7 Simple Steps To Stamp Out Stupidity

There is no such thing as a stupid person. However, there are plenty of people who make stupid decisions!

If you consistently make enough stupid decisions, you end up having a habit of doing stupid things. Habits in turn become a lifestyle, and the next thing you know, you are feeling like and/or being branded as a stupid person.

No one wants to feel or to be considered stupid, so I have put together the following 7 Simple Steps for Stamping out Stupidity!

1) Paying Attention

It may come as a shock, but a lot of the stupid decisions we make are simply the result of not paying attention to what is going on around us. Did you ever accidentally run into a parked car? Miss a step on the stairs and go for a tumble? Slice the top of your thumb off while cutting up vegetables?

Those are all stupid mistakes, and every single one of them could have been avoided by simply slowing down and paying attention to what you were doing at the time. In your rush to get where you were going, navigate those stairs, or chop up those veggies, you did something that brought with it some unpleasant results, and the first thing you thought was, “Boy, that was stupid.”

2) Practicing Common Sense

The thing I love about common sense is how uncommon it can sometimes be! Many of the stupid decisions that we make could have easily been avoided by simply taking a second to think about the situation.

When you’re at a party and everyone has been drinking alcohol for hours, going to the store on a beer run is stupid – and everyone knows it. However, people still do it, and end up in jail – or worse. When your headphones aren’t working and you decide to pry them open with a sharp knife in order to fix them rather than buying a new set, that is stupid. However, serious injuries happen all the time as a result of people using inappropriate tools and/or lacking the technical expertise to “fix” something. Trust me, I have the scar on my thumb to prove it!

In each of those examples – and many more – the negativity could have been avoided by just stopping and asking, “Is this really such a good idea?”

3) Getting Educated

Avoid the stupidity label by not trying to sound like you know what you’re talking about when you don’t. You will actually look smarter by being mature enough to admit that you just don’t know something.

However, if you have a strong desire to be able to converse and/or take action in a certain arena that you are clueless about, just get educated on it! Even if you don’t have the time or the money to get a “formal” education on a subject, there isn’t much that you can’t learn about for free or for a very low cost on the Internet. You may not be able to get a diploma, a degree, or a plaque to hang on your wall, but you can at least learn enough to avoid blowing yourself up, or to avoid looking like an insufferable know it all who really doesn’t know squat about a given subject.

4) Having Confidence

One of the best ways to avoid making stupid decisions is to be confident in who you are and in the decisions that you make. How many truly ridiculous stupid mistakes have been made by people who were simply trying to fit in, or who were afraid to admit to others that they didn’t want to do something?

I worked for quite awhile at a well known gym during my personal training days, and the {ahem} natural bodybuilders were always trying to give me advice on how to “bulk up”. I heard everything from eating red meat around the clock to scarfing down egg whites 6 at a time to utilizing certain, shall we say…questionable…substances.

Long before I became a trainer, however, I practiced the “getting educated” advice from above. I knew – and still know – a lot about how to pack on muscle mass. I simply did not need their advice. However, when you weigh 180 lbs at 5’8″, and some guy who weighs almost 300 lbs at 5′ 10″ tells you what you should be doing, it takes a lot of confidence to say, “Thanks, but no thanks” to the advice that you are given. Especially if you say it to his face…

5) Surrendering

I refuse to use the term “giving up” since that is not something I am keen on doing – nor endorsing. However, there does come a time in certain situations when by continuing with the discussion or the course of action, you are going to end up looking or feeling stupid, and at that point you should bow out and cut your losses.

For example, if you’ve seen a few commercials for the latest political campaign, and you get involved in a conversation with someone about politics, for awhile you’ll be able to hold your own. However, when it turns out that this individual is an avid political follower who could all but write the foreign policy for your country, there will come a time when you need to gracefully defer to your limited amount of knowledge on the subject.

How many people do that, though? Most people will keep trying to sound like they know what they’re talking about until ultimately they feel or look like a complete idiot. By then, however, it is too late to simply admit that you’re in over your head and walk away.

6) Listening to your Instincts

I don’t know what is worse – foregoing common sense, or not listening to your instincts when they are screaming at you to do or not do something.

Have you ever gotten involved in a relationship with someone because they were really attractive, or really “dangerous,” even though there were alarm bells going off in your head so loud that you couldn’t even hear yourself think? Yep, that’s stupid.

Need proof? Think back to the last time you did that, or something similar. How’d that work out for you?

7) Swallowing your Pride

Ah, my personal favorite. The swallowing of the pride.

More stupid decisions are probably made due to this reason than all of the rest of them combined. Simply put, people do not like to admit when they are wrong, and they do not like to admit that they are in a situation that they can’t handle.

Did you ever keep a job that you hated because you did not want your friends, your co-workers, or your family to see you crawl back to the “Help Wanted” section in the newspaper, or because you didn’t want to admit that you were in over your head? Did you ever NOT take a job that you felt was “beneath you” because you were too proud to flip burgers, to deal with other people’s trash, or to pick up a mop and a bucket? If that job would have helped put food on your table or keep a roof over your head, yet your pride kept you from taking it, that’s just stupid.


In the circumstances that were just described, there were plenty of opportunities for stupidity to rear its head. However, in every circumstance, there was a way to not look or feel stupid. So, unless you enjoy feeling stupid, or being perceived as a stupid person, help stamp out stupidity by putting some of this advice to good use!

p.s. – I am qualified to have written this because I’ve made a lot of stupid decisions in my life. So before anyone gets offended that I’m picking on stupid people, remember that there are no stupid people – only stupid decisions!


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