When Stupidity Gives Advice

I’ve been receiving a recurring complaint from readers expressing their unmitigated frustration at presumptuous stupers (yet again, a term for uncontrollably stupid persons) who insist on giving unsolicited advice. These stupers believe there’s only one right way to live: their way. Here’s a sample e-mail (shortened for brevity):

Dear Keli,

My sister-in-law, Hortense, is a complete stuper. You see, we have boys the same age. Whatever activity her son, Herman, participates in, she insists mine do the same. Herman loves soccer. Hortense says that if I don’t enroll my child in soccer, I’ll be making a huge mistake. I keep telling her, we tried it and didn’t like it, but Hortense just shakes her head at me like I’m crazy. She does this with everything. She discovered religion three years ago and now her family goes to church every Sunday. We don’t. I’m constantly reminded that we’ll be going to Hell. She makes me feel like I’m a bad mom and a bad person. I’m so upset!


Can’t Take it Anymore in Cincinnati

Concern TrollStupidity can be annoyingly meddlesome. At the risk of causing offense, I believe some stupers have a knack of making going to hell sound like a pleasure trip. Mainly because they won’t be there. Hortense may have discovered Jesus a few years ago, but it appears she misplaces Him at her convenience. Tolerance is not part of stupidity’s itinerary.

This is my response:

Dear Can’t Take It:

I’m sorry to hear of your stuper troubles. I have a relevant question for you: What would you do if you’d just lay down to rest and from nowhere (as stupers are wont to do) appears a rough, itchy, heavy blanket that lands right atop your resting body? Would you continue to lie there or fling off the worthless burden, leap out of bed, and possibly, if so motivated, tear said blanket to bits? Of course, this can be done in a more placid manner as well, meaning you may calmly get up and remove the ponderous blankie, then return to your repose and more important matters.

If I may borrow a few words from a speech by Churchill, there’s no room for the “…weakling, for the shirker, or the sluggard” when it comes to stupidity. I feel certain Hortense empties the contents of her meager mind because you appear to be easy prey.

I suggest you use your words, and as few as possible, to tell Hortense to buzz off. You are at an advantage since you seem to know what to expect from her. If you don’t feel like speaking to her, nod your head and smile (smile is optional) when she offers her so-called advice. She’ll get bored and stop. If you give her a reaction, she’ll continue, as stupidity loves attention.

I’ve found most stupers really do talk too much. They are clueless about the power of their words. Even thinkers who take advantage of the telephone, the internet and other modern everyday luxuries, usually take the words they utter for granted. Why not take advantage of our words? Stupers don’t use them well which is all the more reason why the rest of us should. There is a great power behind words. They shape our circumstances – and our lives.

Watch your words. And watch out for Stupers giving advice.


4 Responses to “When Stupidity Gives Advice”

  1. M.C. says:

    I have someone like this is my family who is very unkind. No one likes to be around her. We do exactly as you say. Try to say as little as possible and get away as fast as we can.

  2. Paulyn says:

    Believe me, Keli, I do encounter a lot of those kinds of stupers on my day-to-day activities. That’s exactly the reason why I prefer to keep my doors shut most of the time, unless it would be a matter of life and death. Some people deliberately come to you just to give advise where it isn’t even asked, and sometimes I would just have to bite my tongue just so not to blurt out anything nasty and probably offend the stuper!

  3. Dan says:

    Religious stupidity is something that always gets on my nerves. Here is an example of the futility of having civil discourse about religion without degenerating into personal attacks :

    The lack of tolerance seems to be a prominent trait among religious types and this inability to agree to disagree has made me weary of BC discussion forums. Maybe, the above thread might be a source of info for your next stuper post? Best.

  4. Starlily says:

    I think most people have at least one ‘unsolicited advisor’ amongst their extended family. You learn not to talk with this person about certain topics, or to avoid said person altogether. In order to have a meaningful conversation, listening and processing skills are necessary.
    In regards to religious discussion online, I avoid those discussions entirely; I have found that there are stupers in every camp, and readworthy comments are rare.

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