Person Asks “What Is So Stupid But It Actually Really Works?” And 30 People Deliver




Genius often lies in simplicity. Even if it sounds off. So, to figure out the true capacity of human ingenuity, one person recently turned to the place that holds all the secrets to our collective intelligence - Reddit. Now, it's not important whether or not you caught my sarcasm; 1 month ago, redditor NecessaryPrudence posted a question on the platform asking, "What is so stupid but it actually really works?" and it immediately went viral, generating nearly 12,000 upvotes and 4,478 comments. From soothing bug bites with hand sanitizer to putting ice cubes in the dryer with a garment that needs ironing, here are some of the best replies, proving that if something looks stupid but does the job -- it isn't stupid!

#1I work in a hospital and when I'm doing something scary I tell kids that whatever they do they must not laugh.
Image credits: _A_ioi_

NecessaryPrudence told Bored Panda that they have had quite a few random conversations with friends and family that sometimes produced silly but somewhat interesting thoughts and questions, and it was what inspired this post, too.

"It's not something I intentionally came up with," NecessaryPrudence said. "Not even a serious conversation, but rather just chitchat."

The original poster has done things they would consider "really stupid" that actually worked out well. It made NecessaryPrudence relate to a lot of the answers, they said.

#2Stay at least a year behind in technology and gaming. Better, yet, two. You'll save a s**t-ton of money.
Image credits: DFSdog

Reading the replies, they also realized that people have varying perceptions of what "stupid" is. "Is it really that stupid if it actually works? Maybe they see things as stupid because they don't see themselves doing these things until they find themselves actually doing it and get favorable results. The thought after the 'stupid' deed is what's funny," NecessaryPrudence summarized the post.

But what really defines an act as "stupid"? To find the answer to this question, Balazs Aczel and Bence Palfi of Eotvos Lorand University in Budapest, Hungary teamed up with Baylor University's Zoltan Kekecs and analyzed various real-life examples. They first built a formidable assortment of 180 stories describing stupid actions, collected via the internet and from daily reports provided by a group of 26 college students. Then, a group of seven raters reviewed all of the stories to ensure that they described a "stupid" action, were comprehensible, and were relatively brief.

#3If you want someone you don't know well to like you, ask them for a small favor.

When I get new coworkers I go out of my way to ask them for something little, like borrowing a stapler or giving an opinion on something I'm working on.

Then they feel like they can ask me for something next time they need help, and soon I've tricked them into thinking I'm a nice person.

I don't know why it works but it does.
Image credits: flyting1881

From the data, the researchers distilled three key categories that make an action stupid. "The first situation in which people call an action stupid is when the actor takes high risks while lacking the necessary skills to perform the risky action," they explained. "A typical story for this is when burglars wanted to steal cell phones, but instead stole GPS navigation devices. They didn't switch them off so the police were able to track them easily. We named this category 'Confident ignorance.'"

#4I've worked in mental health for years. I can't tell you how many people tell me what a good listener I am..because I just shut up and let people talk.

It's not rocket science, but the large majority of people just want to feel like their voices are being heard. Too many therapists and providers don't know how to be quiet and stop loving the sound of their own voices.
Image credits: DeadSharkEyes

The second cluster consisted of cases of "Absentmindedness—Lack of practicality." "A typical story here is when someone inflates more air in the car tires than allowed. Here the person either forgot to pay attention to the action or he or she doesn't know something essential about tire inflation."

Finally, the third category is "Lack of control." "Cases here are thought to be the result of obsessive, compulsive, or addictive behavior. For example, one of the stories in this category described a person who canceled a meeting with a good friend to instead continue playing video games at home," the researchers explained.

There you have it. Now, the next time your friend falls on their face while attempting to ride a shopping cart, you can tell them exactly why they were acting stupid.

#5Putting a piece a duct tape on your bike seat so people won't steal it.

Who wants to try and sell a potentially ripped bike seat, let alone buy one.
Image credits: ElBeatch

#6Feeling tired, headache, muscle cramps? Drink water. It is amazing how many people walk around in a state of dehydration. Water is an amazing fluid that solves a lot of problems.
Image credits: GreenSalsa96

#7I don’t even know what made them think of it, but some researchers filled iPods for their elderly, confused clients with their favorite music. When they listen to the music, they are calm, recognize people better and are generally more cognizant.
Image credits: readerf52

#8Exercising once per day

cutting down on caffeine after noon

keeping your phone out of your bed

reading light fiction at bedtime

keeping a notepad and pencil next to your bed

Then you will fall asleep on time.#9My aunt puts her expensive jewelry in a zip lock bag, and her cheap jewelry in the jewelry boxes. She apparently had a lot of her jewelry stolen in the past by family. She now only has the cheap stuff stolen.
Image credits: tminor787

#10For me personally, I make a to-do list but put like 3 or 4 things that are just mind-numbingly simple. I knock them out, cross them off, feel productive, and feel motivated to hammer out the tougher pieces.
Image credits: boyvsfood2

#11Telling your little kids to clean their room is a guaranteed way to get them to spend the day playing with their toys.
Image credits: skulltvhat

#12If you think someone is following you, literally act as crazy and stupid as you can. It is so stupid but the other person is usually so freaked out they leave you alone
Image credits: Zedfourkay

#13Putting hand sanitizer on bug bites. It's the most glorious feeling and it works better than any itch spray!
Image credits: stoneyevora

#14Taking a shower to remedy any ailment. Prescribed by my mother. Headache? Take a shower. Anxious? Go take a shower with lavender. Have a cold? Get in the shower with Vix vapor rub. It's not a cure all, but I guarantee it always makes me feel less bad than before.
Image credits: essenkay

#15My depression makes it hard for me to do chores on command, but I figured out that if I set a timer or give myself some time to psych myself up, then I do it. It doesn’t always work, but 85% of the time I end up succeeding, and it’s a huge leap from a few months ago when I just shut down over chores.
Image credits: HouseFanatic64

#16"The Superhero Stance"

Stand up straight. Chest out, shoulder back, hands on hips, chin slightly elevated.

It's so f**king stupid. But damned if you don't start to believe your own fake superhero hype.
Image credits: PolloMagnifico

#17My anti-clothing static device. I think I learned about this on reddit.

I live in a dry climate and static cling was always a problem. I really dislike fabric softeners for multiple reasons, but this trick solved the problem.

Take an old cloth (mine is a cloth napkin) and pin 7-10 big safety pins to it. Just toss it in the dryer with your clothes. The safety pins hit the sides of the dryer, continually grounding your laundry.
Image credits: mference123

#18Long story short: A boorish guy was bullying my grandfather at a movie theater. My grandpa turned around and literally blew air on his face. The man was so weirded out that he left the theater.
Image credits: jollysystem75

#19If you think someone is watching you in a crowd, yawn. If they yawn too, they are watching you. Yawning is contagious!
Image credits: colmatrix33

#20Smile when you talk on the phone and you sound much happier than you really are.
Image credits: worrymon

#21If you always forget if you have locked the door/closed the oven/charged your smartphone/... do something stupid after you did the thing you're about to forget. You won't remember the actual locking, but you'll remember the stupid thing, and then you'll know you did the thing. Stupid things include doing a little dance or pirouette, singing a small song (rickroll yourself!) or saying something really stupid like "I'd like to eat a towel right now!".#22Eating off a smaller plate. That trick helped me lose 80lbs.#23Watching movies you've already seen to help you fall asleep
Image credits: gemini88mill

#24Wash your hands in shaving cream to remove fish/onion/nasty smells.
Image credits: Rednecknrusty

#25Dressing well at work. You can be an amazing worker but people really do judge you by how you look. And by well I mean looking put together and professional. This applies for trades/blue collar work as well as white collar. I’ve worked both.
Image credits: lefouilly

#26Yell “strength of a bear!” before lifting something heavy
Image credits: chamoisjuice

#27People resent being emotionally manipulated, so don't do it. Ever.

You might get something in the short term when you try to 'butter up' or trick a person, but if you instead are civil and clear about what you want they will not spend days plotting revenge.#28Positive self talk
Image credits: cyber_buddy

#29Facial expressions affect your mood. Just faking a smile can help boost a meh or bad mood. Just squinting in the sunlight can bring your mood down. So spend time smiling and wear sunglasses.
Image credits: dudius7

#30Wearing two pairs of socks, one thin pair under a thick pair. Sounds stupid. it helps wick the sweat away from your feet reducing stinky feet and crusty socks.
Image credits: Bobby6k34

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