Recently, a popular online forum member asked, “What are the biggest downsides of being a highly intelligent person? After a quick deliberation, here are their top-voted responses. Do you agree?
1. Feelings of Imposter Syndrome
“While I test highly intelligent, I am constantly convincing myself that I’ve somehow tricked people into thinking I’m intelligent. I have a very low opinion of my own capabilities, especially relating to academic success. Imposter syndrome, I guess. Apparently, that isn’t uncommon.”
2. Finishing Peoples Sentences
“Read a study one time that concluded that people with high intelligence mentally finish people’s sentences before they finish speaking them. This results in them interrupting speakers a lot.
Also, it results in frustration that conversations are just so slow and monotonous. Slow speakers infuriate me unwittingly because I already know what they are going to say before they do most of the time.”
3. Knowing Your Weaknesses
“Self-awareness is only good for a single moment. I know every single way in which my brain and body are failing me, but that knowledge doesn’t fix any of the issues.” Countless individuals agree with one who shares: “I’m smart enough to know how stupid I am. As Socrates said, ‘I know nothing except the fact of my ignorance.'”
“Depression. Therapy doesn’t work on you because you’re too ‘self-aware,’ so that’s fun, with a slight propensity to self-medicate.” Several people argue that this forum member needs to find a better therapist. Unfortunately, many don’t offer any real help, but many others do.
“Indecision. AKA analysis paralysis. It’s too easy to check reviews on whatever random product I plan on buying, then another review, then another, then another, and then I just buy nothing. Then I still need that thing and relook at all those same reviews. Round and round.”
6. Frustration With Lower Intelligent People
“The frustration of people not understanding simple (to me) things despite repeated explanations. I have to dumb things down, and people ask what a word here or there means. People automatically assume you’ll understand something they’re struggling with despite any context. Feeling lacking in life with jobs.”
7. Lose Ability to Relate to Others
“You lose your ability to relate to people as there are far fewer people at your intelligence level. Most people think in a different way than you, so it may be harder to feel a connection to someone so different.”
8. The Curse of Knowledge
“What they say about history can be extrapolated into all areas of life for intellectual folks: If you don’t know history, you’re doomed to repeat it, and if you do know history, you’re doomed to watch everyone else repeat it. Ignorance truly is bliss. Knowledge is power… lessness.”
Numerous people believe that knowledgeable people have to deal with loneliness. “I think it’s lonely. The smartest people I know are all depressed. I know people with higher IQs than me, and they’re emotionally tortured.”
10. Unrealistic Judgment of Others
Finally, several people agree with one who states: “The terrible practice of judging others by the same standards by which you judge yourself.”
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Elizabeth Ervin is the owner of Sober Healing. She is a freelance writer passionate about opioid recovery and has celebrated breaking free since 09-27-2013. She advocates for mental health awareness and encourages others to embrace healing, recovery, and spirituality.