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Dealing with Idiots

  1. Apr 21, 2012 #1
    I put this thread here because I thought it had more to do with general social issues than actual "relationships".

    Recently, a bunch of idiot athletes at my school have found out my interests in science, computers and programming. They don't know anything about computer programming but are constantly annoying me by asking me all sorts of questions related to the topic. Most of the time, they ask me random and inept questions about hacking. In fact, they've requested that I hack Facebook, PS3, Myspace, various porn sites, CoD: MW3 and even the absurd request of "hacking Microsoft for $2000". While I do have some knowledge of hacking, I don't even know how to respond to these questions. These people even ask me personal questions that only an immature person would ask, such as asking me if I know any good "porn sites."

    It seems that they ask these questions to invoke me rather than from actual curiosity. I've tried to answer their queries either by giving them a direct answer or by imploring them to find the answers to the questions themselves but it doesn't satisfy them.

    One of the kids even makes up stories about how he took an IQ test and got a score of 117. He wants me to come over to his house to play video games I'm sure he's never heard of. He also wants to start a chess team and learn how to program, although these are both things I have experience in and he does not. He also found my Youtube channel which has stop motion videos and asked me if he could do stop motion with me some time.

    These people often get in my personal space as well. Although I've made it clear that I want them to stop, they continue to try to talk to me and interact with me. I don't understand why their "jock" personalities would cause them to want to be interested in me and my "nerd" hobbies. I take it as a much more subtle form of bullying where they are trying to make me like them by interrogating me on the subject of my interests, rather than insult me.

    This all occurs mainly within my high school health class.

    What should I do?
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2012
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 21, 2012 #2
    Just ignore them if you like. If people are asking you questions about something, and you don't think they are sincere about it, or are mocking you, just tell them you don't know anything about it. If they are in fact subtly bullying you, then engaging in their conversation will only provoke them.
  4. Apr 21, 2012 #3
    I wouldn't completely ignore them either, they'll probably taunt you more.

    For some reason people like them like to provoke people that act smart. They do it to make you seem dumb, so they can feel better about them selves. And I've watched some of these situations when someone very smart has gotten upset and said very (socially) dumb things, and the bully walks off pleased with themselves because they have enforced their belief that they are truly the smarter ones because they poked you with subtle social irritants, and you were not able to respond socially skillfully.

    What you honestly have to do is learn their language. It's gonna be like boxing, give them nothing to hit. The language I'm talking about is "DontGiveA****ian". It sounds stupid, but it's a very effective way to avoid social pressure and scrutiny. Basically it involves taking a huge humble pill and ignoring their subtle hostility. Here are some sample questions and responses in the language (these are all from my imagination, they're asking questions):

    Q: "So you're like a computer hacker?"
    A: "Not really... I'm kinda interested in it though.

    Q: "Could you teach me sometime?"
    A: "I dunno, probably not..."

    Q: "Why not?"
    A: "I dunno man, I'm just not that good... If you really want to tho we could like meet after school or..."

    Q(responseA): "Nevermind, nevermind" / "Oh I was just kidding"
    Q(responseB): "Let's do it! Oh my god I'm so excited!"

    A: "Alright... We can meet after school at like, <time> in the library"

    And if they actually follow through and come, take them on a step by step tour of how to become a good programmer. Teach them basic Javascript commands, and then teach them how to make a program that converts degrees from Celsius to Farenheit. If they're bullies they will just flake after that. If they continue to be interested, then you've found someone who's genuinely interested in what you do.
    Q: "You're a fag."
    A: "Whatever man..." *walk away*
    Q: "Yo I heard you're really good at <thing>."
    A: "It's whatever man..." *shrug shoulders*
    Q: "Are you a flamer?"
    A: "Whatever man..." *ignore them*
    Q: "Do you like girls?"
    A: "Of course I do"

    Q: "Who do you think is hot?"
    A: "I don't know man, I just try go with what I can get I guess."

    Q: "Who"
    A: "Idk, I think <moderately attractive NICE girl, who DOESN'T think you're creepy, who hopefully thinks your friendly and nice (you might not want to pick a girl you actually like either)> is really nice"

    Q: "Go for it!!!! Go <nerd> go!" (they want to see you crash and fail)
    A: "Man, I don't have the balls to do that **** man, who do you think I am?" *lol*

    Q: "Do it!"
    A: "No!" (and don't do it either)

    I'm sorry if this comes off as me trying to be a social coach or something. That's really not what I'm trying to do. I know you're perfectly capable of handling yourself. I just had a lot of experience being bullied in high school myself, and I feel like I've got some good ideas on how to handle it, so I'm trying to spread them.

    One last idea that I have: Be extremely friendly to every girl you meet. Make a lot of friends that are girls. If you have an in with the majority of the girls at the school that will help you to the extreme socially. They will defend you from the guys who are bullying you and you might find yourself a companion for your high school years. After all, it is they who hold all the social power. All the guys who are bullying you are going to want at least one attractive girl in your school. If you befriend these girls and they know that those kids are assholes, those bullies will never, ever get any action. So be friendly to the females.

    Alright, that's my input, do with it as you may. I don't know if this applies to your situation at all, but I hope that some does and I can help you in some way.
  5. Apr 22, 2012 #4
    The kid that wants you to play games with him just wants to be your friend.

    I doubt they are trying to bully you. Try to see it from their point of view. You are the unique kid on the block that knows something they don't. They think it is cool that you know so much and they want you to share it with them. Instead of thinking of them as idiots, you could try turning them into your friends. Learning to do this will serve you well later in life. Also, never EVER let people know that you think you are better than them. The moment you do that, you turn them into enemies. Also, you may be surprised by some of the "jock idiots" with whom you are forced to interact. Many of them might turn out to not be so idiotic after all if you give them a chance.
  6. Apr 22, 2012 #5
    I agree. The kids could also be honestly trying to be your friend.
  7. Apr 22, 2012 #6
    I can't tell if that's a troll or you are just being incredibly naive.
  8. Apr 22, 2012 #7
    I wouldn't go as far as to say naive, especially incredibly, I would be willing to believe that there is a reasonable chance that the "jock" may have some interests out of sports, and one of the interests may very well be in computers. Questions that seem dumb or mocking to us about hacking and the like may be due to TV and their unrealistic portrayal of what happens on a mind that doesn't know enough to discern what is for show and what is correct.

    I could totally see it the other way, that the guy is trying to mess with our PF amigo here, I think it's worth a shot in finding out. This is a little biased towards wishfull thinking but maybe the good gesture of teaching the "interested" party will go some way in reducing the jocks are so much differrent than nerds mentallity in the school, at least for the couple people involved?
  9. Apr 22, 2012 #8
    This is obviously it here. These guys have some notion that the ability to hack is where it's at and they want you to either hack things for them, or give them simple tips on how to do it.
  10. Apr 22, 2012 #9
    I'm guessing you're in high school?

    They're messing with you, teasing you. They find it amusing to annoy you and are trying to get you riled up. There's not much you can do about it, but I guess be thankful they aren't physically abusing you.

    Maybe just ignore them, you could trying speaking to the principle about it, but sometimes that can make it worse for you.
  11. Apr 22, 2012 #10
    I don't know if you're way out of touch or what, but the situation he's describing is clearly bullying.
  12. Apr 22, 2012 #11
    At least someone else is grounded in reality.
  13. Apr 22, 2012 #12
    It's not *clearly* bullying. It might very well be, but so far I have not seen a compelling argument that rules out that these people are simply... well, slightly silly.
  14. Apr 22, 2012 #13


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    What I don't understand is why the OP even had to post this here. I've never heard of someone not know when they are being bullied which is almost the way it looks here. I also wondered if the OP is serious or just trolling.
    So, OP, if you are in fact serious about this how do you feel now that you know you are being bullied? Kinda felt better the way it was before huh? I would say what the 'idiot jocks' are doing is trying to get you to realize just how out of touch you are. You have to admit that someone who doesn't realize they are being bullied is a bit out of touch. From the way it looks you have probably thrown them quite a curve because you basically have refused delivery of what they send you. All that aside, don't let it discourage you from being interested in whatever it is you are interested in. I am a poor one to give advice on bullying but I will tell you nothing p!sses of an insulter more than when whatever insult they throw your way is spun into something else. In other words take it as a complement. Obviously hard to do with direct insults but more subtle things can be readily spun into something they were not meant to be. Social skills my friend. Social skills. Pretty gutsy advice coming from someone (me) who appears pretty rough around the edges huh?
  15. Apr 22, 2012 #14

    jim hardy

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    i think i agree they are trying to "spin you up", or as we said in my day "Get a rise out of you". It's harmless play to them. But as a nerdy kid myself i know the pressure you feel.

    Best you can do is not show any emotion.
    Answer their question with something factual and branch into the why. Best thing you can do is demonstrate that you know whereof you speak and that you not are bothered by their teasing. Soon enough they'll start asking more serious questions.

    This was demonstrated to me once in my adult years. As the newcomer to a group i found myself being queried about lightning , a completely off-the-wall question for where we were. It was just a test to see if i'd go pretentious on them. Well, i had just finished reading a book on lightning so gave them a pretty good ten minute talk on it. The Lord has mysterious ways.

    So remain calm - take a deep breath while you compose a reply. They're more interested in your body language than your answers.

    "Porn sites ? Haven't you noticed how often you pick up viruses there? Beware of loose women and pickpockets. Your computer gets venereal disease easier than you do."

    "Hack ? What for? To see something i'm not suposed to? That's being a Peeping Tom.
    And it's the thrill of the chase you're after, not anything in there. So you go ahead and get your dumb-a** caught sneaking into the girls' bathroom if you want, i ain't going with you. "

    Now the kid who claims IQ 117 may be genuine. That's not real high . Give him a pointer to a chess tutorial and ask him a couple days later how a bishop moves..

    remember - rudeness is a weak man's imitation of strength.

    old jim

    ps i am a total klutz in social situations and an "easy mark". But it makes one tough.
  16. Apr 22, 2012 #15
    Take them up on their offer for the $2k, but money up front. If they give it to you they're stupid. If they don't, they're mocking you.
  17. Apr 22, 2012 #16


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    You could point out that that isn't a score to brag about... :uhh:
    I don't think that he made that up; if he was faking it, he would have chosen something impressive, maybe in the 130 - 150 zone. 117 is just on the high side of "average". I agree with some of the others that his invitation to play games with him indicates a desire to be friends with you. Approach with caution of course, keeping an eye out for traps, but give him the benefit of the doubt and agree to play a few rounds.
    Point out to the others that hacking is illegal and that they aren't important enough to you for you to potentially throw away your future for their amusement.
  18. Apr 22, 2012 #17


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    As far as the $2000 for the hack goes. Get real. If a bunch of high school kids were that serious about hacking Microsoft they would have ideas of their own and wouldn't be offering hard earned cash. Next time they run it by tell them you will believe they are serious when they show up with the cash. The ball is in their court, it is them who decides what to do with it. They won't do it and you have called them out. Do NOT approach them about it. That sort of thing will spin out of control very fast. Their mission will be accomplished, they got you to move for their own amusement.
  19. Apr 22, 2012 #18
    So, to clarify things.

    On the subject of bullying, I think it's a subtle prodding but also inherently a way of trying to make me join their "group". I think that whatever they do will not be beyond trying to get me to like them or do something for them, or simply ignore me.

    I'm very sure the kid I spoke of did not get an IQ of 117. To clarify things, he first asked me if I had ever taken an IQ test. I told him that I did, and that I received a score of 111. He then told me he took one and got a score of 117. He then said "Wait. Is that good or bad?" Growing suspicious, I asked him what kind of problems were on the test. He told me it contained some calculus problems. I told him that IQ tests do not feature questions such as calculus problems but problems that deal with problem solving and general math questions. He then responded, saying "that there were some of those on the test too".

    I've seen this tactic used before. Sadly, it will not work for me. I naturally don't attract girls but I still try to be friendly towards them.
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2012
  20. Apr 22, 2012 #19
    More than likely they'll try and get you to do things for them. Your use will be within what you can do for them, anything beyond that, you become useless. If you don't do things for them, they'll try to humiliate you, and if you attempt to stand up for yourself, the more hostile they will become towards you. I've seen similar situations happen at the school I went to. Kid was basically a jester to those guys in the end. He had no self-respect.

    As for the guy with the IQ. He is desperately trying to one-up you. He is envious and of the jealous type. The guy sounds like the typical person who will try and befriend you but when you have good ideas, steal them and use them as his own.
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