing, is to tell them; "my mother never taught me that". This statement, including its humor, deflects attention away from self, freeing mental resources to evaluate and provide additional response if necessary.

Another technique to handle the trivia intellect is to immediately answer; "that is a useful fact". The tone of voice in the delivery is mine to play with; follow with a quick laugh for best effect. Most trivia intellects, who are just that, will take the hint that the trivia is at best interesting and realize that you are on to them.

Two other intellect types that abuse... The first is the person gifted in a single area such as vocabulary and spelling. These especially annoy me in they gain personal value from the reward of using their single mode gift to give the appearance of intellect. I generally take these aside and communicate honor to them for their gift, and explain that they are using their gift, simply because they can. Most often this resets the value of their gift to trivia; allowing them to know that you know their gift has no real purpose.

The second intellect type that is prone to abuse is what I call the dysfunctional intellect. This is a person who indeed has the gift, but in childhood had to use that gift as a sword to defend themselves against brothers and sisters of equal or higher intellect. This type can be brutal and accept direct replies as an invitation to attack. Tough to handle; the best defense here is to shut them up by honoring them.
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