Mary John

7 Signs of Stupidity in a Person and How to Improve


Most times, we come across people whose actions are so surprising that you wonder if they have common sense. Things that look so obvious are not easily understandable to them, and most times they make questionable decisions that make one stare wide-eyed.

This is not their fault but a result of their low intelligence, because they often do not recognize what they do. This lack of intelligence can pose problems in relationships and communications or lead to manipulative behaviors.

This article aims to help you identify seven signs of stupidity that might show up in your life. It is not to belittle you or sound superior, but to help you be aware of these behaviors and take steps to get rid of them.

Without further ado, let’s dive into the 7 signs of stupidity in a person and how to improve

Sign 1: Lack of Critical Thinking Skills

Critical thinking involves closely questioning and challenging assumptions and ideas. It means you do not accept information so quickly but take your time to sieve through each one to separate fact from fiction.

This is the most obvious of the seven signs of stupidity. You can identify this sign in your life if: you believe everything you read or hear without careful assessment; you depend on your emotions when making decisions; you are unwilling to question your beliefs when you encounter something contradictory; or if you jump to conclusions without hearing from every side. These things can land you in situations you may not quickly recover from or destroy your relationships.

Sign 2: Inability to Learn from Mistakes

Mistakes are teachers in the course of life. It is expected that a person learns from his past mistakes as he progresses in his life, career, relationships, or family. However, someone who exhibits this one of the seven signs of stupidity will never learn from mistakes. They would repeat the same errors over and over again. This is because their minds do not connect the dots between their action and the consequence.

Consider this scenario, a person goes to the warehouse to pick up a certain quantity of goods and does not sign off the exact quantities he collects or does not count along with the person bringing out the goods and signs off whatever amount is written in the invoice. He returns to his workplace with incomplete goods or overcharged prices, and his boss realizes he did not pay attention, thus leading to a cut in his salary that month.

You would expect that the next time this person goes to that warehouse, he will triple-check before signing off, but he keeps repeating the mistakes.

How to Improve

Start by acknowledging your mistakes. Go ahead and analyze your mistakes to identify the possible reasons for making them. In the process, you’ll get to pick out the lessons from the mistake. Mindfully put the lessons into practice. Don’t forget to ask for help if you think you need assistance in overcoming the mistake. Mindfulness is key here. Practice mindfulness techniques to boost your focus and mental activity.

Sign 3: Bad Listening Skills

Have you ever spoken with someone who was more interested in speaking than understanding what you were saying, or does this describe something you do? This is one of the seven signs of stupidity that show up often in conversations.

Bad listening shows up in different ways, which include but are not limited to the following:

  • Constantly interrupting someone talking to you or drowning out their voice by talking over them
  • When you check your phone or look around the building instead of focusing on the person you’re having a conversation with,
  • If you frequently avoid eye contact with the person you’re speaking to,
  • If you easily forget details the speaker shared moments ago,
  • Often passing judgment without letting the speaker conclude or understand what is being said

‘Listening is much more a mark of wisdom as it is a mark of a good conversationalist, showing respect, understanding, and interest.’

How to Improve

Be patient with yourself. Impatience is usually the reason we end up interrupting others in communication. Calm down. Hold yourself back anytime you feel that urge. If you actively hold yourself back, you are retraining your mind to pay attention to others. Over time, it will master you, and you will get to listen more. Also, practice meditation to calm yourself and eliminate those noises that becloud your soul.

Sign 4: Lack of Empathy

Empathy is the ability to feel what others are feeling, and a lack of this is one of the seven signs of stupidity. A friend comes to your house, crying and lamenting over something, and instead of offering comfort, tissues, or a handkerchief, you begin to play music or a video or change the subject to something joyful. You ignore your friend’s discomfort like it’s not important and choose to focus on yourself.

If you have this trait, you’ll soon discover or have already discovered that no one will come to tell you of the problems they are facing because they know you are not concerned about them or their wellbeing. This is one of the reasons why a lot of your relationships are going south and why your friends cannot build trust or connections with you.

Lack of empathy also shows in characters such as failure to listen attentively, disregarding others’ concerns, downplaying someone’s emotions, lack of emotional support in trying situations, and criticizing others quickly without seeking to understand their side of the story.

How To Improve

Put yourself in the shoes of others. Feel their pain and desires too. Before you judge that person, pause and reflect on your biases. It may be that you are even wrong. Perhaps a previous negative experience shaped your behavior in that way. Always think back and analyze your actions. Decide to respect and respond positively to others. Do not dismiss the negative feelings of others. In the process of developing empathy, you may feel vulnerable at times, but keep going.

Sign 5: Overconfidence and Arrogance

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Overconfidence and arrogance refer to an over-exaggerated sense of self-importance and an inflated view of one’s capabilities. It causes you to be rude to others and makes them feel inadequate. You believe the world revolves around you and want everyone to know about it.

Most times, this overconfidence is in things that are wrong. Such a person might give the wrong answer to a question and stick to it even after being told it is incorrect. He/she stands proud in his misinformation, dismisses others’ opinions, and refuses to consider views that are different from his own.

Overconfidence and arrogance would always show up in implausible arguments where they claimed to know something they didn’t. Their confidence might be so great that it draws you in until you fact-check them.

This is one of the seven signs of stupidity that could show up in your life or the life of someone you know.

How to Improve

Mindfulness and meditation can help us overcome this sign of stupidity in a person. A man who does a lot of meditation and mindful activity will easily discover his frailties and weaknesses. His weaknesses stare at him, and he has to deal with them, lowering the chances of being overconfident. The next time you feel that urge to exhibit arrogance and overconfidence, remind yourself that you are still a learner and need to keep improving. Humble yourself and learn.

Sign 6: Unwilling to Change

This is one of the seven signs of stupidity that might not be so obvious but problematic. This person is stuck in fear and stubbornness, holding tightly to what he has always known despite all the changes in the environment. He/she refuses to adapt to modern technology, rejects the convenience and ease it brings, and tries to convince everyone who cares to do the same. They deliberately look for the negatives in new things and use them to explain away why they shouldn’t change.

For example, you choose to use a button phone in a world of smartphones because you believe smartphones will spy on you, or you choose to use an old, slow car because you think the modern, fast ones will cause you to have accidents. You refuse to learn how to use computers or the internet, choosing instead to use your typewriter or walk long miles to the library to search for information. When you cling to familiar routines or information that is stale, you hinder your chances of adapting to the changing world.

Other behaviors that show unwillingness to change include the dismissal of new ideas, longing for things that are past, rigid devotion to routines, defensiveness, and a fear of the unknown.

How to Improve

Grow! That’s the simple solution for this sign of stupidity. Read widely and expose yourself to knowledge. Give yourself time for personal development. Change becomes natural in an atmosphere of knowledge. We are likely to keep changing as we keep learning.

Sign 7: Resistance to Personal Growth and Development

This is the seventh sign of stupidity that hinders our ability to learn and adapt in life.

A person who exhibits this sign would have a closed mind against contrary beliefs, have an acute fear of failure, be defensive and dismissive of corrections, be disinterested in learning new things or acquiring new skills, and be unmotivated to pursue personal goals.

You can identify this sign in your life when you notice you are angry over a new innovation that requires you to learn a new skill, when you resent having to go for new training to develop yourself, or when you refuse to try something new because you’re afraid to fail. You cannot conclude you show this sign of stupidity if this happens once or twice in your life, but if it happens repeatedly, then it’s likely a sign of stupidity and you’ve got to grow and keep growing.

In conclusion, you don’t have to give up hope or blame yourself if you discover some or all of these signs in your life. With careful training and discipline, you can get rid of these behaviors. Some of the ways you can correct these are by understanding your areas of weakness and strengths in order to handle them properly; developing your critical thinking skills by asking questions and doing active research; being fully present and active during conversations; seeking to improve yourself and be more open-minded; working to better understand and relate to the emotions of your family, friends, and colleagues; and reflecting on and learning from your mistakes.

Understand that these behaviors would not disappear overnight, just as they did not become part of you overnight. Keep working on yourself until you become better and smarter.

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