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You Can’t Pretend to be Smarter Than You Are

10/05/2012

I like to think that I am a smart person. I am quick to learn new things and I am a quick whit – my father and I try for Abbott and Costello style snappy comebacks. I like puns and if the story that I’m reading doesn’t have a fairly complex plot then I get bored. It still takes me forever to learn someone’s name and sometimes I’m a little thick when it comes to euphamisms. Because I am of intelligence, I can easily recognize when someone is trying to be smarter than they are.

You see it a lot in poorly written novels (*cough* fan fictions *cough*) when an author wants their character to be smart, but they themselves aren’t. The character usually goes into extremely dangerous situations and comes out alive when, with the stupid sh*t they pull they should have been clobbered and severely hospitalized if not killed. Or, they try to talk in riddles and instead just end up saying nothing. You can tell the autor overreached because even if you get to the end of the book and look back at the riddle, it still makes no sense.

Humor is also said to be the smart man’s weapon (and I wish I knew who said that, but I am horrible at remembering names). Most comedians are very intelligent people who look at the world in a very unique way. Case and point: Robin Williams or Bill Cosby. Both are extremely successful comedians with some very famous bits – Bill Cosby with Fat Albert and Robin Williams with his bit about cats being drag queens (seriously, I never thought about it before, but cats really are!)

Now, I’m not trying to get down on people who don’t have a sense of humor or who try to overreach. All I’m saying is that when you try to do something like being smarter than you are, the people who actually are smarter than you will recognize you as a fraud. If you need to pretend an intelligence level different from your own, pretend to be a little slower than you really are. Although you can’t pretend to know things that you don’t know (not for very long, at least) you can pretend that you know less than you really do. For example, when I chat online I usually act like an airhead. It puts people at ease and they wind up telling me more than they realize. That’s how I knew this one guy wanted to meet me so he could legally enter the US.

Besides, there is more than one kind of intelligence. I have heart that there are officially five different kinds of intelligence. I can remember maybe four of them. Basically, the ones I remember include book smarts (aka intelligence), street smarts (as in common sense), body smarts (as in athletics), and social intelligence. I’ve noticed that when one person lacks one type of smarts, they usually make up for it with another. For example, I have book smarts and social intelligence. Despite 20 years of ballet classes I still manage to trip over my own feet. You’d think I would know how to be graceful by now, or at least look to see where I’m walking. I also can’t throw a ball and hit a target. At all.

Have you ever seen the movie Bedazzled starring Brendan Frasier? I love that movie. He trades his soul to the devel in exchange for seven wishes. Each wish fails miserably, but each one seems to exeplify a different kind of intelligence (sensitive, athletic, smart, etc.) But then, when he comes back to his own life, he has his own unique balance of each one. There’s no need to overreach when he realized where he was and how nice it was there. At least, that’s my interpretation.

So what do you do in the interview to make yourself seem smart? How about when you ask someone out on a date? Well, don’t start saying you’re good at things that you are not good at. You may find yourself stuck in a situation completely out of your depth. Say what you can do, and say that you can learn. Eventually you’ll find yourself able to be in your dream job or with the girl/guy of your dreams. Sometimes, its a good thing to wait for the perfect fit.

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From → Romance, Serious, Social

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