How would you respond when someone tell you, “You’re very smart”?
Personally, I don’t like that phrase. I find it kind of offensive and irksome. Also being smart is overrated. In today’s world, it is all about practicality rather than smarts. Being called smart makes me sound headstrong and stand out. I’m not that kind of person. I’m an introvert and an underdog and I prefer to be called practical over smart any day.
That’s why I’ve disassociated myself from a classmate I befriended at the beginning of the year. She is someone who must be the best, anything less than that would make her sad. I remember last semester, she called me to tell me she’s sad that she got a B in a class. I would have been grateful because a B isn’t a bad grade but not her. She kept going on and on about how depressed she was. I stopped listening after 5 minutes until she pulled me back.
So feeling annoyed, I replied, “Well, so am I!” I’m taking a full load of classes while working two jobs while she’s only taking half-load and doesn’t have to work. I get 70s and low 80s on my exams. By her standards, shouldn’t I be like super depressed.
“But you’re very smart,” she said, “You still do well.” No, that’s not true. I don’t think I’m at all smart. Otherwise, I wouldn’t have made so many mistakes. I’m not smart at all, I often think, I’m just trying to get through this (school, work, etc.) as quick as I can and I don’t cry or shut myself in my room when I don’t do well on a test if that’s what you mean.
Currently, we are sharing one of the classes and last week was the first midterm. On Sunday, she texted me asked how I did. I didn’t know how to respond because I have a feeling she would how sad she was that she didn’t do as well as I did even though I really didn’t do that well. I turned to my mom for suggestion. “Go low,” she suggested.
Therefore, I took her suggestion and wrote, “Okay, wasn’t what I expected.”
She replied one line after that, “Sorry, anyway you’re very smart. Keep fighting.” Way to send the shiver of annoyance up my spine like the last hundred times she’d said it to me but at least she didn’t tell me how awful she did.
Honestly, I don’t know how to reply to that phrase, “you’re very smart” and personally, I don’t like it because if I was so smart, what am I doing still living with my mom?