Do people laugh at you for being too naive? Have you ever been the victim of an email scam or contracted dubious services because you're too nice to say no? Do you usually believe completely in everything you hear? If so, you need to learn not to be so naive all the time. Trusting others is a good quality, but you shouldn't let that trust get you into sticky situations. If you want to learn to be less naive, it's important to think more about things and learn to question the sources of information you receive.
Part 1 of 3: Becoming More Critical
Step 1. Don't make decisions in a hurry
Committing to something blindly can have consequences that you may later regret. This is also the tactic some people use to convince someone to make a commitment without thinking through the consequences, such as a realtor, potential employer, or partner. Spontaneous decisions are often poorly thought out.
- Don't make a decision based on someone else's opinion for fear of making a mistake. If you're undecided, a person with something to gain can use it against you. She will ensure that this is the right choice, what are you waiting for? But if the person is afraid or is preventing you from waiting for another opinion, doing a poll, or pondering your options, that's a red flag.
- Watch out for the FOMO (Fear of Missing Out). FOMO can be that fear that if you don't act now, you will miss an opportunity that will never come again. This is most likely not the case.
- Remember that people who try to force you to make a decision too quickly instead of giving you time to make a thoughtful choice often do so precisely because they don't want you to research it. They're afraid you'll notice the bluff.
Step 2. Be more skeptical
Even if the idea is not to become a completely skeptical person to avoid being deceived, if you are often too naive, you should learn to be a little more critical when you observe a situation. Whether it's your big brother telling a story about your neighbor or a telemarketer trying to offer you a discount on your cell phone plan, you should learn to keep your guard up and ask yourself and the person you're talking to if the information really is. proceeds.
- Of course, this can make some social situations less pleasant than they would be if you agreed with everything the person said, but it will keep you from being fooled.
- Whenever you receive some new information, ask yourself how much you can trust the source, what the chances of it being true, and what arguments could be used to defend the opposite idea.
Step 3. Make people need to earn your trust
You don't have to stop trusting people just because you want to be less naive, but if you really want that, you can't go out trusting anyone who comes close. Get to know people and establish a relationship first, whether it's approaching a co-worker or starting to date a new person. Getting them to prove they deserve your trust rather than believing them right away is a sign of strong critical thinking.
- Naive people tend to trust anyone who gives them information, especially if they consider the person older or wiser. However, you must not allow someone's age or rank to make you believe a lie. Remember, people of any age must prove to you that they are trustworthy.
- If you trust too much right away, people are likely to take advantage of you and try to trick you into doing something that is not good for you.
Step 4. Don't jump to conclusions
If you don't want to be naive, don't allow yourself to jump to conclusions before you know all the facts. Just because your teacher missed a class, don't believe he was fired based solely on something your friend said. Just because your boss is being nicer than usual this week, don't think it means you're going to get promoted soon. Look for all the necessary information before making any assumptions.
Naive people sometimes don't stop to think if something is true or not, but that's exactly what you have to do if you want to avoid falling into a trap
Step 5. Avoid anything that sounds too good to be true
The fact is, if something sounds too good to be true, it probably isn't. It could be a prince charming you've just met and is trying to get your head in the clouds, or your friend telling you to invest in a business that will "sure" make you rich. You should always hesitate before stepping into a situation that seems ideal to get rid of all your problems. If you feel like you've found the most perfect opportunity in the world, there is most likely a downside.
- Remember the saying "When alms is too much, the saint is suspicious." If someone offers an incredible opportunity, chances are there's something you need to offer too. Nobody wants to simply give a lump of money, a wonderful gift, or a piece of land in your hand without asking for anything in return.
- Ask yourself, how does this opportunity benefit the other? If a person is offering you a gift certificate, what does he get out of it? Would she do this out of sheer kindness?
Step 6. Know that there are evolutionary reasons for being naive
While it's admirable to try to learn to be less naive, know that being that way isn't all bad. In fact, ethologist Richard Dawkins argues that being naive actually helps us survive as children. It's the naivety that makes you believe your parents when they tell you not to leave the house because there are scary people outside, or when they forbid you to walk in the woods because there are monsters. That kind of thinking keeps you alive – up to a point.
That doesn't mean that you should remain naive, but that you don't have to feel bad about being naive either. This feature probably helped more than you think
Step 7. Don't think that particular cases prove the truth
Naive people tend to hear a story about a certain phenomenon and believe that it is the absolute truth. Don't make rash generalizations just because of a story you've heard, and hone your critical thinking skills by learning as much as possible about the situation before you make up your mind. Stories can help to develop a better understanding of a situation and demonstrate statistics and generalizations in specific cases, but they cannot be your only source of information.
For example, if a friend says, "Don't buy a Volvo. My cousin owns a Volvo and says she's been in trouble. Buy a Jetta.", that may be true of one person's experience with a Volvo, but that doesn't mean it works. for all
Part 2 of 3: Getting More Information
Step 1. Think about the credibility of the source
Getting as much information as possible about a certain situation can help you to be less naive. One way to do this is to check the credibility of the source of the information. It doesn't matter if it's a newspaper headline or the word of a gossip, ask yourself if that source is impartial or respected, or if the person has cheated on you before. You can't believe everything you hear or read on the internet, or you'll become one of those people who believe the Sensationalist headlines.
- If you read a news item on the internet, find out where it came from. Read about the newspaper that published it and find out how long it's been around, who collaborates, and whether it's academic or respected.
- See if the source has authority on the subject. If your cousin is trying to convince you to buy a model car but doesn't even have a driver's license, consider the possibility that he might not know what he's talking about.
Step 2. Look for evidence
Before believing in something or making a decision, make sure you've done good research to justify it. Don't just believe something because your friend says it's true. Research the situation from reliable sources on the internet, go to your local library or talk to professionals in the field to find out if the information is real. Naive people are often lazy, because they find it less work to simply believe what is being said than to make the effort to investigate the matter.
- If you're looking for the truth about an academic subject, make sure you're reading peer-reviewed material to make sure the source is approved as trustworthy. You should not seek academic information on personal blogs unless the owner is a respected researcher.
- Libraries are an underrated source of information. If you want to go to one but are ashamed, talk to the librarian about how the research can be done.
Step 3. Admit that you don't know everything
Another way to be less naive is to come to terms with the fact that you, like everyone else on this planet, have a lot to learn. If you act like you know everything and simply accept everything you hear or read, you will continue to live without challenging your beliefs. Instead, admitting that you don't know much about politics, for example, may make you understand that your cousin's oversimplified argument about Rousseff isn't as convincing as it first appears.
- Admitting that you don't know everything in the world makes you more humble. This is the first step in becoming a more critical thinker and understanding that discussions are often more complicated than they seem, or more than you thought.
- Admitting to yourself that you don't know everything is important, but you don't have to expose it to other people. For example, if you're buying a car, you shouldn't tell the salesperson that you don't understand the subject at all, or it's much more likely that someone will take advantage of you.
Step 4. Read more
Information seekers are always reading and learning more. They don't look for news from a single source and don't always read the same three authors. They are always looking for new knowledge, whether reading a scholarly novel or a journal of scientific articles. They are never satisfied, because they know things are more complex than they seem, and they are always willing to understand them in depth.
- Take time every day, or at least every week, to read a little. You can be systematic and decide to learn all about geology or contemporary poetry, or you can just read whatever interests you that week. The most important thing is that you develop a thirst for knowledge and continue to question the world around you.
- If people know you're smart and cultured, they're less likely to try to trick you or trap you.
Step 5. Don't be afraid to ask questions
If you want to be less naive, one thing you can do is question as much as it takes to understand a situation. Whether it's buying a new house or car, or listening to your big brother telling you to bleach your hair, it's important to gather as much information as possible so you can make a decision or agree to see a situation a certain way. A lot of people are afraid to ask questions because they don't want to admit they don't know something, but this is the best way to avoid being naive and believing something too easily.
- Also, if you are the type of person known for asking questions, others are less likely to try to trick you or make a scam.
- If you're in class, asking a million questions can get in the way of the teacher a little. Ask only the necessary questions at that time and talk to him after class if you have any more.
Step 6. Ask for a second opinion – and a third
If you want to think critically and investigate situations in depth, avoid getting all the information from one source. Of course, your friend or cousin may have almost convinced you of the best way to make a pie or mow, but it's safer to ask someone else's opinion or do an internet search. If you've only heard one "fact" from one person, it's much easier to be fooled than asking a few more for their opinion.
The same goes when reading the news. Try not to read the same source over and over again, or your thinking is likely to become biased. Read at least two or three news sources to avoid being manipulated or believing something that is not entirely true
Part 3 of 3: Avoiding Scams or Tricks
Step 1. Say no – not being "nice" is not a problem
Naive people are too polite or too nice to just say no. We are taught not to hurt others, and a firm "no" can be considered rude. We are also taught to trust in general, and a "no" can indicate distrust. However, it is perfectly acceptable and polite to deny something you don't want, especially from a salesperson or stranger.
- People may use your desire to be seen as "nice" by implying that you are rude for saying "no". This happens a lot with abusive men trying to convince women to get involved with them.
- If something doesn't feel right to you, it's better to be wary of being fooled.
- Of course, you don't need to get paranoid, thinking that anyone who talks to you is a potential scammer. Still, if you've ever been called naive, it's better to be safe than sorry.
- If someone is trying to sell you something, it's all the more reason for you to think carefully before saying yes. Ask yourself if you really want the product, if the deal looks really good, or if you're afraid to say no just because you feel bad for the person.
Step 2. Don't listen to gossip or rumors
If you don't want to be naive, you should stop getting involved in rumors and gossip, no matter if it's about Kim Kardashian or the most popular girl in your school. Unless it comes from a very reliable source, gossip or rumor is often caused by envy, boredom or malice, and there is usually not much truth involved. Get into the habit of thinking about all the reasons why gossip shouldn't be true instead of believing it right away.
- Think about it: if someone started a rumor about you, it wouldn't be nice if everyone believed it right away, would it? Make an effort to be less naive and to remember that most gossip is gossip and nothing else.
- If you have a reputation for believing everything you hear, people may try to trick you with completely false gossip just for the sake of teasing.
Step 3. Doubt anyone who has ever deceived you
It could be your older brother, annoying friend or embarrassed neighbor who has done this before, be careful when the person comes up with more "information". Even if the person makes it as a harmless joke, it's good to be aware that they are likely to repeat the joke in the future. If the person really enjoys playing pranks on you, they'll probably do it again with an audience, so be even more aware if your older brother is recounting something with a smile on his face as his five best friends watch.
- Remember, rebuilding trust can take time. If you've been scammed by someone before, don't trust it again right away.
- If the person is clearly trying to get you to believe something nonsense, roll your eyes and say "Wow, that's funny" to show that it won't happen again.
Step 4. Avoid email scams
As a general rule of thumb, anyone who sends you emails asking for money, claiming to be a distant relative, or having you click a link to earn a $10,000 voucher, is hoping you're naive enough to fall for the trick. If you see something like this in your email trash, please delete it immediately and don't be fooled. Some people may try to tell sad stories about themselves while asking for money, but you can't be innocent enough to fall for these email tricks.
If you receive emails about cash prizes from contests you have not registered for, please delete them immediately. Everyone wants to believe there's a pile of money with their name lying around, but hardly anyone is that lucky
Step 5. Learn how to get rid of sellers
Naive people are also often deceived because they get involved while talking to salespeople, whether on the phone or at the mall. You need to learn to be polite but firm, thank the person but say you're not interested, and avoid putting your email on any list or giving out personal information such as your email address or phone number. Act like you're in a hurry and don't have time to listen, and like someone who isn't easily fooled.
Even if salespeople don't exactly try to trick you or pull a scam, chances are you'll wind up stalling if you're willing to listen, and if you allow it, you may end up being persuaded to buy something you didn't even want to buy
Step 6. Learn to read facial expressions
Paying attention to someone's facial expression and body language can help you see if they are trying to deceive you. If the person is quiet, half-smiling, looking away, or too anxious to say something, they may be malicious. If he appears to be serious when he looks at you, but he also appears to be holding back his laughter when he looks away, you are probably being fooled. If she's talking to you without looking you in the eye, you may not be hearing the truth.
- Another way to tell if a person is lying to you is to try to hear the confidence in their voice. Some scammers are gifted with the word, but less experienced ones stutter or say "hum" and "ahn" all the time while trying to pass on false information.
- Observe the person's reaction when you ask a question. If she's lying, she's more likely to look scared or unresponsive.
Step 7. Be careful on April 1st
Ah, April Fool's Day. Worst day of the year to be naive. When you wake up on that beautiful day, the best thing you can do is hope that everyone is trying to play a trick or make you believe something ridiculous. Hear what your friends, siblings and even your teachers have to say with a backwards step, and don't take anything too seriously right away on that particular day. Even if most people aren't willing to deceive you, you don't want anyone screaming "April first!" and leaving him embarrassed for having fallen into such a silly prank.
- Be even more careful when reading the news. Many newspapers like to run fake stories that day, so don't be the person who shares them on Facebook or emails them to friends without realizing you've been cheated.
- On that day, try to turn the tables on people who think you're naive and play a trick on them!
Understand some "facts of life
- Being naive and innocent doesn't protect you from those who want to take advantage. If you're young or overprotected, it's always a good idea to talk to someone more experienced before making important decisions.
- "Easy money" doesn't exist. Someone who says they can multiply their money quickly is probably not telling the whole story. And it's almost certain that if something goes wrong, you won't get your money back. Investing can give great results, but the riskier the investment, the more likely you are to lose everything.
Don't give your heart to just anyone. Unfortunately, there are people who will use, cheat and betray you. People of all genders are subject.