What are some telling signs that someone is an idiot? There are plenty. Some subtle and some blatantly obvious. Here are twelve identifiers of being a dummy.
1. When You Would Rather “Win” Than Be Correct
People who value “winning” an argument over being correct are ignorant, even when presented with facts. I’ll never forget as a kid, my dad told my sister she was wrong about a word. They looked it up in a hardbound Webster dictionary.
Naturally, my father was correct, and her exact response was: “I don’t care what it says. It is true to me.” It’s a classic case of dismissing anything that conflicts with your beliefs and remaining ignorant instead of acknowledging what you didn’t know and learning from it.
2. Spreading False News Without Googling Things First
Yeah, I’ve been this dummy before, have you? Stupid Facebook! If you hit share on social media posts alleging things you’ve not verified as truth, that’s pretty stupid. Not only have you put a belief of false information into your brain, but you’ve passed it along to the ignorant masses. This happens often in meme form.
People share images with quotes or information on them that aren’t true, but the picture engages them enough to stop, read, and share. Take 30 seconds to ensure what you’re sharing is true. This goes for those conspiracy emails, too, Aunty!
3. Talking Politics When You First Meet Somebody
It’s funny, and not haha, how many people will make presumptions about your politics based on your skin color, tax bracket, and age. It usually results in someone saying some racist or bigoted thing and then having an uncomfortable conversation.
4. Refusing to Wear Safety Devices
If you are riding around on a bicycle or motorcycle without a helmet, in a vehicle without wearing your seatbelt, or in any other circumstance of not wearing safety devices for your situation, you are being very dumb. Don’t be that guy. Those measures exist for a reason: they are there to save your life.
5. Judging Other’s Experiences by Their Own
If you judge what others tell you about their experiences because it doesn’t validate your own, that’s dumb. It becomes an issue of not trusting their experience because it didn’t happen to you. Also, when you do not respect that expertise exists, choose what a politician says over a scientist or medical professional; you sound ridiculous.
6. Lying and Continuing the Lie After Being Called Out on It
Awe. The double down, folks. No matter how stupid their lies are, they will never admit lying and continue to spin the web they weave. They genuinely believe they have you fooled, but inside, it’s a major eye-roll city.
I have another example with my kid sister (love you fam). When my dad noticed an ink stain on her carpet that she attempted to conceal with her garbage can, she said: “It was like that when we moved in.”
My father reminded her that the house had hardwood floors when we moved in, but she never admitted lying. She repeated her lie a dozen times. I don’t know how my dad’s head didn’t explode that night!
7. Thinking Imperfect English Means Someone Is Stupid
If you think someone is stupid because their English isn’t perfect, you sound dumb. It’s entirely foolish if you can’t grasp that someone is using superior intelligence to communicate with you in a manner you can understand.
8. Speaking Confidently About Things You’re Not Truly Informed
If you speak from a place of passion on a topic you’ve not adequately educated yourself on, that’s dumb. How do you have an intense perspective if you haven’t researched what you’re going on and on about? It’s perfectly acceptable to say: “I don’t know enough about that subject to have an opinion on it.”
9. Regurgitating Your Favorite News Anchor Verbatim as if It’s Your Independent Thought
If you’re walking around regurgitating things your favorite talk show host, radio host, or news anchor spouted off on an earlier show, you’re dumb. It’s like spoken plagiarism. It’s not your independent thought.
They said it. You liked the way it sounded, and now you’re trying to pass yourself off as informed by repeating whatever they said in conversations with others. People who are political extremists come to mind.
10. When You Keep Getting Louder While Repeating Your Same Talking Points
If you continue to repeat what you’ve already said in a debate or argument but get louder each time you say it, you sound stupid. And you’re not listening. Saying it louder doesn’t make it any more true or agreeable.
11. Slowing Down to Merge Onto the Freeway
Do you know you are supposed to accelerate to freeway speed when getting onto it from the onramp? Far too many people nearly cause accidents because they slowly roll on or even come to a complete stop to merge onto the freeway. That’s not only dumb but dangerous.
12. Jumping to Insults When Someone Disagrees With You
If you can’t handle conversing with someone who disagrees with you and resort to name-calling and/or verbal assault — you’ve signaled to everyone around you that you’re an idiot!
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Elizabeth Ervin is the owner of Sober Healing. She is a freelance writer passionate about opioid recovery and has celebrated breaking free since 09-27-2013. She advocates for mental health awareness and encourages others to embrace healing, recovery, and spirituality.