Monday, August 21, 2006

When smart people do stupid things

I guess the question is why? Why do smart people do stupid things? And what do you do when they do so many stupid things that you have trouble feeling sorry for them any more?

I'm not talking about the choices we make when we fall on hard times. I'm not talking about the things we do when we're blinded by infatuation. I'm talking about the things we do when life is running along smoothly, full steam ahead, and then it comes crashing down around us because we've done something incredibly dumb. Something that never would have happened had we thought about our decisions for five minutes. Why do people do that???

Now, I'll be the first to admit that I'm not perfect. Who is? I didn't really "grow up" until I was about 25. Before that, my parents bailed me out more times than I'd like to admit. But I'm a grownup now, and it's my responsibility to act like one (though yes, my parents still do bail me out from time to time. Like letting us borrow their extra car for three months). And, I've been pretty darn lucky that some of my dumb decisions didn't have worse consequences than they did.

Anyway, I've had several friends over the years who, though they are quite smart, make dumb decisions over and over again. Maybe I'm too judgemental. I'm sure it's a whole lot easier to be an outsider looking in than to actually be in their shoes. But it sure is hard to stay friends with people like that. People who do those things, then continually run back to you saying "oh, poor me, pity me, the whole world is against me". And when you try to suggest ways that they could do things differently, they just don't want to listen.

It's like they refuse to believe that they're adults, and that they have to grow up and make the adult decisions. Like they are just playing a game and someone will come along and bail them out.

Up until now, I've usually just let these friendships cool until they go away all together, feeling like it's too much work and too exasperating. But maybe this is the wrong tactic.

Do you have friends like that? What do you do?

1 comment:

MamaZuzi said...

I'm too tired with too little coffee to think of anyone I know like that right now but I'm sure it will come to me. I know a few people who could be defined as family that might fit the definition). Hmmmm. Sometimes I don't think they want to hear the logical things they could have done 'cause even though they don't like the bad things happenening, they are either addicted to the drama or they like getting the pity and "you poor thing" support. Just thinking...