Know-It-Alls Reveal When They Realized When They Weren't As Smart As They Thought[rebelmouse-image 18350578 is_animated_gif=
We all have stubborn 'know-it-all' moments, but occasionally, it goes too far. We see it in our politics, at work, and at school. Most of us are willing to accept when we are wrong, but it's usually not the greatest feeling.
bakait_bhosdu asked, When did you realise that you are not as smart as you thought you were?
Submissions have been edited for clarity, context, and profanity.
Getting thrust into competitive academia can be a serious blow to one's ego. But don't feel too bad, everyone feels the same way.[rebelmouse-image 18352091 is_animated_gif=
Starting college. Helped me realize that I'm quite average.
Starting graduate school really threw it in my face. Helped me realize that I'm actually below average and didn't belong there.
I thought it was both tbh...[rebelmouse-image 18352092 is_animated_gif=
When I realized that The Count on Sesame Street isn't called that just because he's a vampire, but because he's literally counting.
I shouldn't be trusted to vote.
If you want to be the best, learn from the best.[rebelmouse-image 18352093 is_animated_gif=
When I first started my job as a software developer. My boss and my pseudo-boss are absolute geniuses. I've never been more in awe of someone's expertise before. It was really humbling. Still is, I suppose.
Kids are very astute. And Adventure Time is amazing.[rebelmouse-image 18352095 is_animated_gif=
When you're around children they can point out stuff you don't see real fast. I started watching Adventure Time with my 6-year-old daughter. I have seen a lot of it previously. So to try and interact and discuss it. I said "that silly Ice King is always chasing after the girls and trying to get people to be his friends," She said that's because he can't be a king without people.
It's hard to go from the top to being just one of the masses. Don't be afraid to ask for help, there's a reason college isn't a solo venture.[rebelmouse-image 18352096 is_animated_gif=
By failing the first year of uni. Despite getting lukewarm at best results from my final exams at high school, I still carried with me a raging ego and a belief that I was a modern day genius and everyone didn't know it. I walked in there confident that I was going to become a shining beacon of knowledge and wisdom.
Boy did I not
Not only were my study habits completely wack, but I didn't even try to take advantage of the resources and support there because I was foolishly under the delusion that I could easily just work things out by myself and everything would be ok.
Well, it doesn't work like the movies and reality caught up with me. I yanked out that year and really had to have a good hard look at myself and what I was doing. It's really hard to come to grips with the fact you're not as smart or charismatic or competent as you thought you were because admitting that to yourself means admitting that you were fundamentally wrong about who you are as a person. And that's just so painful to have to come to terms with.
But you're better off for it because now you know that there's room for improvement and that what needs improving on. That's why it's so bad to tell people how smart they are: because then they think "pfft I don't need to learn new things because I'm so smart and good". There's ALWAYS room for improvement and there are ALWAYS new things to discover.
One more thing I ought to mention is the importance of having good friends. Not only to support you but to challenge you too. I had the great privilege of making amazing friends at uni who not only were brilliant people for being there for each other but ones who didn't put up with any sh_t. If one of us was getting too cocky or rude, we'd make damn well sure that they knew they were being c_ck gobblers.
Silly habits, no matter how ridiculous, are really hard to break.[rebelmouse-image 18352098 is_animated_gif=
I do a lot of painting. Every time I paint, without fail, I will lean on a wall I either have just painted or am in the middle of painting either to rest or to take a call or whatever. Every time.
Traveling the world is a wonderful way to not only learn new things, but to adopt new ways of thinking.[rebelmouse-image 18352099 is_animated_gif=
When I traveled outside Canada. I realized that I was book smart but that I didn't have the ingenuity, wisdom, resilience, and fortitude of many people in "third-world" countries. Being smart comes in many forms.
It's important to be open to new ideas and perspectives, and to form opinions based on evidence and data.[rebelmouse-image 18352100 is_animated_gif=
When I realized that my views of others were more arrogant (rooted in my own vanity) versus just being different and nuanced.
Sort of the opposite of college - conformity can be as big a challenge as finding your place.[rebelmouse-image 18349746 is_animated_gif=
When I joined the military. Turns out I'm not even a person.
We all have our buttons. Recognizing them and being open to others is part of how we grow.[rebelmouse-image 18352101 is_animated_gif=
I'm not sure if this is as much smart or a stability thing, but the first time I had an argument with my wife that turned into a full out fight I was really humbled afterward. I really considered myself a calm, collected person but when my buttons were pushed it was like I was a teenager losing my head over some dumb sh_t.
Not being the smartest person in the room is tough, but those smarter than ourselves can be a great influence.[rebelmouse-image 18352102 is_animated_gif=
My second job in IT did it for me though the fact that I was an IT grunt should've been a clue. /s
I met a co-worker who truly was intelligent and it was eye-opening, humbling, and depressing.
Getting a "real-world job" is one of the best ways to learn how to think on your feet, so to speak.[rebelmouse-image 18352103 is_animated_gif=
Yea, getting a real-world job outside of college will humble most people. I knew I didn't know much when I went in, but then when I really got into the work, I was sh_tting my pants at how much I didn't know. Like, how did they hire me if I don't know what I'm doing??
But you learn quickly if you pay attention. Most knowledge in the workplace comes from experience. I can solve problems much quicker now because I've dealt with a similar issue before.
Be careful telling your kids they are the best - honestly is key, and growth and enrichment should always be encouraged.[rebelmouse-image 18352104 is_animated_gif=
I'm gonna go on a bit of a tangent, it wasn't that I realized I wasn't smart, but I wasn't as talented as I thought.
I was very much into reading and writing as a kid and I wrote so many stories. Everyone kept telling me how great my writing was, how I was gonna be a famous author etc. I always asked for constructive criticism but never got anything back; apparently, my writing was perfection. At a certain point, I realized this couldn't be true. So I wrote a short story, put it into an email and told my mom was a chainmail story I found that I thought was really good and asked her what she thought.
She read it and told me it wasn't a good story at all. I was floored. Barely holding back tears I asked her why it wasn't good. She went on to say how the characters were flat, there was no reason behind the plot, and the dialogue was awfully written. It hurt, it hurt a lot. I didn't expect that harsh of a criticism but I couldn't blame her because that's exactly what I wanted. I finally had someone telling me the truth about my writing instead of buttering me up. That day I realized that I was no prodigy writer, I wasn't as talented as everyone kept telling me, and that the world's opinions are harsh when it doesn't care. I realized I would need to work a lot harder than I thought I would to get better.
I don't think my mom ever figured it out and I'm sure she'd deny the story if I ever told her but I'm thankful that I learned the truth.
We can all relate to this. The challenge is, how do we fight back?[rebelmouse-image 18352105 is_animated_gif=
I thought I understood how politics and the world worked, then the 2016 election happened. Learned a lot since then. I had no idea how naive I had been.
Take a look around you and appreciate the work and knowledge required to build and construct our world. It's very humbling.[rebelmouse-image 18352106 is_animated_gif=
When I stopped to think about how hard sh_t is to make. I know playing with toys and objects at a young age or even as an adolescent I didn't appreciate this.
Like just driving around and watching things be constructed, like an overpass. You have to know where to begin the overpass on one side, then you have to start the overpass on the other side, then you have to build all the pillars, lay down whatever base of rebar or whatever to fill with cement, and then I guess pray to whatever you find holy and hope that it all lines up on the other side when you're done. Then you gotta make sure the thing is strong in case it is loaded with cars or even eighteen wheelers. Of course, I know there are calculations done and redone, and probably triple done, but it is remarkable how much engineering goes into something that might seem so simple.
It was only when I sat back and thought I honestly wouldn't even know where, to begin with building something like that.
"I'll never do that again." Simple and effective.[rebelmouse-image 18352107 is_animated_gif=
Two times actually.
When I grabbed an electric fence with two hands because I thought it was off.
When I was staring at the eclipse with glasses then took off the glasses without looking away.
Cramming is a big gamble. It's usually best to sleep before an exam.[rebelmouse-image 18352108 is_animated_gif=
Pulling an all-nighter and expecting to still ace the assignment.???????
Life lesson: pay attention to your surroundings.[rebelmouse-image 18352109 is_animated_gif=
I put away a tractor implement and stepped on one end while trying to put the locking key away and the bar cam back an hit me in the head like when Sideshow Bob stepped on the rakes.
True wisdom is accepting that you know nothing.[rebelmouse-image 18352110 is_animated_gif=
My dad was the smartest person I've ever known. He was a CPA, but could rebuild an engine, install the "internet" at his company in the 90s, and fought the IRS and won.
When I was maybe 10, I saw a piece of paper on the table with a note written on it saying "this piece of paper represents how much knowledge is available to you. How much do you know?" He made a pinpoint on the paper and wrote: "this is me".
I'm 39 now and a Chief in the Air Force. Nothing has made me feel less smart in my entire life. Nothing has made me more humble or contributed to who I am today than seeing that piece of paper.
Being street smart and book smart are two different forms of intelligence.
One acquires wisdom through life experiences while the other gains knowledge through reading books, articles, and from higher learning.
But sometimes there are certain situations where neither applies to a person–even though others may initially perceive them to be intelligent.
Curious to explore this further, Redditor Indianfattie asked:
'What is incorrectly perceived as a sign of intelligence?"
Status and credentials aren't necessarily strong indicators of intelligence.
"Edit: Thank you for the gold and silver! I am so rich. Therefore I am smart! S-M-R-T smart!"
Money And Brains
"People seem to think if you are rich with a good job you must be smart. Generally speaking I've only met one rich person I would consider smart. The rest? Ooooooof. I seriously wonder how some of them passed gradeschool."
"I was surprised when I learned that knowledge isn't necessarily correlated to intelligence. I met a lifelong academic who knew damn near everything about her topic .... but just the facts. It's like, she was a walking encyclopedia, could cough up any info about her field, but she couldn't really process it that well, or draw conclusions, or apply it to a different topic. It's hard to explain. She had a nice 2TB SSD drive full of info in her head but she had a substandard CPU. Since then I've met several people like that. All academics, but I'm not sure that has anything to do with it."
Certain behaviors and personality traits can be misleading.
The Quiet Observer
"Silence. I’ve been told so many times that I’m thoughtful and a deep thinker but really I can’t figure out what to say lol"
The Saying Goes
"There's a very good saying about that, I may be paraphrasing but I've always heard it as: a wise man speaks because he has something to say, a fool speaks because he has to say something."
Way With Words
"A cromulent vocabulary."
"This embiggens me."
Judging By Appearance
"I’m living in China right now and everyone keeps calling me intelligent as I’m bald and left handed."
History has proven leaders don't always make the best decisions.
"Being in charge."
Capable Until Proven Incompetent
"Always maintain a healthy skepticism for anyone claiming to be authority, at least till they prove themselves capable."
Save The Compliments
"if someone’s in an authoritative position, it should be others that praise them and say how good they are, not themselves."
The Peter Principle
'The Peter principle is a concept in management developed by Laurence J. Peter, which observes that people in a hierarchy tend to rise to "a level of respective incompetence." Employees are promoted based on their success in previous jobs until they reach a level at which they are no longer competent, as skills in one job do not necessarily translate to another.'
"I once worked for a company where the VP was the living embodiment of the Peter principle. She had been with the company for 20+ years, and somehow got promoted to VP of marketing."
"She very clearly had no idea what she was doing and as a result would end up micromanaging to stay busy. And she loved to come around at 4:30 on the Friday before a holiday weekend to 'say hi,' aka make sure no one was leaving early (we were all salaried)."
"This woman was completely incompetent, had no business managing anyone and didn't understand her duties at all, yet somehow she was an executive and made close to $200K per year. Just by outlasting everyone else."
A person with a big vocabulary can be deceiving.
I knew someone from work who boasted a huge vocabulary and always sounded like an academic scholar when he spoke at meetings.
My view of him completely shattered when he came in for his shift one morning and seriously asked where he could get some "expresso," "expecially" since he was very tired and could use a pick-me-up.
My colleagues and I just blankly stared at each other since his statements at the time were so jarring.
In the US, teenagers technically become adults at 18, an age when they are presumably able to make decisions for themselves and establish independence.
But some teenagers feel they've emotionally and mentally reached maturity before being of legal age, and for some, long after.
Maybe it was a life-changing event or some kind of turning point that make these young adults feel like they are wise beyond their years.
Curious to explore anecdotes relating to coming of age, Redditor brokenbeanie asked:
"When is the first time you remember feeling like an adult?"
These Redditors experienced an epiphany when they realized trips to the grocery store was routine.
"When I got mad that they rearanged the grocery store."
"When I was buying my own groceries and had survived for two weeks on my own. I figured I must be doing it right since I wasn’t feeling hungry or diminished."
Raising A Pet
"It took me a few years. I had a cat for a year and that's when I was like 'holy sh*t I've somehow managed to keep us both alive for an entire year.' That's when I felt like an adult. That was mid to late 20s. I am also a late bloomer."
Accomplishments without the supervision of another adult were common indicators for people who felt grown-ish.
Learn As You Go
"My first summer in college, my roommate and I housesat for a couple who were out of town all summer. Paying rent and bills, buying groceries. We were both working, thank God, but we didn’t have a clue what we were doing. Lived on boiled eggs, raisin bran, bologna and cheese sandwiches, and ten cent ramen."
No Approval Necessary
"The first time I didn’t have to ask for permission to go out."
Tasked With Responsibility
"In college, I was with some friends at a party and one of them fell and busted his face so badly, he started bleeding badly. I went looking for someone to do something when I realized I was the only sober one there. Not a fun night or feeling."
Regarding making purchases, these Redditors realized they could afford luxuries previously not granted to them.
"Honestly, the first time I bought a car without mentioning it ahead of time to my parents. I was 27 or 28, married (no kids, though), and it was at that point that I realized 'I didn't really run this past anyone............hmm....' All of the college loans without a cosigner, my careers (firefighter/paramedic and nurse),my marriage, vacations... Etc...All the stuff I did as an adult and it took a $32,000 purchase to really feel like an adult"
Answer To No One
"I wanted to buy a box of fruit roll-ups. But was feeling weird about it because as a kid we were not allowed to get it. It was too expensive and my parents didn’t want to buy it. At some point, while I was thinking about putting it down, it dawned on me that I was a grown man with my own income. I bought like 20 boxes."
Remember your first job? That was a defining moment for these Redditors.
Joining The Daily Grind
"Starting my first full-time 9-5 job."
"Same. It was weird not having to clock in or out and being allowed to leave work to go run an errand etc."
"I relate to this so hard. I remember when I got my first big boy job I'd pop my head into the bosses office and be like 'cool if I go to lunch?' Or something along those lines and she'd give me a weird look. After like two weeks she let me know that she did not care about lunch breaks, doctors appointments, or even leaving a little early, so long as the work got done. One of my earliest memories of that adulty feeling."
I remember buying my first movie ticket to an R-rated movie was extremely satisfying.
I conveniently forget what movie it was, but it was most likely for a horror film.
Not that the restriction for those under 17 has ever prevented me from sneaking into another theater after having purchased a ticket for a PG-13 film.
Hey, I never claimed to be a model teenager.
No joke, I will never forget the old Sock'em Boppers commercials. I am well past the age group that plays with these things but that theme song is often in my head. What can I say? I watched a ton of TV as a kid and saw that commercial a million times.
They're now known as Socker Boppers and it's just not the same. Remember that video jingle, "it's more fun than a pillow fight?" Those were the days. Alas, everything good must end.
There are a host of other commercials that have left an impression on people. These people shared their thoughts with us after Redditor No-Caterpillar4212 asked the online community,
"What's a commercial you'll never forget?"
"I still giggle..."
"I still giggle at the LifeAlert "I've fallen and I can't get up" commercials. They even have a newer batch of them out."
There's a criminal in my house!
"Mr. Owl, how many licks does it take to get to the Tootsie Roll center of a Tootsie Pop?"
The world may never know.
"I tried to collect..."
"Yo quiero Taco Bell!"
"I tried to collect all those stuffed Taco Bell dogs they did in promotion around this time. I had almost all of them, but never got my favourite one, with the military hat that says, "Viva gordita!""
I remember those! There were so many. I swear, I had at least one or two but they've now been lost to time.
"This is your brain."
"The "This is your brain. This is your brain on drugs" egg commercial."
Oh, but remember the old Rachel Leigh Cook commercial where she destroyed the entire kitchen and not just the egg?
"The dancing old man..."
"The dancing old man from the Six Flags commercials."
Now this one really takes me back.
The Venga bus is coming!!!
And everybody's jumping!!!
"That mid 2000s..."
"That mid 2000s Chef Boyardee commercial where the can follows the family and rolls home with them."
You mean the one where the can is clearly stalking the family and people are too shy to say otherwise?
At least that's how I like to play it out in my head.
"The Wilford Brimley..."
"The Wilford Brimley diabeetus commercial."
At this point, diabetes should just be called Wilford Brimley syndrome.
"The Budweiser Wassup Commercial refuses to exit my brain to this day."
WAZZZUUUUUPPP!? Any kids watching Scary Movie will not understand that reference in the movie sadly.
"Five eight eiiight, two-three hundred... ...Empiiiiire!"
Good choice. This one is always living rent-free inside my head.
"My bologna has a first name. It's O-s-c-a-r. My bologna has a second name. It's M-a-y-e-r. Oh, I love to eat it every day and if you ask my why, I'll say. Cuz Oscar Mayer has a way with b-o-l-o-g-n-a."
This commercial is likely singlehandedly responsible for teaching children how to spell "bologna."
Apologies if you now have relentless commercial jingles rattling inside your brain right now. You should have known we'd awake some long buried childhood memories!
Have some commercials you remember? Feel free to tell us more in the comments below!
If you're not familiar with the phrase "you are what you eat," it is not a literal statement.
Instead, the line suggests that it is important to eat better quality foods in order to stay healthy and fit.
But the notion that we can go through a transformation of some sort based on our behavior or surroundings can still be a thing depending on certain discussions within context.
Curious to hear examples of what this might be, Redditor standardgenre45 asked:
"What’s something that people turn into their whole personality?"
We can lose sight of ourselves when heavily influenced by another individual or a group of people.
Influenced By Devotion
"Politicians they follow."
Era-Specific Like-Minded Individuals
"The generation they're born in."
We Like, We Follow
"‘Girl bosses’/MLM cult engagers"
"And social media."
People can take on the characteristics that apply to their environments.
"Here in the Netherlands people who live in Amsterdam base their personality on Amsterdam."
When In Colorado
"People move to Colorado and Colorado becomes their personality. They buy a jeep or Subaru and start wearing Chaco’s, and plaster Mountain Life all over everything they own."
Claiming Ownership Of The State
"Not only that, but 'Colorado native' is a whole thing too. I've met many people who have nothing to talk about except how bitter they are that people keep moving in and how much better it was when they were kids."
What The Canadian Said
"It’s that way for a lot of major cities around the world. Here in Canada each province’s capital city has a bunch of people basing their personality off of it."
The Thing About Major American Cities
"Lots of New Yorkers (City not state) guilty of this too. But it’s not just them. Los Angelinos, San Francisans, Chicago and DC are guilty too. Texans are probably the worst about it, especially the further they get away from Texas, then you’ve got people from Austin who are like the elitist Texans, they’re like the oddest mix of hippie and redneck. They often pride themselves on the hippie and denounce the redneck while still obviously being one."
Things having to do with money can be an obsession and really take over the essence of a person.
Living Work Or Work For A Living?
Value Of Conversation
"Or just money in general. I worked with a guy who only ever talked about what things were worth, mostly vehicles. What he was thinking about buying. How much he could sell something for. The trades he wanted to make. How much our customers made. What motorbike he bought before from a guy on the street we happened to be on and what it's worth. That's all. It was annoying as f'k. Any conversation at all, you could be talking about your grandma, and he immediately tries to change the subject to value. It was literally the only small talk he knew. The fact he was poor just made it sad."
Just Cut The Pricetag
"Omg my husband is kind of like this and as much as I love him, it's so frustrating. I'm just not all about money. We don't need to tell the kids how much their gifts cost. Idk. It makes me a little nuts."
Power Of Money
"True, I lived it twice. First time I was a young, driven, ladder climber. Second I was a greedy, grab All the Cheeto’s before everything goes to pot… then when it did in 2008, financial collapse happened, I became lost. I’d let 95% of my identity become my job when it disappeared so did I. Took over a year to get my head right."
Ever been told that you're turning into one of your parents?
That's another phrase often uttered, especially by a sibling who sees that you have slowly taken on the characteristics and idiosyncrasies of your mom or dad.
Learned behavior or genes?
Could be either or both. What do you think?