What is the sad truth about smart people?

  1. I've noticed there's something weird with this, though. If someone hits a certain level of mastery in one area, they seem to think they can easily be an expert in all areas. As an example I used to be a professional carpenter that did work on mostly high end builds. The amount of Doctors and Engineers that were suddenly master plumbers, finish carpenters and electricians and "knew" more than me after a few days of research was infuriating.

  2. Expectations. In asian culture, parents want you to succeed because it is your responsibility to uplift their lives.

  3. My parents wanted me to be an engineer or a doctor or an IAS or something big. So they just pushed me all their life. I'm an Engineer now. I never had any friends or anything and I hate my life.

  4. Pretty sure that's the same everywhere. My youngest child is in kindergarten (US / first year of school). For some reason he picked up math and is always working on it, like challenging us to give him math questions to solve and challenging us to see if he can stump us.

  5. Some might say, that system -is- built to deal with them; it teaches them mediocrity is the safe space, that the tall head gets the whack, and that conforming is the best option.

  6. Unfortunately this is unintentionally teaching kids how life works for a lot of people in the workforce too. Got all your tasks done ahead of schedule? Here's some more things to do.

  7. Ideally the teacher would identify excelling students and adjust the curriculum for them so that the would see a different assignment that is more in tune with their needs, instead of sonething they've already mastered, rather than in addition too.

  8. Lmao I got asked if I wanted to be in APEX (An Elementary-Middle school advance program in the USA) and always said no because my friends in APEX fucking hated it. They all wanted out because it was just more and harder work. It was also done during normal school hours, so they were pulled out of class for a while to do harder work then had to return and do makeup work for whatever APEX made them miss. It was just a lose/lose situation if you're a kid.

  9. The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, and wiser people so full of doubts. -B. Russell

  10. This is the most frustrating thing, listening to overly confident dumb people spout nonsense because they don’t understand what they can’t understand.

  11. There's different levels of "smartness" and different smart people go about life in different ways. But, i think universally young prodigies are typically isolated. They are at a level far above children their age, but are far younger than the people that match intellectually with (lacking life experience). Either way, a young prodigy can't connect with either group.

  12. This is dead on accurate. I went to engineering school with a 12 year old. His parents had to attend classes with him because his motor skills couldn’t keep up with the note taking requirement. He was a nice enough kid but those of us 18+ couldn’t relate to him outside of school and he couldn’t relate to kids his own age. Seemed like an awfully lonely existence

  13. Terrence Tao is a rare example of how to get this right. A maths prodigy at a young age (sitting in university maths classes at age 9), his parents accelerated his maths study, but tried hard to keep him amongst kids his own age for other classes, and encouraged him to study broadly rather than rush ahead. What's the point in being the youngest to do something if you're socially limited & lonely.

  14. Adding to that if you develop without interacting with your peers you became an adult without developing social skills, and that makes you stay isolated even later in life

  15. Being smart doesn't make you more emotionally mature. You might be as smart as older people but you still come off as a child.

  16. To add to this, they're often told they should live up to their potential simply because it exists. The number of times myself and some of my current MSc colleagues have been told we are wasting our potential by not being physicians is soul crushing, and demeaning because it implies that pursuing anything other than the hardest, highest paid disciplines is a waste of you, regardless of what makes you happy.

  17. Being held back by a boss who's less intelligent and insecure is a thing, too. I'm a teacher and don't ever want to be the boss-- I like being in my classroom-- so I have to endure administrators who have no business holding the job and abuse their power to punish anyone they sense is smart and confident. I make a point of not correcting them publicly and not doing any of the "know-it-all" habits some bright people have, but many of them have targeted me over the years for ridiculous things, just because they can.

  18. This guy might be genuinely smart and just got a bad break on the first question, I can understand the logic of how he arrived at the wrong answer. However in my experience the nerdy guys who are very quick to tell you how smart they are very often aren't all that bright.

  19. Or are not welcome by the curent system. There are people who are insanely smart but its either disability, school or pure stupidity of people holding them back

  20. This is so true. I was a very bright kid and was a total stress case. Academic achievement was the only thing I was good at, so there was constant pressure to succeed.

  21. College was a real slap in the face. Cruising through high school getting A's without trying does NOT set you up for success in the real world.

  22. I was that usual story of the kid who was smart in high school but fucked up in college. Straight A student in all AP and honors classes in high school. Never studied, barely paid attention. Then I got to college... After the first year I lost all my scholarships. I was on academic probation every semester after that. Almost kicked out once. Had to do a 5th year just to graduate.

  23. Being smart enough to know you're right while dealing with people too stupid to know they're wrong is soul crushing.

  24. It gets even worse when you try to gracefully agree to disagree, and they see it as a victory, and act cocky.

  25. Reminds me of that saying I've always wanted to say but never have. "I can explain it to you but I can't understand it for you"

  26. Dealing with this at work actually. No one on the team knows how to do the thing right and I've stopped trying to teach them because they think I'm the wrong one.

  27. This reminds me of trying to explain to my roomate how averages work. He paid the electric bill by himself the first month and it was $150. I paid it the second month when it was $100. He told me I owed him $50. I told him no, it was $25. This followed by a 15 minute argument with me using as basic examples as possible, with another friend watching too who also couldn't understand why it would be $25, he eventually just went "whatever man, I don't even care anymore".

  28. Or knowing you’re right but facing someone so confident in their wrongness you start to second guess how you came to your decision/answer.

  29. I'm really good at math, getting a PhD in statistics right now. I once worked for one afternoon as a busboy and it was legitimately the most difficult thing I've ever done because I'm just not built for that. Mad respect for people that don't crumble under immediate stress in social situations.

  30. So much this. I went to MIT, and I saw a lot of cases where people who were absolutely brilliant in one (usually academic) area were absolutely not so in another (usually practical) area.

  31. It depends. In many cases there are correlations, hence IQ tests consists of different fields.

  32. I just wrote a comment about this as I have first-hand experience. I am not an expert but I think it's at least partly the constant lack of a real challenge, always doing tasks that are too easy for you, that eventually molds an adult that feels anything challenging is overwhelming. That's how I feel when I encounter tasks that are challenging for me. I end up being so overwhelmed that I don't get anything done.

  33. You can become a lot smarter than you think. It's not all innate. Philosophy and critical thinking skills go deep, there's a lot to learn. When you do it becomes a lot easier to pick apart nonsense and see rhetoric for what it is. I think that definitely makes a person smarter.

  34. I am not smart, but even I cannot prevail in an argument with a stupid or self-centered person. Therefore, I avoid getting into arguments with such people.

  35. Don’t play chequers with a chicken, because even if you win it’ll still get on the board, knock off the pieces, take a shit, and strut around like it won.

  36. The worst thing is making an absolutely watertight life plan, then realizing part way through that you entirely overlooked emotional wellbeing until the end.

  37. I had a friend like this in high school. Not just smart, but the kind of smart you only meet a few times in your life. He was always super nice to everyone, but after I knew him a while, I could actually see the ways in which he would downshift his brain when he was talking to other people (myself included). Once I realized this, I always felt bad for him - was there ever anyone with whom he didn’t have to do that?

  38. The smartest person I know, and I'm pretty smart, just turns it off and enjoys their hobbies like dog breeding, fishing, hunting and simple adventures.

  39. I have a friend with an IQ of 155 and i honestly understand him way better when he's high as shit than when he's sober. He smokes and drinks a lot and it wouldn't surprise me if that's partly because he can't find anyone on his usual wavelength.

  40. The sad truth is that being smart isn't even a particuarly good indicator in living a happy and fulfilling life. You could be extremely smart and intelectually capable, but if you got beat up as a kid, your parents died, you developed some personality disorder etc., you're way worse off than someone well adjusted with a below average intelligence

  41. Some of the happiest people i know are very ignorant and uneducated. They are very poor, they live in conditions I’d not want to live in and work jobs I’d not want to work. The thing is, they grew up even more poor, not knowin if they were gonna have a roof over their head or food to eat, so in their minds they have vastly exceeded their expectations and they love life for it.

  42. Totally true. I was able to beat my grandfather at checkers when I was really young. He couldn’t take it so every time I was close to winning he would announce that we were playing a different version of the game with different rules that allowed him to make some move that made him win. I wasn’t allowed to play Trivial Pursuit with my family either. Now my SIL (husband’s sister) is trying to make house rules for Balderdash that penalize only me. It’s very isolating.

  43. I never really understood the saying "it's lonely at the top" growing up. Now that I'm an adult and have my life somewhat together I can absolutely relate to this.

  44. Its sad to see dumb people making dumb decision infront of your eyes and not be able to do anything but only give them advice. Most helpful advice are a waste.

  45. "Never argue with stupid people. They will drag you down to their level and beat you with experience.” Mark Twain. Came across this quote only a few years ago and it has brought more peace to my life. The trick is to be humble enough to self reflect at times and make sure I am not the idiot, but it's good advice for dealing with hard headed people.

  46. Reddit, the place where everyone took AP courses, went to university a year early, were too smart for their program and dropped out to do more important things.

  47. Just find other smart people. It may take leaving your comfort zone, but it's worth it. Protip: don't look on Reddit.

  48. I think the problem for me isn't that I lack life skills. For me it's growing up with strict parents with high expectations, always yelling at me to work and try harder. Only to come out of college and realize grades, internship experience, and work ethic doesn't matter much if your resume is buried in a computer system and you're lucky if human eyes ever see it.

  49. That's basically me. I was top of my class all through private middle school and public high school but it was all forced and pressured upon me. Music lessons, too. Meanwhile everyone else was learning how to just be a person in society. After high school I finally had freedom so I literally took my entire life off the rails for about 7 years. Drugs, alcohol, parties, girls, all of it in excess. Now I'm 30 and just beginning to get a grip on things.

  50. I saw this in my classmates at school. The top two or three performers in school were really driven. They worked hard to be top of the class - competing against eachother - went all out for it, and succeeded. When they got to university, they burnt out and two out of three dropped out.

  51. Many very intelligent young people are poorly stimulated and challenged. Without the proper mental exercise they're unlikely to live up to their potential.

  52. And you start to realize that an absolutely absurd about of people don't have it. Just look at the state of the world today. Politics, COVID, etc. If common sense were more...common...we'd likely be out of the cascade of messes we're in. But no.

  53. I think common sense is a myth. It's more like personal sense. Something that seems perfectly clear and sensible to one person could look completely ridiculous to someone else with different experience, different education, different values, different desires, a different logic engine.

  54. You can be high IQ with a low industriousness and high neuroticism. Oh boy you're in for a rough ride with those traits together.

  55. dude this fucking 100 percent, i was always the top kid in elementary school and ever since i hit high school and started seeing glimpses of the real world i feel this desire to be the best at everything even though realistically i obviously can't be, and being normal just feels like a failure, and i start getting upset at others' success which in turn makes me hate myself more

  56. We waste them. Our entirely social structure from schools to mortgages are design for people with very average intellectually abilities. Smart people have to deal with the daily stress of living in a system that isn’t built for them and loose a lot of their productivity and take a real hit to their mental health as a result. If we stopped subjecting them to standardised systems designed against them just imagine how much further we would have advanced as a species.

  57. I’m a teacher and I say this every day , although not as eloquently as you put it. I just say , no one cares about the smart kids

  58. Intelligent people can't state that they're intelligent because people view that as a sign of not being intelligent. But also if you lord yourself around for being intelligent, there's the implication that you're belittling everyone around you by saying you're better than them. And people don't like that. If other people recognize a person as intelligent and respect that then there are no problems, but a lot of the times people won't do that because it gets in the way of their own pride (and if they do, then I find they're more likely to have more insecurities/less self-esteem). Then there's also the fact that intelligence is often conflated with success. Basically, people suck at gauging other people's intelligence, and that causes problems.

  59. Also if you specifically choose entertainment to require analysis (by choosing deeper books, movies and more complex games), you might find yourself alone in enjoying that.

  60. I know a guy that is literally a genius. Noone you tell it to believes it though until they meet him for themselves. He is really eccentric and went for years without wearing shoes.

  61. Lol. Some of the smartest people just have totally different feelings about how people perceive them. They’ll wear weird stuff and act different than what people traditionally consider “smart” so people often perceive them as less intelligent.

  62. I have a PhD in astrophysics and work as a researcher at a university. I am by no means at the top of my field, but I am in the upper echelon, and I work directly with people who are the top of their field, including a Nobel Laureate.

  63. lol yeah scientists are humans, if you did any science you'd know that. THE smartest guy I've ever known - he crushed me in every board game effortlessly - is also the most sociable and attractive - due to his social smoothness, fitness, and looks - guy I've ever known. Like, an absolute chad.

  64. To a tee man. My older sister and her fiancé have biochemistry PhDs and are doing their postdoc as at an Ivy League school. Their favorite thing to do? Drink craft beer. Her fiancé just got one of the new Pokémon games. My brother in law is at MIT doing a theoretical physics Postdoc. He is married and has two little girls. I’m starting my PhD next year. What do I like to do? Play video games and eat ethnic food. I’m married to a project manager with an engineering background. She understands me perfectly fine.

  65. God finally someone who doesnt think the world operates like in genius shows. This comment section reads like a godamn Limitless or House M.D script lmao.

  66. They're smart enough to make the best leaders, but also smart enough to know that politics is a shit show/popularity contest which would frustrate them to death.

  67. All the responders think they are the smart ones and their smartness is socially alienating them. ( except me , I am truly smart!)

  68. This>>>> for whatever reason kids in my class used to think i was an awkward gifted kid and one of those rebellious ones that simply refused to study. but honestly i was probably autistic hence the shitty social skills lol.

  69. Yup. Going through this thread is just seeing a bunch of people talk about how smart they all apparently are and how it’s the reason they’re miserable lol.

  70. Took way too long scrolling to get to this type of comment. Further, the whole “gifted kid” narrative is so banal. It’s a way to avoid culpability. “They did this to me by calling me gifted.”

  71. In my life, I have met truly intelligent people. People super engaged and super quick and just... well above average in intelligence.

  72. I am not a particularly smart person, i would say average or slightly above. Unless you compare me to the other people in my family. Then I'm einstein. I have been desperately trying to help my mother as i have watched her dismantle her life piece by piece. As it turns out you can't just tell someone they shouldn't marry a drug user, or stay with a drug user, or that they may want to consider cutting the drug user out of the will. Same with my other family members. I finally proposed a trust system for property so it couldn't be sold off. I wanted to be the manager of said trust. My mom asked her favorite lawyer if that was wise. This guy has been handling family's affairs for decades. His response was "yes. Your son is the only person in your family that has any fucking sense."

  73. You often see this with the smartest kid in high school heading off to university to find out they were just a big fish in a small pond. Once you’re in elite programs, you’re in with the best in the world potentially, not just where you grew up. It can be soul cruising realizing you’re smart, but just average compared to everyone around you.

  74. Most people will not nurture them--they will hide their eyes and ears to save their own self confidence, or try to destroy them to feel better about themselves, or try to exploit them without allowing them to ever reach their full potential and leave their control.

  75. They have lots of people leeching to them for answers and bosses giving them more workload and responsibilities

  76. I'm kinda unsmart, but since I know how to use Google, there almost isn't a day when I don't have to look up something for someone. The worst thing is that they think I'm some kind of a genius, and when it takes more time than looking up the first result, I immediately get the condescending "Not so smart after all, are you?" thing. Yeah, I'm pretty stupid because I have no idea if a specific kind of cat food is good for a specific cat with some kind of a lower urinal tract disease and it takes me some minutes to find the cat food's website and hope there's some info about that. And I even had the audacity to mention that a vet would probably know better than a random dude with Google.

  77. Thinking too much.. Overanalyzing/overthinking which leads to stress, anxiety, self doubt and depression. Basically, smarter people are more susceptible to depression.

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