Why Do Smart People Do Stupid Things Sometimes?

Why Do Smart People Do Stupid Things Sometimes?
In this post, I like to discuss one observation (out of the many observations!), I have made in my daily dose of life.

Even Smart People Do Stupid Things Sometimes….

Have you made this observation too?
Each one of us, have to interact with various kinds of people every day. It may be your spouse, parents, friends , relations, colleagues … the list goes on. Among these people, you may have a few who you really admire. In your opinion you might "tag" some of them as smart.
I am aware that the word "smart" is a subjective word. Smart, can be used for someone who has a degree Or someone who has good traits or [Add your list here]. So, I will let you decide the Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) for the word smart!

Generally, when smart people around you do stupid things, it will affect. Worst still, if you have to "clean up the mess". You might get annoyed, frustrated or even loose your temper. Not to mention the mental images of straggling the person!

Can you recall a situation? Did it result in endless questions of "Why Smart People Do Stupid Things?"

I compiled a list of reasons, based on my incidental gleanings. I feel that, if we are aware of the underlying cause(s), we might be better quipped to deal with the situation.
My reasons: why do smart people do stupid things sometimes?

#1 Emotions get in the way of logical thinking
This is the battle between logic and emotion. Where, logic is derived out of smartness and emotions outshine the logic :-)

#2 They react on Impact
For example, immediate reaction to something you just heard. (this is somewhat related to #1)

#3 Ego
Some smart people like to polish their ego. Let me phrase it differently. if they feel their ego is endangered, they might say/do something stupid.
For example, not admitting you are wrong even when you know you are wrong.

#4 Assumptions, Carelessness or Over-Confidence
I find it a bit difficult to differentiate the 3, so I took the lazy way and made it one reason.

"I wish I took a back up, before PC crashed", to what does that belong?
"I know for sure that this software will work, so I didn't test it"

#5 Self centered
What I think, I want, My Needs. Aha, Needs. The root of all heartache! I am sure you can find a few examples that can be listed here.

#6 Fear
Doing something (stupid) out of fear. Again, can be related to #1.

#7 Deafness
Failing to listen falls into this category.

#9 Living in the NOW
Some decisions may be made based only on the present. Where as, it should have been made with the future in mind.

#10 Center stage with stupidity :-)
Even smart people are not perfect. We are all human. Sometimes mistakes do happen. If the person is humble, he/she will accept responsibility and apologize. Then, you really know the person is smart!

If you are someone who associates with me, you might be thinking "Even Shamelle has done stupid things". I admit, I too have done a fair share of stupid things in my life time! I am far from perfect. With these reason's in mind, I will try not to do any stupid things intentionally. Of course If I do, please bare with me :-)

Having said all this, its just my point of view. I would love to hear what you have to say. Why Do you think smart people do stupid things? What are your thoughts?

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Sania Wyatt said...

Many times I have encountered "smart" people and "not-so-smart" people all showing characteristic #3. This goes to show to you that sometimes human race has a basic trait.

Enhance Life said...

Hi Sania,
Yes,#3 Ego true indeed.

Thank you for your comment.

Brody said...

Yea I have seen "smart", "normal", and "not-so-smart". Kindalike what SANIA is saying but. This is kinda true. Its kinda correct. This shows you that humans basicly do things that are not to be done. ;).

Very nice blog. Keep up the great work.

#Hero's get rememberd, but legends never die.#

Travis said...

Thanks for cruising by my place.

I don't know if I'm all that smart, but I do know that I did a stupid thing yesterday. It falls into the #1 and #5 categories and I'm trying to figure out first how to make it right, and then how to avoid doing it in the future.

Tisha! said...

you're one perceptive person!

smart people do stupid things for all the reasons you stated but also because they are human and not perfect just like everyone else.

skeet said...

I'd like to think that I'm a smart person, but I, too, recently did a very stupid thing. It's probably best defined as a reflection of #5. It wasn't so much the case that I was thinking of myself as it was that I failed to think of someone else and ending up causing hurt feelings. We all have things we need to work on in our lives, smart or not!

First time visitor here for the Carnival of Family Life. Nice post!

Megan Bayliss said...

Hi from Australia,
I found you via the Carnival of Family Life.
My partner is often really dumb for a very smart man. Thankfully he suffers from an overdose of number 10...and I just adore him.

Holly Schwendiman said...

I think you nailed the biggies. I think selfishness is the root of all problems and learning to act instead of react is paramount. I'm also a big advocate of the visual breakdown definition of assume - ass-u-me because it's always true. I had an instructor once who always said "When you're green you're growing, when you're ripe you rot." It's so true, and she'd be found wandering around groups and if she heard a know-it-all comment surface she'd walk up behind that person and make an exaggerated sniffing sound and then say "Hmmm, someone over here stinks." I've never forgotten her lesson. I strive to stay green. ;)

Holly's Corner
Here via the Carnival of Family Life ;)

Anonymous said...

This is the dumbest thing i have ever read. Just because your smart it doesn't mean you know everything. People are only usually smart in a part of the high school subjects and also in life from what they had encountered with it.

Anonymous said...

Although I frequently hurt feelings, usually unintentionally, I beat myself up over financial loss more than anything. We do all make mistakes, even insensitive assholes.

Marcus said...

Where is #8?

Anonymous said...

paradigm paralysis

Anonymous said...

I would start by saying I'll "bear" with you but not "bare"with you. Don't we all do "stupid"things.

Anonymous said...

Just because people are smart or intelligent doesn't mean they are emotionally healthy. It's the emotions which govern behavior more than intelligence. It doesn't matter if you have an I.Q. of 150, if you're an immature, neurotic, emotional cripple, that will cause you to do "stupid" things or engage in stupid behaviour.

ami said...

i believe it is not being smart, it is about a person as human, sometimes people can do stupid things to save a situation.

Anonymous said...

I find I am more prone to saying something stupid when I am overworked and exhausted, and, worse yet, feel that I have to fill in the "holes" in a conversation with something clever, an attempt at humour, that totally comes out wrong. So I am learning to shut up when I have nothing to say - at least nothing friendly or positive.

Anonymous said...

Well, I don't think this article is aimed at "smart"people. Everyone can relate to that.

lee woo said...

Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity. See the link below for more info.


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