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5 Common Misconceptions That Make You a Dumbass

5 Common Misconceptions That Make You a Dumbass

Today’s world is inundated with useless and often contradictory information. The act of simultaneously accepting two mutually contradictory beliefs as correct was classified in George Orwell’s masterpiece, Nineteen Eighty-Four, as “doublethink”: this fictional phenomena is the opposite of what modern psychologists call “cognitive dissonance”, where holding two or more conflicting ideas can cause real-life frustration, hunger, dread, guilt, anger, embarrassment, or anxiety. In order to clear the path of enquiry and begin to harmonize your thoughts with reality, here is a list of common misconceptions that often give the author headaches.

5. Even the common hippie will tell you that humans do not have just five senses.

Although definitions vary, the actual number ranges from nine to two dozen (whoa). In addition to sight, smell, taste, touch, and hearing (Aristotelian senses), humans can sense balance and acceleration, pain, body and limb position, and relative temperature. Sometimes the senses of time, itching, pressure, hunger, thirst, fullness of the stomach, need to urinate, and need to defecate are also considered.

It’s important to exercise each of your senses as much as possible:put down the phone and look at things closely, or close your eyes altogether and listen to your surroundings!

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4. While it’s comforting to imagine that his genius only bloomed later in life, Albert Einstein did not fail mathematics in school.

Upon being shown a column claiming this fact, Einstein said, “I never failed in mathematics… Before I was fifteen I had mastered differential and integral calculus.” Einstein did however disagree with the school’s teaching method, and later wrote that the spirit of learning and creative thought were lost in rote learning. The myth may have originated because Einstein failed his first entrance exam into Federal Polytechnic School in 1895, although at the time he was two years younger than his fellow students and did exceedingly well in mathematics and science.

Einstein wasn’t perfect: he focused on his strengths and followed through with them, ultimately becoming a symbol of genius and changing the way we think about time and space forever.

3. Bad or bored habits can spiral out of control, but at least cracking one’s knuckles does not cause osteoarthritis.

In fact, cracking a joint that has been exercised recently is generally recognized to relieve pain. To further debunk this misconception, doctor Donald Unger cracked the knuckles of his left hand every day for more than sixty years, but he did not crack the knuckles of his right hand. No arthritis or other ailments formed in either hand. He was awarded 2009’s Ig Nobel Prize in Medicine.

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If you’re struggling with a habit—however innocuous—try to become aware of when you catch yourself in the act; many habits and addictions naturally resolve over time, but self-awareness is the most important step in breaking compulsive behaviors.

2. People do not use only ten percent of their brains.

While it is true that a small minority of neurons in the brain are actively firing at any one time, the inactive neurons are just as important, and may provide an answer to how diverse regions of the brain collaborate to form conscious experiences—one of the greatest mysteries in neuroscience. The misconception that we only use a small percentage of our brain has been commonplace in American culture as far back as the start of the 20th century, and speaks for the large number of unanswered questions we have about the human brain and its myriad functions.

This is an classic example of the human desire to have an answer to everything (even if the answer is wrong): our brains seek to harmonize the experience we’ve gathered over time with the incredible amount of information we receive; when it can’t, cognitive dissonance clouds our mind and can cause physical and emotional damage.

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1. The word ‘theory’ in the theory of evolution does not imply mainstream scientific doubt regarding its validity.

The concepts of theory and hypothesis have specific meanings in a scientific context. Evolution does not attempt to explain the origin of life or the origin and development of the universe, and does not necessarily nullify a God. While biological evolution describes the process by which species and other levels of biological organization originate, and ultimately leads all life forms back to a universal common ancestor, it is not primarily concerned with the origin of life itself. Also, humans did not develop from chimpanzees, but a common ancestor (both humans and chimpanzees have since evolved markedly).

Accepting evolution can be helpful in facing difficult challenges that arise naturally in the course of life: change is a constant force that we must live with, no matter how cruel or beautiful life may seem.

P.S. Humans and dinosaurs never coexisted.

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Last Updated on January 18, 2019

7 Ways To Deal With Negative People

7 Ways To Deal With Negative People

Some people will have a rain cloud hanging over them, no matter what the weather is outside. Their negative attitude is toxic to your own moods, and you probably feel like there is little you can do about it.

But that couldn’t be farther from the truth.

If you want to effectively deal with negative people and be a champion of positivity, then your best route is to take definite action through some of the steps below.

1. Limit the time you spend with them.

First, let’s get this out of the way. You can be more positive than a cartoon sponge, but even your enthusiasm has a chance of being afflicted by the constant negativity of a friend.

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In fact, negativity has been proven to damage your health physically, making you vulnerable to high levels of stress and even cardiac disease. There’s no reason to get hurt because of someone else’s bad mood.

Though this may be a little tricky depending on your situation, working to spend slightly less time around negative people will keep your own spirits from slipping as well.

2. Speak up for yourself.

Don’t just absorb the comments that you are being bombarded with, especially if they are about you. It’s wise to be quick to listen and slow to speak, but being too quiet can give the person the impression that you are accepting what’s being said.

3. Don’t pretend that their behavior is “OK.”

This is an easy trap to fall into. Point out to the person that their constant negativity isn’t a good thing. We don’t want to do this because it’s far easier to let someone sit in their woes, and we’d rather just stay out of it.

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But if you want the best for this person, avoid giving the false impression that their negativity is normal.

4. Don’t make their problems your problems.

Though I consider empathy a gift, it can be a dangerous thing. When we hear the complaints of a friend or family member, we typically start to take on their burdens with them.

This is a bad habit to get into, especially if this is a person who is almost exclusively negative. These types of people are prone to embellishing and altering a story in order to gain sympathy.

Why else would they be sharing this with you?

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5. Change the subject.

When you suspect that a conversation is starting to take a turn for the negative, be a champion of positivity by changing the subject. Of course, you have to do this without ignoring what the other person said.

Acknowledge their comment, but move the conversation forward before the euphoric pleasure gained from complaining takes hold of either of you.

6. Talk about solutions, not problems.

Sometimes, changing the subject isn’t an option if you want to deal with negative people, but that doesn’t mean you can’t still be positive.

I know that when someone begins dumping complaints on me, I have a hard time knowing exactly what to say. The key is to measure your responses as solution-based.

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You can do this by asking questions like, “Well, how could this be resolved?” or, “How do you think they feel about it?”

Use discernment to find an appropriate response that will help your friend manage their perspectives.

7. Leave them behind.

Sadly, there are times when we have to move on without these friends, especially if you have exhausted your best efforts toward building a positive relationship.

If this person is a family member, you can still have a functioning relationship with them, of course, but you may still have to limit the influence they have over your wellbeing.

That being said, what are some steps you’ve taken to deal with negative people? Let us know in the comments.

You may also want to read: How to Stop the Negative Spin of Thoughts, Emotions and Actions.

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