I used to think I was pretty smart, but then I learned enough to know that there’s so much I don’t know and don’t understand that it would be ridiculous for me to call myself smart.

Which is maybe the smart position to take, in which case…I’m going to explode?

Clearly I’m not smart enough to figure it out. But some people are. And they’re none too happy about it.

What is the saddest truth about smart people? from AskReddit

So what takes us from smarts to sads? Let’s see what the people of Reddit have to say.

1. The list.

As a person that was repeatedly told how smart I was growing up..

1) without social skills it doesn’t mean crap

2) it easily turns into how you identify yourself and can wreck your mental health (if I’m not smart about everything what good am I??)

3) smart is relative

– skybluedreams

2. Getting Biblical.

I think the book of ecclesiastes puts it best: For with much wisdom comes much sorrow, and as knowledge grows, grief increases.

Or, as u/Shiranda sais it in this post: “One of the first signs of the beginning of understanding is the wish to die.” Quote from Franz Kafka

The more someone ‘gets’ this world we live in, the more depressing this life becomes. For loads of people don’t care about love, sharing or caring; Money rules all.


3. The weight of knowing.

Smart people are good at identifying problems.

Normally they are not able to solve them because of outside factors.

Smart people live in a world where everything is broken and no one will allow them to fix it.

– passwordsarehard_3

4. Introspection.

Just because you’re smart enough to see what’s wrong with yourself doesn’t mean you’re capable enough to change it.

– throwaway92715

5. The fallen.

Many smart people, including some friends I know who perhaps could have been much more talented than myself, are flawed in other ways that prevent them from really making anything of their potential. It’s really sad.

What’s even more sad is that society likes to gang up on them instead of helping them, because it’s really satisfying to some to hear about the flaws that bring talented people down to earth.

– throwaway92715

6. Turbo mode.

Having high intelligence make you think a lot and very fast.

Which is often good but if you get anxiety, now you have turbo-anxiety.

– timperman

7. Overthinking.

People with higher IQs are more likely to suffer from mental illness, like mood and anxiety disorders.

They also tend to think a lot, and research suggests that inner speech is generally negative and lowers mood.

It basically seems like thinking things through – the primary weapon of an intelligent person – may slowly wear away at their mental health.

– thegnome54

8. Skewed perspectives.

One thing I see pretty often is that dumb people tend to think they’re smarter than they are.

Smart people don’t seem to realize how smart they are.

– neofiter

9. Not immune.

Being smart doesn’t make you immune to bad ideas, just better at defending them should you buy it.

– HonestTangerine2

10. Hidden in plain sight.

That the truly smartest people probably (not always) won’t be recognised.

The ‘smartest person you’ve ever met’ probably wasn’t actually the smartest person you ever met, they probably just conformed most to what you think being smart means.

– CaffeinatedPotential

11. What a tease.

That a high IQ will most probably get you a slightly better than average office job and the ability to solve the brainteaser in the local newspaper and not much more.

Being smart isn’t really that beneficial compared to being social, likeable and courageous.

– the_monkey_of_lies

12. Order in chaos.

Very often smart people expect the world to make sense and figure they will be better at working the system, which ever system that may be.

Unfortunately the real world is very random, rarely makes any sense and is run by people that rarely are very smart.

– FranksRedWorkAccount

13. Keep thinking.

They will tend to over analyse and obsess over minor details that most others would not have thought about, or cared.

– epicurious_aussie

14. Need not apply.

Most smart people never find meaningful application for their intelligence.

– JuniorLobster

15. Turtles all the way down.

The saddest truth about smart people is that they don’t get to be turtles.

Turtles are pretty neat.

– maradosas

That last one really and truly smarts.

What do you think about this?

Give us your very intelligent thoughts in the comments.