Do you regularly check your car’s tyre pressures? Maybe you seek out a shady spot in a car park when the temperature is soaring? Or perhaps you have a dedicated key hook or drawer in the kitchen for the car keys?
If any of these rings true, then it’s likely you have a healthy helping of common sense. The good news is drivers who have common sense are more likely to find love and enjoy successful relationships.
According to new research conducted for Green Flag – which is well known for its common-sense prices and outstanding breakdown service – 79 per cent of people value common sense more than having a high IQ.
A further 70 per cent believe common sense is more important than a university degree. And 68 per cent of the British public believe it’s a more desirable trait than good looks.
The research revealed at least one in five people has ended a relationship because their partner lacked any common sense.
It’s common sense: signs a driver has nous
There are plenty of telltale signs that someone has common sense. Take drivers as an example. Someone who continually leaves their car’s windows open and headlights on when parking for the night is missing good sense.
And when it comes to driving habits, those who handle their phone when driving, tailgate other vehicles, fail to adjust their driving to allow for challenging weather conditions or complain about poor fuel economy yet drive everywhere with their foot to the floor are equally lacking in good judgement. All are habits that can lead to inconvenience, accidents or financial hardship.
Denise Taylor is a chartered psychologist. She describes common sense as a form of practical decision making that gives a person the ability to imagine the consequences of their actions.
Taylor says that the driving traits described above can lead relationships down a rocky road: “When it comes to romantic relationships, if our partner doesn’t have common sense it can make us feel like their parent. That’s particularly the case if we’re constantly having to remind them to do things that most people would do with ease – like filling the car with fuel, locking the front door at home, or turning the oven off. We can teach people to have common sense, but it can be an uphill struggle.”
Common sense at work
If you think common sense is only for practical matters around the house, think again. It doesn’t just apply to people who don’t put the milk back in the fridge so it goes off. A lack of gumption is the main reason two thirds of British bosses (69 per cent) wouldn’t hire someone.
And anyone who has ever wondered why they were passed over for promotion might be surprised to discover that 30 per cent of people have witnessed a colleague being held back at work due to their lack of common sense. A fifth (20 per cent) say up to four hours of their working week is lost due to mistakes made by colleagues’ lack of common sense.
Denise Taylor says common sense stops individuals making irrational mistakes: “At work, individuals tend to want to work alongside people who display common sense as it makes life easier. They share a common view on what needs to get done, appreciate the needs of the team and will properly complete a task and meet their deadlines. If someone lacks common sense it can often mean that we need to manage them more closely. This scuppers their chance of promotion.
More common sense advice: What to do if you put the wrong fuel in your car