Human behavior can baffle, because the way people act is often the complete opposite of how they should act.

A Highly Competitive Person Might Be Crippling Under The Weight Of Fear Of Losing.

But that’s not what you think when you see a highly confident person, right?

People who will go on and on about politics for hours usually have less information than the experts.

Similarly, people who think highly of themselves and even have a god or superiority complex are usually fighting against profound feelings of inadequacy and other serious insecurities.

So, it goes without saying that less intelligent people often think they are smarter than most people. Ignorance is very bold.

You have seen a boss, a supervisor or a relative you thought was a complete idiot but thought themselves a genius. With politicians, there are far too many examples of these sorts of people.

These people have no idea what they are doing, and yet, in their delusions, they think they know everything and will take no one’s advice.

But Why Is That?

They have a name for it. It’s the Dunning-Kruger effect, defined as a cognitive bias in which people with lower ability have an illusion of superiority.

In layman’s terms, this means that these people ridiculously overestimate their cognitive abilities.

And the reason this happens?

These people are not smart enough to realize how cognitively challenged they are in certain matters. They have no reliable way of assessing themselves, and their sense of confidence is based on a complete lack of awareness.

And That’s Not The Entire Problem.

It’s worth considering how highly incompetent people become heads of companies and cause them lots of problems or even collapse through their arrogant incompetence.

How do they get that far? 

Shouldn’t we be able to see their incompetence from a mile off and avoid entrusting too much to them? In theory, this makes perfect sense, but in reality, something else happens.

Incompetent People Get Their Way One Step At A Time.

Learning new things makes someone think there’s a lot they don’t know. In other words, knowledge makes you know that you don’t know as much as you thought you did.

It therefore goes without saying that without this same knowledge, it’s hard to know that you don’t know as much as you think you know. 

Also, subconsciously, we relate to people we believe to be of a similar cognitive ability and avoid those who threaten our cognitive abilities, if at all we are insecure about them.

In this manner, the incompetent person will be around people they think are less smart than they are. But that’s just a perception they have.

Highly cognitive people who know their limitations, however, consciously choose to be around smarter people to improve their learning.

Thanks to this strange dynamic, incompetent people hardly get challenged, and this adds to the confidence they have about their abilities.

They Become The Smartest People They Know Because Nobody Can Prove They’re Not.

There’s one other thing, however.

These people were, at some point in their lives, devalued and bullied. And so, when they grew up, they had to prove to themselves they were smart.

So, their need to appear smarter despite their incompetence is fueled by a strong need to show the world they are smart.

They succeed at confirming this by finding one thing they are really good at and excelling at it. Based on that, they now believe they are smarter than everyone. 

For instance, because they manage to make quite a bit of money based on a certain skill like politics, they convince companies they have what it takes to run them. But as soon as they take over, things go south.

Okay, Now What?

If you realize you might be one of these people, challenge yourself. If you think you can write a great novel, do a marathon and so forth better than anyone, try it for once and prove it.

You will realize that you are not smarter than everyone, and that’s a good thing. That will make you appreciate yourself and that all humans have limitations.

Then, you can build your self-confidence based on your strengths rather than your insecurities.