There’s no limit to three things, as far as I know. First, the numbers after the decimal point in the value of Pi. Second, my love for donuts (give me your powdered, your glazed, your sprinkled baked masses, I’ll eat them all). And third, the dumb things that people end up saying aloud.
Oh, we’ve all said dumb things that we wish we could take back (we still cringe when we think about those awkward moments while in the shower), but some people take the cake, the stand it was sitting on, and the entire bakery. When redditor ZakLorinator asked their fellow internet users to share the dumbest things that someone has told them, they delivered a truckload of tiny reasons to lose your faith in humanity. As you scroll down, upvote the responses that made you cringe inside. And if you feel your IQ lowering, you can always read this article right over here to raise it back up again.
Bored Panda wanted to learn how to make someone aware that they’re incorrect without being rude and without triggering their defense mechanism, so we reached out to researcher and award-winning social psychologist Vanessa Bohns, who is the author of the forthcoming book ‘You Have More Influence Than You Think.’
«People go on the defensive when you correct them in a way that makes them think there is something fundamentally wrong with them—for example, in a way that challenges their intelligence, or whether they are a good person,» Vanessa said. Read on for her other insights, dear Pandas.
Someone said that Adam and Eve were white because they had seen pictures.
Image credits: Sadaisy
I worked at a museum and had to let a girl go because she was going around telling everyone that dinosaurs weren’t real because no animals can breathe fire. She was a law student.
Image credits: Fronkey776
I heard a person say, ‘I don’t want to swim in the ocean because I might get pregnant by a sperm whale.’
Image credits: Subliminal_Rose
Social psychologist Vanessa believes that the best approach is to focus on the error, not the person, so that they don’t feel under attack. This is especially useful if we have to correct an authority figure or somebody that we look up to.
«It’s best to focus on the specific error, and to point it out in a way that simultaneously affirms the person’s broader positive identity, and potentially also normalizes making mistakes. For example, you could say something like, ‘Some of the smartest people I know make that same mistake. I used to make it too, but then I discovered that this is actually the correct information…’ That way, you can make the correction in a way that saves face for the other person,» she explained.
Watching a sunset on the ocean one day when a late teens person asked me why the ocean doesn’t put the sun’s fire out.
Image credits: dosta1322
My friend said, ‘You’re trying to tell me that our sun is a star? What are all those other things?’ I proceed to show her an observable universe’s size comparison video. She said, ‘Humans can’t look that far, I can’t even see the moon sometimes.’
Image credits: arsyeira
«The spork is the devil’s utensil because it’s the amalgamation of masculine fork and feminine spoon, trying to blur gender lines in society.»
Image credits: -eDgAR-
How we approach things when we hear somebody say something that’s blatantly wrong depends on the goal that we’re trying trying to achieve. Naturally, we’ll do things differently if we’re trying to make the speaker aware of what’s actually correct and if we want the audience to know if the speaker said something incorrect or even inappropriate.
«Of course, the more publicly and bluntly we correct someone, the more face-threatening, and therefore embarrassing it is for them (and, really, for everyone involved). So, if you are primarily interested in correcting the speaker, it probably makes sense to do it in the least embarrassing way—in private, and diplomatically,» Vanessa pointed out that discretion can be a virtue in this case. However, this gentler approach doesn’t always fit.
a girl once told me she was a Vegan… But due to her medical condition she was required to eat meat which she did.. but still considered herself a Vegan.
Image credits: Macroc0sM
Her: “I think the law that requires you to wear a seatbelt is sooooo stupid. My body, my choice.”
Me: “Well what about your five-year-old son? You wouldn’t want to hurt him if he was riding with you, right?”
Her: (shrugs) “When it’s your time to go, it’s your time to go.”
Me: “Really? That’s how you feel about that? I mean…why even look before crossing the street, if ‘When it’s your time to go, it’s your time to go’?”
Her: “Actually, I usually don’t look when I cross the street.”
Image credits: Gween_Waynjuh
A girl in my eighth grade geology class once said that the oceans were so polluted because the dirty animals wash themselves in it.
Image credits: Stiffmeister24
«There are times when we want to make sure the people exposed to the speaker’s comment know it is incorrect. For simple factual errors, it probably makes sense to publicly, but politely, note the error, so that the audience is able to focus more on the substance of the correction than on how the correction was made,» the social psychologist told Bored Panda.
«However, if someone says something blatantly offensive, that’s when it can be okay to stop worrying so much about protecting the speaker’s face and saving them from embarrassment, and move towards more bluntly speaking against a statement in order to defend those who may have been offended or hurt by a comment and more forcefully ensure others won’t emulate it.»
I sat next to a girl in bio who got 40% on our first test. She seemed quite pleased and said that now she only needed to get 40% again to have an average of 80%.
Image credits: besterluca
I went on a date about 6 months ago with a girl who was really into astrology. I had asked if she wanted to eat at a certain restaurant and she said no because of something in her horoscope. I explained to her that some guy that works for the local newspaper wrote that, or at best some guy writes for a ton of newspapers. She got really mad and we had my favorite conversation to think about
Her: “that isn’t true only an astrologist can write horoscopes.”
Me: “it’s not like every publication has an astrologist on their payroll” Her: “it probably comes from a group of astrologists. It’s science and it’s illegal to lie about science, they would revoke that astrologist’s license” Me: “his what?”
No 2nd date.
Image credits: LilVic10
Someone said that birds are mammals because they have meat.
Image credits: JugOfVoodoo
Most issues that involve spilling silly verbal drivel are based on two things. The first is fairly simple—some of us (me included) speak before we think and end up sharing our unfiltered, honest opinions on things. Sometimes, those opinions can show our huge gaps in knowledge, as well as the importance of slowing down.
The solution to this is simple (i.e. simple but not easy because it requires a bit of soul-searching): teach yourself to have more patience. Relax. Think. Listen. Don’t rush to open your mouth. The second aspect, however, is much more complex and harder to tackle because it’s all to do with a lack of education. And that particular puzzle takes a while to solve.
The keys to educating yourself and filling in knowledge blindspots are dedicating the time needed to actually learn something new and keeping your mind open to new information. You really can’t learn something new that you think you know, so a certain level of humility (while still staying scientifically skeptical of everything) is always a plus.
It was night at summer camp and when I turned on a flashlight during a storm this guy started yelling at me to shut it off because, apparently, light attracts lightning.
Image credits: Noesk
NASA makes up everything about space in order to convince us the earth is round, so the world governments can keep the hidden civilizations at the edge of the world a secret.
Not even kidding with that, my friend 100% believes that
Image credits: slothbarns7
A friend in high school told me he didn’t take the SAT because he heard it’s easier the second time.
Image credits: ImReallySorryMom
Some knowledge blindspots will go away when you start engaging in new activities, whether it’s reading new books, watching unseen movies that you’d never even glance at before, or even meeting interesting people outside of your social circle.
At the end of the day, it all comes down to having the right attitude. Staying curious, driven, and open-minded is one thing, but you also have to embrace the possibility of failure. And not just failure—embarrassment, too. Anything worth doing or worth learning will inevitably mean that you may find yourself getting embarrassed because you might lack knowledge. But if you learn to use that feeling to your advantage, you can pretty much be unstoppable.
‘You’re twins? No you’re not. You can’t be twins if you don’t look alike. ’
Ma’am we’re fraternal.
Image credits: Subliminal_Rose
That rabbits come from eggs.
Image credits: NowhereManDE
My coworker asked my boss, ‘Can I have Monday off? It’s my anniversary.’ My boss responded, ‘You got married on a Monday?
Image credits: CoolBeansMan9
Earlier, I spoke about with researcher Vanessa about embarrassing knowledge blindspots,. «We spend a lot of time and effort presenting an ideal version of ourselves to other people. When something happens that contrasts with the image we’ve been projecting—when we say or do something that shows we actually aren’t as graceful or as smart as we’d like people to believe—we feel embarrassed,» Vanessa told Bored Panda.
«Discovering you were wrong about something most everyone else around you has long known to be true is one of those moments. In that moment we learn, ‘Wait a minute, maybe I haven’t been presenting the image of being smart or worldly that I thought I was presenting all this time,’ which is embarrassing,” she shared.
Someone told me the South Pole is hot because it’s the south.
Image credits: FrostedRavenclaw
The TA for one of my classes in college said his parents didn’t let him watch Veggie Tales as a kid because ‘vegetables aren’t supposed to have souls.’
Image credits: crapenvelope
«Math isn’t real. Like if I said 2+2=5 it would be true.»
This was from a nursing student.
Image credits: All_Lines_Merge
Embarrassment, fortunately, has its positive aspects. If we embrace it, we’ll be better liked than if we try to pretend that nothing shameful happened or that we didn’t make a mistake. That works when we say something incredibly dumb, too.
“One thing that’s interesting about embarrassment is that, for as much as we might experience it as painful in the moment, it’s actually very socially adaptive. Being embarrassed signals to other people that you care about what they think. And that actually draws people in to you,” Vanessa explained.
Overheard some lady saying her daughter isn’t allowed to watch youtube any more because thats how people track you. She got this information from facebook.
Image credits: HawaiianFlower34
“Do you guys ride horses to school?”
I’m from Houston… apparently my friend from New York thought all Texans had horses
Image credits: TuffCriminal18
That the biggest number was 1,000
Image credits: hastagyashtag
“So blushing, burying your head in your hands, laughing, acknowledging how embarrassing something was, are all totally healthy ways to react,” the expert highlighted that, in a very meta way, we shouldn’t ever be embarrassed about being embarrassed.
That the post office doesnt ship mail to the Netherlands because you can’t send physical mail to Hell. Just wanted to mail a postcard to my family in Eindhoven.
Image credits: FaultySky
«Why are people Canadian?»
Image credits: sithwonder
That I can’t be Jewish and German at the same time.
I told this girl that from my mom’s side I am Jewish (we’re not that religious though and my dad is Catholic) and that my mom was born in and is from Germany. Then she said that I and my mom can’t be German and Jewish because the Holocaust wiped every Jewish person from Germany and Europe out. Every single jewish person. I was thinking Has she never seen or heard a video from a Holocaust survivor? Bruh Also to top it all off so to say this girl was Jewish.
Image credits: Cheshire_Cat8888
“The unhealthy way to react is to pretend you’re not embarrassed, that you didn’t make a mistake, or to get angry. Those things undo the positive effect that embarrassment typically has on other people by conveying insincerity and pushing people away rather than drawing them in.»
A girl from Florida once told me ‘because Australia is upside down, left is right and right is left’. I am Australian and told her she was right and not many people know that!
Image credits: idontknowimlost
My ex wife (wife at the time) came home late, said she had a flat tire and that her and her girlfriend were able to put the spare on (I taught her that) then she said there was something she didn’t understand. She said she saw a screw in the tire and wanted to know that if the screw was in the top of the tire, why was the bottom flat.
Image credits: Tool_Time_Tim
An ex tried telling me that his therapist assured him that it was MY sole responsibility to remain in a relationship with him to keep his sanity in check…..i obviously disagreed. Im not your personal prescription.
Image credits: Rosie_skies
But what about you, dear Pandas? What’s the dumbest thing that you’ve ever heard anyone say aloud, ever? What do you think the best way to react to idiotic statements is? Should we ignore them completely or should we confront them? Diplomatically? Head-on? Not at all? Share your thoughts below.
‘It’s not an MLM, you have to pay for those and they are illegal… I only paid £50 to get started’
Image credits: xCLJx
Someone once asked me, ‘When is 9/11 again?’ I didn’t know if they were joking or not so I laughed. They were serious.
Image credits: OfficialAzif
My step sister told me we should see the PG-13 movie because PG meant ‘pretty good.
Image credits: itti-bitti-kitti
There was a kid at my school who said his mom didn’t let him watch SpongeBob because she ‘didn’t want the gay spirits in the house.’ A few years later, he told everyone he was a furry so I don’t know what changed over that time.
Image credits: PM-ME-YOUR-STOMACH
My friend thought
New Jersey was tropical and warm year round
Hot dogs were made from stray dogs
Tupac killed bob Marley
Elephant ear from the fair we’re real elephants
When John McCain died she told everyone in government class that joe Biden just died
Among many others
That direction can’t be north because it’s diagonal and north has to be in a straight line. What?
Someone told me that John Lennon was, in fact, the first president to be assassinated.
Image credits: Dame_Mort
The root word of infant was «infinite», therefore, infants have infinite wisdom.
Image credits: She_Likes_Cloth
I was walking in a very popular, touristy park in the city I live in. There is a totem pole at the edge of the park that is very nice. While walking past I was asked by someone «Where can I buy seeds to grow one of these trees?» (person points to the totem pole) I said «It’s a totem pole… They’re carved from a tree. You can’t grow them yourself.» The person was flabbergasted.
“Pumpkins aren’t natural, because they last too long”
I then explained the concept of skin and how long jack-o-lanterns last compared to an unbroken pumpkin, and you should should have seen the look on her face
Image credits: robertbreadford
She didn’t tell me but her daughter. A little girl asked her mother why the polar bears wouldn’t go in the water. We were at the zoo and it was a sunny day about 50degrees outside.
The mother responded. “Because it too cold for them honey”.
me: it’s unfortunate that it’s cloudy tonight, so we can’t see the stars.
friend: «ohhhh, so THAT’S why you don’t see the stars sometimes»
Apparently she thought only some nights were starry because of the Earth’s rotation or something.
A friend heard somewhere Mr Roger’s was a sniper and he got a new tattoo for every kill. That is why he wore a sweater.
Someone pointed at my glucose monitoring device and asked, ‘Do you have diabetes in your arm or is it in your stomach?
«Can I get it medium-well?»
After ordering a chicken sandwich
My Dad once told me that shooting stars are caused by global warming.
Someone once told me they saved the internet on a floppy disk. They actually saved their dial up connection shortcut, but they truly were convinced that it contained the whole internet.
Me, a Deli Clerk: «Would you like a slice of cheese, sir?»
Said Sir: «No thanks; I’m driving.»
A teacher told me (and the rest of my class) the Earth was flat something like 25 years ago when I was in high school.
I had never heard of a flat earther at that time and I remember thinking how much of an idiot the person was and questioning with my classmates how that person was supposed to teach us anything.
My slightly insane boss said that she can’t drinking water without a drop of orange juice because it ‘breaks the water down’. It had to be orange juice as well, not orange squash!
«Sour isn’t a taste.»
Are the Greeks from Ireland?
im half asian so i got asked once «do you guys have birds in x country?»
«How can people believe in evolution when men have less ribs than women?!»
This guy I know told me that he honestly thought Jesus was attached to the cross with a staple gun.
«Calories don’t matter.»
This was said to me by a co-worker after I told them I lost over 70lbs by, you guessed it, counting calories.
While jogging with my friend in the morning they said, ‘I am so slim because I follow a diet of hydrocarbons that my doctor recommended me.
10 or so years ago when I was arguing over the pronunciation of a word with my brother, he told me «the dictionary is wrong!»
Alaska was an island