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Is it impossible to teach adults common sense?

I mentioned a long time ago I HAD a 27-year-old child friend I was helping out for a while. I gave that up months ago. Now I have to ignore her for me and for her. Her mentality is of a 10-year-old and she doesn't have common sense. In the last few months, she has been an issue for me. If someone says ANYTHING to her that she finds upsetting, she tattles to the admin. Even if it's a staff. I had no sleep yesterday, and she irritated me. (I'm not a rude person and I was not being rude) When I speak I'm assertive. I don't yell. I advocate for my needs. People take that as being aggressive here. (Staff too.) I had to learn how to be assertive when I was 18. Residents here don't speak up and they don't advocate for their needs. I do. So people aren't used to it. Anyway, at dinner I said, (because she said she needs money and I got irritated from the lack of sleep.) "I'm an adult. I pay bills and work for my money. My aunt doesn't buy me anything. Your mommy (I say "mommy" to kids) buys you EVERYTHING. You've never paid a bill in your life. You get an allowance. You have no money because you don't ask your mommy for money. If you need money, ask your mommy. Common sense." Well she got butt-hurt and tattled. Most of the staff here are done with her being so immature. We have a mutual agreement that she takes everything to heart. I blame her mother. That is the worst parenting job I have ever heard of in my life! All of the young adults here are all babied. This is why I am in my room all the time. I'm disabled too. My mom taught me common sense and how to do everything by myself because she knew she would not always be there for me. She died when I turned 18. My aunt took over in teaching me the rest. This girl's mom won't allow her to walk off the property without a babysitter and not without her texting her where and when she will leave/come back. She wanted to use my Wi-Fi and I said she has to pay half bill for using it. It's only fair. She declined. I've been patient and kind. I paid a lot for things she could obviously afford but didn't want to. I got used. I've been told to ignore her. I wear headphones at meals now. The admin won't let me switch tables only because all 4 of us are close in age. (2 other kids at the table are exactly the same as this girl) The other night I had just gotten home and she was crying. I asked the staff why? He told me she's a crybaby and that her medication was a little late because he's passing pills for 2 hallways. I'm almost to the point in telling her to just grow up. Is ignoring her a good idea? The young adults here think I'm rude because I don't talk to many of them. Also because I'm stern when I say NO, because they all want to ask me for money. I tell them to get a job. You can't teach adults common sense. It's impossible!

Sarahroo29 8 Mar 18

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People do not change unless they want to, and even then, it takes a lot of work.

rzig Level 2 July 13, 2019

I see common sense as a term that presents a fallacy. There are plenty of people who are living proof that good sense is anything but a trait in humanity that is common. It appeals to majority in that, if I and most can think of it; then why are you to dumb to think of it. I find the phrase insulting and I don't use it in every day conversation.



The problem you describe is not about common sense, it is about frustration. You have described her as an adult with the mental capacity of a ten-year-old. A ten-year-old cannot grasp the concept of common sense in the adult world.

Your response to her was not unreasonable although it was tainted with frustrated anger. When she asks for something you cannot or do not want to give then redirect her to her mother. (I’m sorry I can’t help you. Maybe you can ask your mother when you see her.) Responses like that one may help to reduce your frustration. I hope this helps. Good luck. 🙂

Betty Level 7 Mar 18, 2018

Okay, thanks. Should I stop saying, "mommy" to her? I say that word with kids though. They call their mother mommy.


Take your cues from the staff, it will help you keep an emotional distance and it will be a little easier for you to maintain your cool. 🙂

@Betty Yes.


Humans are used to dealing with five senses; common sense is not one of them.



The problem is usually a problem of bias.
Most adults believe they have good common sense, but that is due to bias.
It's hard to teach anyone anything if they think you are wrong and unwilling to reconsider.

Staff have to lie to her and tell her she's smart and has common sense, only to get her to stop crying.


I'm confused . You're 30 but living in some kind of residential home , controled by others ? Is it possible , since you work to pay your own bills . to join with other friends and get an apartment on your own , or perhaps rent a room in someone else's home ?

My aunt won't allow me to. She became my guardian and convinced the court to never let me live on my own again. That is the only issue I have with my aunt. She doesn't care what I do now. We don't talk much, unless it has to do with my bills. She's my payee and we get together to pay my bills. I know how to, but she also has to make sure it is done right. I'm on Medicaid. She doesn't pay for anything of mine. I do, and no she doesn't steal my money. Everyone asks that. I'm saying it now in case anyone asks.

@Sarahroo29 You seem to be fairly self sufficient . If you feel you're truly capable of taking care of yourself , you could hire a lawyer , and file in court to have her removed as your guardian .

@Cast1es I'm too scared to lose my only family.

@Sarahroo29 That I understand . I would , however , be cautious about posting , these things publicly . Although I doubt Medicaid is searching for things like this , there are those who will go out of their way , to report such things .

@Cast1es Okay. Deleted.


I've always heard that bad attention is better than no attention at all and some people will take anything you give them and run. I don't know if it is your responsibilty to teach her common sense. Sometimes the best lessons are those we learn on our own, because we remember them and they build character, without which, we are a blank slate (or a zombie).

I tried to help her. I tried to teach her things. With her short-term memory loss I gave up.


Remember a couple things. You can't make anyone DO anything, the only thing you really CAN control is yourself. She has become a whiney baby because she was trained that way. She acts out when frustrated because she learned that such behavior is likely to get her the results she wants.

Think of her as a spoiled puppy, who jumps on ppl with muddy feet. Go on and enjoy your life, do fun things. Don't let a spoiled puppy ruin the joy of your life.

What I'm saying is; don't RE-ACT, the puppy is rude, but not really important, right? If you are forced to say something, make it lighthearted, "Oh, I only respond to logic, not drama".

Another point to remember,, insanity is doing the same action, and expecting different results.

That is a good analogy. Thanks. I just ignore now.


Good luck

I gave up. I don't need luck.


Is the girl mentally deficient? Or, just extremely immature? Either way, it's not your job to fix her. Just be as kind and tolerant as you can without neglecting yourself (which I'm sure you sure you are already), and detach yourself to what degree you are able.

She's slow in the head as well as immature, but she doesn't try. She's helpless and wants people to do it for her.

@Sarahroo29 I've worked with folks with that sort of mentality - it is quite possible she is incapable of learning common sense.

If her age approximates a 10 year old - she might just be stuck at that developmental stage. Or even younger emotionally

Just remember her problems are not your problems - unless you make them yours.

@RavenCT She's 27, her mentality is of a 10-year-old.

@RavenCT She's become my issue here. Anything I say is taken personally. I was talking to someone else about video games and she got upset and thought I was being rude about her! I told her, "Not everything is about you." Then she got butt-hurt.

@Sarahroo29 Maybe you need to talk to staff to troubleshoot this? She should not be another problem for you.

@RavenCT I talked to them. They agree with me. I was told to ignore her.


Teach common sense"? To adults, if they don't already posess it? It is like passing a camel through the eye of a needle.

Yep. I figured that out a while ago.


If they don’t have common sense by the time they 21 it will never happen.



Think we need to revive Pavlov Skinner from the dead for that experment.

Who and what?

@Sarahroo29 He was a Russian that experimented with dogs he discovered that dogs salivate when displayed food this was transmitted into human responses. Example how do you react when presented with a pleasant or stressful etc situations .

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