Toxic Stupidity

Many modern issues of stupidity are actually age-old. Even older than the institution of marriage. Which reminds me: oh, woe are we who are stuck with stuper (short, yet again, for an implacably stupid person) in-laws who practically induce a mental rash from their mercilessly irritating ways. Here’s a letter detailing just that:

Dear Keli,

I’ve been wanting to e-mail you for a really long time. I keep hoping my stuper problem will go away, but it hasn’t. It’s my mother-in-law, Dayle. I’ve been married to Mike for almost twenty years and during this whole time, Dayle treats me like cr*p. She sends out Christmas cards addressed only to Mike and the kids. She’s never thanked me for any presents I’ve gotten her, even when I made them myself. When she comes over, she sometimes brings a gift. But she’ll repeatedly say that the bottle of wine or whatever she brought is for Mike (and not me, miserable piece of chopped liver that I am). I talked to her about this a year ago and told her I’d really like us to be friends. Dayle agreed, but the next time I saw her, she acted like her usual critical, pompous self. She always talks only about herself. I can’t get a word in and when I do, I’m criticized. She’s not just an old windbag, she’s a cyclone! Even though Mike says I don’t have to see her, I don’t want to hear about her, that’s how much she upsets me. I guess I’m just weak minded. Or maybe I’m the stuper? Am I? What should I do? I don’t like feeling this way.
Thank you, Keli, for taking the time to answer this.


Stupidity can chip away even at minds of Einstein-like proportions (witness Einstein’s many quotes about stupers). If we don’t take control over our own minds, then we will become stupers ourselves. As is it, Sarah is permitting an inferior, seldom used mind to contaminate her own.

I’m very fortunate not to suffer from toxic parents-in-law; only a menacingly insipid sister-in-law. Extended family of this lowly caliber can indeed trigger a rash and even clog our thinking with destructive thoughts, if we’re not careful.

There are ways to prevent idiotic relations from dampening our spirits. And I don’t mean muzzling them with that lovely lavender colored scarf sitting expectantly in the back of your sock drawer. If we are going to be disturbed every time we hear from these unworthy opponents, we are unknowingly entering a trap. One that snares the mind and prevents it from thinking clearly and promoting personal happiness.

Deprive a person of oxygen and he’ll suffocate. Deprive a stuper of his idiocy and the rest of us will thrive. Authentic humans should clear this low hurdle with ease simply by using any of these methods:

1. Treat opponents kindly. Kindness can hugely influence people. Even the vacant minded variety. If you don’t want contact with the stupid among us, then merely think of them kindly. This is a simple and highly recommended strategy because kindness begets kindness. It keeps us in a serenely firm frame of mind and allows us to ably continue our lives. This requires confidence and patience in oneself;

2. We may not be saintly enough to love our opponents, but for the sake of our health and happiness, we should at least forgive and forget them, according to Dale Carnegie. This step is most challenging. The reason we detest the company of certain hollow heads is because we feel they’ve unjustly wronged us. Why should we forgive? Because forgiveness diffuses our anger. Staying angry is like carrying a five-hundred pound sumo wrestler in our arms. The effort is enormous; back-breaking. Is it worth it? Forgiveness liberates the soul; and

3. Ignore them. Refocus on someone less fortunate and lend a gracious hand. This helps promote proper perspective, induces forgetfulness about the stuper and strengthens the soul of the giver.

Each of these methods requires practice and effort. But anything worth having calls for such.

The difference between stupidity and genius is that genius has its limits.
Albert Einstein



8 Responses to “Toxic Stupidity”

  1. Sarah says:

    Thank you! You gave good suggestions. I’ll just have to work on the practicing part!

  2. Ferd says:

    I’m saving this!!! I’m starting a “Keli’s Greatest Hits” folder.

    Since it’s Halloween, I’ll try to find something ghoulish in all of this. Let’s see,
    1. “Kill” them with kindness!!
    2. Anger and resentment are the “poisons” we take, hoping the other person will “die!”
    3. Do unto others before they do unto you! Wait… that’s not right. Hmm. The Golden Rule… He who has the gold, rules! No… that’s not right either. How about a southern, “Bless your heart!”, which often really means the exact opposite! Not quite ghoulish, but just a hint of evil!

    A truly excellent post, Keli, even by your high hurdle standards.
    I hope you had a scary Halloween!

  3. rebecca says:

    I definitely have toxic relatives. But I just want to clear something up. If they are toxic and cause us grief (tons of it) we don’t have to see them or be near them, right? How healthy can it be to hang with stupidity?

  4. Keli says:

    If first you have problems in practicing, don’t give up. It took me a very long time to change my thoughts toward my own personal stuper. Feel free to e-mail me anytime if I may be of service. I’m happy to try and help!
    Oh my goodness gracious, Ferd! First you hit me with the greatest hits folder, and then the your “hellish” Halloween tips. You’re too clever for me! I should have asked you to be my guest blogger! Next holiday, I know who to invite over if I want to add some “spice” to my post.
    Thank you, Ferd!
    Absolutely right! It is not healthy to hang around stupidity. You may shun stupers at will.

  5. Jessica Bern says:

    I had an MIL like this beeatch and I ended up divorcing HER. I just gave my husband back to her because I was sick and tired of her meddling in our lives and his inability to stick up to this woman who is nothing but pure evil. EVIL. Hate is a very powerful word but this woman, Ann is her name, Satan, her middle one, is someone I really do hate. I don’t let it get the best of me and the only way I can is to never think about her. I’m sorry that anyone has to put up with women like this. Super sorry.

  6. Elaine says:

    I am one of the fortunate ones when it came to in-laws, they frequently told me I was the daughter they never had and welcomed me with open arms.

    ‘Kill em with kindness’ was a line my M-I-L use to say too. Great post Keli and always makes one think upon leaving your blog. I really like the quote you ended with!

  7. Keli says:

    Oh dear me! Yours was of the back breaking variety, it seems! You are wise in never thinking about her. May you never have another MIL like her in your life again!
    Glad to hear that! I believe in always trying kindness first.
    Thank you!

  8. Jenny says:

    Forgiving is the hardest thing in the world to do. It helps me to remember of how much I myself have been forgiven … but it’s still difficult. Still more difficult to forget. I love Albert Einstein!

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