Very smart people are very good at the things they are focused on. This is usually work-related, as their social life can be a little stunted due to their high intelligence. Highly intelligent people are, on one hand, highly prized in the media for their accomplishments, but at the same time ridiculed for their perceived social awkwardness. They see the world in a fundamentally different way than everyone else. Things that are obvious to them might be an alien mystery to the rest of the planet. Their very intellect, the thing that sets them apart, prevents them from really integrating into the rest of society.
Despite their intellect, there are five common problems that highly intelligent people often face on a daily basis:
1. The Opposite Sex
Because of their smarts and their focus on school and learning their specialty, they either had a tendency to be neglected or were often forced out of social interactions with opposite sex peers. Because of a lack of practice in the social arena, they find the opposite sex intimidating and sometimes confusing. They just haven’t been given enough practice interacting with the opposite sex, so people find them socially awkward. This tends to become a negative feedback loop as more and more less-than-optimal interactions pushes them further into solitude. Compound this with the desire to find someone as smart as they are so they can at least connect on a mental level, and they set themselves up for disappointment.
2. Pressure to Succeed
Not only do their parents, teachers and peers push them to compete and succeed in a very demanding field, but they expect it of themselves. They tie their career and monetary or academic success with their own self-worth. They might pass up enriching and entertaining social activities in order to study a little bit more or work on a project for school. If they fail to achieve their very lofty and demanding goals, they might fall into depression and anger. This intense pressure to succeed might also drive them to use drugs to enhance their mental performance or boost their physical endurance to do better on tests or get a project done ahead of schedule.
3. Analysis Paralysis
Because they are so smart, they will try to look at the pros and cons of any decision. A decision as simple as what to eat for dinner or whether or not to call someone back for a second date can lead to a metal lock as they try to decide what to do. They get caught up in the cost-benefit analysis and end up overanalyzing everything. Things that we take for granted or just make a quick decision for, they find difficult. The time spent analyzing creates a mental paralysis where they find making a decision overly difficult.
4. An Alien Among Us
Highly intelligent people find it difficult to relate to others. Other people may find the intelligent person pretentious, when in fact they are just stating the facts as to how they see them. They find it difficult to teach someone else something that may come naturally to them in a way the other person can understand. Something that might seem simple to them, even pedestrian, could sound incredibly complex to the average person. Concepts that are fun and challenging to them might seem like an alien language to us. And just like an alien, they might find communicating and relating to the rest of us a very difficult undertaking.
5. Ignorance is Bliss
A very intelligent person can see connections and patterns in the world and history that might elude the rest of us. They can see century long cycles grinding to their inevitable conclusion while the rest of us are glued to who is going to win the sports-ball championships this year. Because they can see those underlying forces at work and can more or less predict the outcome, they find it hard to find happiness like the rest of us. Imagine that you could see the future and something bad was going to happen, but no one would understand you if they did listen.
Happiness comes from accepting that the universe is the way it is and there is nothing we can do about it, but a very intelligent person can’t help but to try and affect the outcome. This knowledge and ability to see the outcomes of very complex and long-term conditions when everyone else can’t leads to intense frustration and a lack of empathy for those who cannot think or connect on the same level.