There are many kinds of intelligence: emotional, practical, creative and intellectual to name a few. But there are a few traits that give dumb people away.

Everyone has a different set of personality traits and skills and abilities. That’s what makes the world interesting. Having a high IQ doesn’t make one person better than another. And being an empath is not necessarily better than being very rational and self-contained. Even judging others according to a certain set of criteria can be seen as a dumb thing to do.

However, there are a few traits that have a negative impact on our own lives and the lives of others and these should be avoided if we don’t want to appear to be dumb people.

1. Blaming others for their mistakes

Less intelligent people find it hard to accept responsibility for their mistakes. When things go wrong for them, they wallow in self-pity and blame others. More intelligent people accept that their mistakes were down to them and learn from them.

For example, a student who fails a test can either blame others or outside circumstances or accept responsibility and plan better for the future.

2. Having to be right all the time

In an argument, less intelligent people tend to find it harder to evaluate both sides of the story and take in new information that might change their minds. A key sign of intelligence is the ability to understand things from other points of view and be open to changing our minds. This means dumb people will argue endlessly to hold their position no matter what evidence there is to the contrary.

Intelligent people don’t necessarily agree with others all the time. However, they do listen and evaluate the ideas of others rather than simply dismissing them if they don’t match their own views.

3. Using anger and aggression to cope with conflicts

Everyone gets angry and upset at times. However, for less intelligent people, this can be their ‘go-to’ emotion whenever things aren’t going their way. If they feel they are failing to control a situation in the way they want, they may turn to aggression and anger to force their point.

4. Disregarding the needs and emotions of others

Intelligent people are usually very good at putting themselves in other people’s shoes. This means that they are better able to understand other people’s point of view. Less intelligent people may struggle to understand that others have a different view of the world from them.

However, almost everyone is guilty of being self-centred from time to time. The important thing is to find a balance between looking after our own needs and helping others.

5. Thinking they are better than others

In writing this list, I am wary of falling into the biggest trap of being a dumb person, judging others. Intelligent people try to uplift and encourage others. Being judgemental and thinking you are better than others is definitely not a sign of intelligence.

All of us can fall into behaving in dumb ways from time to time. Whether we do this from fear, stress or lack of understanding, it’s helpful to think about what really makes us humans the intelligent creatures we are.

Many biologists believe that our co-operative nature is the thing that helped us to develop. So perhaps working well with others is the biggest sign of intelligence there could be.


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