I have been told a couple of times that I have a tendency to act dumber than I am.
Potential reasons why I do this:
- People treat me like I’m dumb: therefore I play the part so as not to be inconsistent with their expectations. I am a people pleaser after all.
- Playing to what I expect are people’s expectations: I assume people think I’m dumb so I play the part so as not to be inconsistent with what I assume are their expectations. It’s all in my head.
- Playing to my own expectations: I think I’m dumb, therefore I play the part so as not to be inconsistent with my own expectations. I’m doing this to make sense of myself.
- Playing it safe: If people think I’m dumb, if I think people think I’m dumb, if I think I’m dumb, then there’s never any expectation for me to be smart. And then I’m safe from the risk of making mistakes and failing people as a smart person.
- I’m actually dumb: and the people who think I’m playing dumb actually expect more from me. I don’t know whether to be flattered or terrified.