Sunday, January 31, 2016

The ABC's of Intellectual Bullies

Dear Rhonda and Dr. Cheri.

After reading your column about one-uppers, I realized that I have a friend like that, but she doesn’t do the one-upping by what she has or how she does something, but by what she knows!

It’s so infuriating, frustrating, and humiliating to have her tell me that her Master’s Degree means she has all knowledge and I should learn from her. She says, “Trust me, I know, from getting my Masters, that X, Y, or Z is really A, B, and C.”

Then she gives me a look of pity because what she does know is that I didn’t get a higher education. She also knows that I wish I had finished my Bachelors’ Degree, even though I didn’t really need it.

 I became a mom who does a lot of volunteering. I have held offices in clubs that I’m in. My husband is a teacher and we always talk about interesting and new ideas or activities that his students are involved in.

I’m an avid reader and I always look facts up and try to stay on top of current events. But I don’t throw around what I know like it’s a trophy.

We go to the same church and she does the same thing there, too. She lets everyone know how much she knows. It’s like a competition where she decides she’s always the winner.

I have tried to tell her, in a nice way, that she needs to have more humility. No one cares how much she knows but she thinks we should all be impressed.

I’m really stressed out by her!

Not an Intellectual

Dear Not,

You have lost the competition because you have decided she is the Intellectual Winner and you have labeled yourself as Not an Intellectual. She’ll continue to insult and bully you with her idea of being intelligent as long as you let her.

The only way you can pick yourself back up from underneath her mind, is to be as direct as she has been. Let her know that gaining knowledge comes in many forms by saying something like this:

“I do not have a degree or an advanced degree as you do, my friend, however, the good quality of my life’s experiences and God have given me wisdom. Wisdom comes from God. God always tells me what to do, and more importantly, how to be, with the knowledge I have so far. Please don’t insist that I take my directions from you because of your degrees.” 

And remember the following:

The best intellectual leaders will gather knowledge from the world and knowledge from God which then becomes priceless wisdom. Knowledge without wisdom is useless in this life and the next. Wisdom from God is learning how to use knowledge with good judgment, love, and truth.

True intellectual leaders: 

• Tell less and ask more
• Admit what they don’t know
• Use their freshest and most inspired thoughts
• Create
• Have a loving heart for others
• Are truth seekers

Someone once said, “At the top of the genius ladder is a genius maker.”

God’s a genius maker.

Rhonda and Dr. Cheri

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