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Robert Frost

Realize that there are many, many people far smarter than you that view you as stupid. Then treat those not as smart as you as you want those smarter than you to treat you.

Sue Ward

When I married the first time, I was 21. The first time I met my husband’s mother, I was appalled. She knew every old wives’ tale there was and believed them wholeheartedly (cats that steal babies’ breath, joint snakes…the list goes on). Her only reading material was The National Enquirer, and she had never been out of our Midwestern state, and never more than a few hundred miles from home.

She didn’t like or trust me because I was intelligent and college educated. I thought she was a backwoods hick.

And yet — over the years we came to respect each other. We spent quite a bit of time together after the kids came because I thought it was important they have good relationships with their grandparents, and my husband didn’t care, so if they visited, it was up to me to take them.

She’d listen to me when I played Snopes to her old wives’ tales; I’d listen to her tell me about her time of being a single mom and opening a tiny diner to make enough money to get by, her kids’ childhoods, and how to cook. We actually came to enjoy each other’s company despite having very little in common.

When her son (my husband) turned out to be a complete and total jerk, she took my side and told me that I could divorce him, but I was stuck with her — and we became “out-laws” instead of “in-laws”. She’s been gone for many years now, but I still miss her.

What I’m telling you here is that it’s not about the intelligence, it’s about the heart of someone. Your life will be considerably poorer if you cut people out of it because they’re not “smart enough”.

I don’t know how you change except by being open to people who mean well. Maybe you can start by considering yourself a mentor to the world at large. I think you will be surprised at what you yourself will learn in the process.

Xianhang Zhang

No offense but I’ve often found that people who “don’t have the patience for stupid people” are really masking a deep seated insecurity. They figure out the one or two areas they regard as their strengths and arbitrarily define that as “intelligence” (and, sometimes, they really aren’t even great at those; cf. Dunning-Kruger Effect). That way, they can look at the world and see that the majority of people are “stupider” than them.

In reality, we all have areas of strengths and areas of weakness. Some people are great conceptual thinkers, some are great communicators, some are brilliant at being detail oriented, etc. When I meet somebody for the first time, I really try and find where they are strong & I am weak so that I can learn something from them. Over so many dimensions of human endeavor, there’s usually at least one or two major areas in which I feel like I gained something from that encounter.

Once in a while, you genuinely will meet someone who has nothing to teach you and nothing you want to associate with them. In those cases, I just put up a wall, be pleasant and engineer to be away from that person as soon as possible.

But I pretty much approach everybody with an open mind and a humble heart and it’s worked wonders for me.

via Quora