5 Disadvantages of Being Highly Intelligent

Having a high iq will undeniably let you confront and do well in some dreaded tasks: to do the unthinkable and questioning everything, even supernatural things. Interestingly, there are some downsides of being highly intelligent.

Following insightful comments on the downsides that are attached to being highly intelligent, were extracted from a Quora thread which holds a discussion on this peculiar topic.

Check them out, and let’s know if you think the authors were right on the disadvantages of being highly intelligent

Poor Social Life

You might end up having a poor social life. Being intelligent is difficult, and it is difficult to find people with a similar level of intelligence depending on how smart they are: high iq social problem, explained Satyanarayana Shanmugam.

you may not have proper social relationships explains Harish Sripathi.

Users added that; people with a lower level of intelligence will subconsciously avoid those with certain kinds of intellect. Because, the challenges from intelligent would make them feel less intelligent, and nobody likes that.

If you’re lucky enough to be in a place where you’re surrounded by people with similar levels of intelligence, you should consider yourself to be extremely fortunate. Shanmugam added.

Less concerned with the worth of Hard Work

“But intelligence becomes a problem when those who have it discover early in life that they don’t need to work as hard to keep up, and thus never develop a good strong work ethic,” writes Kent Fung.

Having an high IQ doesn’t guarantee you success, but, the perseverance needed for success must be developed. Study says intelligent people don’t always feel like they needed this.

Over-thinking lessens happiness

Intelligent 1

Is it true that staying up late is one of the disadvantages of being smart? Surabhi Sinha answered with a picture explaining how habit of over-thinking often comes in the way of happiness.

“You realize how moribund everything is and that nothing really means anything. You search for answers and it drives you crazy,” writes Akash Ladha.

Likely to suffer Depression

Marcus Ford listed the following disadvantages of being highly intelligent:

  • More likely to suffer from depression.
  • Difficult to relate to peers. This is painful especially during the younger years. Being intelligent is lonely.
  • School is not challenging, which makes it a boring prison.
  • Teachers may love or hate you for your smartness. Both can be uncomfortable.
  • Some people will be intimidated by you.
  • Pressure: Smartness alone doesn’t lead to success as an adult, but everyone will have high expectations for you.
  • In school people cheat off you. In my friend’s chemistry class they devised a system to allow every person to cheat off of her.
  • Self esteem issues. You are only praised for your smartness.
  • Less ignorant, less blissful. You see more faults in the world.

Sometimes smarter people are more prone to depression because of their heightened thought process and different perspective on the world, writes Naveen Durgaraju.

Intelligence isn’t valued

Matthew Stern said people are known for their personality i.e. humor, charm and appearance; not for being intelligent. He did mentioned the likes of Albert Einstein, Bill Gates, and Steve Jobs.

Intelligent people are always treated with suspicion and disdain. “No one likes a know-it-all.” So, we generally have to hide our intelligence or develop charm and humor so we don’t seem as threatening, Kent said.

Comments used here were extracted from Quora. Would you like us to know your different perception? You can drop your thoughts via the comment box.

30 thoughts on “5 Disadvantages of Being Highly Intelligent”

  1. Thanks for this valuable post. Sally M. Reis, PhD, a professor at the University of Connecticut and Principal Investigator of The National Research Center on the Gifted and Talented, notes in her article “Internal barriers, personal issues, and decisions faced by gifted and talented females” that high potential and multiple interests, multipotentiality can benefit many women, but others “often cannot find their niche, make it on their own, or choose a vocational path. [Of course, this can apply to us males as well.] – From article: Underutilized Talents, Too Many Aptitudes.

    1. At 56yrs old I’ve finally broken free of emotional and psychological abuse. From family then to the mental health system. I had to self med detox. I risked being labeled a danger to others or my self. With the help of a crisis line and a private licensed social worker I am becoming free. I now suffer lasting side effects of psychotropic medications. I deal with all the issues listed here and of authority defiance and being alone all my life. I’m here now and ready to take my rightful place in the world.

      1. Lisa Westerman Forster

        Bob, I just now saw your post and it hit me HARD!! That sounds like what I am going thru, in the past and now. I just started realizing shit after being forced into a terrible legal sitiution. I have been wondering for years but this proved it. I hope you are still around as I would love to talk and trade thoughts. I am on Facebook. I tried to find you with no luck. I don’t want to put out personal info but would love for you to contact me. Thanks

        1. John Richard Jones

          Quite often the disadvantages of being gifted outweigh the advantages.
          In life there aren’t many opportunities for someone who is gifted to be their true self and deliver their full potential as too many things are tailored around the normal intelligence which is where the majority is.
          This can result in gifted individuals felling compressed as opposed to ordinary individuals feeling stretched, and quite often gifted individuals have their capabilities compressed to fit into society.
          But in addition to this, there are other times when the true capabilities are recognised – mostly when it can be of the most detriment. Ones who envy gifted individuals will target them and use every opportunity to undermine them. If the gifted individual has a medical problem then factors are used in a crossover way to give the gifted individual a double whammy – which happened to me as I had epilepsy and am gifted.
          My epilepsy was recognised and should have been used to qualify me for support, and my intelligence was recognised and should have been used to help me excel in my education and career. But instead, my epilepsy was used to undermine my intelligence and I was treated as below average, while my intelligence was used to deny me support and I was compared with the third world and told to be grateful. So being traumatised, emotionally and physically abused I was left to rot in the gutter with no support during my developmental years and now have PTSD even though I no longer have epilepsy.
          Prior to all this I was described as “A very capable boy who has been most cooperative during the year. He has good all round ability but is particularly good in maths at which he could go a long way.”
          Forty five years on I haven’t achieved much but left a trail of destruction in my path as a result of how I have been treated even though I have calmed down now and managed to rebuild my life to some extent, but nowhere near what I deserved or had the potential to achieve so I don’t get on very well with the pretentious as they are ones who look for opportunities to exercise false one-upmanship. If they pick on me I often end up making them look fools and being disliked by many. I have very few friends as too many within society are cheats, liars and backstabbers.

    2. Nobody ever doubts that a bodybuilder is stronger than them or that a supermodel is more beautiful, but if someone is smarter than you that means you’re dumber than them, and without objective and undeniable proof they will doubt it and dismiss it.

      In the presence of undeniable proof the mode switches to fear and distrust or manipulation and exploitation.

      So you dumb down to get by socially, maybe get lost in drugs to escape high function.

      I could write a book on my thoughts on the subject,

      All things considered I would never trade my intelligence, but learning to live with it is a lifelong process.

  2. Jacaban Schneider

    you guys are really awesome, i kinda had myself agreeing to all of these after reading it for a while.
    all 100% true and reflects to me :/

  3. Moses, this was great. It was self validating in my ways and sharpened my focus on how to counter act self esteem pressures against me by others and circumstances. Having greater awareness of this, I feel much more empowered by just having that clarity. I felt in many ways that this article was written for individuals like me. Much appreciated. Strong work!

  4. “Matthew Stern profess that people are known for their personality i.e. humor, charm and appearance; not for being intelligent. He mentioned the likes of Albert Einstein, Bill Gates, and Steve Jobs.

    Intelligent people are always treated with suspicion and disdain. “No one likes a know-it-all.” So, we generally have to hide our intelligence or develop charm and humor so we don’t seem as threatening, Kent said.”

    So many things wrong with these statements, I don’t think I want to bother explaining.

  5. I decided at a very early age that my self-worth was tied up in my intelligence. That became a problem when I entered high school, because as the article stated, “nobody likes a know it all.” It is only after passing the half century mark that I have finally settled down and can enjoy social situations where I rely on my intellect to ASSIST me rather than to DEFINE me. I have learned to work random facts into a social conversation in a natural manner rather than trying to dominate the conversation by letting everyone else know how smart I was.

    The new me is a LOT easier to get along with and be around. I still make mistakes, sometimes finding myself “sharing” just a little too much, but I’m still improving. Now I turn my attention to learning as much as I can about the other person, which satisfies my curiosity and need for input while at the same time making me a more interesting conversation partner.

    Good article and thanks for the research.

  6. True, being is smart it MAY have some disadvantage but let’s not forget that every desavantage can be transformed in a advantage. Absolutely everything has to faces, a good one and a bad. The majority of humans will see only the bad part in all most everything bad will happen to them, but from my own experience I saw that every bad thing that happened actually was good things. I believe that it’s very important in your life the way you see and understand every situation you encounter 🙂

  7. This is a very interesting research findings, almost all the points are directly affecting or have affected me but with this analyzed points, i have learned.
    Thanks for the information.

  8. This is very insightful for a female who seemed to top classes with ease even in male dominated courses but had very few friends. I had to “dumb” down and aggressively pursue other non academic focused activities even though I was repeatedly invited back after courses as a teacher/lecturer. At 46, I place higher premium on my children being more sociable than acing their classes. I hope I am doing right by them!

  9. Smaller jugs are more likely to be filled nearer to capacity than larger jugs. Similarly less intelligent people are more likely to be full of themselves than brighter people, because they are looking for every attempt to better themselves due to a feeling of inadequacy. They will fill themselves to capacity and do whatever they can to get one up on those who are better.

    A one pint jug (average person IQ 100) filled to capacity (full opportunities) will hold a pint, but a litre jug (super-gifted individual IQ 175) filled to half-capacity (deprived background and fewer opportunities) will hold less than a pint and treated as if it has an IQ of about 87.5. This creates an opportunity for the one pint jug that is full of himself to exercise false one-upmanship on the half-filled litre jug claiming it can hold more. Just because it has more contents doesn’t mean it has more capacity. But this is the way privileged inferiors go about persecuting the lives of the gifted who are less fortunate.

    Everyone should be seen by their capacity and not their contents. It is okay for those jugs that are full of themselves, but jugs that are only partly filled should not be seen as smaller jugs filled to capacity with the same contents i.e. the half-filled litre jug seen as a 0.875 pint jug filled to capacity as this gives the privileged inferior an unfair advantage.

    Gifted people being undermined by privileged inferiors are likely to demonstrate a Jekyll and Hyde personality as they are a lot brighter than many but also treated a lot worse than many. If a gifted person is treated significantly worse than is acceptable then the gifted person isn’t going to accept it. Other factors will determine how the gifted person handles the situation.

    Sometimes gifted people are brain damaged and can have temper problems because of trauma – this can often fuel the rage the gifted people feel when injustice and unfairness is exercised upon them. They will look for evidence of corruption, contradiction, unfairness, etc. and because they are naturally superior, they don’t have to resort to malice or untruths since the truth is on their side, but the perverted and inferior often don’t like the truth – it is one of their biggest enemies.

    If a fair deal in life doesn’t come about, the gifted victims can become quite problematic and act out-of-character refusing to pass on their expertise to the team when they know how to solve a problem or can do something which others find difficult where everyone else is struggling – they won’t pass the solution on because they aren’t recognised as having that ability and that affects progress and is a waste of talent. Some are quite happy to waste most of their talent and only put enough effort in to earn enough to survive on. They are not going to put extra efforts in and get exploited by greedy inferiors who will syphon off all the credit like so many cheats do.

    I was a gifted child with temporal lobe epilepsy and stood out in mathematics, but was treated worse than most until I underwent brain surgery and was cured. Now I am trying to lead a more normal life but I still don’t get a fair deal so I am not going to put right all the wrongs as it will be a substantial cost to my already huge loss of earnings and there is no guarantee that I will get recognised afterwards. There is a shortage of maths teachers in the UK of which I would like to have got into, but I cannot afford all the training costs to pay for a short career, so I am not bothered. As long as I can afford to live that is all I am concerned about – even if my income is below average.

    I see it as society getting its comeuppance for failing the gifted, especially ones who are pushed into the ground because of medical conditions.

  10. i am from Africa where people seem not to understand most things based on our level of understanding and exposure.However, i can of reason out of the box and have a gifted personality. I can read peoples body languages , facial expression as well as their hidden thought/Emotions. And i noticed that i can take in a the emotions of individuals easily as i can be an introvert and an extrovert depends on the environment i find myself . People do not always see what i can tell and that frustrates me a lot and get very blunt with my findings . Most times draw more into myself and get depressed and stressed out a lot as they perceived that i am “arrogant , proud or just being a know it all ” . I did not even know my issues . When i am in a crowd i get to know every discussion on reading a lot and just want to share my views which are mostly a deeper meaning of things we talk about . Most times they do not understand my points of view or just get jealous easily i perceive that too and just feel like i am different . It got a sad point in my life i started seeing myself to having a mental illness such as bipolar , Borderline personality disorder , Autism etc . it was a difficult stage in my life . Having this issue drew me into my shell . I became a lonely individual as most people started to see me as someone that is a bully , who intimidates .And when i tell people i can tell peoples emotion/thoughts without them even speaking to me,they give me the look of a being proud while they know the truth deep inside.It is frustrating.its a struggle for me:work, family,relationships and friends.I have a few friend they are those i have constantly explained myself too and have constantly had encounters with me and how i explain their emotions and their thought without them saying a word to me.

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