Am I a smart person? I have no idea. I was an A+ student in high school but the other day I left my phone on someone’s car and watched it drive away down the highway.
So. Call it a wash.
But what about the truly intelligent among us?
Let’s get deep with Reddit, yo.
1. Paralyzed by information.
The ability to understand most possible outcomes and the consequences often leads to hesitation or inaction.
As opposed to some who d*mn the consequences and just go for it.
2. The disconnect.
I was a career nanny for 10 years, I worked for two families where the parents were doctors. One set especially, Two extremely successful doctors, one anesthesiologist and and a cancer research doctor.
I saw their lives from the most intimate view due to working 50+ hours in their home with their children… the saddest thing is that a lot of them are so, so smart that they stand out as the oddball in all non-academic situations.
This is abundantly clear when watching them try to make connections with other, more of average IQ parents. They’re almost just… too brainy and awkward? I have to assume this is a life long struggle.
It just seems isolating at times, I guess is my point here.
3. Burning out.
The fact that growing up smart, or being told you’re better or above average, leads to a burnout, anxiety, and depression.
4. Helpless feelings.
Just because you’re smart enough to see what’s wrong with the world doesn’t mean you’re capable enough to change it.
5. Validate me.
You might form your identity around and measure your self-worth by your talent, your achievements, and the praise you get from others… and that’s no way to live life.
6. Truly exceptional.
Society will pave a golden path for above average people, but turn their backs on the ones who are exceptional, usually because those people rock the boat too much, see things the world doesn’t want to see, or are generally really awkward and weird as a result of never quite fitting in.
If you’re one of those kids, you have to end up in the right place, or you will be left behind.
7. Practice makes perfect.
Being smart is a practice. You can have potential for intellectual aptitude but your mind must be exercised.
Too many “smart” people from high school/childhood get out into the real world, are met with challenge for the first time, sink into their comfort zone, and then never do a smart thing again.
8. You already know.
To paraphrase Socrates:
Smart people learn from everything and everyone, average people from their experiences, stupid people already have all the answers.
9. Show offs.
We have to hide our intelligence because other people see it as either grandstanding or putting them down (which at least in my case is never the intention but I’ve run into people who take it as a sleight) so you end up having to be self-deprecating “I just read a lot of books” or whatnot.
It makes personal relationships difficult as well because finding common ground with romantic partners is really difficult, my first date with my other half we ended up talking about the role of the British Empire in India and how the partition was a catastrophically bad idea – that was when I knew she was the one.
I’m a software engineer so at least I’m surrounded by oddballs who make me look normal socially by comparison – the funny part of that is that the only reason I’m (apparently!) at ease in social situations is because in my early 20’s I worked in sales (didn’t really have a choice I liked having a roof to sleep under) and while I absolutely sucked at first I got really good at it by essentially treating it as a problem like any other – in the process it socialised me enough that a person who actively avoided answering the phone ended up been comfortable giving a talk in front of 80 strangers – the thing I’ve observed in my career is that been smart isn’t enough, if you have an idea or a plan you need to be able to sell it.
10. The very model of a modern major generalist.
I’ve been told that im extremely smart. In reality, I am a generalist. I know a small bit about a lot of things.
I have had numerous different types of work experience starting at a very young age. It makes me seem like a “know it all” anytime i try to have any conversation.
Lots of failed friendships, coworkers, and relationships…..
11. Knowledge and sadness.
“One of the first signs of the beginning of understanding is the wish to die.” Quote from Franz Kafka
12. Can I drive?
No matter how smart you are, it doesn’t matter if no one listens to you..
13. It me.
You can be smart and stupid at the same time.
I used to be friends with someone who was incredibly clever academically, but managed to set herself on fire making toast.
14. Pass it on.
They don’t reproduce as much as dumb people
15. I think this was Ernest Hemingway?
“Happiness in intelligent people is the rarest thing I know.”- forgot where this is from
Man. That smarts.
What say you on this lofty topic?
Give us your perspective in the comments.