Roger’s theorem (or perhaps a corollary).
When in doubt, assume a greater, rather than lesser, degree of intelligence.
Talk UP to people; not DOWN. And, besides the admonition don’t talk down to people, if in doubt, assume a greater degree of intelligence, relatively speaking, than what you might expect.
You will often be surprised that
they appreciate being treated as a discerning and intelligent person
they reveal interests and capabilities you would never have suspected
they feel gratitude at being “taking into your confidence” through the sharing of interests, and that you consider them deserving of it
you both feel enriched
— Roger W. Smith