Worker Says She Cosplays ‘Being Dumb’ At Her Job To Avoid Being Taken For Granted Like Overachievers

"Just be more dumb at work. That’s my motto."

Woman playing dumb Kues / Shutterstock

It’s easy to get taken advantage of at work, especially in a toxic environment where you're expected to achieve as much as humanly possible without complaint. It’s even easier when you've demonstrated that you have the capacity to successfully take on more work.

One woman recommended cosplaying ‘being dumb at work’ to avoid being taken advantage of.

Gabrielle Judge is known as the “Anti-Work Girl Boss” on TikTok. She took that title to a new level by explaining how she acts dumb at work to avoid being valued too highly and therefore taken for granted.


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“Normalize being dumb at work,” she stated simply in a recent TikTok. “If you don’t know how to do that today, just cosplay. Pretend. I’m the queen of this.”

“You don’t need to solve everyone’s problems,” she explained. “You don’t need to speak for everyone else in the room. Other people’s ignorance or lack of preparation is not your fault. It’s not your responsibility to fix other people’s issues."

Judge advocated for simply doing what is your responsibility, and not taking on others' work just because you can. She acknowledged that this might draw some criticism, but she isn’t overly concerned with that.


“I have so many people that are like, ‘Well, that’s not collaborative,’ and ‘That’s not being a team player,’” she said. “Okay. I don’t have an issue with being a team player or anything like that."

What she takes issue with is the fact that those overachievers who give 110% to their jobs are rarely compensated or recognized for their efforts. No one is going to pay you for doing extra or being there for everyone all the time. So, why should you do it?

Judge further explained that some people are taken for granted more than others. “Women especially are just expected to just take care of everyone,” she added. “It’s not always your job. Yes, you can, if you want to, from the bottom of your heart, but it’s literally not your job. It’s not part of your job description.”

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In addition to playing dumb, Judge also admitted she often pretends that she doesn't understand social cues. 

“There’s a lot of passive aggression in corporate America as well. There’s a lot of lack of emotional intelligence these days. It’s not our job to read in between the lines,” she insisted.

Judge’s best advice is to let others work things out for themselves instead of stepping in to help. “Figure it out, focus on your side of the street, and come back to me when you’re ready,” she said.

Playing dumb at work might actually have its advantages.

Judge’s advice might sound strange to some, but it seems that there may be evidence to back it up. In fact, acting dumb may give you a sense of control you wouldn’t have otherwise.


Psychology Today said that some may act dumb “in order to retain a sense of control in a situation in which they feel stressed.”

Although it may sound strange to dumb yourself down at work, of all places, you might find that it’s a great way to end up with fewer responsibilities, lower expectations — and combat the all-too-prominent issue of performance punishment. Hiding your true intelligence and capabilities may serve you best in the long run.

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Mary-Faith Martinez is a writer for YourTango who covers entertainment, news, and human interest topics.