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15 Ways to Identify Idiots – 15 Things I’ve Seen Idiots Do

Interestingly, according to Wikipedia, idiot was formerly a legal and psychiatric category of profound intellectual disability in which a person’s mental age is two years or less, and he or she cannot guard against common dangers. And more interestingly, this original profiling still holds for certain people, considering the way and manner they respond to issues of prime importance.

If you want to know how people think, and how they respond to issues, be close to the social media. The coming of the social media and digital technology has exposed how people see things or how they perceive and react to stimuli. Sometimes, you’re agape as to how people see yellow and call it purple even if they don’t have colour blindness, and when you point them to the right direction, they’ll come up with some twisted logic that’ll beat your imagination.

I wasn’t used to calling people idiots – I hate to swear, but in recent times, it’s one word I have used a few times when I got frustrated trying to make certain people in certain quarters see and borrow some sense, but their emotions are bigger than wisdom, so they choose only to be senseless, and in that case, the only option was to use that language, idiot. It was meant to infuriate, so that the recipient can have a rethink, but somehow, idiocy becomes more conspicuous in the face of infuriation.

The 15 things I’ve seen idiots do.

1. They make excuses for their oppressors: it is bizarre how people make excuses for those who disparage and abuse them. There are wives who make excuses for their husbands who beat them black and blue. There are followers who make excuses for their leaders who oppress and steal from them. There are employees who make excuses for their employers who owe them salaries for months. Most times, it’s obvious that they’re being abused but you wonder if they see it, or they’re just being daft. Of recent, I started noticing trends of perceivably, intelligent people who are more idiotic than my deepest imagination – they use all their knowledge, education and experience to make excuses for leaders with surreptitious intentions to take their heritages away, and I mean their heritages. I have never been so tremored by this idiotic display of classless stupidity, and sometimes, these are well respected people, but they’re still idiots!

2. They undervalue other people’s success: someone writes a professional exam, and passes it first time, rather than congratulate the person, an idiot will say, “These days, they’ve lowered the standards of this exam. It’s easier to pass nowadays.” Are you for real?

Someone passes a driving test, rather than congratulate the person, an idiot will ask, “How many times did you attempt it?” Is that the most important thing to say, or to just congratulate the person. Many times, we’ve put ourselves in idiotic positions without ever realising it. Idiocy undervalues other people’s successes, and it’s terrible!

3. They are driven by selfish desires: when people put their weights behind despotism, it isn’t always because they’re afraid; it’s likely because they’re selfish; selfishness comes with an agenda, either for the moment or the future. These days, I have deliberately made myself a political analyst, observing globally, how leaders’ decisions spin the world in certain directions. My focuses have been on Nigeria (my home country), Britain (my adopted country), and United States (because of how significant it is to how the world navigates). In all my observations, I have seen leaders who are more selfish than any adjectival descriptions. Some leaders mute when their homes are on fire because of a selfish expectation for the future, or what they currently gain at the moment. We have so many leaders whose souls are sold out cheaply, and their hearts wear rags because their self-centredness has made them classless idiots.

4. Their intents are hardly expressed: some of the most dangerous people on earth are those in-between a mute and unmute – they are people with opinions who act like they don’t have any, and say they don’t have any, and have cooked pots of many, but yet, if you can read body languages, you’ll know they’re petty. They’re behind the walls called dirty, concocting the soup known as deadly, but on the façade, act mildly. They are mountainous idiots!

5. They are opportunistic: idiots look for every avenue to sell their agenda, although, it may not fit into the overall program, but somehow, they squeeze it in – no one may be listening, but they still squeeze it in. They make a foolery of themselves without realising it, or maybe, they don’t give a bloody monkey if anyone listens – and for the records, they’re just on a mission to put into history, their agenda.

6. They are not ideological: being ideological comes with principles, beliefs, culture, and convictions. When there are earthquakes, it is ideological concepts that keep you standing. When the roofs are collapsing, your convictions and values protect your head from being crushed, but for idiots, ideologies don’t matter – they simply jettison decorum into the middle of the wildest oceans where no one can ever reach. To them, money, power, and the perishables amount to ideologies – they can be sold at a price – it’s all about the highest bidder.

7. They don’t give where they don’t get back: during the parliamentarians expenses scandals in the UK, there was an MP that claimed the £5 he gave as an offering in a church service he was invited. What an idiot?!

In Africa, and to be specific, Nigeria, political godfathers sponsor their stooges to contest elections so that when they win, through their protégés, they can perpetuate the bleeding of local, state, and national treasuries. These idiots never give where they don’t get back in multiples.

8. They can’t discern: idiots don’t know where to stop because they can’t sense that it’s time to stop.

I used to have a Nepalese colleague, who, if she wants you to sign a document, says the word “sign,” three times. She uses that to emphasise how urgent she wants you to act, but another colleague picked that mannerism up, and started using it to mock her. Not everyone likes certain jokes, and she obviously didn’t like it. It’s sensible to stop when a person doesn’t like a joke, but this joker wouldn’t stop until it resulted in a scene that was messy. Some people can’t discern – they don’t know when to start or stop – they roll on like zombies.

9. They can’t descend: sensible people, when they’re wrong, climb down from their high horses to apologise – idiots don’t – they continue on their level of stupidity until they’re debased. If you climb down gently, you won’t crash, but when forced down, you end up in pieces. Decide – to be humble or to be rumbled!

10. They run away from those who reprimand them: those who reprove you for good are those who truly want the best for you – they’re interested in your best being made visible, but it takes only the wise to realise it – idiots make them enemies, and there aren’t idiots as big as very emotional people. The more you fight for the interest of very emotional people, the more they imagine that you’re their main enemies. I have one attitude – if I love you, I don’t want you to fail. When you’re failing, I get hard on you, to make you realise why you must wake up and work on your weakness, but most often, I get misunderstood – someone said I took paracetamol for her own headache, and I understood what she meant, because maybe, I actually did.

People who fight for you aren’t always tender with you – they push you to be your best. You never appreciate them until you lose them. You saw them as enemies, but they’re your real friends. I used to think my grandmother was my enemy. O how I miss her!

11. They steal from themselves: a friend told me how her daughter, for a couple of days didn’t go to school, and when she asked her why, she said she didn’t have lectures. When she got back to school, she was asked why, she lied that she was helping her mum take care of her younger ones because she was sick. The school called to confirm, but thank God for great mothers who wouldn’t cover up for their kids – she told them exactly what her daughter told her.

Sometimes, my children, because they don’t want to go to school, come up with dodgy reasons, and I don’t buy it, neither does their mum. What most young people do not realise is that being dodgy is equivalent to stealing from themselves. There’ll be enough time to jive in the future – stay focused – don’t steal from yourself.

12. They serve those who should serve them: when you’re a lawyer, and all you do is use your intelligence to put thieves and murderers back into the streets to go rob and kill innocent people, you’re serving those that should serve you. If you’re a technocrat who teaches semi-literate politicians how to loot national treasuries, you’re serving those who should serve you. There are so much more scenarios I can paint, but you can fill in the missing parts.

13. They can’t withstand other people’s opinions: the social media have exposed how intolerant we are to other people’s opinions – we find it hard to disagree without being abusive, casting aspersions on people, or throwing tantrums. On a number of occasions, some people who disagreed with my perception of Nigerian political issues went straight for my parents by calling them names or by outrightly abusing them. In my wildest imagination, I wouldn’t abuse someone’s parents, but to do it with ease makes you an idiot! If you don’t agree, in a cultured manner, say you don’t, and present the reasons why you don’t. To threaten, insult and abuse those whose opinions are different from yours make you require a psychiatrist input.

14. They can’t stand the test of time: sometimes, when people ask me to help them do things or give them something, to test the person’s character or resilience, I delay a bit. Time exposes people’s innate reasons for demanding for something, and even if it doesn’t sometimes, it shows how long they’re willing to go with you. When people need you, they hover round you like bees, and when they get you, that’s when you understand that their wings aren’t only meant for hovering – they can also fly away. I am a patient being when it comes to dealing with people psychologically – I won’t question you when you fly away, because I know that soon, you would need me again, and you will come back to hover. When you come back, I won’t hear you buzzing, and if you buzz in my face to get my attention, there’s what is called insecticides.

15. They don’t know when they’re cheated: I know that WWE is a joke, and most of the fights are scripted, but if you’re a follower like me, you may have noticed what’s happening in the female category of RAW – Nicky Cross fighting on behalf of Alexa Bliss in a very parasitic relationship – Nicky wins a fight for Alexa to go for the women’s title – it’s such an unbalanced relationship. And people have been trying to let Nicky see that she’s being cheated, but she doesn’t see it that way – she sees it as friendship. I know it’s a script being played out, but do you know that in real life scenarios, there are many cases like that? What’s more idiotic than your mate, in the name of friendship, cheating you. For instance, there are friendships that only one of the two pays visits to the other, but the other never reciprocates, but the person who’s being cheated feels there’s nothing wrong with it. Friendship or relationship must be based on symbiosis.

To conclude, idiots don’t know when they’re needed, and when they’ve overstayed their usefulness – they don’t know when to move on. Idiots are driven by foolish sentiments – they bother so much about what other people will say, and end up living other people’s lives – and when they see those they feel they’re better than, they oppress them – that’s when their so called self confidence rises, but in disguise, it is inferiority complex. Idiots, in the face of evidence see nothing. What are you – an idiot? Somehow, sometime, we’ve all been idiots.




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Ken is a leadership Motivation, Strategy and Personal Development Writer, Blogger and Speaker. He writes for a number of magazines and blogs. He is also a mentor and published author of several books.

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