7.1.2010

Stupid People. How to deal with them.

You can’t live life without running into stupid people. And not just running into these people– them purposefully running unto you.

It’s the single biggest demotivating force on the face of the earth.

There is NOTHING more crippling than an awkward, unanticipated encounter with a stupid person. In seconds, a stupid person can strip you of decades of dream hunting — leaving you confused, shaken, and emotionally spent.

Whatever you do. Whatever you aspire to be. Wherever you want to be someday. You need to master the art of dealing with stupid people.

Get good at spotting them.

“Stupid people are like suicide bombers. There’s no good excuse to hang around them.”

They come in all shapes, colors, and religions. And they are all around you. Could be your boss, your minister, your spouse, or that dude in your car pool.

There aren’t wearing “I’m here to wreck your dream” stickers. They come disguised, so it can hard to spot them. Until they open up their mouth and talk to you. And then it becomes pretty clear that they are a stupid person.

Here’s what they say:

  • That’ll never work…
  • Bless your heart…
  • I am only saying this because I care…
  • Yes, BUT….
  • Be reasonable…
  • I’ve seen this before…
  • You stole my idea…
  • We’ll see how long that lasts…

Sound familiar?

That’s because these phrases are the patented trade secrets of the League of Stupid People. The uninspired whining of the “has been” champions of mediocrity.

And yet like a blow from Thor’s hammer, these words bring us to our knees — broken, disheartened, and questioning our very core values.

There’s only one thing to do.

Get good at handling them.

You aren’t strong enough to take on the chaotic whimsy of stupid people. Mistake numero uno is over-estimating your tolerance for mental harassment. You can’t hack it. And neither can I.

We break. And the bad guys win.

But the story doesn’t end there. Because all stupid people have the same weakness. They all share the same self-destruction sequence.

Stupid people fear you not caring about their opinions…

That momentary look of panic on your face. The stammering words that trickle out of your mouth. Those angry looks you shoot from the corner of your eyes.

That fear and fright you get from their words.

That turns them on.

Inside they are doing cartwheels.  Another “dream crushing” notch on their belt.  A job done well.

So when you don’t care what they think. When you ignore their insecurities and nonsense. When you just continue on with living your dream. When you do that.

You win and the stupid people lose.

But it’s not even really you versus them. It’s you living your dream and them fighting to destroy dreams — no matter what they are or who has them.

“So stand up for dreams…”

For your dreams. For your friends’ dreams. For the dreams that you are still to have in the future.

Do your part to stop stupid people.

Ignore them.

And if that wasn’t clear enough, here’s another 38 seconds I have on the subject:


  • Anonymous

    Encouraging post. People who really have ideas that are going to change the world tend to meet a lot of opposition even from people who are close to them. I think it’s because most people are satisfied with the status quo and being told what is acceptable in life. Like you said you have to ignore these people’s negativity if you want to keep your dream alive. In order to counteract stupid people it helps to tune into the people who are encouraging you to keep your dream alive. Dream big or go home.

    • http://www.DanWaldschmidt.com/ Dan Waldschmidt

      Mike,

      I used to get so discouraged by all the opposition that I faced being edgy. Despite huge successes (at times) I would sit by myself and wonder “WHY”. And then over time I began to see this pattern with stupid people who just HATE DREAMS. No matter what I would say, they would have it in for me…

      I raise my hand in salute to you challenge of “Dream Big or Go Home”.

      Dan

  • mikekypros

    Encouraging post. People who really have ideas that are going to change the world tend to meet a lot of opposition even from people who are close to them. I think it's because most people are satisfied with the status quo and being told what is acceptable in life. Like you said you have to ignore these people's negativity if you want to keep your dream alive. In order to counteract stupid people it helps to tune into the people who are encouraging you to keep your dream alive. Dream big or go home.

  • mikekypros

    Encouraging post. People who really have ideas that are going to change the world tend to meet a lot of opposition even from people who are close to them. I think it's because most people are satisfied with the status quo and being told what is acceptable in life. Like you said you have to ignore these people's negativity if you want to keep your dream alive. In order to counteract stupid people it helps to tune into the people who are encouraging you to keep your dream alive. Dream big or go home.

  • Todd

    Dan,

    Great post! None of us has the time, energy or obligation to deal with dummies!!!

    Lucky me has been BURIED with activity the last 10 days with smart, ambitious, aggressive clients & colleagues. It’s exhilarating!

    I had to put off a few of my other associates and contacts. So what? It might not be “nice” to summarily exclulde the dummies from our lives, but exclude them we must. We’re all morally, ethically obligated to deliver our best. We are all obligated to invest our time with working with out betters.

    Todd

    • http://www.DanWaldschmidt.com/ Dan Waldschmidt

      Todd,

      Thanks for stopping by. I have three values for anything that I do: (1) It has to change the world (2) I have to be surrounded by people smarter than me and (3) It has to nurture my soul. Stupid people rob me of all three of those.

      Dan

  • Todd

    Dan, Great post! None of us has the time, energy or obligation to deal with dummies!!!Lucky me has been BURIED with activity the last 10 days with smart, ambitious, aggressive clients & colleagues. It's exhilarating! I had to put off a few of my other associates and contacts. So what? It might not be "nice" to summarily exclulde the dummies from our lives, but exclude them we must. We're all morally, ethically obligated to deliver our best. We are all obligated to invest our time with working with out betters. Todd

  • Todd

    Dan, Great post! None of us has the time, energy or obligation to deal with dummies!!!Lucky me has been BURIED with activity the last 10 days with smart, ambitious, aggressive clients & colleagues. It's exhilarating! I had to put off a few of my other associates and contacts. So what? It might not be "nice" to summarily exclulde the dummies from our lives, but exclude them we must. We're all morally, ethically obligated to deliver our best. We are all obligated to invest our time with working with out betters. Todd

  • http://www.DanWaldschmidt.com/ Dan Waldschmidt

    Mike,I used to get so discouraged by all the opposition that I faced being edgy. Despite huge successes (at times) I would sit by myself and wonder "WHY". And then over time I began to see this pattern with stupid people who just HATE DREAMS. No matter what I would say, they would have it in for me…I raise my hand in salute to you challenge of "Dream Big or Go Home".Dan

  • http://www.DanWaldschmidt.com/ Dan Waldschmidt

    Mike,I used to get so discouraged by all the opposition that I faced being edgy. Despite huge successes (at times) I would sit by myself and wonder "WHY". And then over time I began to see this pattern with stupid people who just HATE DREAMS. No matter what I would say, they would have it in for me…I raise my hand in salute to you challenge of "Dream Big or Go Home".Dan

  • http://www.DanWaldschmidt.com/ Dan Waldschmidt

    Todd,Thanks for stopping by. I have three values for anything that I do: (1) It has to change the world (2) I have to be surrounded by people smarter than me and (3) It has to nurture my soul. Stupid people rob me of all three of those.Dan

  • http://www.DanWaldschmidt.com/ Dan Waldschmidt

    Todd,Thanks for stopping by. I have three values for anything that I do: (1) It has to change the world (2) I have to be surrounded by people smarter than me and (3) It has to nurture my soul. Stupid people rob me of all three of those.Dan

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  • http://twitter.com/bbrian017 Brian

    Dan I think your article here today is amazing. I was a little off because I wasn’t sure why you were calling these people stupid. I’m sure there’s a more intelligent name for them but I do understand your point and loved the article.

    Many people leave their ideas and inventions behind them due to what other people said. This is a sad fact and it’s safe to say it happens to many people.

    I always say if you have an intelligent idea don’t mention to the everyday average person. You have to discuss it with other individuals with the same level of intelligence. This way you will get positive feedback on the subject.

    • http://www.DanWaldschmidt.com/ Dan Waldschmidt

      I know that I being “harsh” calling these people “stupid”…

      There is a reason why I did that. I want to be clear. These are not clueless people or ignorant people. These are people who destroy dreams.

      They do it because their lizard brain (read Linchpin) controls everything that they do. They crave mediocrity because it allows them to compete on a level playing field.

      The problem is two sided.

      Dreamers give up too soon. And stupid people stop dreaming.

      Both are to blame.

      Fight for your dreams and fight against stupid people…

      Dan

  • http://twitter.com/bbrian017 Brian

    Dan I think your article here today is amazing. I was a little off because I wasn't sure why you were calling these people stupid. I'm sure there's a more intelligent name for them but I do understand your point and loved the article. Many people leave their ideas and inventions behind them due to what other people said. This is a sad fact and it's safe to say it happens to many people.I always say if you have an intelligent idea don't mention to the everyday average person. You have to discuss it with other individuals with the same level of intelligence. This way you will get positive feedback on the subject.

  • http://twitter.com/bbrian017 Brian

    Dan I think your article here today is amazing. I was a little off because I wasn't sure why you were calling these people stupid. I'm sure there's a more intelligent name for them but I do understand your point and loved the article. Many people leave their ideas and inventions behind them due to what other people said. This is a sad fact and it's safe to say it happens to many people.I always say if you have an intelligent idea don't mention to the everyday average person. You have to discuss it with other individuals with the same level of intelligence. This way you will get positive feedback on the subject.

  • http://www.DanWaldschmidt.com/ Dan Waldschmidt

    I know that I being "harsh" calling these people "stupid"…There is a reason why I did that. I want to be clear. These are not clueless people or ignorant people. These are people who destroy dreams.They do it because their lizard brain (read Linchpin) controls everything that they do. They crave mediocrity because it allows them to compete on a level playing field.The problem is two sided. Dreamers give up too soon. And stupid people stop dreaming.Both are to blame. Fight for your dreams and fight against stupid people…Dan

  • http://www.DanWaldschmidt.com/ Dan Waldschmidt

    I know that I being "harsh" calling these people "stupid"…There is a reason why I did that. I want to be clear. These are not clueless people or ignorant people. These are people who destroy dreams.They do it because their lizard brain (read Linchpin) controls everything that they do. They crave mediocrity because it allows them to compete on a level playing field.The problem is two sided. Dreamers give up too soon. And stupid people stop dreaming.Both are to blame. Fight for your dreams and fight against stupid people…Dan

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  • Tgj2118

    i appreciate your advice and prose…i’m just overwhelmed, consumed and enveloped by the stupid people in this world!

  • Tgj2118

    i appreciate your advice and prose…i’m just overwhelmed, consumed and enveloped by the stupid people in this world!

  • Tgj2118

    i appreciate your advice and prose…i’m just overwhelmed, consumed and enveloped by the stupid people in this world!

    • http://www.DanWaldschmidt.com/ Dan Waldschmidt

      Hang in there… :-) The sun comes out every morning.

      Dan

  • Tgj2118

    i appreciate your advice and prose…i’m just overwhelmed, consumed and enveloped by the stupid people in this world!

  • http://www.DanWaldschmidt.com/ Dan Waldschmidt

    Hang in there… :-) The sun comes out every morning.

    Dan

  • impact glory

    Easy to say, try dealing with this, when this is your own Dad. who you obviously love, care for admire, and want to honour and please him. yet he understands nothing, drives me and my mum insane with the things he says, how he thinks, how negative he is.. the list is endless….. and yes he says all those things you listed stupid people say.. I can even hear his voice saying it as I read them….. geeezzzz I am about to have a panic attack talking and thinking about it… GOD HELP ME PLEASE……..

    • http://www.DanWaldschmidt.com/ Dan Waldschmidt

      Let me tell you that I empathize with you. Having to deal with a family member like that is heartbreaking. REMEMBER that you do not have to stay in an environment where your soul is sucked dry. Move out. Move on.

      It would be better to live on a park-bench and be motivated than to grovel for the dignity that you deserve. I can hear the panic and fear and frustration in your comment. And I hope (truly) that you take deliberate steps to free yourself from the abuse of your father.

      My thoughts and prayers are with you. Should you need (or want) to talk about this, please do send me a time to chat at dan@edgy.bz and I spend a few minutes with you to try to lift your spirits.

      Keep your head up. Keep fighting for you.

      Dan

  • james

    Your saying “stupid” to represent people who don’t believe in your dreams. “stupid” means lack of intelligence, not belief..

    • http://www.WaldschmidtPartners.com/ Dan Waldschmidt

      Kinda……. Not just people who don’t believe in my (or your dream) but people who by default discourage without discrimination the lofting aspirations of anyone around them…

      Dan

      p.s. Do you think there is a difference or am I wrong?

  • PumaYaYa

    Really, I would define stupidity as the inability to adapt to change.

    • http://www.WaldschmidtPartners.com/ Dan Waldschmidt

      That definition works for me…

      Dan

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  • lola

    This post just saved me from wasting my time entertaining two dumb neighbors on either side of me. They are women 15 and 20 years my senior and have played every trick in the book for 10 years. I should apologize for not having to wait until I was married like one to become a homeowner or live with a man out of wedlock for over twenty years to live in a nice house. One tried to befriend me and the other was always nasty from the beginning. Now they have each other and I know what they are capable of and it is beginning to drive me crazy. Thank God I have a fulfilling career and other activities to keep me busy. They don’t understand I come home to do as I please and the last thing you want to hear after getting settled is the neighbors calling for social hour.

    • http://www.WaldschmidtPartners.com/ Dan Waldschmidt

      Glad that you are headed in the right direction. Keep your head up… :-)

      Dan

  • Laura Kirkland

    Yes, good info for those of us who suffer. I would like to add something (hopefully helpful) to this issue. I am one of those usually very patient, caring, trytodoeverythingIcantohelp people in life. I have always been the caretaker in my family, and over the years, it has spread to good friends, extended family and eventually casual acquaintances. Please understand that I am not feeling bitter, however, I do not have the balance I desperately need to sustain myself in this life without occasionally going crazy (yes, it it official sometimes and I end up in the hospital). Mostly, I feel like I give plenty, and by plenty, I mean asking VERY NICELY over and over and over again, of notice on very simple things such as “please do not put cans of dog food in the sink without rinsing them first. “Please don’t let dishes (so easily rinsed) pile up in the sink during the day.” “Please don’t let me be the only one who vacuums the house after a few days (we have 2 large dogs whom I love, but aren’t mine), and for GODS SAKE, please don’t throw your cigarette butts on the ground. There are 3 smokers in this household and they throw app 10,000 butts on the ground per year off the back balcony. I am the only non smoker in the household, and guess who cleans up after they can’t stand it anymore?
    I know anyone who reads this is probably thinking ‘WTH is wrong with you and why don’t you just move?”
    Well, the easiest answer is money, I get about $740 per month SSDI because of my epilepsy. I do not have a lot of resources here and I actually have a hard time trusting anyone whose place I might move into (ya know, the monster you know is better than the one you don’t know?).
    So, I am way too exhausted now after writing all of this, and I do welcome any (polite and sane) suggestions to my conundrum. Greatest of luck to everyone else with this problem.

    • http://www.WaldschmidtPartners.com/ Dan Waldschmidt

      You bring up a great point, Laura. Doing the right thing can be exhausting and painful, helpless and hopeless.

      Keep your head up. Stay active. Keep your mind focused.

      And reach out to people like me who can help encourage you. My email is dan@edgy.bz. Let me know how I can help.

      Sounds like you need to get out of where you are.

      Dan

  • Blah

    I turned to this page because I am surrounded by fatheads. they frustrate me to the point of suicide. I know thats not ok but thats how they make me feel. At least your page gave me a laugh. Oh yeah and you also forgot to add that they waste time by the bucketload.

    • http://www.WaldschmidtPartners.com/ Dan Waldschmidt

      Keep your head up. Don’t let other people bring you down…

      Dan

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