5 Downsides of Being Super Intelligent


Most articles will espouse all of the great parts of having a high IQ, but, as with everything under the sun, there’s always some not-so-great aspects, too.

So if you think the smart people in your life have it easy all of the time, think again!

5. You can annoy people.


It’s hard to keep your mouth shut when you’re talking to someone who says something that’s just completely wrong. It’s even harder, sometimes, to remember that bringing it up is likely to piss other people off (or embarrass them, which might be worse).

You have to learn to let things go or find yourself alone more often than not.

4. You often think instead of feel.

It’s not that smart people don’t recognize their emotions, it’s just that expressing them doesn’t offer much relief.

“This is a common problem for smart people,” says Quora user Marcus Geduld, “especially ones who are highly verbal. They use words as a smoke screen, and it’s all the more effective when their words are true. Less articulate people tend to vent through physicality. They yell, punch, kick, run, scream, sob, dance, jump for joy…I explain. And when I’m done explaining, everything I’ve explained is still stuck inside me, only now it has a label on it.”

The connection – or disconnection – between cognitive and emotional skills has fascinated scientists for a while.

3. You tend to overthink things.


Smart people can spend copious amounts of time contemplating and analyzing, not to mention getting a bit maudlin in an attempt to find the existential importance in every little detail.

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

A 2015 study linked verbal intelligence to worry and excessive rumination.

2. There are expectations galore.

User Roshna Nazir states that “you are automatically expected to be the best, no matter what. You have nobody to talk to about your weaknesses and insecurities.”

What’s more, says Saurabh Mehta, you spend time worrying about what will happen if you’re not the best.

“This makes you so cautious about your failure that you cannot sometimes afford to take risks just fearing that what would happen if you lose.”

1. You know what you don’t know.


More than that, you know how much you’ll never have time to learn.

At least one classic study found that the less intelligent a person is, the more they tend to overestimate their cognitive abilities – and vice versa.

Being super-intelligent often means appreciating the limits of your own cognition. Try as you might, you’ll never be able to learn or understand everything.

See? Nothing is all sunshine and roses.

Except sunshine. And roses.