3 Ways to Appear More Intelligent When Meeting Strangers

  Raise your hand if you actively avoid the news or totally ghost conversations that take a turn toward political or social issues.


If you’re anything like me you’re actually a pretty curious person, so why do we hide from relevant things going on around us? Two reasons: Ignorance and Fear.
First, let's start by pointing out that many people use the word "ignorant" incorrectly. Ignorance is simply defined as a lack of knowledge or unfamiliarity with something. I don't know about you, but that pretty much sums up my current relationship with the news! Why? Because politics can be absolutely confounding and economics, befuddling. Nine times out of ten, the news is not only depressing, but downright terrifying. But there’s an issue if you’re having a meltdown every time someone tells you about a natural disaster! (Is that just me? Great.  Moving on.
I didn't realize just how little I knew about health care until one of my developmentally disabled clients lost her Medicaid status. Her health had been quickly declining, and she desperately needed more care. Somehow my client had "fallen off" the Medicaid waiver, and it wasn't until I was responsible for getting her Medicaid back that I realized how heavily some people rely on the program. Sound familiar to anyone?

Well, from one friend to another, here are three things I've done to appear more intelligent in everyday conversation: 


Read the News  
Yep... Rip that band aid! It can be tough to absorb some of the difficult things going on in the world, but it's so important to see the big picture. I think we all know people who get all their news from one polarized source, be it Occupy Democrats or Fox News. It can be hard to maintain a balanced view of the world when news sources are not balanced themselves. Diversify your sources, so you can come to your own informed opinions.  Here's an article for your consideration that contains information about the general audience of each news source. Moral of the story: Don't put all your eggs in one basket. 


 Discuss current events with people you trust and respect
Whenever something happens in the world, be it a disaster or a monumental policy change (which let's face it, happens a lot these days), take charge! After you've absorbed information from a few different sources, discuss it with someone you trust. For me, that's my dad. He and I have similar worldviews, and although we don't always see eye-to-eye on everything, I always have more to think about after speaking with him. At the end of the day, remember that your opinions are your own; but it's always good to hear and learn from another perspective. Don't be afraid to ask the tough questions. Don't forget: Dialogue is crucial.


Get Involved
Sounds crazy, I know. But if there's an issue or cause you find yourself drawn to, find a way to get plugged in. You don't have to know everything in order to get started. Join a group, take a class, sit at the feet of people who know more than you do, and learn. You'll be surprised how much you can glean from others.
​Oh!  And if you’re one a person who is always on the go and has trouble finding time to sit down and research, subscribe to The Skimm . Every morning you’ll get a breakdown of the most important things happening in the world that day, and you’ll be able to at least fake your way through intelligent conversation.

Remember, you're kind of a big deal; so it's important to be educated enough to let other people know that you're a force to be reckoned with.