The world around you isn’t a place to let your guard down, ever. At any chance that you show a sign of weakness or a subtle slip of arrogance then chances are you’ve might have said or done something that ruined a relationship or created an uncomfortable situation that’s hard to recover from. Playing dumb is also a necessary skill in life required to build relationships as well as giving yourself the upper hand in scenarios that may require it.
“When you are trying to impress people with words, the more you say, the more common you appear, and the less in control. Even if you are saying something banal, it will seem original if you make it vague, open-ended, and sphinxlike.”Powerful people impress and intimidate by saying less. The more you say, the more likely you are to say something foolish.
Always think carefully what you want to say and learn how and when to keep your mouth shut.
Playing dumb is more about timing and knowing which situations require it. Here are a few scenarios and techniques you can use when it’s necessary to play dumb.
Subtleness is simply acting or responding in a clever and skillful way as opposed to facing it in a direct manner. Sometimes even being quiet and not responding is a clever response than saying something that you may regret. Give yourself a few seconds to think before giving proper feedback and decide if it’s even worth responding to directly. Even a few seconds of delay provides a good amount of time to filter your words correctly.
When it comes to conversations, there’s a certain rhythm that needs to be followed especially during group conversations that involves more than one person. Most casual conversations are open in the air and it’s tempting to add your opinion or thoughts to the matter that’s arguable in nature.
Keep it in your pocket and resist the urge to say it. instead, play a role that makes you look impressed about whatever the topic is about and pretend you’re learning from your ‘peers’. This adds a level of underestimation which is ultimately an advantage to you.
All of us want to be right no matter the circumstances but if you try so hard to prove to the other person that you are right it might only be counter-productive. If it is something that’s not as crucial to lay everything down then you shouldn’t even bother getting into an arguments with, especially if it’s someone you hardly know.
You also don’t want to lay down all your cards down at once when it comes to being the information king. Just like Number 2 on the list, Evaluate the scenario and decide if you need to give an illusion that you don’t know much about the topic and offer them a chance to invest. People love teaching others what they know as it provides them an opportunity to build character in others. Use this to your advantage to build a lasting relationship with positive influencers, especially the elite and successful ones that may have something to invest in the future.
Playing dumb should only be used for certain scenarios. Either you are playing dumb to avoid disrupting a given relational harmony or you are playing dumb for informational advantage. Aside from those, decide when you’ll need to play dumb and do so accordingly. Otherwise, just be yourself to avoid detection and people thinking you’re just an idiot without an opinion or anything to contribute.
Playing dumb means consistency between you and your target. You can still have a conversation and play dumb, just try not to add anything new to the conversation, any unnecessary lies, or something that might be offensive to the other person. Try to use a more neutral tone and respond in a way that is largely congruent to avoid any inconsistencies that may lead to detection.
You should have a list of all the people you need to play dumb with so anytime you need to interact with them you should make a special effort beforehand. Keep your reactions and your comments for yourself and there will not be a problem at all.
Don’t forget that even Shakespearean fools who are intelligent chose to play dumb. Whether it’s people who you don’t meet very often or someone of status that you’re investing in for future gains, the only thing you need to remember is the people you are choosing to play dumb with and the reasoning for doing so.
Playing dumb in a way is a form on subtle manipulation. You’ll need to adjust your presentation and responses to play it off and should only be used on situations when needed.
Have you ever had an occasion when you’ve had to play dumb? Let us know in the comments below!