People Share Things Others Do To Look Smart That Don't Work For Them

It's pretty typical to want to impress people, especially if it's the first time meeting them, but some folks go out of their way to make it seem like they're superior. Sometimes their attempts fall flat, and sometimes they do exactly the opposite of what was intended.

Reddit user u/noteprocupes asked:

"What is something people do because they think it makes them look smart, but it actually makes them look really dumb?"



I'm convinced people dart in and out of traffic thinking they're "beating the system" and they congratulate themselves on being efficient. In reality, they've saved no significant amount of time and came out looking like an uneducated a*shole.


Those are the people that slow traffic down by causing everyone else to hit their brakes. Lots of lane changes are a huge cause of traffic.



Hating anything that's "popular" just because it's popular. Trying too hard to come across as sophisticated, edgy, and "better."


I just genuinely don't like that many popular things and I hate it when people are like "haha yea, how can you like that garbage?"

Like, dude, just because I don't enjoy it doesn't mean it's bad?




Answer questions on the spot.

It's ok to say "I don't know" or "let me do some research and get back to you on that one".

Getting comfortable with that really changed my career for the better because I was killing myself with anxiety when I didn't have answers or making dumb mistakes when i tried to have an answer for everything off the cuff.



Diagnose every person involved in a spat on r/AITA and r/relationships as narcissists without knowing what that actually means.


Okay so it's not just me. I noticed EVERY SINGLE PERSON who is a jerk is labeled a narcissist and I don't get it. Is that the new buzzword for sh**ty person?



"Do you even listen to (band you're wearing a shirt of)?"

Yes. Why would I wear a Pink Floyd shirt if I don't like Pink Floyd?

Also, "name 3 (band on shirt) songs."

If they can, congratulations. You look like a jerk.



This guy at work likes to stand up at his desk and practice his martial arts. Always talks about how if someone were to attack him how he would defend himself in the situation and take him down. With specifics. Gah its annoying.



My favorite are the "teacher please notice I read this book/article not on the syllabus but kind of relevant to the class" questions.

Especially since most of the time the professor doesn't have much of a response beyond acknowledging the connection. I took a yearlong intensive business program and this one kiss-*ss managed to bring up a book that was mentioned during orientation in just about every class the whole year.



Use extra long, endlessly winding sentences and niche jargon.

I can't remember how many students I had to tell, that no, writing sentences which hardly anyone can follow and use words which are super specific and hardly anyone knows, does not make you seem clever or smart, let alone educated or intelligent. It makes you look like an idiot who has no idea what they are talking about, since they can't find the words to make other people understand the issue.



I really really hate when people show up late to lecture, sit in the front, then start answering questions the professor is asking just by rewording what they said.



Share the results of a Facebook IQ quiz.



Using "buzz" words when talking about something they know little or nothing about. I got the blue screen of death and one of my friends told me it was because of my isp, or could be my bandwidth. Do you even know what isp stands for?


Oh man, I do tech work for fire alarm panels and I had a coworker that managed the accounts but knew nothing about the tech side. That's fine, it's not her job to know the tech, but she didn't like to admit it and would call and try to ask me questions using a bunch of industry related words she'd heard me use but didn't understand and it would just be a mishmash of incomprehensible gibberish.

To give you an idea, imagine it's a pizza shop and a customer calls to complain about a cold pizza. She calls me up since I made the pizza and says "Hey the customer said their pizza was cold, do you think the mozzarella might have caused the oven to crust over from anchovies being topped from the parmesan bell peppers with olives being cut?"



You'll never look bad for saying "who" when you mean "whom".

You'll always look bad for saying "whom" when you mean "who".


Likewise, "its" instead of "it's" is really easy to overlook, but the reverse sticks out like a sore thumb.



Correcting everything and everyone in the smallest things. It's just annoying. Even worse how they get offended when someone corrects them.

-User Account Deleted



Berate you for not understanding a joke or phrase—and refusing to explain it, because they obviously don't get it either.


Ah, the ole, I am going to tell you this joke to see how you respond and hope that you say the punchline so I finally get it routine.



Talk over or interrupt other people with their "smart" input.


We have a serious problem with this on my team at work (IT-related job). We are a small group, only 5 people plus my supervisor. We have two people that constantly do this. I read an article about how to combat when people constantly talk over you because I was so worn out over it. They mentioned that it's usually best to stop talking, wait until they're finished then say, "as I was saying before..." It has helped tremendously with one of the over-talkers. Fingers crossed that the other will become more self-aware.



When you say, "Hey I didn't know this, but shortbread cookies don't have eggs in them," and the other person says, "You didn't KNOW shortbread cookies don't have eggs in them?!" "No Karen, that's why I started that sentence with, Hey I didn't know this." Maybe it's more specific to me....


Omg guys, look at this utter doofus who at one point didn't know something which he then learnt and knew afterwards. How embarrassing must that be!?



Weave in and out of traffic only to wind up no further ahead.


I always laugh when someone weaves like they are in fast and furious, and then I catch up to them at the next light.



Pretend to be informed about and insist on having an opinion about anything and everything: above all, a total refusal to ever employ the expressions 'I don't know', or 'Please explain.'

This instantly marks you out as an essentially uneducated person. Well-educated people know, above all else, what they do not know, and they have no compunction whatever about admitting what they don't know-- implicitly, because they know that an admission of ignorance is the surest way to remedy it, and have confidence that they can understand and learn about basically anything, given time.

Know-it-alls are almost invariably covering up for their own intellectual insecurities, while effectively putting them on full display.



Steering conversations towards their area of expertise.

I just asked if you saw Endgame, how are we talking about the Russian boycott of the 1984 Olympics?



Be contrarian or negative about absolutely EVERYTHING. It's ok to have a negative opinion about something, but some people just love to argue for no reason other than to seem like they're smart.


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