Very smart people are very good at the things they are focused on. This is usually work-related, as their social life can slightly stunt them due to their high intelligence. On the one hand, the media highly touts intelligent people for their accomplishments. But at the same time, they sometimes receive ridicule 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, which sets them apart, prevents them from really integrating into the rest of society.
Surprising Problems That Highly Intelligent People Often Encounter
Despite their intellect, there are five common problems that highly intelligent people often face daily:
1. The Opposite Sex
Because of their smarts and focus on school and learning their specialty, they tended 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 haven’t been given enough training in interacting with the opposite sex, so people see them as socially awkward. This tends to become a negative feedback loop as more and more less-than-optimal interactions push 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 self-worth. They might pass up enriching and entertaining social activities 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 bright, 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 make a quick decision for, they find difficult. The time spent analyzing creates a mental paralysis where they see making a decision as overly tricky.
4. An Alien Among Us
Highly intelligent people find it difficult to relate to others. Other people may find intelligent person pretentious when they are just stating the facts as to how they see them. They find it challenging 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 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 complicated 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 will 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 terrible was going to happen, but no one would understand you if they did listen.
6. There’s a Substance Abuse Likelihood
People often stigmatize alcohol and drug addiction and the folks who face these issues. However, it’s much more prevalent in those with higher IQs as they usually have difficulty fitting in with society. These individuals are often “novelty junkies,” where they have a conflicting reality and fight inner demons. Individuals with high intelligence are more likely to face alcohol and methamphetamine addiction, among other things.
7. Lies a lot
Did you know that there’s a direct link between executive functioning and lying? Some of these folks require a complex deception, and since their minds can keep their lies neatly categorized, they have no problem telling and keeping track of all their tricks. One of the main reasons they lie so much is that they often feel like fish out of water.
They will say and do just about anything to fit in. While they know they’re different, part of them still longs just to be accepted and loved by others.
8. Talking About Yourself
Those with a higher IQ than others tend to dominate conversations by talking about themselves. They love to use yes/no or multiple-choice questions to engage people in their latest adventures. This person often has a high sense of self-worth because of their abilities, but they usually just cannot relate to others. The only thing they know about for sure is their life, so it tends to dominate their conversations.
9. Book Smart but Lacking Street Smarts
Having book smarts but not street smarts is a massive problem among the intelligent. They know all about quantum physics, but they often miss social cues from those around them. They can quote facts and statistics about things that you couldn’t even imagine, yet they will miss the punchline of a simple joke that a kindergartener can catch.
Did you know that knowledgeable people are more apt to be workaholics? Take, for instance, the citizens of Japan. They’re a country where the citizens have the third-highest IQ in the world. They have the highest number of hours worked at 1714, averaged annually per person.
According to Business Insider, only 33 percent of people in this country take any vacation days. Having a good work-life balance is often an issue for the highly intelligent, and it can cause burnout and relationship issues. One thing a smart person knows how to do well is work, so they often bury themselves in their jobs.
11. Are Easier to Scam
One would think that all those smarts would protect them from scams, but it’s just the opposite. Those with a higher IQ are more likely to be cheated, particularly with financial investments. Some think it’s the combination of greed and ego that get in the way, but they’re easy targets for Investment ploys.
12. Premature Aging
There are four fundamental reasons why an intelligent person ages faster than a traditional individual, they are:
- Little to no stress management
- Late nights and little sleep leads to circadian rhythm mismanagement
- Mycotoxins from a poor diet
- Alcohol and substance abuse
The poor diet and late nights catch up with a person. Additionally, being under constant stress is another killer. The stress levels of those with high IQs are noteworthy, directly impacting their aging process.
13. Likely to be an Atheist
The highly intelligent person deals with things that are concrete and scientifically based. This makes any religion seem far-fetched to them. This person will likely deny any spiritualism in their life, and they believe that it’s evolutionary psychology that encourages folks to believe in God.
Sadly, many families and people at work have deep religious beliefs, which makes it another area that is hard for a higher IQ person to fit in.
14. Doesn’t Find Happiness Easily
Some say that intelligent people have a curse of being themselves. Part of the problem is that they overthink, and all this overthinking causes them to be quite unhappy. They’re often jealous of those around them who seem bright enough and have a good life, but all this excessive knowledge does not burden them.
There are many instances where they pretend to lack knowledge, and they do so that they come across to others as everyday people. However, it won’t be long before their intelligence comes shining through, as their thought processes are just a bit superior.
15. Technology Addiction
An intelligent person is likely to turn to technology to fill their days and nights. They might be video game buffs, IT experts, and all-around techno people. As a child, they would take apart computers, DVD players, and other electronic devices because they wanted to see how they all worked.
While their parents might have seen these behaviors as destructive, it was more about their desire to learn and satisfy their craving for knowledge.
16. People Take Credit for Your Ideas
You can have the best idea in the world, but it’s meaningless if you can’t implement this concept. The intelligent may find that their thoughts are stolen by those who know how to implement them and make them profitable. They may be a little too free with their views to fit in, which could get high-dollar concepts they failed to work stollen by others.
17. Being a Night Owl
Some people function better at night than they do during the day, which is true of intelligent individuals. Part of this could be because they often don’t fit in with the crowd and tend to be loaners, so they choose to flourish when most of the world is in bed.
Those with high IQs often have a hard time shutting down their brain, so they will toss and turn until they exhaust themselves and collapse in fatigue.
Being average is not an option for the intelligent person, and they demand this high level of achievement of themselves. They are the kind of person that starts writing a paper and deletes it ten times before they can make it right. They don’t mind going back to the beginning and starting over time and time again until they do something right.
19. Likely to Be a Psychopath
Here’s one fact that’s kind of hard to swallow. Did you know there’s a correlation between high IQs and psychopathy? According to a study published by Guilford Press, psychopaths often show superior intelligence.
After analyzing 370 men, they concluded that those with a higher IQ tend to be more apt to have psychopathic tendencies. These people often can’t empathize with others, and they don’t have the emotional intelligence to comprehend the pain others feel.
20. Going too Deep with People
The intelligent person is a loaner for a good reason, as many people don’t understand the depths of their minds. It often creates “intellectual loneliness” as they can’t seem to find a crowd they fit into, as many people don’t know how to handle them. It’s as if they’re off in their little world, and it’s hard for the ordinary person to understand them truly.
Final Thoughts on the Unlikely Problems Intelligent People Have
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 try and affect the outcome. This knowledge and ability to see the results of very complex and long-term conditions when everyone else can’t sometimes leads to intense frustration. As a result, brilliant people might lack patience for those who cannot think or connect on the same level.