The Stupid Zone

Aug 21, 2021

In a recent conversation with a family member, I stated the following:

“I don’t need the details, just tell me what you want”

Based on my tone and the other person feeling belittled, one could easily assign stupidity in describing my actions.

We often associate stupidity as the opposite of intelligence, yet it is more likely that stupidity takes place because of our emotional state and/or environment.

It is commonly known that stress affects us physically, makes us irritable and affects our ability to think properly resulting with us revealing little patience.

The statement I made was a great example of limited perspective and blurting without thinking.

Have you ever noticed that when you are driving and lost (I know this is rare with GPS but it happens) you shut off your radio and all distractions or say “hold on a second” if on a call?

In that situation we know we are distracted and need to focus.

In the late 90’s Yo-Yo Ma was in a NYC cab, rushing to an appointment and left his multimillion-dollar cello in the trunk of the cab.  After it was recovered, due to the publicity, Yo Yo Ma stated “I just did something stupid”.

There are factors which lead to stupidity – changing your routines, being outside your normal environment, stress or fatigue, information overload, rushing (sense of urgency).

Recognizing when these factors are present is an important component to making sure "words" are not inappropriate and "actions" are slowed down.  It is easy for good intentions to hurt not just others but ourselves.

Our emotions are powerful.

If we can better recognize when we are stressed, irritated or inattentive then our conversations might be more like what we do when driving and trying to focus.  We might say “hold on a second…I’m feeling stressed and unable to focus."

Conversations are about sharing - not about one person wanting to be somewhere else.

The more aware we are of tension in our body the better we can control our minds.

Here are some tacts to consider when we recognize inattentiveness or irritation in ourselves:

·       Matching our words to our gestures – it is easy to say you are interested but your body may be saying the exact opposite

·       Think WE instead of ME

·       Taking a deep breath before responding or speaking

If you recognize your irritation or inattentiveness, you might be able to relax and regain control before you speak.

Have a great weekend,


It is the game of life we are playing; and if men, by their professions, lead other men into disaster, I maintain it is a serious thing. Some men, in fact, I think, most men, do it with no malice at all; in fact, far from it, it is more like stupidity; still, the result is the same. William James Laidlay
If someone is blind they will know they're blind. The difference is that when you're in the stupid zone, you won't be aware of it — and you're literally blind to things.  Adam Robinson

Karl Choltus

Deep thinking Canadian sharing thoughts created in the shower.