What To Do If You're Surrounded By Idiots
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What To Do If You\'re Surrounded By Idiots

It’s a phrase we hear every day—“I’m surrounded by idiots!” We may smile in recognition or even laugh out loud, depending upon the situation the words are uttered in. We have probably thought it ourselves, in heavy traffic or at work.

The thought is unkind. However justified we may feel at the moment, the thought is unkind, not only to those we think it about, but to ourselves as well. When someone says or does something that causes us frustration we need to immediately assess why we feel that way.

One of the prime reasons is because we feel powerless in that moment. Whatever is being done, it has affected us or our actions in a negative way in some manner and we feel like we can’t control it, or fix it, or make sure it doesn’t happen again. Even if we can, it doesn’t stop us from feeling that way.

So what to do? Most of us just keep feeling momentarily bad about each situation that crops up, blaming the other guy and thinking we’re surrounded by idiots. This has the temporary effect of creating a shell that prevents the darts of frustration from sticking too deep. But that shell is brittle. It works for a time, and then one of those darts hits in just the right way and the shell cracks. The phrase then becomes, not a defence, but a self-inflicted fracture. If the pressure has built up enough inside, one day it breaks open and damage is done. We shout, do something impulsive, quit our job, slap our child, slam the door... And what are we left with? The necessity to patch the damage we have done to ourselves and others.

And afterwards, what do we do? Half the time we go right back to thinking, “I’m surrounded by idiots.”

Albert Einstein defined insanity as doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. When one line of thinking hasn’t—or isn’t—working for us we need to look at it and decide on upon another, if we really want to get rid of that sense of powerlessness. In day-to-day life that feeling within us is not because of others. If we haven’t created it, then at the very least we maintain it within ourselves. How do we get rid of it?

We start by adjusting our thinking. We stop being unkind to others and ourselves within our thoughts. We quit thinking, “I’m surrounded by idiots.”

And we start thinking, “We are all in this together.”


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