Something I’ve been noticing more and more lately is the act of people dumbing themselves down. That is, the act of lowering your intelligence level temporarily when you socialize with others, and to be honest, it’s something I’m guilty of too.
Society, for better or worse, (usually worse) generally dictates what’s “acceptable” or not. This can occur on pretty much any level, from what’s considered “cool” or “trendy,” to what a reasonable manner of socializing is. For example, society says it’s considered odd if you strike up a conversation with a stranger about the philosophy of life, spiritual communication, or about some deeper meaning in a book you recently read; yet it’s acceptable to discuss the weather, last night’s football game, or how the traffic has gotten so terrible. Society even dictates our laws and values, putting an emphasis on things like money and social status instead of personal growth and happiness. Society says marijuana is dangerous and harmful, but alcohol is perfectly acceptable. Society says that certain people are deserving of more respect than others, or that the wealthier somebody is, the more we’re supposed to value them.
Society says all of these things and more, yet it’s up to you to decide how much value you allow society to hold over you. Personally, I love when people talk to me about a challenging subject, something that allows me to think on a deeper level or gives me a chance to bring up a topic that most people don’t ordinarily discuss. Anybody can sit and discuss the weather or how they sat in traffic for an hour before making it to the office, but rarely do these provide any kind of intellectual stimulation.
Yet this is exactly why people find the need to dumb themselves down, to lower their intelligence when communicating with others. Like I said, I’m guilty of it myself, and I’ve even caught myself doing it without realizing it. Somebody will initiate some kind of conversation with me, and I can’t discuss my true thoughts with them for fear that they won’t be able to catch on. I don’t mean that to sound like I’m smarter than anybody else, but I find myself keeping my thoughts and ideas on a very basic level so that I don’t end up overwhelming the other person. This isn’t just strangers this can happens too though; it can also include family members, friends, co-workers, and pretty much anybody else you converse with.