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Intelligent people

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10 years 7 months ago #1 by sozzled
Intelligent people was created by sozzled
Some of you may be familiar with one of my favourite quotations: "intelligent people play games, other people react". Rather than merely post it in our favourite quotes thread, I was looking over a discussion we had, a while ago, and the thoughts that people had on this subject. While there was, essentially, much disagreement over what the quotation meant, I thought it would be interesting to revisit some of the discussion.

In stating the quotation, “intelligent people play games, other people react”, I’m not trying to insinuate that there are only two kinds of people in the world: those who are intelligent and those who aren’t intelligent. I am, however, trying to contrast the difference between those who understand that a lot of life’s activities should be played as if it were a game and those who merely react, at face value, to everything that life throws in their way.

“Intelligent people play games, other people react”, is something a man once told me although he was shrewd enough not to explain its meaning, leaving me to figure it out for myself. Whilst it doesn't justify people playing "mind games" - being deceptive/manipulative - in their private lives - with those they supposedly respect and love - it is a way of coping with the pressures and silly things that crop up in one's work or when you're interacting with people with whom you have passing contact (such as if when you're trying to negotiate a more favourable deal when you're purchasing / organising something). We all play little "games" - we may even stretch or distort the truth - in order to get peoples' attention or to help them see different perspectives on various issues.

We have had many great discussions in the past before The Quoroom came into being. Some of them were debated and argued passionately and some of them were treated playfully. Unfortunately, though, some people didn’t “get it”: they whinged, or just buggered off in disgust when someone argued a contrary opinion ... or argued it with [implied] personally-directed emotion.

I want it clearly understood that I’m not personally offended (or worried in any way, really) with what I read at The Quoroom – or, indeed, anything much that I read on the 'net- and it’s always important to treat others with respect even if, occasionally, some of the things you read are not always expressed in a respectful tone. If one keeps in mind that it's probably better to not behave like "other people" (those who fail to see the "games" being played) then it might make your life a little easier.

When I started the discussion earlier, these are a few of the comments that I received:

´¯•¸¸ζẃεε†Йεςς¸¸•´¯1 wrote 29/05/2007 12:01 AM

I agree. And I'm curious as to just how many of those emails you've received have been in response to something I've said on the boards. lol

In all seriousness, we all have different opinions and we're not all gonna agree. C'est la vie. I do not take any offence to others opinions if they differ from mine. The only thing that would bother me is if some one states their opinion in the vein of "I'm-right-and-you're-wrong-and-you're-stupid-cuz-you-don't-think-like-me". I have no time for condescension or conceit. I'm plain-spoken and don't beat around the bush. If I have an opinion, you'll know it but that doesn't mean that I'm close-minded. If you provide enough logic, I can be persuaded but not just cuz some one else says so. I'm not interested in being popular, just in being educated.

Nobody likes to be wrong but we can't always be right. At any given time, somebody has to be wrong but on most of our Soapbox topics there's always been room for many shades of gray.

I guess the best way to sum it up is to borrow something from Sozz, "If you think I'm wrong, say 'I think you're wrong.' Don't say that I am wrong, cuz how do you know?"

sally-wattle wrote 29/05/2007 8:02 AM

Actually I was wondering who I had upset already...lol. I always seem to be in trouble for questioning "why" someone thinks they way they do........I have been told....."it doesnt matter 'why', just accept it". And to a certain degree thats what I should do, but as Ness said, during discussion or debate, you find out a lot and can always change your stance on a subject with more understanding.

Sozz, I dont consider myself "unintelligent", but I have a tendancy to react when baited. In the other chat room, there was someone who delighted in baiting me in every post - and I bit....hehehe. I saw it as a challenge - but unfortunately others saw it as a slinging match. Unfortunately on a couple of occasions, I replied before carefully considering what I should write.

I had one person write ... "thats shit sal"!! So what did I do?...question him as to what was "shit".........obviously someone who thought his shit didnt stink.

I have heard it said that there are people out there who are frightened to "have a go" because they think they are being belittled when someone challenges what they say, so we should be "softer" in our replies. I was one of those people, until I began to "have a go". Everyone has a choice to reply or not. If we considered every aspect before replying it would be sooooooo politically correct, it wouldnt be worth a cent.

I dont see the people who play games as intelligent. I see them as personalities with low self asteem who are just manipulative. It is often the intelligent people who do react, as they can see the injustices of what is being said and challenge that. That is my take on how I see that statement.

princess12450 wrote 29/05/2007 9:27 AM

Well said Ness & Sally I really can't add much more. [Perhaps it’s] just my guilty conscience wondering the same thing about my comments etc.

I've been told on numerous occasions that I am not a very agreeable person and always make my feelings known … one way or another.

One of the main reasons I joined this group was for the interaction of ideas and I have learnt so much from other members about all different things plus its helped me travel down some dark roads of late to be able to air my feelings and thoughts. To know that there is someone there who will listen (read) my thoughts and respond is awesome for me. Thank you.

StormyFeathers wrote 29/05/2007 11:36 AM

I also agree Princess ,Sally, sweetness, Sozz. Imagine how boring life would be if we were all of the same opinions. How would we challenge our intellect ? What a stagnant and sterile world we would live in. Personally, I feel that by debating and expressing our opinion, it often opens up other ways of looking at issues. Like the saying goes - "you learn something new every day." If anyone is slighted or insulted by anothers' opinion, then they are taking life too seriously, or have very thin skin perhaps.

´¯•¸¸ζẃεε†Йεςς¸¸•´¯1 wrote 29/05/2007 11:37 AM

Sally touched on a point that I missed. I also don't believe that it's the intelligent ppl who play the games. True intelligence lies in the fact that you can admit that you don't know everything. Those who play games are usually the ones who can't dazzle us with brains so they baffle us with bullshit. I've always thought that anyone who stomps on someone else's opinion with nothing more than, "that's bs", or "you're stupid" does so cuz they have nothing else in their mental arsenal. I've been told that sarcasm is the lowest form of wit but I think degradation truly is. It's the verbal equivalent of the sucker punch...if you have no intelligent facts to back up your argument, resort to insults and put-downs.

I don't consider myself unintelligent but I refuse to blindly swallow anything without considering all sides. If I find flaws in one persons point of view, I'll get another, and another, and another, etc, etc, ad nauseum. From all of that I'll pick out the bits that make the most sense and string them together to weave a tapestry of truth.

More to follow …

If you think I'm wrong then say "I think you're wrong". If you say, "You're wrong", how do you know?

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10 years 7 months ago #2 by SweetNess
Replied by SweetNess on topic Intelligent people
Geez, I'd forgotten all about that discussion. Me wonders why Sozz had exhumed it after all this time.


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10 years 7 months ago - 10 years 7 months ago #3 by sozzled
Replied by sozzled on topic Intelligent people
The discussion went on:

Memsahib© wrote 29/05/2007 8:59 PM

Hi guys. Sorry it's been so long, but life kept me away from the computer for a while. But I'm back with a vengeance.

What a great discussion.

I agree completely with Sozz, but would possibly rephrase the expression. I believe he is talking about a mixture of effective communication and leadership, as opposed to reactivity. Yes, everyone reacts in one way or another, but reactivity is, to me, responding from an emotive point of view only, and usually stems from insecurities or lack of ability to communicate. For example, if your employer says "I don't like the brief you wrote, redo it", you would have a number of options. You could tell her to get stuffed, which may ensure you move to a new job pretty quickly. You can mumble imprecations under your breath, go and sit at the computer and wonder what the hell to do, which may also ensure you move to a new job pretty quickly. These are both reactive responses. However if you say to your boss "Ok, please tell me what you don't like about the brief and what you would specifically like in it" you are most likely to be given information that will help you to improve your skills in preparing briefs for that particular employer.

I've seen situations blown up to spectacular levels through people being reactive - one where family members didn't speak to one another for over 15 years. I've worked in welfare, and seen situations escalate to violence because of reactivity. It's such a shame, because if people had training in communication and perhaps counselling where necessary, the people involved could have had much happier relationships. And of course, we can probably all think of someone we once knew who walked away from us because they misunderstood something we said and reacted instead of communicating.

Whilst Sozz was being serious in a flippant way, and whilst he got a reaction he wasn't expecting, this is such a serious subject, but gee it's great to see people having fun with it too. Go for it guys. I'm looking forward to seeing what comments come from this!

«¤Ťu§ħ¥¤»™ wrote 29/05/2007 9:36 PM

Good topic Sozz - so many things going through my head lol -- this has so many different things to zone in on: communication (how people relate to and deal with people); laughing things off and who gets their back up; who keeps grudges, who doesn’t; learning from others; control ; manipulation.

Wow this will get people thinking -- will be back later

sally-wattle wrote 30/05/2007 9:25 AM

OK, OK. I must be one of the "other" people, as I DON’T see the game....

If making statements and then asking what people think, is a game, then everytime a statement is made in soapbox and a question asked, are we to assume that a "game" is being played?

To reply to Memsahib©: Reactivity is an essential part of our survival technique - fight or flight. While I agree that some reactions are very dangerous (eg. road rage etc), the occasional "explosive reaction" plays an important role. When we see injustice being done, we often react with immediate anger, compassion, fear et cetera, et cetera. It is what we do with that explosion after that is important. Sometimes a good "telling off" is all that is required to get some people back on track..... Some people don’t like to "lose face", so they refuse to back down and so the situation escalates....this is where the real problems start.

In the scenario regarding the boss who wanted a brief re written, perhaps it was the fault of the boss for not informing the employee in the first instance as to exactly what was required. If the employee had asked politely what was required, how do you think the boss would have reacted … perhaps the boss would have replied, "well, if you don’t understand what is required perhaps you shouldn’t be in this job" … what then?

How we react and retaliate is Human Nature - the survival of the strongest.

sozzled™ wrote 30/05/2007 12:31 PM

Although the specific details surrounding why I raised this topic in the first place are unimportant, it seems that there are a few people whose curiosity needs to be satisfied before we can move forward. I had intended this to be a philosophical discussion dealing with humang - deliberately misspelt - nature and our natural, animal tendency to react to the literal meanings of people's words and how we perceive their actions. And so, perhaps, a few words of explanation are in order.

Those who know me well know that I am a man of intense emotion although my persona is the very much the opposite of that. I think that I am quite intelligent (at least I hope that I've got something to show for the 50+ years that I've had a presence upon this planet!) but I don't consider my intelligence superior nor inferior to others of the humang - deliberately misspelled - species. I don't treat people with disdain if they don't "get it" and I'm fairly certain that I have never criticised someone for having an opinion different to me.

But although I don't handle dopeyness all that well, I know that I'm not immune from it either. Hell, I've been the butt of more jokes than anyone ('cept for George) and I love it!coI've had a very lucky life. I wasn't mistreated when I was a child; I haven't suffered abuse or crippling illness; I don't have massive mood swings from despair to euphoria; I have a family who loves me. I've had a rewarding, stimulating and successful career and, although I haven't made millions, I have the financial security to be able to do pretty much anything that I want. Was it luck that things turned out that way or was it just good management? And because I've been so fortunate - not having personally experienced so many troubles or worries that consume a large number of people trying to cope in this complex modern age - does that mean that I'm unqualified to offer advice?

I've had my share of troubles, times when things looked very bleak, and two failed - if that's the right word - marriages behind me. For the 12 months before I left my job - and concluded a career that spanned 37 years - life was dull. Deathly, mind-numbingly, boringly dull. It was an effort to summon the enthusiasm to motivate me to drive to work and endure 8 long hours of insufferable moronic tedium and observe the passing cavalcade of functionaries go about their work, like workers in a bee-hive. It is true that I observed my work life rather than felt like I was a contributing participant in it. People would come and go, they'd view their work in a blinkered manner and use their energy efficiently, that is doing things right, rather than working effectively ... doing the right things. And after putting 37 years of work behind me, what's next? How would I "fill in" my days? So I would see this and think to myself "what a waste"!

What I'm saying is that I'm not invulnerable to the natural tendency to react to what people say or do. I have my moments when I "explode" but they're few and far between (and people who watch me "over-react" know that I'm just putting on a performance - and they giggle at my antics) and I completely forget about them within a few minutes. I've learnt that nothing good can come from stewing over something and to use every event (good and bad) as an opportunity to make it better.

The circumstances that led me to start this topic, as I've said, are unimportant. Over the years I received a few e-mails criticising what things written; these were from people who really didn't "get it" at all! They'd reacted to something someone wrote, internalised it, personalised it, and over-reacted by quitting. They took the flight option instead of using the opportunity [not to counter-attack but] to better learn from the experience. By the time they'd taken the action there was nothing I could do but think to myself: "other people"! It wasn't a put-down ... but it was my way of de-stressing (instead of distressing) the incident.

I've read of people who've had more than their fair share of tough time: they've been at a low ebb; they've been an emotional mess but they've pulled through (and I'm thankful that they did). Life can be bloody tough. We all know that. We try to protect those we love, like our kids who, somehow, think they're invulnerable or immune ... or they know everything, etc. We try to advise our children ... and just how qualified are we to give that advice? I wondered, though, in reading of their experiences whether they might have considered the what-if-I-tried-the-"game" approach instead?

So I thought I would share some of this home-grown "wisdom" with you. Some of you have "got it" and some of you haven't ... and that's OK by me. I'm not Jesus-flamin'-Christ and I don't have all the answers and even His disciples had a rough time figuring out what he was on about ... and they're still debating it 2000 years later on! We're all entitled to our beliefs whether they're right or wrong.

Before I conclude this note, I want you to re-read the quote exactly: "intelligent people play games, other people react". There's no implication that other people are not intelligent, or dopey, but it's my contention that if you want to behave intelligently then it may be better not to behave like other people ... the ones who don't "get it".

In memsahib's example about asking the boss for information about how to do the job, if the boss had replied with "well, if you don't understand what is required then perhaps you shouldn't be in the job" this is a case of a very bad boss! This is the case of a boss who's behaving like a supervisor rather than as a helper/mentor/leader. This is a case of a boss who's reacting, failing to observe that perhaps the person who's asked the question really would like to know, to a "potential" calling-into-question of his/her authority. Oh, puh-lease ... threatening your staff with if-you-don't-know-how-then-get-out as a management style went out with the industrial revolution! These days, with work practices changing ever few months, it's quite reasonable to expect that your subordinate staff (or even your peers and superiors) will stuff things up. And, besides, work should be fun ... er, shouldn't it?

All the world's a stage,
And all the men and women merely players:
They have their exits and their entrances;
And one man in his time plays many parts.

As You Like It, Act 2 Scene 7

Celasil_ wrote 30/05/2007 12:43 PM

....and so sayeth the bard!

«¤Ťu§ħ¥¤»™ wrote 30/05/2007 6:49 PM

This is just a day to day thing that happens all the time really - working with the public so many years - sheesh - you can already see the ones that are gonna bite and who dont - the ones that love to control you in their own way - keep you where they want ya -- ones that take things oh too seriously even if you say something as a joke ...

I like watching people --

´¯•¸¸ζẃεε†Йεςς¸¸•´¯1 wrote 30/05/2007 7:24 PM

I think it's much more likely that some one is gonna be offended when responding to something posted online than it would in real life. Some vital clues are missing here...tone of voice, body language, facial expression, and the intimacy that comes with knowing someone as more than just a nicname attached to a message. All we've got are the words "lol" and the crappy emoticons that msn has graced us with to convey humour, sadness, or any other emotion.

Also, there are just some topics that get discussed in here that hit close to home for some ppl. A lot of us have led tragic lives. That doesn't mean that we're victims who wallow in a pool of self-pity, but it does pick a scab off an old wound. Especially when someone who hasn't suffered the same fate makes an off-the-cuff remark in here. When I find a subject being discussed as a "hot" one, I try to keep my opinions non-confrontational. I have not walked in that persons shoes, so who am I to tell them how they should feel? It would be different if they asked for my opinion directly.

I've come to view a lot of these members as friends. Unfortunately, friends have more power to cause hurt and pain than complete strangers. It's tough some times not to take certain remarks in here seriously. I know we shouldn't, but that's human nature. If a complete stranger walked past me on the street and called me an idiot, I'd prolly laugh and wonder what mental institution he'd just escaped from. When a friend calls me an idiot for an opinion held, I have to wonder just how good a friend they really are that they hold me in such low esteem.

What it all boils down to is this: you can make your opinion on anything known without resorting to insults and character assassination. Online, even more importantly than in real life, we must carefully choose our words. We don't have to change our opinions, just how we deliver them. After all, you catch more flies with honey than with vinegar.

«¤Ťu§ħ¥¤»™ wrote 30/05/2007 8:53 PM

I can understand where your coming from Sweetness with what you write - but not everyone is good at expressing themselves so sometimes a step back before eating someone alive - be it in real or in chat is a good thing too - and I am talking in general here - not to you - sheesh you gotta clarify everything to make sure you don’t step on toes

Then they find out they are wrong and apologize --- why cant people ask first then go off??
Why do people always presume the worst??
Now that person could do one of 2 things - tell em to go jump after humiliating them or accept the apology

I know we aren’t all the same but --- sometimes a step back and wait -- and a sense of humour lacks in the real world and even more so in chat

princess12450 wrote 31/05/2007 10:33 AM

Bear with me guys while I try and make a point- not being a highly educated person i do struggle at times to be articulate.

I was having a discussion with my husband yesterday about the way people’s brains work and even people with similar intelligence still can't communicate. I will use myself and my sister in law for an example -
I have a form of O.C.D which makes me think, act and speak differently to her -she is a case book ADHD sufferer .
We cannot hold a conversation with one another and I've known her 25yrs: I am thorough and precise in wanting to finalise a discussion and have an outcome, she is all over the place and never stays on subject. [This is] so frustrating for me.
She has a huge circle of friends and a professional career and the most scatterbrain person you will ever meet. Just don't expect her to make any serious decisions or listen to what you’ve got to say.
So the point I want to make [is that] we are all different and no amount of intelligence can help you communicate, how we react to comments (to me). Stems from how our brains function too!
Hope you get my meaning.

More to follow …

If you think I'm wrong then say "I think you're wrong". If you say, "You're wrong", how do you know?
Last edit: 10 years 7 months ago by sozzled.

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10 years 7 months ago - 10 years 7 months ago #4 by sozzled
Replied by sozzled on topic Intelligent people
'Ness asks, quite rightly, why I bothered exhuming or resurrecting this ancient discussion. Part of my reasoning is because it was a good discussion and I copped a lot of [well-deserved] criticism. But, as I said in my opening comments, although I could simply have posted "intelligent people play games, other people react" in our favourite quotations thread, the thought would merely be a passing one and would be forgotten. Or the thought might be too subtle for people to understand what I meant.

The discussion that we had was a trivial example of what I'm driving at. I wasn't having a go at anyone but many people "bit" anyway. I hadn't even considered that people might interpret what I'd written in the many ways that they did.

I want people to understand that I'm not making a distinction between intelligent people and dopey [unintelligent] people - I never mentioned the word unintelligent; I'm talking about acting - you could say in a thespian sense - in an intelligent manner, in order to deal with issues instead of behaving like "other" people, those who cannot see that we're always role-playing; those who are inclined to process things at a very personal level. That's the difference.

Life's too short and there's too much you'll miss if you remain wound up by something your boss, teacher, scoutmaster or parent [even] might've said to you 35 years ago (or even 35 minutes ago) - quite apart from words appearing on a computer monitor! There are some sick, pathetic morons in this world who take delight out of manipulating their husbands, wives, lovers, etc. and con them into thinking that they're "superior" ... or something. Like I said, there's a time and a place for playing games as long as it's not conspired to assert an I'm-better-than-you-are advantage.

My main reason for "playing games" is to open up dialogue ... often achieving much better results than I'd originally hoped for. Like Tushy wrote - thank you, too, for your kind words - one of the main reasons I'm involved with this group is because I've learnt so much from other members.

Consider this: suppose you've been using the same procedure at work for many years and you reckon there's a better way of doing it. So you think it through and come up with a solution. You could go to your workmates and say "I've got a better solution" - and they'd probably laugh at you - or you could play a game and say something like "I'm not happy with such-and-such" and act as if your unhappiness is personal. You're more likely to get sympathy and dialogue by playing the can-you-help-me game than the I-know-everything one. But the beauty of this approach is that your colleagues are bound to suggest alternatives or improvements that you hadn't even thought of ... and you can incorporate their suggestions into your solution. See? That's behaving intelligently ... and it's fun.

If you think I'm wrong then say "I think you're wrong". If you say, "You're wrong", how do you know?
Last edit: 10 years 7 months ago by sozzled.

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10 years 7 months ago #5 by Tushy
Replied by Tushy on topic Intelligent people
Yeah this was a good discussion Sozz -- glad you brought it over : )

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10 years 7 months ago #6 by Memsahib
Replied by Memsahib on topic Intelligent people
I agree, Sozz. It's done me good to re-read it, as there's some real gamesmanship going on at work at the moment.

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