Who’s stupid: you or the others?

by Parvez Sheik Fareed

We always assume that other people are stupid when having a discussion about a particular matter and they simply don’t seem to get it. The conversation leads to no point and time is wasted. Is it because of their stupidity or because of our lacking communication skills? Are the other people really that stupid or am I the stupid one, unable to explain things? In most cases we default to option one: What a fucking idiot! That person is just not getting it!

There’s a difference between not getting it and getting it but not sharing the same view. Fill a glass halfway with water and ask a few people whether the glass is half-full or half-empty: you will get both answers. Neither is right or wrong, they’re just different opinions. But if you get a rather strange response like “Does it have to be filled with water?” or “This glass isn’t big enough!” we are likely to think that we’re dealing with a stupid person. Because we phrased a simple question with two possible answers: half-full or half-empty. What’s the point of your half-witted response? It’s totally out of context! What’s so difficult to understand, you fucking idiot?

I find throwing back questions to determine with whom you’re dealing with pretty helpful. When you confront people with questions you force them to argue the case; they have to think. They need to come up with a rationale. They have to explain why their response wasn’t half-witted after all and was made for good reasons. They will have to convince you. And if they don’t manage to do so, then I’d say it’s fair to label this person stupid or at least stupid for not using the opportunity to prove you wrong. But if you don’t throw back a question and jump to conclusions immediately, then you’re stupid for letting yourself be blinded by a stupid person.