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Highly intelligent people are often stereotyped as “nerds” and “geeks” who can solve the world’s toughest problems, but struggle when it comes to carrying a conversation with another human being. Sound like someone you know? Maybe it reminds you of yourself? Don’t worry about it too much because there are good reasons behind why smart people sometimes find it difficult to be a social butterfly.
Here are five reasons the highly intelligent can seem as though they lack social skills.
High intelligence can also mean high levels of anxiety
It’s been found several times over that highly intelligent folks tend to have more anxiety than people with less brain power. Not only is there an increase in overall anxiety, but also specifically in social anxiety. Anxiety, as you may know, can cause one to act irrationally and reclusive. Another aspect of this is the notion that the smarter you are, the more aware you are of what’s happening in the world around you, thus you have more to worry about.
They don’t really like mundane conversation
It sounds a bit “uppity,” but oftentimes smart people struggle to muster the necessary enthusiasm to engage in small talk and mundane conversation. If it’s not something they’re interested in, or something they feel they cannot contribute to, they’re likely to just not say anything at all.
They over-analyze everything they say
Because intelligent folks only speak when they have something important to add, they also place a bit more importance on the things that they say. Unfortunately, this also means that they tend to worry a lot more about what they say, leading to bouts of social anxiety. Others might think what they say is totally fine and normal, but in the smart person’s head, they’re going over every single word and response, criticizing and worrying.
When they speak too enthusiastically about intelligent subject matters, they sometimes feel isolated
While it can be hard to get a highly intelligent person to talk about small things, it can also be difficult to get them to shut up once they’ve started talking about something they’re truly passionate about. Not only that, but they tend to be a little more aggressive and enthusiastic in their responses, leading many people to think they’re getting upset or worked up over nothing. The truth is that they’re not upset or even concerned, they just enjoy debating and discussing things of substance.
They have a hard time avoiding conflict with others at times
Have you ever met someone who says things just to hear themselves speak? Who, more often than not, never actually knows much about what they’re talking about? Highly intelligent people can find themselves at odds with these types of people because they can’t just stand by and let misinformation get passed around. When they try to correct whoever is misinformed, it tends to stir up emotions, especially if the person being corrected knows they are wrong.
h/t Learning Mind