Friday, 20 May 2011

Telling someone something and belittling someone are very similar...

Hey Bloggers,

Are you ever in the midst of discussion with someone and then feel suddenly unable to participate?  Do you ever feel as though you are better than someone in a discussion?  Do you gain satisfaction through giving other people knowledge?

'Telling someone something and belittling someone are very similar; there is a very fine line between the two.'

Many of us enjoy an intelligent conversation (by intelligent I don't just mean about science) that really gets people thinking and exploring - though, I have learnt some people don't appreciate them early in the morning!  However, sometimes these conversations can turn for the worse.  There are a few main turns these conversations can have that lead to the participants fighting; conflict of interest’s being the main one.  Though, linking back to the title, in conversations that involve intelligence, it can result in one or both parties educating the others.  However, where is the line between belittling someone and educating someone?

Many of us have that person we want to get one above.  Why?  This is because they either come across as though they think they are better than everyone else, belittle other people or maybe they are just lacking in manners.  This is what you want to avoid in yourself if you are to avoid being fought against.  There are many ways of telling people things but, one thing people hate is being told they are wrong abruptly and rudely.  People don't like to be made feel stupid – it makes them feel inadequate.  It has been done to me several times and my defence mechanism is to laugh it off like many other people's, though don't let that false laughter mislead you.  Really, once you have belittled someone in this way, they may want to get one up on you - depending on who they are.  People have different tactics to get this extra point - some being more effective than others - but never the less; you have just started a match!

Once you kick off the game, it is hard to end it.  Who decides when you are both even?  There is no referee in this game.  It is best to tell people things in a way they are made to feel no different.  For example, you don't have to be so blunt as to openly call someone wrong.  You could say something like 'oh really?  I heard that it was this and this.'  That way, you are continuing the discussion opposed to ending it.  This means that the person is likely to come around to your way of thinking as through the discussion they will work out they are wrong.  Also, people are more likely to listen to people they like.  If you have a teacher you don't like, people tend to just try to pick holes in everything they say to put them down though if you like your teacher, you will be more focused on the work and taking in what they have to say.  Personality is very, very important in all walks of life.

So, don't put people down with your knowledge, enrich them with it!  But, most importantly, be enriched by other people's knowledge.  No one is the oracle of life therefore; you can always learn something from someone else no matter what you think of them.  Also, don't try to outdo someone, it just isn't worth it because you create this awkward rivalry - perhaps not awkward for you but, it is for your co-workers or friends etc.  Besides, if you are trying to come across as more intelligent it shows lack of understanding if you are so closed minded.

Remember, you're not the expert on everything, no one is.  You could be a really successful biologist with a PHD but, you will not know the ins and outs of every walk of science, will you?  You probably won't know the ins and outs of biology to be fair!  So what do you think about what you have read?  Leave your comments below and tick the appropriate box please and follow me here or on Twitter@


  1. Hi Jack, I think you make some interesting points. I agree, everybody is as good as each other... just in different ways and it is always fun to learn from others.

    I see how telling someone something can be seen as putting someone down depending on how the sentence is phrased.

  2. @Claza I like people who can appreciate the fact we are all on the same level - only the levels we are on vary slightly in looks, terrain, goals and aims etc. Thank you for your reply :)

  3. I really enjoy your blog. If you lived in America, I think you would have a daytime talk-show by now. Your philosophy of human equity forges a way of thinking that most people would find very helpful and uplifting. A better understanding of sociology and communication such as yours would really elevate the level of conversation that most people have. Hope I can read more, Jack :)

  4. Ohhh, TV show host hey? That would be my ultimate dream I guess as I would have a lot of influence over people - especially in the US as the audiences are far bigger. You never know, but I doubt that much success...

    I am glad to hear you enjoy my blog and thank you very much for the comment :)