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What It’s Like To Have An Extremely High IQ?

March 20, 2013

Editors note:  Since I published this, the comments have been coming in and are now probably better than the blog post.  I encourage you to read about the lives of those who have high IQ.  Their stories are quite revealing.

I won’t disclose where I am on the IQ chart, but I do have some in my family with very high IQ.  To be fair, we have our share of those both average and in a couple of cases not so average.  Here are the stories of those with high IQ and their travails. See if you identify with any of them.

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe – “The intelligent man finds almost everything ridiculous, the sensible man hardly anything.”


Update: 10/3/16 from Alison Craig

It sounds like you are in the beginning stages of an existentialist crisis. http://plato.stanford.edu/entrie…  I know the word “crisis” looks alarming, but it shouldn’t. In this case it just means you are examining the point of your own existence. Will I always be alone? Why am I here? Eventually you may even question all existence and come to the seemingly frightening conclusion that we’re all born alone and die alone and nothing in life has purpose.

“Well, that’s horrible! You’re depressing, why would you say such things?”

Again, I repeat- it is nothing to be alarmed about. Those things are true – to a degree. We are born alone and die alone, but we work to make connections with people who can support us, and that we can support in return. Intelligent or not, there will always be like minded people in the world somewhere and they are never easy to find for anyone. To me, making those connections is why I am here and is a large part of my purpose.

No matter how intelligent, wealthy or attractive a person is – it can always be difficult to find true connections so that all of the sharing and giving is not a one way street. Intelligent people may have stricter standards for making friends (in fashion or other), but so might a wealthy person, or a very attractive one. All people fear being used and some are just more cautious than others. An intelligent person can read books on understanding human nature ( Ten Keys to Handling Unreasonable & Difficult People), body language Psychology Today and other psychology tools to assist them in making life long connections with other people.

From Shah Rukh Qasim on hiding your intelligence:

If you could generalize, the most common would be:

  1. You keep talking to a person, telling him something you think he doesn’t know. He keeps listening. Then he shares his insight which makes you think he has already known everything you told him. Smart people at often silent and active listeners.

Other signs will include:

  1. Good problem solvers. Not just mathematics problem. But even daily life problems. They’ll quickly find what’s wrong and take the best course of action to solve the problem.
  2. They’ll be different in views. And their views will always come with reason. A quote goes around: Small minds discuss people. Average mind discuss events. Great minds discuss ideas.
  3. A fool thinks himself to be wise, but a wise man knows himself to be a fool.” – William Shakespeare
  4. They often look for reasons. It goes in four levels (worst to best):
    1. What?
    2. How?

It sucked when I was younger, but these days it’s just awesome.

There is a very common pattern among highly gifted people, namely:

  • When you’re young it’s very isolating, and it feels like everyone else is just stupid
  • As you grow older, you realize your gift. You also realize that raw intelligence isn’t everything, and that things like social skills matter a lot. Plus, you meet others like you.
  • Your social life improves as you get older and learn to connect on things other than intelligence or go to elite institutions where you can meet other highly gifted people.

Honestly, at this point in my life I feel like there are literally no downsides to having a high IQ. It’s like being born good looking or with great physical health: it’s not a silver bullet to a happy life, but it makes a lot of things much easier.

I only found out I had a high IQ (161) because my professional life was such a mess I had to see a psychologist.

If I had to sum it up in a few sentences, I would say that the most aggravating thing about being very intelligent is that you quickly see and understand things at a level of depth that most people don’t (or can’t), and it is very frustrating.  You want to move on, you want to be pushed, you don’t want to spend time explaining the details of things you have already grasped, but no one else is caught up yet, so you have to pause.  It is particularly painful when dealing with complex topics where the mental models involve feedback loops and non-linearities.

But that said, I’ve learned there is much more to life than intelligence, and being successful is more about hard work and good communication skills than anything else.

Blog post actually starts here.  It is a compilation of individuals with their names redacted who have written about the travails of a high IQ:

“One of the indictments of civilizations is that happiness and intelligence are so rarely found in the same person.”

Working successfully in society and business is limited by some really important social choke points.  One of them is that other people, even if they are intellectually slower, must be treated with respect.  Another is that even if you are correct you will have difficulty getting people to act on your insights until they understand why you are correct.  A third thing is that most important activities are done as a team and so taking action requires breaking down your insights into something that your slower peers and employees can understand.  If you try to blow past these choke points you will destroy relationships and even if you are right, your career will languish.  I try to remind myself that being successful is not well correlated to being right.

My career is going pretty well now that I’ve understood these constraints.  It is possible to turn intelligence to practical life-advantage but our educational system doesn’t really give a blueprint for this.  I left school thinking that it mattered that I understood things 5 minutes or 5 years before my classmates did.  It doesn’t.  Most people’s functioning adult lives are not spent solving tough problems.  They are spent going through well established rituals and patterns of relating to each other punctuated by an occasional tough problem.  In most cases, people can even skip the tough problems and still do okay in life.  So how do you convert a parlor trick (like knowing the ending of a movie after 5 minutes) into something that will make you happier?  Mostly, you don’t.  Use it when it’s valuable and relax a little when it’s not.

There’s a great Dilbert where someone invites him to join the company’s Mensa chapter and Dilbert asks why people who are so smart continue to work at the company.  The president of the Mensa chapter answers, “Intelligence has much less practical application than you’d think.”

In a word, I find it alienating.

Extremely so, in fact.

And I think this is not only because of what makes me “smart”, but also because of what my brain has to sacrifice to be “smart” in that way.  (More on that in a sec.)

For the record, my IQ was measured (years ago) at 178. [ETA: Just looked up the percentile, and that’s about 1 in 2 million, for some perspective.]  I have 3 advanced degrees and a solid career.  But I’m still single and spend very little time around other people.

It took me some time as a young kid to figure out that the people around me weren’t interested in the same things I was.  And that, often, to talk about the things I found interesting turned people away.

So I hid that.

When they announced that I was valedictorian of my high school, I was in 1st period art class, and one of my classmates refused to believe that they’d said my name.

But I never felt like I belonged anywhere, and I still don’t.

I don’t have kids, TV doesn’t interest me, I don’t follow celebrities or watch sports.  My time is spent with my work, and researching the things that are important to me — astrophysics, particle physics, consciousness research, and although this might seem strange to some people, Biblical scholarship (tho I’m not a believer).

As a result, chit-chat is impossible for me, or else it’s so boring that it becomes impossible.

But like I said, the problem isn’t only that my brain is interested in things that most other brains aren’t.  It’s also what my brain can’t do.

There’s only a certain amount of space in the brain, and if one area is eating up the real estate with more neural power, some other part of the brain is likely losing out.

For me, it’s some of the automatic social functioning which tells you, for example, what emotion another person is feeling based on their facial expression, or whether someone’s being sarcastic or not.  (Sarcasm is a minefield for me, and meeting another person in a hallway is a nightmare — I cannot interpret when to look, or not, what to say, or not, etc.)

That said, I have an enormously rich life, and I’ve adjusted to it.  When I stopped trying to fit in, things got better.

HOWEVER…..STUPID IS AS STUPID DOES

The smart can do stupid things such as:

  • Ignoring the importance of design and style – When the iPod originally came out, technical people complained about its lack of features and perceived high price (“ooh, who cares about another MP3 player, I can go buy one at Best Buy for $50” http://forums.macrumors.com/show…).  In the meantime, it was so cool and easy to use that normal people went out in droves to buy it.
  • Using terrible tools, and taking pride in their awfulness – Especially common with programmers, who take pride in using programming languages and text editors that have been designed by programmers, not updated since the 1970s, and never touched by anyone with a modicum of design sense. They believe that mastering arcane, overcomplicated commands and processes are a mark of pride, rather than a waste of time.  I will refrain from singling out specific programming languages and tools here, because smart people also like to get caught up in pointless flame wars about this sort of thing.
  • Following the pack – Many smart people often seem to be followers, probably because they grow up spending so much time pleasing others via academic and extracurricular achievement that they never figure out what they really like to work on or try anything unique.  Smart people from top schools tend to flock into the same few elite fields, as they try to keep on achieving what other people think they should achieve, rather than figuring out whatever it is they intrinsically want to do.
  • Failing to develop social skills – Some smart people focus exclusively on their narrow area of interest and never realize that everything important in life is accomplished through other people.  They never try to improve their social skills, learn to network, or self promote, and often denigrate people who excel in these areas. If you are already a good engineer you are going to get 10x the return on time spent improving how you relate to other people compared to learning the next cool tool.
  • Focusing on being right above all else – Many smart people act as if being right trumps all else, and go around bluntly letting people know when they are wrong, as if this will somehow endear others to them.  They also believe that they can change other people’s minds through argument and facts, ignoring how emotional and irrational people actually are when it comes to making decisions or adopting beliefs.
  • Letting success in one area lead to overconfidence in others – Smart people sometimes think that just because they are expert in their field, they are automatically qualified in areas about which they know nothing.  For instance, doctors have a reputation as being bad investors: http://medicaleconomics.modernme….
  • Underrating effort and practice – For smart people, many things come easily without much effort.  They’re constantly praised for “being smart” whenever they do anything well.  The danger is that they become so reliant on feeling smart and having people praise them, that they avoid doing anything that they’re not immediately great at.  They start to believe that if you’re not good at something from the beginning, you’re destined to always be terrible at it, and the thing isn’t worth doing.  These smart people fail to further develop their natural talents and eventually fall behind others who, while less initially talented, weren’t as invested in “being smart” and instead spent more time practicing.  http://nymag.com/news/features/2…
  • Engaging in zero sum competitions with other smart people – Many smart people tend to flock to fields which are already saturated with other smart people.  Only a limited number of people can become a top investment banker, law partner, Fortune 500 CEO, humanities professor, or Jeopardy champion.  Yet smart people let themselves be funneled into these fields and relentlessly compete with each other for limited slots.  They all but ignore other areas where they could be successful, and that are less overrun by super-smart people.   Instead of thinking outside the box, smart people often think well within a box, a very competitive box that has been set up by other people and institutions to further someone else’s interests at the expense of the smart person.
  • Excessively focusing on comparing their achievements with others – Smart people who have been raised in a typical achievement-focused family or school can get anxious about achievement to the point of ridiculousness.  This leads to people earnestly asking questions like: Success: If I haven’t succeeded in my mid 20s, could I be successful in the rest of my life? and Are you a failure if you are not a billionaire by age 30? What about 40?
  • Ignoring diminishing returns on information – Smart people are often voracious readers and can absorb huge quantities of information on any subject.  They get caught up in reading every last bit of information on subjects that interest them, like investing, lifehacking, or tech specs of products they’re planning on buying.   While some information is useful in making a decision, poring through the vast amount of information available online can be a waste of time.  They end up spending a lot of time gathering information without taking action.
  • Elitism – Smart people often use smartness as measure of the entire worth of a person.  They fail to see the value in or even relate with people who are different.  This is illustrated by the Yale professor who doesn’t have the slightest idea what to say to his plumber: http://www.theamericanscholar.or….  And questions like Am I an elitist to think that most people are stupid?

I found this article on Quora that you may find interesting.

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161 Comments
  1. Carl permalink

    Regarding the previous:
    “Honestly, at this point in my life I feel like there are literally no downsides to having a high IQ. It’s like being born good looking or with great physical health: it’s not a silver bullet to a happy life, but it makes a lot of things much easier.”

    Well, I have a fairly high IQ (147) and was born good looking with great physical health–but now I am old and unattractive, and smoking for years played havoc with my health, and I am divorced, depressed, lonely and very unhappy.

    Let’s see, where was I….

    • So, you are smart who cares? I have a decent I.Q. score in the mid 120’s. I am just below genius level according to my test and it’s relative comparisons. My problem with this whole article is no matter how brilliant you are you will always be limited by your peers. My quickest example of this is Nikolai Tesla and Thomas Edison. Tesla was a brilliant man who lived in poverty his whole life and was used as a lab rat by Thomas Edison. Edison wasn’t that smart of a man, but his social skills were far superior. he on the other hand, lived a very wealthy and fruitful life. The truly intelligent people adapt to their surroundings. If you were to pitch a time travel idea to a board of directors they would laugh you out of the room not because you were unique and daring, but because they couldn’t understand a thing you said. People are a dime a dozen it’s how you adapt and apply your brilliance in ways that are non threatening that you will succeed.

      • anthon permalink

        If he is smart he would never postulate ideas about time travels. You suggestion about “high” intelligens being the reason that Edison used Tesla as a lab rat shows how you mis
        sunderstand what being intelligent Means. If he indeed used him as a lab rat. He was smart enough to see and act on the reasons to use him but failed to see that the arguments against using him was greater. So unless he had a wierd/bizare “social plan” for his private life you can´t argue that his actions was due to superrior intelligence. I don´t expect you to understand this given your IQ score ( but you might do that 🙂 ) P.S. I´m jealous about you IQ score, but only if I lost awareness of the knowledge I have now.

      • YES PEOPLE like you always hate people like me. I was 150 at 11 when tested, IQ increases until age 18+. I always get called a liar when I mention my IQ.

        The worst part is EVERY F——G THING IS SO EASY TO LEARN, it is hard to understand why others can’t comprehend the words coming out of your mouth. Explaining simple thermal dynamics ( heat exchange ) to the average person is like trying to explain how the effing entire universe was created.

        Also many people think I am effing stupid due to my level of honestly. As an intelligent person I see 0 reason to lie. I have no effing time for that s–t, I tell the truth I only have to repeat facts, I tell a lie I have to memorize the s–t I lied about and the logic behind the lie.

        People think I must memorize everything since my IQ is so high, no, memorizing s–t is a waste of time and brain capacity. You only remember 23% of s–t you memorize 1 year later. Einstein once said “Never memorize anything you can look up”

        Personally I keep lots of notes, that way I do not have to memorize s–t, my brain can then spend time solving problems, not memorizing useless s–t, that I may or may not need again or facts that can change

      • It’s this skill you speak of that, if your between the lines wisdom from experience perhaps claims, that brings knowledge from just recalled information..into the existence of wisdom..which is actualized form from gathered then formulized information. So you sir ate smarter than what you were told.

    • “Let the future tell the truth, and evaluate each one according to his work and accomplishments. The present is theirs; the future, for which I have really worked, is mine”

      Nikola Tesla

    • Nobody Important permalink

      Living with a high IQ is not all that. I was bored at school, I dropped out. I married and had children. My husband had issues and I had a hard time understanding addiction. When my kids reached a certain age I just assumed they did not need me to mother them anymore, I was wrong. It seems harder for me to understand some parts of life and they are important parts.

  2. A 160-178 score isn’t relevant or credible unless you detail the test that was taken. Different tests score different ranges and can vary widely. Someone with a 130 score on one test could score 170 on another. IQ quantity isn’t absolute but relative to each test. I have no doubt that you are all smart, but for some perspective it is estimated that Steven Hawking has an IQ of about 160 on the Stanford Binet scale. A 178 IQ on the Stanford-Binet, or similar scale, is too rare to be claimed credibly without the test being specified.

    • @DG “A 178 IQ on the Stanford-Binet, or similar scale, is too rare to be claimed credibly without the test being specified.”

      Well…. just as with the test, the importance of the claim depends on why it is being made. Here, it’s just someone talking about life with a high IQ. Specific # doesn’t really matter. BTW, it does make sense that people with high IQ’s would self-select to read articles like this one.

      And there I go, sounding like a know-it-all. Sorry! 🙂

      An aside on Asperger’s: the way it was explained to me, and this makes sense imo, is that both Aspies and high-IQ people are likely to have in common a wide-ish gap between their cognitive and social abilities. (It’s a rare person who’s gifted in both domains.) That gap is likely to be wider in childhood, since social skills eventually kick in as one matures. And it did suck more when I was younger, and I developed a chip on my shoulder.

      One of the nicer things about growing older has been letting go of that arrogance, and learning at a gut level to value people across the full spectrum of ability (including the autism spectrum btw — getting to know people with profound autism is one of the best ways to learn not to “judge a book by its cover”).

    • You’re evidently missing the whole point and probably frustrated.

  3. It makes life permalink

    much easier!

  4. Luis F permalink

    I have wechsler score of 172 and i am also good looking, believe or not i am in my 20s and never had a girlfriend.. People start disliking me without apparent reasons just for being smart, being good looking doesn’t help either, it just makes them think i am even more stuck up… Yeah, and they all want to be smart and good looking…

    • Ana M. permalink

      I’m 30 yo. My IQ is just above average (125 ) and i’ve had many relationships. I’m also good looking, so that helps.
      The problem is not finding partners, the problem is to keep them. I always break up, most of the times out of intelectual frustration. So yes, i can’t imagine how hard it must be for you.
      Maybe someone should create a dating website for superior IQ people ( i wont include myself, since i’m bellow 130) 😉

      • Nice to meet you Ana,
        You might want to consider reading books on relationships, like John Grey’s Mars & Venus books (albeit a bit wimpy, most of his points are valid) I also highly recommend the Five Love Languages, by Gary Chapman. Another great book that focuses on disagreements (that can happen in business and relationships) is Critical Conversations by Kerry Patterson.
        When it comes to relationships, it’s about psychology; and men and women definitely see things differently. The more you understand about men, the easier it will be to comprehend why they act and react the way they do.
        One thing to keep in mind (even if few books mention it) is that most men are very insecure. The more insecure the man, the more he is intimidated by a intelligent woman. Sometimes all it takes to turn things around is to let him know that you are on his side, and if he’s smart, he will embrace your strengths, instead of trying to diminish or combat them.

      • I whole heartedly stand by Rich Allen’s response to Ana’s comment. I, as many other women, had to take a hard lesson to get it. The easy route, it seems, is to swear off men and be a hardcore feminist. Fight to rise up Paradise Island. No. We women have a role on our own that has been taken for granted, sacrificed, for long too much enough. WE are givers of LIFE. Our duty is to sustain life with love and nurture. We do it best. Now, if you (no woman in particular just any reading this) had a son, what do you think is best? Raising him to be feminine? To be second in command? Is that fair? No. It is a deprevation for the entire course of his life. What is wrong with a man’s nature? Nothing. Don’t change it. Instead, we women as natural guider, must see the days as it is and tailor our nurture accordingly. Man is lost at sea without lady. Be his lamp when he cannot see through the dark. Help him navigate through tourmoils of the storms. Be the Florence Nightingale when he is dis-eased. The one who couldn’t sleep knowing the soldiers were in agony. Carrying her lamp through the halls in the wee hours of tge morning. Checking on them all, her brave boys that fell in battle.

        About IQ and genius, here is my story in a brief capsule. I have taken a few tests enough. Ranging from 90-200. Ridiculous. It’s just a test. Anyone can pass. Few chose to push excellence. I could not be satisfied until I hit twice an average. Ceiling Factor. I call it “when shit hits the fan”. Ramble on it until that crap hits you in the face.

        Life. What a strange journey it is. It is a trip that will take you down the rabbit hole sending you through a land your mind created without you even realizing that. You find yourself at a point halfway, lost in wonder. Suddenly all you thought you knew comes back to take a bite out of you. You question yourself, your own mind. You feel trapped. Frozen. What is real? What is illusion? You beg to be taken back down. By a landslide.

        Genius is by choice. You see your dream. Once you cross that first finish line your ego soars. You hunger to keep winning. It becomes an addiction. Should you stumble a bit and bite dust, you feel already a loss. A few points behind your best score. Give up while you are already ahead. Quit as a winner. Well, then if you begin to fail as a sport player become a coach. Your legs have slowed down but your mind hit the peak. Stand on the tip of the summit and guide those behind you up. When its time to arrive at landing, be the guide down. If one should fall you take their weight on yours. Next time you must climb that mountain, be last of the line. Likewise as I to I said in the latter, a support at the bottom. But more so to watch them all ahead of you and be amazed by the brilliance of each one. Lord of the Rings, Gandolf was last in line before the ballrog reappeared. His wisdom guided him to know his sacrfice was for the best. Only he could save that day and all those days next. Only he could fight that beast. He made sure the smallest one of importance to the future made pass the bridge. For his bravery and commitment he was brought back better than ever. Yet he returned even more humble. In his younger years he was insecure. A coward too. But his vision true set a stake on the path right. With guidance of a fair lady he was one to assist all.

        It is not about you nor I. It is all about us. One for all and all for one. We each have a unique gift. A problem is best conquered with all the tools in the kit. A wise contractor doesnt show up with the tools assumed right for the task, but with a truck full of all just in case.

      • Erik Q permalink

        125 is quite high compared to the general population. Most doctors are in the 120s. Remember that it’s a Bell curve centered around 100 and it only measured how good you were at taking a test on that day. Depression or preoccupation can knock 20 points off your score.

    • mike permalink

      Ceiling on wechsler is 155 up to a theoretical limit of 160. You think such “high IQ” people would at least look up the test and its history before making such ludicrous statements.

      • Mike permalink

        I scored over 130 on the Wechsler and close to 140 on the culture fair 15 standard deviation tests.
        Life sucks when you realize it’s just a big nothing. Everyone shares the same fate and we all struggle to build our lives and realize our goals only to have it all crumble down in the end.

        No matter who you are or what you achieve, everything crumbles to the ground.

      • Mike permalink

        I scored over 130 on the Wechsler and close to 140 on the culture fair 15 standard deviation tests.
        Life sucks when you realize it’s just a big nothing. Everyone shares the same fate and we all struggle to build our lives and realize our goals only to have it all crumble down in the end.
        Life is ultimately a giant and cruel cosmic joke, even though most people continually and happily build up these fleeting and futile goals or situations.

        No matter who you are or what you achieve, everything crumbles to the ground.

      • Mike permalink

        I scored over 130 on the Wechsler and close to 140 on the culture fair 15 standard deviation tests.
        Life sucks when you realize it’s just a big nothing. Everyone shares the same fate and we all struggle to build our lives and realize our goals only to have it all crumble down in the end.
        Life is ultimately a giant and cruel cosmic joke, even though most people continually and happily build up these fleeting and futile goals or situations.

        All I have to show for my supposedly superior intelligence is panic attacks, bad sporadic existential depression and destructive OCD like behavour.

        No matter who you are or what you achieve, everything crumbles to the ground. Stop being so serious and go laugh at something right now.

    • Having an IQ of 157 has made my life difficult on so many levels. Nevertheless, I wouldn’t trade m blessing/curse for anything. One of my biggest struggles is not being ale to articulate how I just know certain things. I have trouble with employment because once I am no longer challenged, I lose interest. I also only like to work with people who are smarter because I have the uncontrollable desire to learn more. However, I am frustrated because I get taken advantage of at work because my employer has realized there isn’t much I can’t learn and achieve. I would love to work with a group of people who process ideas and appreciate a challenge. I too have a lot of panic attacks, depression and OCD behavior as well. And don’t even get me started on communicating my feelings…lol..If I can’t apply logic, I’m screwed. Cruel cosmic joke, absolutely.

      • I feel the same way. 160ish on Stanford-Binet 40ish years ago.
        There are many things I can simply suss out and understand but have a dickens of a time translating it into something I can communicate to someone else who doesn’t have the same neural connections that I do.
        I’m getting pretty tired of hearing, “You think you’re better than me?” when I solve a problem or learn a skill before a colleague does. No, I don’t think I’m “better” than anyone, but I don’t think I’m unreasonable to use my skills to get a job done. Isn’t that why we get hired or asked to contribute? What the hell is the point of hiding my light under a bushel?

        I do not lord my IQ over other people. That way lies social death. But sometimes, when I’m seen reading a book during my lunch break or use a word that goes over someone’s head, and I get criticized or made fun of by some insecure jerk, I really do feel like saying something unkind about intellectual capacity. It’s hard, it’s isolating and it really pisses me off.

      • I know the struggle all too well. I am 28 years old now and have worked for 16 different employers across 11 industries, incomplete majors in cs & physics, 6 major romantic relationships, and currently a mostly unproductive member of society.

        I’ve discovered who I am through study. I would recommend that anyone relating to these sort of posts read about Giftedness & Highly Sensitive Person & Creative Genius as they are very interconnected and may shed some light on understanding your own unique situation.

        My own journey in personal development went as follows — Loss of Interest in Public School -> Loss of Interest in Socializing with Peers -> Major Depression -> Professional Therapy -> Self-Help Library -> Pseudo-Psychology -> Personality Psychology -> Behavior Psychology -> Philosophy(Existentialism) -> Literature (Victorian, English) -> Neuroscience -> Reading Elaine N. Aron’s The Highly Sensitive Person & The Gifted Adult by Mary-Elaine Jacobsen -> Relentlessly Looking for Like-Minded People -> Now I am here… teaching myself Physics & Chemistry using MIT OCW 4-9 hours a day, and more importantly, working on learning to accept myself rather than repress myself.

        I know initially this post sounded dark, however, I wish to convey the clear message that there is hope. It is my intention to publish a book soon on theoretical physics regarding practical means of traveling to nearby exoplanets, proper motivations for wanting to do so, and a little sci-fi & self-deprecating humor to create a good story and thus a good read. (This is what I am currently interested in, and I am willing to stay awake spending 26 hours with breaks working on)

        Ultimately, anyone who properly identifies themselves as gifted has a personal responsibility to educate themselves on what it means to be gifted, how to properly embrace that meaning and live through it rather than try and repress it to meet societal norms.

        If you are searching for something practical to put your clever mind to use in, I would suggest fields such as Physics, Neuroscience, Biochemistry, Cosmology, Philosophy, Mathematics, Computer Science, Medicine, Anthropology, Writing, Language, and perhaps Sociology.

        Ultimately, as with any human, you will have to ascribe your own meaning to life (see Existentialism) and those of us cursed/gifted with an intellect more than capable of isolating us from the greater majority of the public need only look to one another for support during this journey. Each of us has already learned how to get by on the minimal social support necessary, only reading that others’ like ourselves exist seems to be more than enough for a week of blissful enjoyment, imagine for a moment what would be possible if we collaborated together as a support network for one another.

        Just remember, inside your brilliant mind is a creative process waiting to unfold.

        There is something you are very passionate about, and you may have to embark upon many esoteric disciplines to discover just what that passion is, and from what I have learned about our unique subset of thinking, this just one more natural step in our development.

        Anyone reading this please feel free to reach out to me, google my name or use WordPress(currently private sorry), I try to be transparent on the internet so I shouldn’t be very hard to find.

        Best of luck to all those in need, and remember to love people of all mental capacity equally, we each have our own role to play in the ongoing evolution of our society, species, and civilization as a whole.

      • Michelle permalink

        I just wanted to pop in and say how beautiful your post is. 🙂

        I’ve been on a similar journey with some of the overlapping topics you mentioned. Highly Sensative Person reading really helps. It’s nice to know it’s all just a way of being wired, and that’s just life. Sometimes I think that, at the end of the day, all you can do is read. And that’s not such a bad thing.

      • Hi Michelle! Thank you for reading my rant, I am glad to hear that you enjoyed it.

        I feel strongly that reading HSP has really helped me in learning to be myself. I’ve spent the past 20 years mastering my ability to ‘hide’ only to fit in, but now I am learning to express my personality!

        Not only have I become a much happier person, but those I am fortunate enough to be able to interact with seem to love me so much more, as opposed to my old reserved & withdrawn personality.

        For me at least, it was always an issue of being overly sensitive; I just needed that idea to be placed in my head for some reason.

        Best of luck to you on your studies & life!

    • Robin permalink

      Luis,
      Certain people have behavior patterns that make others hate them the minute they walk into a room. I said Behavior, not IQ.
      I’ll give an example. A new American associate/assistant/visting/whatever professor walks up to a group of peolpe at a party. It’s not a University party. Somebody says hello how are you.

      His response is to start a monologue about a research paper he is writing. The paper is an obscure topic that nobody other that the social psychology faculty of Sorbonne cares about. that alone isn’t so bad, but he drowns out the 10 other nearby conversations with his very loud and nasal lecture hall voice. Then he rambles on about trivial details of a class he is teaching. On and ON an ON and ON. He was the center of attention to a captive audience.

      He was talking AT, not WITH, the entire room. Nobody else can be heard unless they shout. He made my skin crawl. His presence was physically uncomfortable. I had to turn to the side and plug one ear with a finger to hear the person I was speaking to.

    • Anon822 permalink

      20% of brains yields 80% of benefits.
      Also 20% of brains yields 80% of harm.

  5. Frank Lee permalink

    A lot of high IQ people who seem to suffer from their intelligence are really suffering from a personality that features low social intelligence, or they just plain have Aspergers. Not that high intelligence can’t be a bit of a burden because it separates you from others to some degree, and can be disappointing because it doesn’t offer a direct and easy formula in terms of finding the “success” we value socially.

    • Alex permalink

      I don’t believe you’ve had this problem, otherwise you’d not refer to the difficulty to relate to others and its resulting isolation as a “bit of a burden”. I’m not sure that you can attribute the situation directly to a low social intelligence. At some point, you just can’t have a conversation up to your standards with most people so you either avoid those conversations or lower your standards often resulting in an awfuly boring experience. Imagine your life mostly reduced to that situation and then reconsider your “bit of a burden” comment.

    • Kris permalink

      Personally, I have issues with social situations. I do not understand the need or desire for small talk. I do not understand why anyone would want to stand around discussing inane things ad nauseam. Also, the same is true for me as others here: different since childhood. Not understanding why “normal” people do what they do is HARD!! Especially when you’re a kid. Understanding concepts, being able to predict events and grasping the conclusion of the conversation very shortly into it are not easy things when social conventions dictate that these things are not readily grasped and you must sit though to the very painful and excruciating end of the tale of Fred’s vacation and his slightly racist conversation with the islander, while laughing and nodding appropriately. I have met a few smart ones in my time and have not found them to try to lord their intelligence over the average. Mostly, I have found them withdrawn because they are either excluded for their intelligence, as this apparently aggravates the “norms”, or they have excluded themselves due to their sometimes crippling feeling of oddity. Can you imagine going through your life and viewing everything externally? You are not a part of it, rather a voyeur of it. Like it is the study of a puzzle and there is not one definable place where you go. Which one of these is not like the other? Can you imagine going your whole life and only finding (maybe) one person who understands you? It is more difficult to try to understand why people do not grasp ideas readily apparent to you, than to have no idea you are missing a point you can’t even see. I know, that seems harsh, but that, is my reality. It is not that we have a low social intelligence, it is that we have moved on from the circular colloquialisms and inane chatter to something we feel our time and attention would be better suited to.

  6. Clay permalink

    Twenty years ago I set about to master things in the artistic world to help offset my analytical smarts and my ability to philosophize(not meant in arrogance). Thinking, to me, is like a drug. Some of my happiest moments are when I spend hours and hours pondering and thinking. But these moments do not bring me true happiness. In the artistic world I took stand-up comedy lessons, acting lessons, and finally settled on writing humorous novels. I think that the arts helped loosen up the social side of my mind.
    I have found that I do tend to look at people as idiots sometimes. I don’t think I’m better than them but I do get very frustrated at stupidity. When I see people make dumb mistakes and then cry about it, I feel as if they brought it on themselves. It’s almost as if I’m going “haha, you idiot. Did you think that would really work? OMG.” And then if they do the same stupid thing over again I almost can’t contain my desire to tell them how dumb they are. More recently I have learned that they aren’t dumb, they just don’t have a 160 IQ. That’s when I realize that I’m the one being dumb for thinking they are dumb. Oh, I could go in a philosophical circle with this. So, I tend to look at average people as normal adults, but also look at them in the same way that my father looked at me when I was nine. He was patient with me even when I did dumb things.
    The great thing, however, is that I have learned that through humor you can connect with almost anyone, whether they are young, old, poor, or rich.

  7. Cheryl permalink

    I’ve just started realizing that my high IQ isn’t something that is a small, insignificant part of who I am. Reading through these comments, the thing that stands out most is that yes, it is quite alienating to be this intelligent. And it isn’t something I chose. I can take no credit for it whatsoever. Small talk is excruciating and having to explain myself to people makes me want to scream sometimes. The worst part is that I have completely failed to do anything with it. I’m hoping that embracing it will change that for me.

    • Maybe my intelligence has eroded, so that I am too stupid at this point even to find the date on your entry—more likely I am just too tired, the truth being I didn’t look very hard, but depression does blunt mental acuity….I was just wondering how long ago you wrote this, and if you will ever read my message.
      if so if you might write to me by email, in case we might have something to offer each other by way of support, if we might have some overlap of intelligent outsider experience? rskling77@yahoo.com I struggle with soul-crushing disappointment in myself, for not finding a way to bridge to the world, via my intelligence, which was measured as being quite high very early on. (And yes I performed very well academically later on, until I came to a screeching halt.) I isolate. Chronically. Severely. No relationships in my life are consonant with my internal world. I hope that dumbing down for the few people I interact with has not dumbed me down in myself– in conspiracy with the dulling effects of a lack of vital kindred interaction. I hope that it is not too late to find something in life that honeslty fits again in a way that is consonant with my inner world. I just turned fifty. I tried to find a way to leave the country –to relocate and work abroad–because I felt American culture might play a part in my default to isolation. I still think it contributes, but I know that even when living out of the US I have isolated, when I cannot get excited for very long about silly subjects, that cross cultures: gossip about people, chit chat about clothes, jokes about sex, talk about money, masked competition, etc. I can handle about twenty minutes a day before my smile turns green. I have been green more frequently and longer than ever before in my life, despite my being alone about 22 hours a day. There has got to be a way, without returning to academia, to make meaningful connections to others with an attention span and creative interest in things they don’t already have a cemented opinion about, despite not having ever deeply considered any different views from their own; people interested in what you read about, think about, care about. I have grown so weary of encountering strange behaviour when gingerly refering to something someone else does not know anything about. (I tend to ask questions when someone knows something interesting that I don’t, as it is an obvious opportunity to learn something.)

    • guk permalink

      yes I agree with you,… after a week long study done by goodwill ind. I was told I have a 175 IQ with a 5pt margin of error either way.

      and let me tell you I have NEVER had anything remotely resembling at “normal social life”.
      I am the poster child for anti-social behavior.

      interacting with most people is like being at a Mc Donnalds and the ditz behind the counter cant understand that NO pickle does not mean Extra onions, no matter how many different ways you try to tell them what you want. Or waiting to use the atm behind some 400 year old little lady what cant see and-or figure out what the buttons are for.

      The world is filled with talking cockroaches.

      And by poster child for anti-social I mean not only am I alienated by extremely high IQ, I got lucky enough to be a psychopath as well. Go me.

      What I’ve learned is this ,….. for the most part those of us with high IQ’s are rejects. Not because were flawed, no because we have done anything wrong, But because our minds simply function on a level that the cockroaches can come close to comprehending, so they run from us like were a flood light. Their intimidated and so they outcast us, And we go off and make our homes into our isolation tanks and there we sit alone with our high powered computers and a fast internet connections and we swim in cyberspace. For most of us, this is how we will live and die. For those of you lucky enough to connect with another person to share your isolation tank with grats, I envy you.

      For those rare few with high IQ’s who manage to apply them into a field that makes you happy, and that find a mate they can share a rich and rewarding life with then for them a high IQ is likely a boon. For those that end up like me, well you have my condolences.

      • Stephanie permalink

        I truly feel relationships negatively effect one’s volume of work. The whole exercise is biologically driven, and invariably is full of annoying compromise, and demands on one’s time. It really is a lovely time in the beginning, but not worth the disruption, stress and heartache/guilt that’s encountered during/after the break up, followed by a never ending need to return to a normal state. I’ve remained in an autonomous state now for 15 years, and the volume of work I’ve completed has been very satisfying. I only focus on what interests me, and that makes life far more tolerable than being directed,towards frustrating tasks. I’ve also found that having a rotating number of ongoing projects/interests allows me to remain fully engaged throughout the day. I love living in my little incubator, where I can think and study in peace. Eventually I might let someone in again (20 years from now when I’m 70), but it really would have to be an exceptional person… ideally with no friends. This life is so very short, and one person can only do so much on their own, so there’s no time for family commitments, like Xmas for example which I haven’t attended in about 5 years. I often intend to, but I’m always too busy on the day, plus it is distressingly boring and tedious.

      • John permalink

        Dude, smoke some pot! If you are so smart; how come you don’t realize that cockroaches rule the world? Your bitterness seems to come from your personal failure – despite a ‘superior’ intelligence. You are clearly socially ‘inferior’. Most of us in this group are, but you take the cake. Ok, Mr. Smart, why would anyone want to socialize with you? Even your intellectual peers wouldn’t want to be around you. Think about it. I have found that being a good person is more important than being smart. I’ll take good over smart any day. I repeat: Think about it. Advancement comes from within a social structure. P.S. I’m a failure too.

  8. G. Aruna permalink

    Being smarter that most people is a burden. I’ve known since childhood that I have a high IQ. So did my classmates who beat-me-up and ran me home from school.
    But, I didn’t understand what that meant regarding social relationships and employment success. I am a 63 year old Black woman and I am never what people expect me to be…low expections have ruined my life. I try to dumb-down to fit-in. I come home from work and I cry because my co-workers don’t ‘like’ me. They say I think I know it all…I don’t. But, I know alot, more than them, more than my supervisors, sometimes more than my managers. I have loss many jobs after I have solved major customer service problems, that the supervisors and managers couldn’t. I’m usually fired soon after. I usually work low-level health insurance customer service jobs, (Yes, I understand the ACA, very well). My problems usually start in the traing class soon after hire. Some of other trainees say I ask to many questions, some say I asked the question they wanted to ask but fear stopped them and others ask me to explain what the trainer said because they didn’t understand what is being taught. By the end of traning the trainer is impressed with me and my co-workers don’t ‘like’ me. If tested during traning I get the highest grades. Sometimes, managers, Directors and even a VP’s stop by the class or my desk to meet me. But in the end, I do excellent work and lose the job.

    I don’t have any friends, nothing in common…I want to go to the museum, the ballet, the theatre, poetry readings; I even like the opera and all types music. I watch a little television, I enjoy crime shows because I like to solve the crime. And I read books… I just don’t fit sterotype, I had child during my teen years and didn’t finish college until I was 49 years old. I currently need a MFA.
    I’m usually depressed and have considered ending my life many times.

    It’s not easy being the smartest person in the room when you are sometimes expected to be the dumbest. I have a son with the same problem, his IQ is higher than mine but he’s Black also and because he’s male the expections for him are even lower. He was solving math problems at 3 years old. As a baby he walked and tlaked later than most. He never crawled, one day he stood-up walked across the room and spoke a complete sentence. He doesn’t listen to rap music and likes to build computers. He is not what most expect, nor is my other son whose IQ is not as high low 130’s.

    So, you guys think you have problems because you’re smart at least it’s expected of you…

    • Thanks for sharing. It’s great to hear other’s perspectives that I might not have imagined easily. I hope you and your boys each find a niche where you can flourish- despite the burden of societal expectations and pre-judgements.
      I know the feeling of being way ahead of the curve in any group education setting, but eventually I found a workplace where I am often not the smartest person in the room, and for that I feel less alienated. I can’t imagine what it would be like to not be white/male but I can imagine there would be fewer opportunities at every turn. Good for you for not forgetting who you really are inside.

    • Margaret Thatcher: No. One’s life must matter, Dennis. Beyond all the cooking and the cleaning and the children. One’s life must mean more than that. I cannot die washing up a teacup! I mean it, Denis. Say you understand.

    • Kris permalink

      I do not know what it’s like to be black. I do, however, know what it’s like to be a woman. I have had similar experiences in the workplace, perhaps consider specializing in a field where superscedance is not tantamount to dislike. In school, I was asked by my instructors to teach those they couldn’t. Isolation will only bring sadness. I know it can be frustrating, but we can all “find our people”. Don’t allow your intelligence to dictate your life. If it’s your focus, it will also be the focus of others.

  9. A. Aziz permalink

    I’m glad I found your comments. I have a high IQ, and I am finding some things maddening. Chit chat tops the charts, but also having people continually “explain” things to me that I already understand, and I am 15 steps ahead of them on. I do have a limited social life – married, one child, small circle of friends who know and accept my oddity. But, this is a result of purposely making changes in my life when I was around 12 to try to bridge my social gaps. I’m still too honest for most people and continually have to dumb down to get along with others, which, upon constant reflection, is a form of lying and manipulation, so I’d rather avoid contact if possible.

    Oh, and, as mentioned before, I am black, so people always think that I’m dumb, in a special diversity program, etc. The one protection that I have is an African name, which allows people to partially understand how I could be smart.

    At least I see I’m not the only one.

  10. Stephanie permalink

    My experience has not been positive to date. At school I was resented for driving up the grade average, in the workplace I was resented for outshining others in a ‘disrespectfully’ short amount of time, and in life I find it continually more difficult to find people to converse with about things that really fascinate me, and impossible to meet someone to have a long term relationship with. When you do meet someone with a similar intellect, it eventually becomes a battle for supremacy, which is tedious and invariably leads to further alienation. Joining online interest-groups also leads to resentment, as you gain knowledge much faster than the ‘norm’, and soon you attain expert status, much to the chagrin of those you passed along the way (just like university). I’ve learned to enjoy my life in relative obscurity, taking in just enough exercise and socialising during a walk with the dog, and filling the rest of my time working on projects, reading, and generally furthering the volume that will become, my life’s work (I am financially secure, and in early retirement from the ‘work force’). I find humans generally simple, annoying, and insincere. Once one grasps the construct of reciprocity, you realise you need to limit contact with others. All that said, I still find great wonder in this world. People like Edward Witten are always humbling.

    • Dustin permalink

      Meeting someone else with a similar intellect doesn’t have to turn into a battle for supremacy, particularly if your intellects have different strengths. My wife and I have similar intellects, and we have a great love and respect for each other’s minds. If you keep having this experience of attempted intellectual dominance, you might question whether you are the one bringing that problem into the relationship by obsessing over it too much.

      • Stephanie permalink

        My guess is neither of you have any idea what we have experienced, and that you’ve wandered in here in the delusional belief you actually are ‘gifted’. Here’s a thought for all you relationship ‘types’ out there: Reproduction is a triumph of the species over the individual. I must admit, I did find the comment “we have love and respect for each other’s minds” particularly amusing… that’s a ROTF classic! Good luck with that, because eventually the neurotransmitters no longer provide that same gooey feeling (designed to trick you into procreating), and then you’re on your own, usually stuck with children to drain all your resources and send you to an early grave, and a person with a mind that you no longer wear rose-coloured glasses for, and that you quickly discover isn’t as remarkable as you once deluded yourself into believing. One is the loneliest number, but it’s also the most productive in nature, and doesn’t require you to surrender to the great burden of the species… reproduction.

      • @ Stephanie – Consider that intelligence is variable that exists independently from cynicism. It is possible to be happy, fulfilled, and to enjoy life’s subjective side (which includes arts, relationships, nature, beauty, fun etc) and remain a highly intelligent person. If you think that people are deterministic biological automatons, then you are using your intellect to provide you with a very narrow perspective on life that, while true in some respects, might be severely limiting to your possible futures due its potential to justify an underlying cynicism. I suggest updating your views by taking stock of which ‘intellectually obvious conclusions’ might be unintentionally supporting a wounded emotional complex. Here’s to being a wet sack of meat and bones capable of enjoying the universe.

    • @Stephanie: Your turning interactions with others into a battle for supremacy is wholly about your ego, not your intellect. Your post is indicative of what some gifted people suffer from, which is the belief that expressing how knowledgeable you are is more important than developing connection and rapport with others. So long as you perceive your intellect to be the most important thing about you and the most important mediator between yourself and others, you will continue to struggle with isolation. But that might be consistent with your value system, if you think that connecting with others on the basis of something other than intellect is beneath you.

      Marilyn vos Savant, who has an IQ ~200, has spoken openly about this, saying that many people who say they have an intelligence problem actually have a personality problem. She’s done plenty of interviews, some of which are on YouTube, and she appears to be a completely affable person, at ease with herself and others. Unless your IQ has outstripped hers, she would be one significant indication that IQ does not make you unrelatable to others or vice versa. It is rather the significance you have chosen to attach to various aspects of your personality, character and intelligence that results in that.

      • Kris permalink

        Denise, It’s interesting that you see this discussion as a “battle for supremacy”, or about an inability to relate to others socially based on a “personality problem”. Personally, I am quite socially adept and do not see that growing up with a higher iq and the unique set of issues that come with that to be a matter of supremacy, rather, an experience only relatable for those who have experienced it. This topic focuses on the inadequacy of some people with higher iq’s to relate, not, as you seem to view it, as a free-for-all slamming of those with lower iq’s. Not one person here said iq is the end all, be all of anything and categorizing those, in the fashion you have, with higher iq’s based on your misunderstanding of the topic is prejudicial at best.

      • @Kris, if you refer to Stephanie’s original comment, she spoke explicitly of a battle for supremacy, saying: “When you do meet someone with a similar intellect, it eventually becomes a battle for supremacy, which is tedious and invariably leads to further alienation.”

        My response was to her comment and her accusation that those who have found fulfilling relationships with others must not be intellectually gifted. I shared the Marilyn vos Savant clip to show that someone with an IQ much higher than anyone posting here is of the opinion that some who claim to not be able to relate to others due to differences in intellect in actuality have personality issues. Someone who encounters others that she might have something in common with and yet feels a need to assert her superiority over them rather than simply enjoying their company has an ego problem, not an IQ problem.

        This is fundamentally an issue of values. Many intellectually gifted people (and I don’t even think it’s most) learn early on to believe that their IQ is the most important thing about themselves and therefore the most important thing about others. They can often enter into adulthood never challenging this belief and considering the possibility that there are other ways to relate to people and other, more important elements of people’s personality and character to respect and appreciate. As other comments noted, such a perspective on life is a self-limiting one.

  11. Jacob permalink

    As a teenager and as a child I felt rather out of place. One reassurance I had to maintain my self-esteem was my rather extraordinarily successful family members. Apparently during my development I utilized multiple coping mechanisms as I’ve felt more comfortable in adulthood. One behavior I inadvertently started to do regularly is to speak my mind in social and working situations. I avoided ever speaking about something I’d actually thought about.
    Recently, (in my late 20s) I decided to start treatment for my underlying ADD. Enter workplace awkwardness. Now with some regularity co-workers, mentors, and even my spouse state similar things in response to my new behavior. They say things like, “why are we talking about this”, “what difference would it make to do (insert anything I recommend)”, and “you need to be less sensitive about” (my frustration with their inability to understand something i’ve said) -or- “you can be somewhat obsessive”. It seems that my ADD was a underlying normalizing mechanism for an elevated baseline aptitude. For example after treatment the first things out of my mouth are invariably things that I’ve actually spend pondering. Additionally I rarely think of off the wall things why my treatment is in place, so overtly humorous and dumbed down ideas are less frequently on the tip of my tongue.
    The best way I’ve found to avoid these distressing interactions is to either maintain myself sleep deprived or to take my treatment after scheduled interactions. Looks like I’ll have to purposefully develop and place into practice appropriate coping mechanisms for my ‘new normal’.
    One thing that I thought I was done with long ago is a distressing levels of cynicism. More specifically cynicism of others (not of world affairs, life in general, etc …). The cynicism stems from the difficulties my esteemed colleagues have at understanding my methods or justifications. One redeeming aspect is that in my discipline there are occasional colleagues who are aptitude cohort members. They seem to recognize and appreciate my methods and justification. Its like going from a small flock of geese to an even smaller flock of geese. Funnily these new behavioral ramifications are causing me to produce a set of new social constructs to work with and I’m starting to notice the why behind some of the social dynamics often observed among individuals with higher aptitudes.

    As another aside there is good evidence behind cognitive behavioral therapy and treatment of ADD (which is probably why I’ve always felt rather confident in the utility of CBT). Looks like I’ll be getting a CBT book to help with work and marriage :-).

  12. Dustin permalink

    So I have never taken an IQ test, but it’s pretty clear based on my general intellectual aptitude and typical 99th percentile performance on standardized tests that my IQ is 150+ (without formal IQ testing, I wouldn’t want to claim 160+, but it is certainly possible). I was high school valedictorian and a national merit scholar who was paid to go to an excellent college and attended a top 10 law school for free. However, I have trouble making friends because I easily get bored with people. When I enter into conversation with somebody, my natural tendency is to drift into abstract issues rather than dwelling on dull particulars, but most people can’t drift with me. The conversation tends to devolve into me asking them questions, finding some way that they are confused, and trying to help dispel their confusion. This makes people feel stupid, which then makes them angry, and then I often just walk away out of frustration. I have tried sticking with small talk like the weather, what they like to do on the weekends, or what their favorite books are, but all of that gets boring very fast and becomes hard for me to pay attention. Facts that are obvious to me often aren’t obvious to those around me, and I am often critiqued as thinking that I’m always right, even though I’m very careful to not talk authoritatively about things that I don’t know. Often it seems that people begin searching for ways to show that I’m wrong (and sometimes that just turns into sad mental flailing), just because they’re tired of me being right. I don’t mean to say that I am always right, but I’m right way more than most people, and almost always have good reasons for making claims. When people continue trying to prove me wrong about obvious things, I sometimes get tired of fending off their feeble attacks and want to tell them about my academic and intellectual history, but I know that would just make them jealous and angry. My wife is very intelligent too, so we stimulate each other, but I often feel as though I am dealing with mush-brains who can’t understand that 2+2=4. I probably couldn’t have a stimulating conversation with many people whose IQ was under 125 unless they were teaching me about their area of expertise.

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  14. I’m feel so happy to read this! I just turn eighteen and I’ve always been on my own in all social settings. I’ve been pondering the reason for most of my life because I’ve got introspection skills, attention to details, and creativity. Recently I discovered and gotten into length about IQ’s and gifted individuals, and I’ve been getting more and more convinced that my own brain is why I’m such a social outcast. (I don’t intend to be. I just am not on the same level as my peers in anyway.)
    I’ve never meet anyone who thinks like I do, and I’m so surprised to find an example that’s not some note from a scientist who’s studying the gifted. I’ve never tested my IQ or anything, but the degree of my habits in comparison to the average totally proves a point.
    I myself believe that the measure of mental capacity is not easily measured because many theirs many different instances and factors that influence the final result.
    Do tests like the IQ test measure potential? I come from a family who doesn’t value education and thus couldn’t guide me in the right direction when I needed it. Therefore I grew up thinking I was absolutely dumb because of my character because the values I offered weren’t compatible to my own environment, thus I never got recognized as gifted as a child.
    Trust me, sometimes giftedness is a curse. I think people should be satisfied with their unique range of their own qualities. I envy many others who can ‘just be’ and don’t have to worry about the challenges of knowing too much. I respect others qualities and I’m overjoyed when others succeed to realize their own potential once expressed with hard work. 🙂

  15. Megabyte permalink

    My IQ is 129-132 so I must be a Cro Magnum compared to this guy….

    • Stephanie permalink

      That’s actually an excellent base to work from, so don’t sell yourself short. You may be interested to know that around 130 is where some of the highest achievers come from, as in, people who actually do something significant with their ‘gift’. The research suggests that people with IQs in the 99 percentile, rarely go on to do anything of significance, or feel compelled to prove themselves to others. Food for thought.

      • Tom permalink

        That was sarcasm. Stimulating your unwitting nevertheless condescending response was precisely why the sarcasm was levied. It seems to have worked like a charm.

        Also, fellow 130-135 here. Yes, I’m aware of my “excellent base” (that was the condescending part, in case you were curious). Fyi, a 130 intelligence is not a base. It represents a fully formed intelligence profile. The implication of labeling it a “base” is that it serves as a minimum framework on which ‘real’ intelligence can be structured if we work and pray hard. A 130 IQ is the 98th percentile for the majority group. Instead of talking down to anyone, speak to them as you would to whomever you consider your peer. Even people with 95 IQs can often detect when someone is speaking down to them.

        I score 130-135 on standardized fluid intelligence tests, but there are certain realms of intelligence within which I’ve yet to met my match. For instance, I can predict the end outcome of the confluence of most sets of variables very quickly and to great depth. This allows me to quickly build valid models that take into account any new variable, and win most arguments. This is because my models, assuming that I have all necessary information, are almost always correct. Although this assessment is informal, my experience tells me that intelligence can spike in certain functions, and that those functions may not be taken into account in the common IQ test. I’m also completely average in quantitative reasoning. I do suspect a very light case of Aspergers.

      • Stephanie permalink

        I think your comment on IQ tests not capturing important aspects of higher intellect is valid, and in fact, an IQ test is seen as nothing more than a crude tool in a clinical setting, and used pretty much exclusively for identifying deficits in children, and even then it would only require the use of one or two components. The ‘Flynn Effect’ is something worth reading about. A truly high intellect will be compelled to understand all aspects of the universe, and to that end, will have applied itself to all the sciences. A truly great mind is creative, and capable of original thought. Identifying relationships is only the tip of the iceberg.

  16. imrod permalink

    Based on the comments here it is easy to understand why those with high IQs have social problems. They lack empathy and despite their intelligence aren’t smart enough to see others and their world from their perspective. You will find yourself alone when you belittle others and boast in your own capabilities. A little humility goes a long way. Me? I’m just smart enough to know how dumb I am.

  17. A very dumb f*** permalink

    I’ve actually found this article quite helpful because I differentiates from the norm that usually glorifies traits like this (along with wealth) and I guess I have to justify my position with the fact that I have an iq if 145 since I don’t want to be seen as the butt-hurt low iq fellow who likes to make fun of whoever he is jealous of( It actually makes me really uncomfortable to disclose that information). I’d like to point out that, as someone who has grown in a westernized capitalist culture, the stakes are quite high for high iq people like me. From that glorification comes a lot of misconceptions, stereotypes and expectections which affect your life in general, now how you deal with those expectations is up to you,having a high iq doesn’t give you any type of advantage at all tho, so you are left at the same ground as everyone else, and some people actually feel stuck when trying to figure out those feelings can cause some serious damage to their self identity and overall happiness. They can either fulfil these expectations and lose themselves and follow the pack , or completely ignore them and base their identity on some other trait they have but then you will be seen as a lazy mess of a person, since some of these expectations involves productivity and over-archieving at every possible task.

    A vert same argument is made on rich kids, since they are expecte to fill self-imposed expectations of every aspect possible, which I usually soul draining, they tend to lack that sense of humanity other people get to experience much easier. And a very interesting counter argument is made: who the f**k cares? they are rich anyway.( I hope cursing is allowed here). But bringing it back to high iq, its not like there is some type of social privilege over having a high iq, it’s not like people like me go around town being like ” ha, I wonder how many of these people glorify me?” It even takes a long arduous experience to come to term with your “status”, I even purposedly failed some of my self im I’ve actually found this article quite helpful because I differentiates from the norm that usually glorifies traits like this (along with wealth) and I guess I have to justify my position with the fact that I have an iq if 145 since I don’t want to be seen as the butt-hurt low iq fellow who likes to make fun of whoever he is jealous of( It actually makes me really uncomfortable to disclose that information). I’d like to point out that, as someone who has grown in a westernized capitalist culture, the stakes are quite high for high iq people like me. From that glorification comes a lot of misconceptions, stereotypes and expectections which affect your life in general, now how you deal with those expectations is up to you,having a high iq doesn’t give you any type of advantage at all tho, so you are left at the same ground as everyone else, and some people actually feel stuck when trying to figure out those feelings can cause some serious damage to their self identity and overall happiness. They can either fulfil these expectations and lose themselves, or completely ignore them and base their identity on some other trait they have but then you will be seen as a lazy me of a person, since some of these expectations involves productivity and over-archieving at every possible task.

    A vert same argument is made on rich kids, since they are expect to fill self-imposed expectations of every aspect possible, which I usually soul draining, they tend to lack that sense of humanity other people get to experience much easier. And a very interesting counter argument is made: who the f**k cares? they are rich anyway.( I hope cursing is allowed here). But bringing it back to high iq, its not like there is some type of social privilege over having a high iq, its bot like people like me go around town being like ” ha, I wonder how many of these people glorify me?” It even takes a long arduous experience to come to term with your “status” ( especially since you can fall so easily into a HGH ego and extreme self entitlement) I even purposedly failed some of my self-imposed iq tests just so I didn’t have to deal with that reality, and to have something to show people when they judge my achievements solely on a number.

    That is all I wanted o say, also I would like to apologize for the grammar since English is my third language and this phone’s autocorrect is doing more wrong than good.posed iq tests just so I didn’t have to deal with that reality, and to have something to show people when they judge my achievements solely on a number and invalidate my efforts.

    That is all I wanted o say, also I would like to apologize for the grammar since English is my third language and this phone’s autocorrect is doing more wrong than good.

  18. Ernie permalink

    I completely related to the reading. One thing that helped me understand the difference in my personality to the majority of the population was the Myers Briggs Personality theory. I’m physically attractive in my twenties and have only had one girl friend that claimed to have scored 145 on a IQ test. I would be surprised if she was with in two standard deviations have that.
    Using correct body language and facial expressions at the right time is difficult for me. I prefer thinking about many things that are typically not interesting to those around me. One thing to mention is correct conclusions are more important to me than disregarding information to have an desired emotional reaction to rationalize after the fact why the decision was correct on the conclusion. I’ve had many things hold me back in life [including a lot of very time-consuming issues] and having not done as well in school as I should have. Lots to catch up on. My interest are particle physics, astrophysics, neurology, programming, mathematics, to name a few.

  19. Michelle permalink

    The profound hurt and alienation of these posts is staggering. I feel it too at times, even though I only place in the top 6% of the population. It’s the little things: the dead fish stares of non-comprehension when you talk about your interests and preferences, having to repeat yourself a lot, people blocking out your careful reasoning in favor of something that feels nice. Then people don’t get you, relationships end if you even gave them a chance to start and you’re left with your increasingly bitter intellect. That’s when the elitism starts, then it’s you against the world. You start telling yourself relationships are just chemical reactions and human beings are cockroaches. Your humanity fades. Even though gifted children are often described as being more empathetic and sensitive, that doesn’t apply to you because the hurt has become too much. But your IQ is a gift, people, a crude indicator that you have great capacity to understand and create. Don’t waste that on bitterness, it’s not worth the effort.

    • Thank you for your empathy, understanding and encouragement, Michelle. Truly beautiful.

  20. James permalink

    Just some thoughts that come to mind reading this finely written article…

    IQ tests can be practiced and improved upon. They we’re designed to test children’s propensity for performance in the schooling system. Additionally, more recent studies have led modern psychologists to have more faith in multiple intelligence theories rather than simply G (General Intelligence) which is what you are referring to here.

    There have been studies to show that high IQ scorers generally fit in better than their lower scoring peers (there’s no self interest here, I’ve never been a hugely popular guy). High IQ’s and high performance in mathematical-type fields is highly correlated with Autism (AQ) ratings, which would lead to a lower overall score on the above mentioned multiple intelligence tests. This seems consistent with your assessment of poor social engagement. It would also explain the feelings of isolation and depression which are not usually associated with simply ‘being more intelligent.’ (loose paraphrasing/summary)

    Einstein had a lower than average brain volume (associated with low IQ) but a hemispherical brain deformity, an impairment that led to his genius and high IQ.

    My personal opinion is to note take IQ scores too seriously. There are plenty of personality and behavioral traits that can also lead to isolation, high performance and delusions of grandeur. The mere placebo effect of thinking you have a high IQ gives you more confidence in your abilities and usually higher performance in tests. I can’t be bothered leaving any peer reviewed studies here but a google of any of these points should lead to some supporting evidence.

    Keep on keeping on my friend.

  21. tiwhyf permalink

    Boasting IQ scores is stupid. So is trying to merge the gap between the top percentile and the majority. Some people are just different. You can either embrace it, complain or collapse under the nothingness that you can do to integrate.

  22. Syd Vegeta permalink

    My IQ is 184.215 and all thou bore me to death. Good bye.

  23. Dented permalink

    I got my head beat in. I used to be normal, now i have an IQ in the mid-70’s. I’m hideously disfigured and I scare women, children and household pets. I’m glad there’s the Interwebz, so I have a way to pass my time in social isolation.

  24. 1.618 permalink

    You talk and talk like children. What can be done to better your position? Either learn to live through love, or plan a colony in the pacific.

  25. Dustin permalink

    People on this thread tend to get too caught up in the question of whether IQ is “real” or measures “intelligence” or “ability” or whatever. The point is that intelligence varies. Some people are really, really dumb, while some people are really, really smart. IQ is merely a way of measuring and quantifying that difference. The real question being discussed here is what it’s like to be a highly intelligent person. We could quibble over what that means, but it is reasonable to say something like “95th percentile or above,” which is approximately equivalent to an IQ of 125 or greater. Nobody says that “IQ” is a perfect measurement, but to argue that this entire type of debate is useless because “IQ is bogus” completely misses the point of having a thread for highly intelligent people to discuss how their intelligence affects them personally.

    Assume the world currently has 7 Billion people. It’s actually a bit higher than that, but just for ease of calculation, assume 7 Billion. 7 billion divided by 100 is 70 million. There are 70 million people on the planet who are smarter than the other 6,930,000,000. Those people are in the top percentile of intelligence. How one defines intelligence (which is a separate question from how one measures it) will have some effect on exactly which 70 million people are in the top percentile, but assuming that intelligence is defined through some reasonable combination of various intellectual abilities, such as perception, memory, analysis, synthesis, spatial reasoning, and creativity, there shouldn’t be much variation between the individuals who fall into the top percentile according to different models of intelligence.

    The point of this thread is that people who are highly gifted (or highly intelligent, or have a “high IQ”, or however you want to phrase it) have some traits in common, such as difficulty connecting with people of significantly lower IQ’s, boredom with many activities that satisfy the masses, and interests in complex subjects. Highly gifted people often feel different, or even alienated and lonely. Nietzsche, for example, spoke of the icy air in the mountain peaks. A thread for people to discuss the benefits and drawbacks of giftedness is useful (necessary?) for such people, and it shouldn’t be denigrated merely because it is cast in the language of IQ. Framing it as IQ really just serves the function of reminding people that there is such a thing as a normal curve to intelligence. Highly intelligent people usually know they are highly intelligent (the smarter one is, the less likely it will be that one fails to grasp that one is intelligent) and can discuss these issues without ever having formally measured their IQ.

    When people estimate their IQ’s, it is not because they have a love of numbers, it is because IQ is the closest approximation we have to intelligence percentiles, which is the most useful method of figuring out how one’s intelligence compares to others. This is directly connected to the optimal method of interacting with others. For example, it is helpful for a person with an IQ of 120 (approximately the top 10% of the population) to know that most of the time they will be smarter than the people they interact with, but a significant portion of the time people will be near or above their intelligence level. For a person with an IQ of 135 (approximately the top 1% of the population), on the other hand, it is helpful to know that they are smarter than nearly everyone they meet. The person with the IQ of 135 should be more careful not to talk to people as though they are stupid because more people will seem stupid to them and they are more likely to develop a disdain for the common person.

    Personally, I have never taken an IQ test, and I don’t plan to. My experience has been one of scoring in the 99th percentile on test after test after test throughout my education, winning prestigious scholarships, finding school (including graduate school) to be easy, and rarely feeling as though I’ve met an intellectual equal. Based on all these factors, it is obvious that my IQ is at least 135. It is probably significantly higher than that–most likely in the 150-160 range (1/2330 to 1/31,560, assuming a standard deviation of 15 IQ points). Basically, reasonable estimates indicate that I am in the top .01% of intelligence.

    Does this mean that I care about my “IQ” per se? No. That’s why I have never had it measured–it doesn’t matter. But it is still helpful to know that I am smarter than approximately 9,999/10,000 people, if only because it reminds me that it is more effective to slow down my speech and communicate in a very basic way (for me) with most everyone I meet. It is also a reminder that I am unlikely to find stimulating friendships in any random bar or sports venue. The easiest way to develop friendships is to find people with shared interests. Even if a person is “only” in the top 10% of intellect, the fact that they have put in years of work developing expertise in something that intrigues me could make them interesting for awhile. These are typical strategies (coping techniques?) that highly gifted people must understand before they develop a lifestyle that is both intellectually and socially satisfying.

    • Extremely well said, Dustin. Thank you.

      I love how you show “IQ” as our default, but inadequate, language of intelligence.

      Also how you breakdown “some people being smarter than others” in a populace, & even take it further, pointing out that the smarter one is, the more likely one can self-assess relative to others.

  26. Sabrina permalink

    I’m a woman. I’m also a member of MENSA and have an IQ of 150. I took a standardized test Stanford test with pencil and paper in person. This is how I became aware I am a genius. They had me take tests as a child but as an adult I retook them and got the same result. All of you people claiming “190” stop. Those are outright lies. 220 is highest ever recorded, so unless you just happen to be one of the smartest human beings in recorded human history or you are full of it. People who score 160 or more (on actual standardized IQ tests and not the Internet quiz you took telling you have a genius IQ) make the news almost always. In MENSA most people don’t even crack 150. The average person is between 100- 120. So unless you are all seriously smarter than Einstein or took an actual standardized test with pencil and paper and received that result through an official administrator, stop it.
    This article articulates my life so accurately it literally almost brought me to tears. I have struggled so much with being misunderstood as stupid when I’m anything but. I attend one of the best universities in the world, have worked in cancer research in the best cancer research hospitals in the state, I’ve traveled the world, and have even received multiple recruitment e-mails from the federal government for security clearance positions. I’m 25. However, these achievements (like school acceptance, federal recruitment, cancer lab) were mostly accomplished without meeting me in person and I was chosen for these things for how I look on paper and my resume. When people meet me, it is an entirely different world of respect and I receive completely opposite reactions.

    People continue to treat me like I am dumb and job interviews are a problem because I have to find a way to be accessible and smart at the same time. I can’t go over their head and brag about my achievements and seem like an intellectual snob because people feel inferior and don’t like you, but I can’t avoid bragging entirely or I sell myself short and seem stupid/simple. A lot of this problem is compounded by the fact that I am conventionally attractive and a lot of men like the way I look. When I go to parties, people see me as a bimbo because I’m pretty, I wear make-up, and I’m feminine and have a higher voice. Older women hate me and often try to make me out to be a bimbo to make themselves feel better…about what I don’t know. My brother is the same way (also smart) and we were both asked to skip two grades as children. He has a much harder time socially than I do as he’s incredibly shy, I am more outgoing, but he has a much easier time being called genius by his peers than me. I remember it being so easy to be considered smart before puberty. I won math awards, English awards, science, everything. After I got my adult body I am constantly accused of cheating, people talk down to me, people think I used my looks to get these amazing opportunities when the truth is the only way I can be accepted to these things is by not meeting in person.

    It is so much like being in prison.
    For the guy saying “why don’t you work at JPL with a 147 IQ” (Tulio). GUESS WHAT. I applied at JPL. I got the interview, and as soon as they saw me in person they didn’t believe a word on my resume. It didn’t matter that I had that I had headed research projects to the NIH at my cancer research lab and presented honors research in Math, Physics, and creative aeronautics at UC Irvine. I’m only twenty-five and I have accomplished all of this coming from a family where my dad killed bugs for a living, we were not rich at all. As soon as they saw I was an attractive female with big boobs and a high voice, their faces went blank and they were ready to move on to the next stereotypical nerdy guy they are used to.

    I have been accused of cheating when writing papers multiple times in college despite having 0% plagiarism rating on turnitin.com, both times. My honors counselor even told me when I was accepted into my college “people are really smart there, maybe you should pick an easier school where you will stand out more and won’t struggle”. My science and math teacher, despite having A’s in her classes, “I don’t think you understand how hard medical school actually is, sweetie”. I have perfect grades, last year I worked three jobs AND went to school full time and got a 4.0 gpa at the same time, and I can’t get an internship to save my life. I have a million interviews, I never fail to get the interview, but once they see me, it’s all over. I just can’t take it anymore. I found this forum after yet another failed interview (this time with the U.S. State Department) and I’m just sick of working my ass off and knowing I’m smart but being shot down because of how I’m perceived.

    I’m so sick of people telling me “You look like Angelina Jolie! How could your life be difficult? Your life is automatically easy when you’re a pretty girl!” It takes every bit of strength I have to stifle my rage when people say stupid shit like that. Getting out of parking tickets and getting drinks bought for me at a bar doesn’t improve my quality of life or help me achieve my dreams. Yah maybe my life would be easier, IF I were aspiring to be somebody’s trophy wife, but I’m not. I want to be a leader! I want to be a scientist! A doctor! I want to go around the world bringing people free healthcare where they need it most! I wish someone would just give me a chance to prove myself before deciding I’m stupid because of my gender or how I sound or look. I can’t work in my laboratory without being treated like I’m dumb (despite having the same job they do), I showed up to a STAT 3 pathway (Lymphoma) lecture and the lecturer laughed at me when I walked in and proceeded to ask for my employee number and name of my boss to “make sure I belonged there”. I can’t go to parties without being treated like I’m dumb and having people be shocked that I actually know things, and even then they explain things to me like I’m a child. If I tell them about my school and job, they decide my school is easy to get into after all (despite being the best in the whole goddamn world in some areas like science) and ask things like “oh cancer lab? What are you like a secretary or something?”.

    I can’t do job interviews without people thinking I’m dumb or that I somehow cheated or lied to create my resume. I’m constantly subject to sexual stereotypes that I’m spoiled, naive, stupid, slutty, rich, only date rich men with perfect bodies, etc just for being a conventionally attractive young girl. This article is dead on about iI’m a woman. I’m also a member of MENSA and have an IQ of 150. Einstein was 160. I’m aware that I am a genius. All of you people claiming “190” and “160”, shut up. Those are outright lies and you know it. 220 is highest ever recorded, so unless you just happen to be one of the smartest human beings in recorded human history or you are full of it. People who score 160 or more (on actual standardized IQ tests and not the Internet quiz you took telling you have a genius IQ) make the news almost always. In MENSA most people don’t even crack 150. So unless you are all seriously smarter than Einstein, stop it.
    I am reading this with tears in my eyes right now because this article articulates my life so accurately it literally brought me to tears. I have struggled so much with being misunderstood as stupid when I’m anything but. I attend one of the best universities in the world, have worked in cancer research in the best cancer research hospitals in the state, I’ve traveled the world, and have even received multiple recruitment e-mails from the federal government for security clearance positions. However, these achievements (like school acceptance, federal recruitment, cancer lab) were mostly accomplished without meeting me in person and I was chosen for these things for how I look on paper and my resume. When people meet me, it is an entirely different world of respect and I receive completely opposite reactions.

    People continue to treat me like I am dumb and job interviews are a problem because I have to find a way to be accessible and smart at the same time. I can’t go over their head and brag about my achievements and seem like an intellectual snob because people feel inferior and don’t like you, but I can’t avoid bragging entirely or I sell myself short and seem stupid/simple. A lot of this problem is compounded by the fact that I am conventionally attractive and a lot of men like the way I look. When I go to parties, people see me as a bimbo because I’m pretty, I wear make-up, and I’m feminine and have a higher voice. Older women hate me and often try to make me out to be a bimbo to make themselves feel better…about what I don’t know. My brother is the same way (also smart) and we were both asked to skip two grades as children. He has a much harder time socially than I do as he’s incredibly shy, I am more outgoing, but he has a much easier time being called genius by his peers than me. I remember it being so easy to be considered smart before puberty. I won math awards, English awards, science, everything. After I got my adult body I am constantly accused of cheating, people talk down to me, people think I used my looks to get these amazing opportunities when the truth is the only way I can be accepted to these things is by not meeting in person.

    It is so much like being in prison.

    I have been accused of cheating when writing papers multiple times in college despite having 0% plagiarism rating on turnitin.com, both times. My honors counselor even told me when I was accepted into my college “people are really smart there, maybe you should pick an easier school where you will stand out more and won’t struggle”. My science and math teacher, despite having A’s in her classes, “I don’t think you understand how hard medical school actually is, sweetie”. I have perfect grades, last year I worked three jobs AND went to school full time and got a 4.0 gpa at the same time, and I can’t get an internship to save my life. I have a million interviews, I never fail to get the interview, but once they see me, it’s all over. I just can’t take it anymore. I found this forum after yet another failed interview (this time with the U.S. State Department) and I’m just sick of working my ass off and knowing I’m smart but being shot down because of how I’m perceived.

    I’m so sick of people telling me “You look like Angelina Jolie! How could your life be difficult? Your life is automatically easy when you’re a pretty girl!” It takes every bit of strength I have to stifle my rage when people say stupid shit like that. Getting out of parking tickets and getting drinks bought for me at a bar doesn’t improve my quality of life or help me achieve my dreams. Yah maybe my life would be easier, IF I were aspiring to be somebody’s trophy wife, but I’m not. I want to be a leader! I want to be a scientist! A doctor! I want to go around the world bringing people free healthcare where they need it most! I wish someone would just give me a chance to prove myself before deciding I’m stupid because of my gender or how I sound or look. I can’t work in my laboratory without being treated like I’m dumb (despite having the same job they do), I showed up to a STAT 3 pathway (Lymphoma) lecture and the lecturer laughed at me when I walked in and proceeded to ask for my employee number and name of my boss to “make sure I belonged there”. I can’t go to parties without being treated like I’m dumb and having people be shocked that I actually know things, and even then they explain things to me like I’m a child. If I tell them about my school and job, they decide my school is easy to get into after all (despite being the best in the whole goddamn world in some areas like science) and ask things like “oh cancer lab? What are you like a secretary or something?”.

    I can’t do job interviews without people thinking I’m dumb or that I somehow cheated or lied to create my resume. I’m constantly subject to sexual stereotypes that I’m spoiled, naive, stupid, slutty, rich, only date rich men with perfect bodies, etc just for being a conventionally attractive young girl. I stopped going out completely, my only friends are my brother and my boyfriend. I can’t have fun at parties or events, I get treated like my stereotype and not what I actually am. My boyfriend is not rich, not an underwear model, and has no education to speak of, but raised himself essentially, lived on his own since 16 and never assumed to know who I was before I told him. It is a very lonely life.

    • Paul permalink

      Sounds like you need an image consultant. An awful lot of image comes down to how you present yourself. Hollywood can make models look like nerds by wearing glasses (even if you don’t need them) as well as the right use of hairstyles, make-up, outfits etc.

    • Erik Q permalink

      I can confirm your opinion of online IQ tests. I scored 162 using an online test but when I took a real pencil and paper test administered by a psychologist with a stopwatch I only scored 138 (which still easily makes me eligible for Mensa). Granted, I was depressed at the time (hence getting tested) but if you’ve never taken a “real” IQ test you might want to consider the fact that you’re working with an inflated number. My social skills are better than those of many of my engineering colleagues, something I attribute to my father. He taught me to recognize the value in people from all walks of life and not to assume that a deficit in education implied a deficit in intellect.

    • Rachael permalink

      It gets better when you get older – like in your 30s. It also helps not to wear make up or ponytails. And try not to smile at people. Regulate your smiles to twice per conversation and answer questions with a serious face.

      Get someone who is very good socially – not necessarily a smart person because smart is not what you need. You need someone who is good with socialization – and tell them you have trouble with people not taking you seriously. Maybe don’t even mention the IQ at first, just say that you want to be appreciated for your abilities as opposed to your looks. try to find someone who will give you honest answers about some different things you can try – different clothes, hair, I don’t know what you look like or how you talk but there has to be something that you can change. I know you should not have to, but the fact is that how people perceive you is how you are treated as you have regretfully experienced. How everyone lets your appearance change their opinion is wrong but you can’t change everyone – you can only change yourself. I just imagine all of these changes – make up, looks, speaking in a way that is not natural to you – like dressing for an interview – you are putting your business face forward.

      I am a small cute female too and it is very frustrating but as I gain more confidence in my abilities, I feel less of a need to be liked and so I don’t smile as much and people take me more seriously. Ironic, I know.

      Just hang in there. It gets better. You won’t be in your 20s forever, which is the hardest time of your adult life if you’re a pretty girl wanting to be taken seriously. I really do feel for you and what you’re going through. It sucks and it’s irritating as hell.

  27. John Lomond permalink

    I have a girlfriend who I would guess is, as you’re describing, classically attractive. She has often complained to me about how annoying and sometimes hurtfull to be automatically perceived the way you dscribe. She gets to the front of queues, gets served first, gets drinks bought for her, men are generally always nice and helpfull. Women usually can’t stand her, they resent her for the attention she gets and make up lies and gossip. And she never asked to look the way she does, it’s just the way she was made. She gets embarassed by the attention, shuns it whenever possible.
    I on the other hand have an IQ comparible with yours and so can understand that side of what you describe. I sometimes wish I had a “normal” IQ so I would just fit in and my head wouldn’t constantly be full of all the stuff that bangs about in there. I’ve spent most my life dumbing down and try to fit in to avoid being singled out. Fear, I suppose. It can be hard enough to know yourself that you’re really quite different to virtually everyone else without everyone else knowing it too. Only two or three people know, everyone else I come into contact with just think I’m smart. I feel like I’ve never had a meaningfull discussion in my life. I have a deep interest in cosmology, Big Bang, black holes and so on, who do I talk to about that ??? Everyone I know finds reality TV and soap operas fascinating for chris’sakes. I get on fine with people but just find they bore me quickly. I’ve never built a large circle of friends. I don’t pity those of normal IQ and neither do I resent them, they after all are normal. It’s me who’s weird and my high IQ doesn’t make me better than anyone. I do long for someone to talk to though who is on a mental par with myself, I think it would be an amazing thing.
    So it is doubly ironic that you who, by your description, should be pretty much the perfect example of what a human can be both physically and mentally should find it a burden of such proportion. To me it proves that humanity does not seek perfection, but mediocrity. Average is best and the closer you come to perfection the more resented you become thanks to those two most base of instincts :- jealousy and fear. Jealousy in that it is you and not them and never can be them and fear of what you can do and of their own ignorance, which you’ve just highlighted to them.
    I wonder sometimes what would happen if elite level intelligence was truly celebrated in society. Imagine if all the many lonely people struggling to cope in so many ways because of their gift could be brought together. What could be acheived ! So many sparks would fly the night sky would be ablaze with creative genius that could move us to new heights of accomplishment. That’s how the Rennaisance happened after all, a significant number of geniuses crammed into a small area and then able to find each other and share ideas.

  28. Raven permalink

    Well, I have an IQ of 158 and I am very social. But I think people with high IQs just like solitude as they can think better. I am social but I crave solitude. I am also referred to as good looking (I don’t think so) but I simply hate intimate relationships. I’m still in High school but I am almost an year younger then my peers at 15 and I’ll be in sixth form next year but it still doesn’t even out. I can’t sleep very well but I still don’t study and I had the highest scores in my class this semester. It annoys me sometimes as my friends keep saying that I distract them from their studies and then study all night to get better grades then them(I have dark-circles which according to them proves their point). I just get them to talk to my mom who just complains about how I’m always on my phone and I haven’t even touched my books this semester. She’s a gold medalist so she believes that nothing can be achieved without hard work (her IQ is 102) and since I defy that it also ruins my relationship with my parents. I also think that I need to see a psychologist but I don’t want to tell my mom. Life is a drag that’s why I make friends and never share my problems. Hear theirs and give advice. Oh well, Life is going on.

  29. Pete permalink

    What is it like to have an extremely high IQ? I will echo what has been written in this article and in the comment section however I think for me it boils down to simply being different. Just like someone who is wildly rich, poor, attractive, or unattractive will frequently find difficulty relating to and socializing with people who are not, I feel that people with high IQ frequently simply find difficulty fitting in. All humans have social needs like friendship, companionship, and love and being very different makes these needs more challenging to find.

    I think that people with high IQ are victims of their own psychological biases (as all people are) and tend to place more importance on what they are good at, such as complex problem solving, rather than appreciate what people with a much lower IQ might be far better at – such as networking, empathy, glad-handing etc. Skills which are closely linked to emotional intelligence tend to be far more valuable and practical in a society than IQ, however these abilities are frequently underrated by the highly intelligent– which is illogical.

    I think ego becomes a big part of your life when you are highly intelligent, either keeping an eye your own or defending yourself if you threaten someone else’s sense of importance. I feel like I get on better with people who aren’t super intelligent or at least don’t define themselves as being extremely smart because my intellect isn’t threatening to them. Sure we don’t get to chat about the latest breakthroughs in genetics or astrophysics, but we can have a few beers and just enjoy each other’s company and lives – and most of the time I find that satisfying.

    I’ve been very lucky to find someone else who is extremely intelligent with whom I have a very fulfilling loving relationship. Our world views are compatible, which I think is even more important than intellectual parity, but I don’t think that I would be able to feel the same level of intimacy with someone who wasn’t in the same IQ ballpark.

    I really appreciate that this page exists because every so often I feel lonely and out of place due to my intellectual capacity, and its really nice to remind myself that there are millions of people going through the same thing.

  30. This was very well-written. It’s funny that the comments present a buffet of the drawbacks to high intelligence detailed in the article.

    • Agreed. Beautifully written, and I chose to comb through the comments-buffet carefully to find loving, heartfelt, neurosis-free contributions 🙂

  31. trader8989 permalink

    I have a fairly decent I.Q.
    More often then not it has been a bad thing. Making me entitled and resentful in my HS years (why should I have to show up for class if I’m going to ace the test anyway.)
    I also turned to drugs because they allowed me to be around people because I would be less judgmental. They also helped me with my confidence. I was in a Chicago IB program so I went to HS in the 6th grade as well as some college. If any of this resonates with anyone I will gladly write more.

    • Thanks for sharing your story, then pausing to see if it resonates. Classy 🙂

    • go on

  32. coytle permalink

    My IQ is in the low 160’s and I believe that I am intelligent enough to do more with my life than I have. A high IQ however has been locked away, hidden in the shadows of extreme childhood abuse, a lot of criminal activity on the part of a parent which makes a normal life nearly impossible, poverty, bipolar disorder and many things that make wonder how I am still functioning normally. I can’t afford college ( I have tried scholarships, loans, etc). I have my cna for easy money, I will be getting my LPN with money from my Cna job so I can earn enough for my r.n and with that I can earn enough to pay for more schooling and finally break into something that I actually want to do. My high IQ was not enough to make up for all the damage in my life. Maybe it can help pull me out of my miserable existence as a caregiver, that is, if the cost of living in Seattle will finally stop rising at such a high rate.

    • Rick permalink

      Get some “EMDR” Therapy from someone certified in EMDR. I am sorry about your past, but you no longer have to be “stuck” there. EMDR turned my life around – I hope it does yours.

  33. Wortbiz permalink

    Simple. Being smart put me two grades ahead of my peers. Who wants to hang around with the class baby? That ruined it for me from then on. It made a loner of me. I’m 56.

  34. Rick permalink

    What some fail to understand is that the Sum of everyone’s Being is approximately equal. Some people are around the 50 percentile in ALL areas of life, and fit in well. Others have various areas of their life skewed in various degrees toward a side of the Bell Curve – but they may fail to realize that other areas of their life are oppositely skewed toward the other side (thus a common example is high IQ and low social skills) because it is a zero sum game. Few can be the Gold Medal Olympian or the cream of Mensa. I believe you would be better to focus on those areas where you are below 50 percentile, which will make your life more harmonious with the rest of us average folks. Just my $0.02.

  35. I have no idea what my IQ is and I don’t really care, what I think is relevant is my intelligence relative to everyone else in my immediate environment. With that understanding we can safely say I am often by far the smartest person in the room and yes that can be a minefield. I do find it infuriating the sheer lack of logic people apply to their decision making, often applying downright delusional thinking to come to conclusions. Yes this norm of emotional and delusional thinking out there is just one huge barrier to me. Admittedly I don’t really try very hard to fit in but to me that would be like a cat trying to be a dog, it’s pointless and futile. Others here might read this and come to the conclusion that I must be surrounded with some very unintelligent people because it does seem my intellect pales in comparison to many here. It’s because of this I really do feel that IQ isn’t a worthwhile measure to discuss these issues. What is really key in my opinion isn’t how a test measures your intellect, it’s how everyone around you measures your potential to conform.

  36. “I won’t disclose where I am on the IQ chart…”
    “I only found out I had a high IQ (161) …”

    …Really?

  37. Robert permalink

    I found the best way to deal with it is irreverence and flippancy. A defensive measure against all the poor decision making going on and learning at a very early age all the marketed and promoted false hoods and the need to hide your awareness of those false hoods, least you earn the derision of those who promote those falsehoods whether knowingly or in ignorance.

  38. Matt permalink

    Just to say that its become apparent to me through research, life experience and hearing other people’s experiences that beyond a certain IQ, people either experience:

    (a) diminishing marginal returns as most jobs don’t require interpreting Einstein’s field equations
    (b) poor social skills (inability to relate to people isn’t always because people are stupid, it may also be because you have nothing to say because you haven’t lived an interesting life) [inability to banter or ‘wisecrack’ as Americans used to say is another distinct social fault]
    (c) the dreaded shoals of full on aspergers (particularly common among my engineer and IT friends)
    (d) overeliance on heuristics and mental short cuts leading to lack of effort, research and practice
    (e) mental illness (almost all philosophers, scientists and doctors have someone in their immediate family or themselves with mental health issues)
    (f) lack of sexual relations with the opposite sex
    (g) distinct oddities like being very attached to familiar surroundings and routines, fear of the unknown, very high sensitivity to physical and emotional pain, ridiculously bad fashion sense, heavy risk aversion and other personality traits one would associate with old women.
    (h) dyspraxia and poor motor co-ordination for activities like sport or dance
    (i) usually cannot appreciate (i.e feel) fine art, poetry, music or other abstract emotional expression

    On the other hand, some people experience none of these high IQ phenomenon.

    I have no qualms in saying I suffer (or have suffered) from many of the above. Mercifully not the last one however.

    Therefore, also taking into account:

    (a) the Rawlsian lottery where some high IQ people are born in San Francisco and some in Pakistan
    (b) some people are born with idiot family
    (c) some people are born with asshole family
    (d) some people are indoctrinated with religion or politics
    (d) some people hang around with no hoper losers and have no peer group pressure to improve
    (e) some people become addicted to something
    (f) miscellaneous bad accidents, medical conditions, crime/predation etc

    …very few people of very high IQ achieve their potential as human beings.

    But I suppose I could say the same with just about anyone along the bell curve. Its just that the gap between actual achievement and potential is monstrously large for the gifted as the comments above and life experiences suggest. Its sad.

    Are we random mutations destined for the evolutionary void? Or are we the future of the human race?

    Lets make sure its the latter.

  39. Well, I am no genius but have had many friends reveal to me that they have high IQs. Their claims seem credible to me. There positions in life and the way they they coordinate details when problem solving and track complex arguments support their claims. The observation I wan to make is that as clever as these folks seem, they often disagree with each other. I notice the same among highly regarded scientists.

    So, when I here people talk about being bored or impatient with those who cannot keep up with them I am surprised that they seldom comment on the fact that a surprising amount of people who do well on IQ tests also believe in the super natural, religion, astrology and off course all ignore the large body of empirical evidence that they, as a group, are often just as biased and or befuddled as us average types in understanding reality. I am also very skeptical about claims of people who imply they have some understanding of what achieving one’s potential actually means.

  40. Laney permalink

    I suppose the most frustrating thing for me is to be constantly a team of one.
    I try to be social
    But end up prefering my own company.
    I just play with myself all day with topic after topic dancing through my mind. I rarely go to social events as I have nothing in common with so many. I get nauseous listening to other people bantering about meaningless drizzle. But have only found a few “good listeners” when I speak what’s on my mind.
    Ah well.
    I keep myself company 🙂

    • John permalink

      You should see the post about things people should know about introverts. It was posted 1/27/15 https://johnsimonds.com/2015/01/27/15-things-that-introverts-would-never-tell-you-but-you-should-know/

  41. bebe permalink

    You seem pretty smart, but I’m skeptical that you are genius level. I’m skeptical anyone here is at genius level. Sorry. Its just truly smart people, when I read their articles or anything they wrote, there’s always something about it. Like their withholding information or they think really hard to worked out individualized patterns they naturally focus on. They always have a certain flair to them, aside from working hard on their issues/work in hand to become expertise at them; their minds work differently anything usually carries more than meets the eyes. Genius is so overrated in the media. Like there’s this standard hanging in the air, on what you supposed to act or feel. Make groundbreaking theories, technically oriented, over achievers, how they talk, how their childhoods are. A lot of people seems to use it as an identity thing, if they are bullied or just socially withdrawn and a little bit smart, they use that to boost their confidence.

    • John permalink

      This is a quora article, not my personal experience. If you really read it carefully, you would have noticed that it isn’t about me other than the first paragraph. It is a compilation of others who wrote about themselves. Perhaps you aren’t a genius or don’t pay attention to detail?

      I was more interested in the comments and experiences of others.

      Author

      • Rachael permalink

        For what it’s worth, I’m glad you made the post. Anyone at any extreme of the population for any trait is more isolated than most, and naturally people that think a lot and like to think and are good at thinking will think a lot about it.

        There’s a lot of resentment out there in the population for anyone who perceives themself as smarter than average even though it’s no more important than your shoe size ( and unfortunately, many times it’s the attitude of the “smart” person that provokes this!), so it takes courage to write something like this.

        It’s interesting to read the different comments and viewpoints and experiences people have had in life; we all have different backgrounds but the one thing we share is that we are isolated in the world so it helps to be able to go online and have peers who will talk about this with us.

      • Rachael permalink

        For the record, I do know that what I said is obvious and everyone actually reading the post and paying attention to what it says knows it already. It just needed to be said for the people that don’t understand why this discussion is taking place! Not that any of them will listen. *sigh*

  42. Funkymonk permalink

    The world becomes something like “the matrix”, everything is patterns and equations become your main language to express the phenomenon you see around you. Needs like food or sex become less attractive, thought process is more technical and things with complex patterns become very attractive. At least that is my perception.

  43. Funkymonk permalink

    To me when people speak its like hearing a symphony and when there is disease I perceive the changes in their patterns, the changes in their vocal chords vibrations (if its relevant), changes in their eye movements and so on.

    So many things become revealed to you, but you see so much that you don’t care about the trivial things anymore, you just focus on your work and searching to find quality information for that purpose.

    I believe anyone can become a genius (in the popular context, not the technical and obsolete classification) since it is more of a qualitative property of the brain rather than a quantitative dependent on cultural environment and psychological development.

  44. Anonymous permalink

    The biggest problem with having a high intelligence is that while you feel alone you quickly identity that other people generally aren’t incapable of being intelligent on your level, they’re simply riddled with insecurities which cause them to do things like never attempt anything difficult, feel guilty about not trying and then exercise a cowardly resentment towards anyone intelligent and comfortable with themselves. All is vanity.

  45. Mallory Vane permalink

    In the professional world IQ is not as important as EQ. If you want to do something with a high IQ go for jobs in the sciences. Having a high IQ but low EQ has caused several issues, however learning to accept this has been empowering… Accept yourself for who you are the scores are just numbers.

  46. Interesting the comments here started in 2013 and still going. Maybe because we all finally landed on something interesting. The article is as well.

    This peanut gallery is a well blended batch of highly intelligent, crazy geniuses, and wannabe intellectuals who are quick to anger over revealed IQ scores and spelling errors. I call these people the 105ers.

    My highest score is 200. Before you shoot sharts and tell me what I already know, yeah ceiling factor, yeah up to 160. Blah blah blah. I never listen to yer folk anyway. Since you editors are also professors, why haven’t I found any mention of those that have scored above the test maximum in the lesson plan? I stopped revealing my highest score, eventually sick of smelling mouth flatulence in response. Disgusted by the insults and how quickly people change position and attempt to demean me back to the level they underestimated me at.

    I am a misanthrope. I can’t fight it as equally as an alcoholic in recovery can’t resist being on the same room with alcohol. They can appear to exhibit impressive display of will power. Inside they are churning obsessive thoughts to justify the relapse that will happen soon. Keep the scenario but switch alcoholic with misanthrope and alcohol with the nearest exit. Daydreaming of the moment I finally twist that knob. The satisfying sensation of cold metal clean from human touch. Unlike the metal poles of the mundane workday commute on public transportation. Everyone packed tightly together. Pheromones steaming from the untouched sexually perverted clearly having an internal orgasm. Ron Jeremy look a like laborers, patients with an appointment, or court date inching slowly toward the young woman he happened to end up behind. Because the bus is crowded. And the young woman ignores her primal instinct to turn and kick his throbbing testicle because she wants to look “nice” but also Prince Charming should show up and handle that. And they both hold the metal bar to avoid falling as the driver goes 30mph over speed limit, somehow during rush hour traffic in a major metropolis. Turns nearly tip the bus over, enough to channel Keanu Reeves’ desire to rescue. Sitting at the dock of the bay, Keanu looks up to the left and lets out a stoner “whhaatt” then shrugs and takes a blue pill. Leaving the slaves on the bus at the mercy of an angry single momma dat dinnit git da ch’ille sup po chik cuz he be banging hoes en gimmen dem dats money dats mind. Eventually the bus empties, and the metal rails are hot, sticky, oily and coated with fingerprints, perfume, lotion, hair spray, boogers, ear wax, and smegma.

    A cold door knob to a misanthrope is like a cold drink to an alcoholic. Fresh, not tainted and mine, all mine.

    I am not a full misanthrope. I like some people. Those with like mind. Those who I can learn from. Those who text/email instead of call. Or worse, show up uninvited. I like these people through writing. People are more acceptable when they appear in text. I don’t have to deal with the anxiety of an eloquent verbal sonnet to excuse myself. I can simply close the window or scroll to the next methane producer.

    I often fantasize about tucking myself deep in the wilderness for good. I have pity toward Ted Kaczinsky having been pulling from his best attempt at peace along with disappointment he is caged over a futile attempt to save mankind as he felt fit through crime. For the plebian popcorn munchies who automatically scream he is crazy with their mouth full and teeth filled with corn dandruff.

    Kaczinsky did leave a message to those of us who see the truth. These people are not worth it. There is no point to save them. No point to improve them. No point to associate with them. They have become a new species. Koko the Gorilla would sign “sad” in response.

    The escape to the wild is just a fantasy. It’s only freedom for the classified animal protected under Fish and Gaming. Therefore not free having to be acknowledged and catalogued. Perhaps a free ear piercing and earring to roam with under a number. We cannot even escape to Antarctica. Yet maybe end up dead as a tourist *wink*

    So we just sit around Googling the thoughts in our minds to entertain. Usually landing in places like this here. To get just one laugh from someone who understands the full spectrum but crafts a response focused on a dry scale is to me, what it must feel like for regular people to bite into a York Patty.

    Someone continues to leave a trail of crumbs. The nosey birds faithfully fly in to mock and correct. They caw if you state your IQ. Yet why do we care? We don’t. It’s always a pleasure to feed them though they are sadly convinced to think we are obligated to when the truth, only obvious to us, is we just feed what really is garbage.

    Call me weird if it pleases you. Claim I am lying about my IQ. Or argue it doesn’t matter, but please do not leave out individuals who scored higher than the threshold. Please include qualities that show high genius in thwm as well. it should be a maximum of five minutes worth Google search.

    Average people thrive comparatively well. Above average produces the set and directs our future. Highly intelligent manufacture and design the complex until AI steps in. Genius looks around and realises we arrived as they designed us to be and outside of this box innovators may fall off the edge of this map. So we are left looking around saying “whhaatt” like Keanu. Wishing to step into a phone booth with Genghis Khan and Abraham Lincoln.

    • Seriously. You can learn to be social. I’ve spent most of my life hiding who I am. But I am still alone. My first boyfriend told me I was too stupid because I wasn’t majoring in engineering. He taught me to hate elitist snobs. Now I look for the ever elusive brilliant, NPR listening, construction worker. Found one. He said I was too smart. Who the f cares. I spent my entire life trying to fit in and not, in either category. I am an artist. I am a writer. I don’t give a crap about math. Science only interests me if its genetics. The first boyfriend didn’t understand that I could do what he did, I just didn’t WANT to. I like concepts. I like psych. I get bored in jobs once I master it and have to move on. This makes me feel horrible about myself and a friend of mine even used it as one of my faults in a recommendation. I’m forever in search of the next thrill. I am also obsessed with religions even though I am not a believer. I seem to forever be trying to find an intellectual connection with God that others just seem to accept as fact and that I also realize is impossible. to announce my IQ means nothing. What is important is what the original article was trying to convey. The pain and isolation of being smarter than most. I’m an adult now. I’ve stopped my late teens and early 20’s mantra “people are stupid. I hate stupid people”. They are. I just don’t give a crap. I grew up with a mother who got pissed at me for being smart. Her constant “you think you’re so smart” and telling me I was unimportant led me to believe that my boredom in school was because I was dumb. I’m a job hopper. I’m underemployed. Frankly I’d rather stay home and do my art and read. Unfortunately it doesn’t pay the bills….and I’m freaking lonely.

    • I returned to read the response following mine via email alert, which is incredibly intriguing and speaks in layers I feared to peel through for so long. Ran from others that encompassed parts of me I wasn’t ready to face. Recently ready, I found myself lost and alone again but this time seeking comfort with those like me, the real me, as I it was not happily ever after all with those I tried to be like.

      Travailwithcollies, I’ll get in touch with you soon. There are many layers in your response that we may never tire from peeling apart together.

      I had to read my comment above as well. Fuck. I sound like a pompous ass. Let my embarrassment humble me. Layer by layer.

      Sincerely,

      A real asshole

  47. Alex permalink

    YES. Thank you!

    I think my most common feeling is like that of the kindergarten teacher…. I love spending time with the kids and teaching them and encouraging them and marveling in their abilities to learn and grow up, but at the end of the day I NEED adult time. And then some days, its just another crazy day of crazy kindergarten brats destroying everything in a chaotic shit storm and somehow they have gained control over EVERYTHING and i’m just in the corner crying to be left in peace and want them to stop throwing things and yelling and hurting each other.

  48. Boom permalink

    What a great list of responses!

    I’m 36, about 150-160 on the nerd scale. Yeah, being a kid was tough, but it brought good grades to me when good grades would be about to bring free college soon enough. And that was good! After getting out of the after-school manual labor side of life, the good old noggin’ god gave me let me easily move up to management positions in the minimal time since my late teens. All good so far.

    I did get bored by the mid-twenties by how easy it all seemed. Keep in mind I was a dorky kid with no responsibilities and no long term relationship to require a steady, high income job. Money was worth nothing to me. These days, I wouldn’t mind being able to turn back the clock and make better use of those salad days! ‘Course, I’m married now and looking to have a kid soon for the wife, so priorities change.

    What I did as a kid to keep things interesting is move across the planet to Asia. It’s a great experience as a person with a higher than average IQ to place yourself somewhere that the basics need be relearned in order to function. It’s great motivation to get your head out of books that less than a percentile of the population care about or understand and back into reality. Geniuses of the internet…can you get a fried chicken, a beer, and a pack of smokes in any random country when you spin the globe that almost certainly decorates your room and plop a random finger down on a country? I’d reckon not. That’s not a bad thing. It’s great! It’s proof that you can relax and enjoy the fact that no one person can ever know everything, but that it’s not a problem because the world is full of really cool, interesting, and new stuff to experience.

    The best part is, your above average IQ will give you the advantage when it comes to coping with an entirely new reality and learning how to communicate basic ideas again from square one.

    Anyone with a big-digit IQ that feels separate from humanity isn’t challenging themselves enough. Our planet is massive and human experience is way bigger than you think. The subtleties of experience in different cultures and the deeper understanding of human history that you can gain through the physical experience of food and life overseas coupled with a review of what you THINK you know of the history of the place you choose to visit can be super-enlightening to any geek who is becoming bored of this great game of life!

    That said, I get it that some have a hard time coping. If you’re really as smart as you all claim to be, you’ll challenge yourselves to be even smarter and throw yourselves into a REALLY challenging situation.

    This is not meant as a disrespectful comment to those who have expressed difficulties in growing up with a higher than average IQ. I just want young folks to know that no matter how smart and set apart you feel, you really can still find joy in the challenge of living! Our world is huge. You can read about black holes and space-time all day, but until you change a person’s life (or they change yours) and look them deep in the eyeball…well, cosmology can take a stress-less backseat to reality.

    The onus is on the intelligent to set an example to all by constantly challenging themselves and sending their intellects into new territory.

    You might not like Taylor Swift, but ‘Shake It Off’ is a great song! ^_- Don’t believe me?! Well my super-huge IQ says your wrong!!

    Life’s short, use your big ‘ole brain to find love.

    Peace!

    • Boom permalink

      Jeezus, I just read what I posted and it sounds like a liberal arts student! Stat. Thermo. and VSEPR is what I studied, just to clear away the ‘yer high IQ doesn’t count ’cause it’s not in maths or science’ factor!

      Double peace, again! ^_- Life really is beautiful, even if yer smart

  49. Erin permalink

    I was tested as a kid but never got a corresponding number. “Gifted to highly gifted.” That’s it. You folks can do the math…which I actually suck at. That’s right: gifted but borderline math disability. Talk about a kick in the teeth! I so wish I loved numbers (and they loved me back); imagine how much easier a career would have been. I can absorb the beauty of a sunset and have it bring me to tears with the significance of that fleeting, ephemeral moment, but it doesn’t translate well to one’s resume. My social skills, although much improved, still consist of basically avoiding putting my foot in my mouth and trying to care about the same boring shit that the rest of the world cares about. I loathe chit chat, politics, celebrity gossip and sports. As I’ve gotten older, it’s become increasingly difficult feigning interest in those things that bore me. I feel my own interests shifting away from those things that I used to think were valid accomplishments, preferring instead to focus on people, making them feel good, lifting them up, serving them, reminding them that there is good in the world, inspiring them to be part of the solution and generally pumping up the global vibration. As far as I can tell, that’s where it’s at. It feels good, it makes me happy, and I don’t really give a rat’s ass any more whether or not it meets someone else’s idea of whether or not I’ve “reached my potential” as a higher-IQ person. I wasted years – YEARS! – of my life feeling inadequate because I can’t imagine myself ever accomplishing everything I’m supposedly capable of.

  50. onewomandown permalink

    Hey kiddos!

    Not in a condescending way, but with great brilliance comes great immaturity! In a way…

    I have been reading comments following mine via subscription. Then reading all the rest again.

    At the risk of sounding like an asshole again…oh screw it, I don’t care what others think of me, my mission is greater than my ego…I feel my obsession with this blog, more so the eternal board of comments, is due to my “genius-essness” (heh!). When a genius finds something intriguing they become obsessed and unable to pull away until resolved. This trait brought the world many of its great inventions.

    I could have kept that to myself. Maybe something in me told me to share to bring comfort in another. People like “us” yearn to belong. We can do almost anything but belong. We are prone to insecurity. Sometimes we take it out on others who exhibit a part of us we want to hide.

    Every comment here is a beautiful piece of thread that is weaving such a fine quilt. I hope to see this bloom further. We are all different in our own way. We are drawn here because something spoke to us and gave a piece of relief, the sense of belonging.

    Brilliant, genius, gifted, talented – call it what you want. Either is tailored best for you. We are not cut from the same cloth. We weave different patterns. We are mere particles that matter alone beautifully, but woven together construct a masterpiece.

    All my love,

    A real asshole

  51. onewomandown permalink

    One more thing….a question.

    Does anyone know if all “official” IQ test (ie Stanford-Binet) scores are recorded? From what I know, there is an option to opt out of the test result saved on record, but how can one know that is to be trusted?

  52. Dumba$$ permalink

    I have an IQ of 120 so I am dumber than pretty much every one else who has posted here. Like most men I always thought (incorrectly) I was smarter than I really am. Thought you brainiacs might appreciate the view from the trenches of (relative) idiocy.

    One common thread here is how hard it is for the super intelligent to relate to mere mortals. Have you ever considered the flip side – most senior jobs are held by high IQ folk, leaving the rest of us to observe them from a distance, Stroking the ego of a genius or taking the time to try and ‘understand’ their brilliant ravings is fun, if for no other reason than seeing the quizzical look on their faces as they try find a box to put you in.

    For those who have not achieved their potential, I say this: Mental discipline combined with mental agility is the secret. Ideas come and go, but achievement is about persistence.

    • John permalink

      I too achieved most by tenacity over talent.

  53. Robert permalink

    Whoah! That last story! That’s me exactly! I swore I was the only one! You’re a lifesaver!!!! I’m not the only one!!!! I’m not the only one!!!

  54. one thing I would like to know is with these high IQ people, is why don’t they come up with ideas that would change the world, like anti gravity, or food replicators or endless energy resources, but what might be happening is that these ultra high IQ people do come up with great ideas to change the world but don’t try because they are scared to fail, once you have been labeled intelligent you might not try , if I had a high IQ I would produce anything and one thing would be a success of 1000 failures , but I just don’t see to many intelligent people on phys.org and it is all about stuff that will amount to nothing most of the time, I wish there was a science site where high IQ people could theorize and even if their wrong it would be good reading.

    • John permalink

      Their issues speak for themselves. IQ doesn’t equate to achievement.

  55. Gail permalink

    Shit man, I kind wish there was a site like that too. But that’s not the point of my reply.

    I think you’re on to something with the ‘scared to fail’ theory, but you’re missing a few important points. The most important one being that just because we’re smart doesn’t mean we all want to revoltionize the world (It didn’t even cross my mind till I was 15, and then I decided against it). People always tell you to do what you love, and sometime smart people love things that aren’t science or math based.

    Take it from me. I was tested at 14 and had an IQ of 153. I found that, while science and math were interest, I was too bored to ever base a full-time career around them. Once I graduated, I became an circus acrobat (A trapeze artist), haven’t looked back since. Sure, maybe I could have invent a food replicator, but I loved doing crazy stunts 20 feet up more then building things.

    The important thing is to remember that all geniuses don’t need or want to invent things – there are enough of those that want that to make up for those that don’t. We are not just IQ’s wrapped up in skin, we are people who want do what we love.

  56. Re: thoughts on my life with an adult-Mensa-measured IQ in the 170s. As politically incorrect as it is to say, for those with an IQ in the 150-200 range, most of the population are as children and even much of the professional class (I suppose typically in the 110-140 range) too often come across as, to blithely paraphrase, “idiots”. A common thread here, and one I feel echoed in my own life, is that the truly gifted are woefully underutilized in society, often self selecting isolation to one degree or another, while the merely “clever” or savvy (or what those with more average intelligence often like to call social intelligence) rule the world, so to speak. Like so many v. high IQ individuals I gravitated to academia, where there are certainly some intellectual peers, but the ivory tower can certainly leave you feeling culturally isolated. My life is entirely devoted to the pursuit of knowledge, burrowing at the proverbial intellectual mine face. To me, little else matters, lightly counterbalanced by a minimalist family life (wife but no children). It is depressing that the vast majority of humanity (have to) waste their lives “working” merely to earn enough to sustain their existence. Entering middle age, I have become increasingly frustrated by the stupidity surrounding me, and have become increasingly negative about the long term outlook for humanity. As a biologist, I see post-20th-century Homo sapiens as little more than a plague upon the planet, and it is very frustrating to feel that our current political systems (particularly in the US) seem almost incompatible with solving society’s ills. Too much emotion and not enough logic. Our best minds just don’t seem to be the ones engaged with the biggest problems. Unfortunately, if you want to become a politician, you are almost certainly not a v. high IQ individual.

  57. Evan permalink

    For me, it has been very difficult. I will provide a small sample of my writing to prove intellect. I tried to kill myself 5 hours ago. Still cold shaking bad. ADHD, depression, anxiety from my mom I’m not on meds. My apoligies.
    Here is exerpt from middle of poem. Will keep short.
    The softer sides of tidal waves
    The prophecies a compromise
    They ostracized a foreigner now normalcies a portal to a vacant mind
    Going toe to toe with open doors and closer finish lines.

    You start school early. They try ro move you up still. You don’t for parents fears. You’re weird, but you practice your childhood trying to be normal. I had one good friend besides big brother. I am now twenty. Quit trying school in 8th. Not best by far, local sports star. Teachers think you are disrespectful but learn you are smart. Did one homework assignment, 5 page only 5 paragraph, title was “federal government application of first amendment rights during times of foreign conflict”. Regularly passed ap classes due to prior knowledge, started reading Godwin at fifteen. Did I say I’m 20 browser will not allow scrolling sorry. Started smoking and drinking at 12 years. Drugs at 17. Never in legal trouble. I’ve regularly done coke, weed, promethazine, shrooms, lsd, molly, e, vallium, xanax, colatapin, oxy, percicets, codeine, vicaden, ritalin, adderal, adapex, concerta, nitrous, I am an alcholic and that’s the most list. I am sorry very shakey. Being smart made it easy to likable after I learned to dumb my conversation down. Very self depricating. My family loves me, my friends do, not pretenscious every body I meet likes me. I am proficient in most things, bad fine motor skills and not good atcomputers. Dad lost job, got mine at twelve and have worked for everything I own. 25000/ athletic scholarship blew my knee out last game highschool couldn’t play, do not enjoy sports anymore, maybe spiteful havent decided. Was very good academic school. Kicked out of parents house at 18. Dropped out of college. Dad got me very good job with scholarship full. My fault, I lost it. Dropped out again. Worked min. 16 max 22 hr days for 4 months, six jobs, couldn’t stay awake, developed cocaine dependence. Get ok job only 2 jobs then. I’m 19 now. Get my first kiss, first girlfriend, slow down on drugs for 2-3 months. She cheats on me because I cannot show emotion well, and she had alot of problems and I tried but couldn’t help. Never talk to girls before or since. Reputation as smart worker I get better job, have had for six months. My two friends get new jobs opposite shifts of me. My brother and his lady move in with me. I associate with VERY bad people now. My car is illegal, so are plates, can’t afford because drugs are more important. Drinking and cocaine alot last week. This week drinking and xanax. I might sound bad, but can honestly say I’ve never cheated, lied for myself. Violent actions never come without a cause. cannot cope with my own expectations. I have found my self living to help the good people I know with anything. I have never had over $800. I buy the homeless shoes. I flirt with elderly women just to see them smile because I dont. I am still not good enough. Somebody else should have been given my gift.

  58. Evan permalink

    For me, it has been very difficult. I will provide a small sample of my writing to prove intellect. I tried to kill myself 5 hours ago. Still cold shaking bad. ADHD, depression, anxiety from my mom I’m not on meds. My apoligies.
    Here is exerpt from middle of poem. Will keep short.
    The softer sides of tidal waves
    The prophecies a compromise
    They ostracized a foreigner now normalcies a portal to a vacant mind
    Going toe to toe with open doors and closer finish lines.

    You start school early. They try ro move you up still. You don’t for parents fears. You’re weird, but you practice your childhood trying to be normal. I had one good friend besides big brother. I am now twenty. Quit trying school in 8th. Not best by far, local sports star. Teachers think you are disrespectful but learn you are smart. Did one homework assignment, 5 page only 5 paragraph, title was “federal government application of first amendment rights during times of foreign conflict”. Regularly passed ap classes due to prior knowledge, started reading Godwin at fifteen. Did I say I’m 20 browser will not allow scrolling sorry. Started smoking and drinking at 12 years. Drugs at 17. Never in legal trouble. I’ve regularly done coke, weed, promethazine, shrooms, lsd, molly, e, vallium, xanax, colatapin, oxy, percicets, codeine, vicaden, ritalin, adderal, adapex, concerta, nitrous, I am an alcholic and that’s the most list. I am sorry very shakey. Being smart made it easy to likable after I learned to dumb my conversation down. Very self depricating. My family loves me, my friends do, not pretenscious every body I meet likes me. I am proficient in most things, bad fine motor skills and not good atcomputers. Dad lost job, got mine at twelve and have worked for everything I own. 25000/ athletic scholarship blew my knee out last game highschool couldn’t play, do not enjoy sports anymore, maybe spiteful havent decided. Was very good academic school. Kicked out of parents house at 18. Dropped out of college. Dad got me very good job with scholarship full. My fault, I lost it. Dropped out again. Worked min. 16 max 22 hr days for 4 months, six jobs, couldn’t stay awake, developed cocaine dependence. Get ok job only 2 jobs then. I’m 19 now. Get my first kiss, first girlfriend, slow down on drugs for 2-3 months. She cheats on me because I cannot show emotion well, and she had alot of problems and I tried but couldn’t help. Never talk to girls before or since. Reputation as smart worker I get better job, have had for six months. My two friends get new jobs opposite shifts of me. My brother and his lady move in with me. I associate with VERY bad people now. My car is illegal, so are plates, can’t afford because drugs are more important. Drinking and cocaine alot last week. This week drinking and xanax. I might sound bad, but can honestly say I’ve never cheated, lied for myself. Violent actions never come without a cause. cannot cope with my own expectations. I have found my self living to help the good people I know with anything. I have never had over $800. I buy the homeless shoes. I flirt with elderly women just to see them smile because I dont. I am still not good enough. Somebody else should have been given my gift.
    Didn’t read the article, just seemed like a good place to tell story. But as far as my ideas of the universe, 60/atheist 40/ ambiguous omnipotence. I have no concrete belief on anything. I do not understand people. To me everything has been and will be a cat and a box. Drives me insane. But you always gotta make people smile. Need a dollar? Have a cigarette too, if ya like 😉

  59. Ann permalink

    Perhaps this isn’t the venue for my questioning nature however I shall throw out what my life has been like. As a small child my parents were advised my IQ was very high. In those days IQ tests were confidential so they couldn’t say the score just if my parents knew how high my IQ was they would be very proud. This meant little to me as I was a painfully shy only child who saw the world as though in a bubble, everyone on a stage with me being the outsider unable to be part of that.

    My IQ was tested and retested over the years with the same result and responses. The consequence to me was I never, ever measured up to anyones expectations even my own parents. Every attempt at anything was met with “She did well but oh she could do so much better.” My teachers said it and my parents said it and everyone that knew me said it. I began to believe trying anything simply was not worth it and decided to “escape”. This took the role of marriage at a young age with relocating 2,000 miles away where we sat up housekeeping and I gave birth to two beautiful children then resumed my education at the locaL college. There I was subjected to yet another IQ test and my professor told me I tested in the top 1%… 178… and he wanted to meet with me. I left and never went back thinking if I had never measured up not knowing my IQ this recent happening would doom me forever to feeling a failure and so my life continued in as normal a fashion as I could manage which resulted in a mediocre existence and now that I am old a sadness I didn’t address what others might deem a great gift and ability to accomplish something very worthwhile. Reality has hit. I now realize there are no do overs and I threw away a great opportunity. i’m wondering if I’m alone in this or have others had similar experiences. The bottom line appears a high IQ does not necessarily equal a successful life.

    • you are not alone.

  60. Nanny permalink

    What’s it like being really smart?

    Imagine babysitting everyone around you – for your entire life. That’s what it’s like. Be careful what you wish for. Sometimes I wish I were a simpleton.

  61. Phil permalink

    This resonates with me, thank you- I’ve sought all kinds of help to deal with my experience of the world always thinking it was me, my fault. Recently seeing a neuropsychologist for ADHD, discovered that anxiety was driving ADHD type symptoms and in fact have a high IQ. This level of “intelligence” has always been alienating causing distress where others experienced happiness. Unfortunately, I have only found out at 47- schools should screen for this… With proper coaching, life can truly be enjoyed.

  62. Acidium Siacri Sixx permalink

    First of all, I see IQ tests as nothing more than basic logic puzzles that require a 1st grade understanding of the language the questions are in along with hands and most importantly the patients and focus to complete them. My dog could score better than 145 if he had the first 2 things on the above list! Most people lack the 3rd and/or 4th. Anyone disagree? Think about it. I scored a 145 and 147 recently and was immediately disqualified from the services of the temporary work agency that tested me..and given this advice, “We would be serving you an injustice if we were to find you employment here, there are grants available that will allow you to pinpoint your desired profession. Its never too late.”
    I’m 45 years old, My focus is highschool was on running and art, 80s rock and Punk Rock…My grades reflected as much. My test scores were high but my refusal to do the homework or repeat lessons that i already had a grasp on resulted in C,D,F report cards…I barely graduated. If those are the actions of a smart kid then show me a stupid one! I self educate by sourcing info and if the info isnt agreed apon by multiple scholars I take the validity with suspect hesitation.
    My problem with their suggestion to return to school is the required prerequisites that i’d be forced to endure before i would even begin to study my field/s of interest. The thought of sitting through hours and days fully devoted to wasting time with these classes is maddening all by itself…actually going through with it would likely result in a level of frustration that would give me a heart attack or at least a mild stroke! If it werent for this i would have gotten a degree in physics and gone to work on development of a material that would allow for the realization of a perpetual motion “machine”…but it didnt happen and isnt going to because I am living proof that a person can have a high IQ and be stupid as a lemming!
    I can look at it all with regret and despise my life and myself for living with the attitude and theory that “young is for fun and exploration and no matter how wealthy you become your going to grow old and miserable and probably get cancer”or i can continue with a cruddy job where my bosses fail to grasp 70% of what comes out of my mouth and spending my spare time doing what i love….learning and exploring the world around me and being content with poverty and the fact that i had more fun in the first 35 years of my life than most people will ever find time for. The money and security would be helpfull in the coming years but somehow logic tells me i would have more regret had i spent my younger, more physically capable years working 12hr days and living for the weekends. I ran while i could run…climbed mountains, viewed unexplainable events in the Mojavi, Texas and Mexico…I did things that a healthy retired 45yr old would find his body unable to accomplish..things that “regular” working “middle class” professionals would never find the time for.
    It’s time to pay for the fun..slave to the system that allowed me to be a frequently unemployed adventure seeking young American….but the system is telling me i accumulated too much information along the way…and that my process of logical reasoning is too fine tuned to enter the general employment world..
    My Question: Does my answer exist within the pathway to the problem described above..(as it appears to) Is my enduring the years of prerequisites for a specific field of education just part of the payment for the liberties I took in my younger years…or is it a waste of grant funds to specialize a 45 year old man in order to put him to work?
    Hopefully this doesnt appear “ramblish” and confusing…(excuse my punctual/spelling errors as i am writing this from my phone)

  63. The worst thing is when you actually do mention your IQ, like Online everyone attacks you, calls you a liar etc. It never fails, not ever. They always try to pick apart s–t you say, and refer to this or that study that shows if you curse or this or that etc. then you are not intelligent.

    I hate trying to explain how s–t works to people when I clearly understand and do the best to explain, yet they go back to the same f—–g s–t. I have found drawing s–t to be the best way.

    I honestly don’t effing care, I am a genius, my father was a genius, his father was a genius and my great grandfather was a genius, all IQ over 140. But do not mention that you get called a liar, by lower IQ f–wits.

  64. Oscar permalink

    I can help but notice a few people who think they are high IQ who clearly are not and they certainly don’t see the difference between 140 and say, 170. They’d like to think they are in the same class.

    The one big issue I have and seems many others do is social protocols. My son is also highly gifted and early on (teenager), he identified the importance of social skills and as he said to me, “You don’t have to have the empathy/affinity, etc. to participate, you only have to learn to fake it because to be successful its all a social environment.”

    I wish I had known that when I was young but even in my middle age I’m working on this now. Its hard. Even now, my wife still has to point out when someone is flirting with me because all those social signals go right over my head. Just the same as various vocal tones and sarcasm… I hear the words but I miss the intended meanings. Its all so much to learn that doesn’t come easy.

    The wife and I are divorcing (mutual and still close but we know we’ll now do better in separate homes) and what I fear loosing the most is the companion who kicks me under the table to alert me to missed social cues or errors I’m making.

    I wish the comment others believe is me joking, “I have no friends” wasn’t so true.

  65. I refused just here, not there. Respect is paramount. I cannot read further. It’s myself frustrated and ranting. I’ve resolved to embrace the zero theorum. My upbringing has now given me permission to bring myself. Umm. Ok. I would just leave this here as an open dialogue. Am I to suppose that through foreshadowing you peppered in there that you left this glass half full? Cuz I knew you would. Glad I found this. I digress. All I needed was to read this. And I somehow feel we have a chance here. I’m open to dialogue to anyone btw.

  66. I’ve scrolled down replies like most of you. And I feel I want to remark on just one thing. We are talking about a test score that can very often be subjective to time and place. What this necessary topic sheds light onto is the mind of those who never felt blessed to have it. Well mkstly…I mean some were taken by the hand weren’t they? Some always had a home, family and stable environment. A lot will not claim it. But knowing your family your whole life, knowing all siblings, mothers and fathers is a reference to a solid upbringing. Not all those diagnosed with IQ oust and ing gets hurtured. However, the survival instinct of an individual can then pull that one through. That’s a tangent. What I wanted to finish with… DO any of you know what it was like when Einstein theorizes light as a physical thing? A particle that moves quite rapidly? And then yes he went further and using his “superior will never be measured intellect ” put himself on the front of that partical. And like a young boy (which is what always must be), he imagined himself in front on it like a carnival ride. And imagined himself hurling through space on it, and then felt gravity bending time, because light began the process of linear recollection. I’m trying to describe it with my uneducation.
    Just let’s point out the adventure, abd shear overwhelming universe that plays constantly in their imagination. Things that can never be built, and ideas that get held back bcuz wisdom also conforms to moral society.
    Crack on maytes!

  67. I have an it of 140, not super high but close to genius. I could alway communicate with people well, escpecially when I got into high school. I learned that even though I’m usually right when somebody argues with me, I don’t need to try to prove them wrong unless they actually had no idea. I found it was easier to just hide it and only use my knowledge when needed. I of course have known multiple sciences for years (especially in the field of technology) and found my science classes slow and boring. The teacher didn’t even know how to explain the 3 laws of thermodynamics right. So I just decided that a lot of my learning should be done in my free time, and it works great just learning about anything that I want. Also being social and moderately athletic has taught me how to interact with my friends well and I never really felt the isolated feeling that a lot of high intellectual people have described, I’ve even met some people like me that also have friends and can be highly intelligent, so I couldn’t be happier with a high iq. (P.S. I am 15 years old)

  68. Gabe permalink

    Growing up I’ve always been an outcast because people have NEVER been interested in the same subjects as me or enjoyed deep conversation about the universe or quantum mechanics. even at 10 I never enjoyed talking about girls or anything like that. So even now at age 22 I’m still pretty lonely. I have a fiance whom I love very much but not even she likes talking about topics I enjoy. She’ll listen but never talks back because she has NO idea what’s coming out of my mouth. Even trying to explain simple everyday things, there’s a barrier. She says the way i explain things is too complex to the point she gets frustrated and im not understanding why because it seems so simple and clear. So I’ve learned that with intelligence there’s definitely barriers or levels. And i don’t mean to boast, but when i was 9 i tested and came out to 157. Mom made me because she thought something was wrong with me.

  69. Alan permalink

    Biblical scholarship is about metaphor and myth. Metaphor and myth is about the human condition, your condition. So no surprise that you intuited your way to such literature. Our brains are like TV sets, and some of us have 400 channels, others only 20, others still may have 999 channels. Wowza. The trick is to learn to unplug the tv in your lifetime and not to get too caught up in your channels, however many there may be.

  70. WJB permalink

    Thank you. It was therapeutic just reading this. Seriously. Thank you.

  71. Tobias permalink

    I have an IQ on the Weschler’s of 163. I have fucked most my life up. I am a statistical anomaly as far as the strata and treatment I was born into, and how I think and am today. That is a blessing. To have the ability to cognitively reason so much and not fall into the statistically common outcomes with lives like mine.
    However, I find being so, supposedly, intelligent quite lonely. It is difficult to find people who can stay on subjects like I can, recognize fallacies, and just general follow logical thought with me.
    This was an extreme issue with my family, who’s mostly between 100 and 130. My father was out of the picture. My horrifically abusive mother would tell me often in between the worse of treatments I was her dumbest child, and regretted having me. I could tell you horror after horror of being told the worst things about my capabilities while concurrently doing awful things, such as strangling me into unconsciousness. While promising death. But I think just hitting the surface should be enough to paint in a rough sketch.
    The misunderstandings I had with my family in communication were numerous, and often resulted in emotional explosions of violence and insults. Just being an inquiring mind, curious about this or that, would set them off. My two older siblings agreed I was just as stupid and inept as my mother passed no good moment to state. Me, just asking questions, even as young a 5 year old, would set them off. This pattern continued into public school. I would one year skip a grade, but as we constantly moved, was always placed back with my age. I would often have teachers attempting communication with me, and would see the same mechanism I saw at home. They would state something I thought didn’t make sense, start an open dialogue about it, but after I hit their, willingness or mental, limit of capabilities to continue to go through the layers, or dismantling of a specious construct, it would go from polite discourse, to me being “argumentative,” “having a problem with authority,” “doesn’t focus,” “difficulties functioning in class.” It was never my attitude or language presentation that changed. I was just suddenly given all these negative descriptions stated as WHO I WAS when communication could go no further. I even multiple times wound up in special ed classes due to this. Which was absolutely miserable. ….

    Years if that shit,… getting recognized ized as above average one place, and then getting put with IQS up to 100 points different from mine, because I had a supposed mental issue, that made me impossible to communicate with. I was called, “easily confused,” when to me it seemed the person who threw such a term on me was having the confusion.

    Eventually I just believed I was a dumb, piece of shit mentally handicapped individual. I never found or made friends easily, despite understanding body language, facial expressions, and altering my linguistic structure in order to build rapport with different socioeconomic stratas, subcultures, and ideologies. I could blend somewhat, but my difference being smelled out by violent, predator humans eventually would occur. I learned to fight by being forced into it over and over. I didn’t sexual objectify women like most boys did at certain ages. So though I had sexual desires, women were always people to me. This non participation in the regular social rituals of prepubescent and pubescent males would lead to being called a “faggot,” and getting beat up, made fun of, etc.

    Basically, my childhood sucked. I was abused at home, at school, not just overlooked by the public school systems, but actually continually hindered by it. I left home at 15 cause I was tired of being abused, and thought I might murder my step father. I was still small, but just big enough they dare not beat me any more, but abuse goes further than beatings and strangulation. I left home, and public school. The two sources of constant ache for me….. Good riddance. Sleeping outside, dirty, with nothing but a guitar and a small backpack of stuff was so much more comfortable than any house in our constant cm moving ever was…

    Suddenly I began to meet people way older than me around who thought I was special. I had already known for a couple years, that primarily the people that did want to give me their time and chat were consistently their 20s and 30s. And they were hard to find too. Being suddenly homeless, and being in Austin, I began to find people more often I could actually talk with, and explore the more deep workings of my mind that had been attempted to be medicated and beaten out if me my whole life…..
    It took me years to realize I was not only not dumb then, but I had never been stupid,…. I wept that day… Even now it hits my heart heavy, and I feel my eyes moisten and hairs stand up…. To believe it for so long… That I was just wrong in so many different ways… even my own mother couldn’t love me, or give me the nurturing and affection I so craved witnessing in others….
    Though I still believed I was inherently flawed, and destined for shit, at least I wasn’t basically a retard…

    I started smashing any information I could get my hands on. Psychology books. Philosophy. Ethics books. History never interested me much, as I was more concerned with what I could come up with inside with jump off points previously established, then finding information I could obtain at any time.

    When I was about 16 or 17(Although I told everyone I was two years older for a while to avoid truancy tickets, someone reporting a child was just put and about, etc.), I dated temporarily a philosophy grad student in her mid 20s. I was shocked and horrified that these snippets she had studied of philosophers I had read the entire books of by then. I realized that whatever college had to offer, as far as formal education, was total bullshit. That my capabilities for learning far exceeded their necessary requirements. Unless I was going to become a very specific profession, I saw no use for it. I did continue to go to lectures around UT, and what not, but soon became tired of learning what others found value in. Most of it I did not.
    People found my friendship troublesome and the same mechanism I saw with my family and teachers I could never escape. So often I would hit ablock of further investigation with someine while chatting. In their minds, their subjective reality most often jumped to a conflict of some kind. Perfectly pleasant conversation went to “why do you have to argue,” “you don’t know what the fuck you’re talking about,” ad hominems, whatever categorically similar to these examples, when I hit a spot with them I could keep going, and they could, or would, not.

    I was uneasy to date for the same reason. I have always been slightly above the average on American beauty standards, and, as stated earlier, more than capable of presenting myself howevwr needed to get along, so meeting women wasn’t difficult. However, I was picky, and required mental and emotional stimuli to enjoy any sexual activities, and much to the amazement of guys I knew, consistently turned women down. When I would finally meet one who would spark my desires, it would not take long to hit a division of cognition, reflection, analyzation, etc. Shortly after that happened the relationship would crumble.

    I’ve heard all my life, even to this day., That I think too much. I don’t know how that’s possible. I just think as much as I know. I have only walked my flesh. People seemed to be taken aback a bit even now, at 32, that a half second of silent thought, translated into words will take up a half hours of a thought train audio recorded with ne speaking it. To me, it has always been, so I don’t know anything else.

    Anyways, immediately after my first love cheated on me, long after we already had our division of breaking down abilities, a good, intelligent friend died in a car wreck. I was devestated. Alone. I knew people, but no one ever got super close. I had people to hang with, but not the types of close bonding I witnessed other people enjoyed. So in my late teens, reeling from tragedy, I intentionally sought out a solution to help me feel different.
    Although knowing I could potentially not be as dumb as I was taught my whole life, the feelings that I was inherently unlovable never faded. That I was just wrong for this world was an emotion beyond pain and sadness that weighed in my heart heavy always. Every bad that happened or way I was wronged, my cognitive bias jumped on as evidence of that objective truth. That thing I saw as truth hurt. Constantly. Now my partner/lover/first love was off fucking whoever, wherever. Our apartment rid of her stuff. Just a place of memories, filled with things she left behind that were just insult on injury. What I would’ve previously suspected she may have sentimental attachment to, considering I thought she loved me, and have taken, she had not. Almost left askew just to remind me, I was unlovable and deserved pain for my deep offense of think I could exist in this realm, I was so very wrong for. Whether a message from her, intentionally left with open distaste, or the universe at large giving a friendly reminder, I did not know. Nor did it matter. I wanted to feel different…. Not empty. Not this.

    I think it worthy to note that I had long taken drugs. I loved them! Psychedelics were FANTASTIC! But I was open to about any and everything. I had no fear of drugs, nor did I think any other human had a right to tell me what I was doing with my body. I still don’t. This is the one thing I truly own. That is true for each of our consciousness es in our bodies. I will not violate that most sacred thing of yours, and your will for it. I appreciate the same, and think we all deserve that. One thing I had not tried was injecting anything. I figured it was about time.

    Through listening to those in my complex and being fairly friendly with people, I learned rather quick where heroin was dealt. I knew a guy who knew those people, and made a story up about a friend who needed to get “well” and was desperate. I finagle him into doing my “friend” a solid, and instructed him to see if they had a spare clean needle. The first time I shot up I was alone in my apartment. All by myself. As I knew I was destined to be by the treatment I had received my entire life…….

    (I will speed up the story here for the sake of my own time at this moment)

    I was a junkie. I pissed away everything. People tried to segregate me more than they already did, but the difference wasnt that much. I also shot coke and speed with ny smack when it was around. I did two years and prison, and right after getting out. The one and only friend to visit me in that two years, died. My internal pain I lived with all my life boiled up past it’s barely manageable level, and off I was again. Many more years of strung out. Occasionally being on methadone. When I was on nethadone, I’d start making money, start buying a place, usually owner financed, as I never built up credit, or cared to. I would go from methadone to smack a lot, but managed to go from a cappy condo, to buying a small but cappy house on a half acre, 7 minutes from downtown austin. I had been married, divorced, in love, running my business with that love, her getting pregnant, miscarry, and falling in love again, as I went from condo to house over 6 or 7 years. I used smack and shot up other things a good portion of that time, but would get on methadone often enough to not lose everything again.

    As my currently love got pregnant, and we decided to start a family, I began renovating the house to sell, pay it off, and get somrthing decent, on multiple acres. But many other things happened around the time of her pregnancy, that just reinforced all those dark feelings I strive to get rid of for so long, and soon, I was shooting up in my feet to avoid track marks, hiding it behind my very pregnant ladies back. I started doing a lot of meth with ny heroin so I could try and finish the house…..

    Then I started having severe back pain… then lost consciousness for days.Then was driven to the hospital…… I couldn’t walk. I was in excruciating pain. My consciousness barely remembers a thing. But I remember me mindlessly moaning, constantly repeating “I’m dying. I’m dying. I’m dying. I’m dying,” or “Help me. Help me. Help me. Help me.” Switching in between those and moans, in the tone only a dying man, out of his mind in pain and death can have…. I vaguely remember the IV getting started, and that was it. I was in a coma. This starts a long tale of visions, and all sorts of horrors I can not describe now, lest I weep over the keyboard I type on….

    My body was dying. My kidneys failing. I was in a come on dialysis. Put on a transplant list. I developed sepsis, had to be intubated. It was found I had endocarditis and my tricuspid heart valve was failing I graduated up the sepsis ladder to severe septic shock. Total organ failure. Despite all of this, a part of me fought to control my body. I was told they had never seen someone so close to death, in a coma, medicated a ridiculous amount, several times over what an average man, even junkie takes, keep fighting the intubation like I would. Apparently I just would not breath to the machine’s pace. I kept trying to breath at my own. My located lungs, infected with staph, bloody, and pocketed with coagulated blood, still forced to own themselves. By dying body fought that machine tI’ll my right lung burst. A collapsed lung while already dying. I was a lost cause. It kept being predicted I would die. But beyond any statistics, I would not. I lived, only to just have my heart valve fail completely, and need a heart valve transplant. I had woken up by now and was slowly learning to move again. It was in the middle of the night when my heart valve failed completely. I was asleep and woke up ti the energency inside mt own body of it dying. The pain was excruciating, and I’ll spare the details of that night. Again, I would rather not soak my keyboard in tears.

    Oh, did I mention my daughter was born less than 3 months before I went into the hospital? I watched her be born. I held her. I was dad…. I always thought having a father would’ve been awesome, and wept as a child to see my friends with theirs… I had always wanted children. I knew somehow I’d have a daughter… it was amazing. I love her so much. …. and there I was, my life dream finally made. And I shot door into myself for a decade, and was separate fron her, dying. …

    So they stabilized me…. Then a day or two later later told me they’d make me comfortable till I died, cause I was so likely to die on the surgerical table from how fucked my body was already, no surgeon would risk trying to save me.

    I lived with the a few days…. I can’t express to you……

    A surgeon finally stepped up, and said the numbers they usually go with to accept a surgery or not he was going to go against. He believed if anyone had a chance at all, they should get it…

    I miraculously survived again.
    Even though I had to be on a machine oxygenating my blood and pumping it for me, as my heart was so weak, my heart did start to pump enough. Now in ny second coma. Intubated the third time, having me 3rd and 4th visions…..

    I eventually awoke, and learned how to walk again.

    This all is but a very very very brief telling of my story. The crux of IQ and isolation is continued here, so I will skip over much just to move forward:

    I had visions that taught me I was never deserving of all the pain I had. That I had value inherently. That dropped my worst hang ups and darkness. It’s amazing how staying off heroin is actually much easier when you’re not carryin pain and darkness in your heart for yourself. …..

    But even so, my daughter’s mother left me. I proposed to her all bedridden, with 5 chest tubes in, and freshly extubated, just having had heart surgery a couple weeks before. On tons of meds…. she said yes, but it never happened. We didn’t make it with me a year out of the hospital. My mom and her husband stole everything I owned, my hkuse, material possessions… Turned out they had forged a medical power of attorney. Attempted to prevent me being intubated, which was necessary to have had me live. Also changed my request for a mechanical heart valve, to a pig one…. Thus forcing me to face another heart surgery, straight down my chest I had hoped to avoid. They also tried to put a DNR on me while coming out of heart surgery.

    No surprise….. I knew who she eas. I think she wanted to kill me my whole life…. That’s why my earliest memories are what they are. She hated my father, and disliked boys way more than girls. My brother has a different father, I was the youngest. She strangled Mr into unconsciousness telling me how she was killing me….
    I think somewhere inside she finally got a good excuse to do her wish….. Way easier than having a child disappear. You junkie adult son dues in the hospital. ….

    Anyways, although my temptation for heroin is gone, and I love myself in a way I never knew how to before, I an still alone …. The loneliness does not Rio at me as it did my whole life before the hospital, but I do feel it. People can’t hang with me… the same mechanisms I noticed my whole life, still at play…. Thankfully I feel a center I never had before, and nit the void that haunted me for so long. Thankfully I get time with my daughter still….. Because being separated by mind is lonely… so lonely… and having a constant pain from so much damage to my torso. Emergency puncture sites for tubes, and misattached muscles yanking my ribs in pain with every breath and movement,….. if i didnt have my daughter at all in my life, and no centered peace, I would be fucked off real quick.. and already dead….

    Now I just try to give people the compassion, love, time, and caresearching I rarely received. Where people thought my innocuous questions of curiosity were direct insults, as It struck their cognitive dissonance, and cut me off, when I just craved someone, anyone to love me… I do the opposite. I can never go back and give it to myself. But it is so freeing, and I am so grateful to know that the other side of the equation I always lacked I can be for someone else…..

    And maybe one person in my lifetime, from knowing me won’t have to suffer like I have…. cause I will be there. No matter how smart or dumb. No matter what religious beliefs or political ideology. No matter what, I will be there for someone like I never had. That may just be a saving grace they need to not destroy themselves and entire life…. so I can give what I lacked in honor of a younger, now long dead me…. in honor of all who hurt and stuggle with being cast aside, categorized, segregated…. I will fight past every odd of death …

    I don’t like pain. I don’t like suffering. I believe people are all equal. If I don’t like it for me, I don’t like it for all others….

    I am here still …. what can I do for you to ease your burden??

    I resigned myself to this loneliness. And I am fine with it I have accepted me on my level for life, even if no else can even for a short while…. I will. I should have…. because if lifetime unconditional love and acceptance I truly ever wanted, and I had do, it will only come from inside. …. never anywhere else….
    ..I am great full for the worst physical, emotional. Spiritual, mental trauma of my life beyond any idea I had of what pain could be. I an grateful for the massive pain I feel all the time, with every heart beat and movement….. Because it gained me gratitude, acceptance of myself, and the ability to reach out to help others like never before…..

    Hi, world…. I am not a role model…. I am Nobody’s Hero…

    But maybe I can be a source of inspiration. … Maybe I can be the caring heart when someone hurts…. or the right words to have someone just better themselves…

    And I have a daughter…. and I have hope….

    Fuck off or not. I wouldn’t change a damn thing.

    • About 8 years ago I read this article “The outsiders” from the Prometheus society. For the first time in my life, I could identify myself in this text with such precision that tears actually came to my eyes. A few weeks later, to verify if I has not just trying to make shit up, I decided to take what was then described as one of the most difficult IQ test on the web: the “Foritensum”. At my first attempt, I got the second highest score ever. A few weeks later, I equaled the highest score in my second attempt. My initial reaction has of course: great, I’m not just one of these jerks with an over inflated ego; but then what?
      Eight years have now passed, while I did find some needed peace with myself, yet I always find it hard to accept that, so often, no matter how much time and energy I offer, trying explain some simple ideas or solution to various problems people have, some people always chose to either ignore what I am saying or simply refuse to listen. From that point, the worst scenario usually unfolds: I am eventually proven right. No matter how much humility and diplomacy I presented when I was initially simply trying to help, their ego simply cannot acknowledge that I was in fact simply trying to help. The vicious circle is now ready start again.
      I guess that, as for many like me and you, this is the unavoidable price we have to pay for being born with a different way of thinking…

    • I have no idea if my last comment went through so here it is again:

      About 8 years ago I read this article “The outsiders” from the Prometheus society. For the first time in my life, I could identify myself in this text with such precision that tears actually came to my eyes. A few weeks later, to verify if I has not just trying to make shit up, I decided to take what was then described as one of the most difficult IQ test on the web: the “Foritensum”. At my first attempt, I got the second highest score ever. A few weeks later, I equaled the highest score in my second attempt. My initial reaction has of course: great, I’m not just one of these jerks with an over inflated ego; but then what?
      Eight years have now passed, while I did find some needed peace with myself, yet I always find it hard to accept that, so often, no matter how much time and energy I offer, trying explain some simple ideas or solution to various problems people have, some people always chose to either ignore what I am saying or simply refuse to listen. From that point, the worst scenario usually unfolds: I am eventually proven right. No matter how much humility and diplomacy I presented when I was initially simply trying to help, their ego simply cannot acknowledge that I was in fact simply trying to help. The vicious circle is now ready start again.
      I guess that, as for many like me and you, this is the unavoidable price we have to pay for being born with a different way of thinking…

  72. Chuck Landon Ph.D permalink

    I have an IQ measured thru the years between 140-160. I am much more settled at 63 than I was at say my teenage years. My reasoning ability is very good, I do relate to people but often they bore me silly with their sports interests. At 47 I decided to play piano, I read a book each day, I earned a Ph.D at 46……interesting life and this certainly has been a challenge not a curse. Hang it there guys….crl

  73. I was tested at 144 when I was in high school. That was 30 years ago. People on here will think that’s a low number. Solly chollies, it’s well to the right on the Bell curve.

    I had a lot of problems when I was young. Did drugs. Drank way too much. I felt very isolated. We were broke. My father was an alcoholic. I would get in trouble at school. Gradually, I pulled out of it, mostly through reading self-help books. Learned Optimism, by Martin Seligman. How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie. Many others.

    Life as an adult hasn’t been too bad. I’ve written a dozen books. I’ve traveled all over the world and have had many adventures. Made decent money. Been married and divorced. Have some very good friends. Things that interest other people still don’t interest me all that much. I don’t own a TV. I don’t want children. I haven’t had a regular job in 20 years.

    I often find myself laboriously explaining things to people, step by step, that I figured out more or less instantly. This can go on for an hour, only to have the person reject it anyway, even though it is self-evident. That’s probably the major drawback. It’s hard to explain things.

    • I know what you mean. I get insights in a flash, like an image burned into my brain. It’s frustrating to serialize a complex of concepts into words, with breaks for questions. A few milliseconds of inspiration loses it’s charm after 5 minutes of trying to spell it out.

      That said, developing efficient communications skills helps a lot.

  74. Russ Campion permalink

    My IQ is 174. Mensa test 1993. I was 13. Still got the cert and the clipping from the local paper.
    Having a high IQ is crap.

    I don’t understand the most basic of multi-level instructions in the work place, so professional life is crap.
    Can’t make or stick to any long term plans.
    Short term memory? What’s one of those? I don’t know because like everything else that’s important and prior to 5 minutes ago, I can’t remember it.
    Nothing makes you happy apart from the one or two stupid things that actually do.
    People say you’re depressed when u really just want them to shut up so you can go back to doing what you want.
    Rules n regs don’t make any sense. They’re all stupid. You’ll keep getting caught and punished for the contravention. Even when you think you’re doing it right you’re probably not.
    Get bored. And it’s not fair.
    The only nights you’ll be able to stay awake past 9pm are the ones your partner goes to sleep before you then you’ll get insomnia. Again. Typical.

    I hate everything all the time. Apart from my beautiful fiancée and kids.
    Given the viable option I’d have my IQ slashed by 54 points. Then I might get a joke, keep one of my many jobs/businesses/relationships going. Return to the normal human race and be happy with my lot.
    Stick high IQs where the sun doesn’t shine.
    Thanks

    • Honestly, you sound like a poorly adjusted dude.

      Have you ever considered therapy or see a psychiatrist? You don’t have to be a victim of circumstance. Turns out my ‘smart guy problems’ were 95% mood related. After being diagnosed and treated for BPII, a lot of shit is clearer to me than ever before. My problems were all mixed up before, and now I can tell that the being smart is more of a huge advantage than anything.

      It sounds like you invoke your smarts to rationalize / justify psycho-emotional dysregulation. Maybe the fact that you identify as ‘different’ and ‘not bound by societies rules’ could be creating the following feedback cycle:

      Lack of initial success fitting in socially
      see self as ‘different’, give up on trying
      embrace isolation
      pervasive anxiety, crave connection (humans are social animals, no one wants to be the omega)
      self protect: externalize self contempt – redefine failings as other people’s fault
      you’re now the victim. feelsbadman.jpg
      rinse and repeat

      Now that I’m reading this, it sounds a lot like Anakin Skywalker. Doesn’t make it any less relevant – he was a genius at being a space wizard!
      Ultimately it doesn’t help to blame others for your personal struggles – by definition you give away your personal power and agency to those you are blaming – with that attitude, it was never yours in the first place!

      To drive it home with some hardball questions:

      Is it intelligent to sustain emotional patterns that waste your time and obstruct your goals?

      How does being smart make you more vulnerable to emotional problems?

      Are the challenges you faces, like fitting in and following rules, universal to all humans?

      If so who else might feel that way?

      Can you shed your pride and foster humility to look outside of your self for solutions?

      If therapists and psychiatrists study for 6 years to get a job then treat people with psychological struggles for many more, might they know things you don’t, and be able to see aspects of your life that you can’t?

      Does being intelligent leave one less equipped to solve difficult life problems, or better equipped?

      Were you sent here to destroy the Sith or to become them!? (Sorry couldn’t resist!)

      Note: this post may seem like I am singling you out, but it’s my overall impression from reading the other posts here, and it’s also (very) autobiographical. My hope is that I can help people get their (brilliant) heads out of their (brilliant) asses and go use their abilities to make our world a better place. We need you guys the most.

    • gareththomasnz permalink

      I like it…

      “People say you’re depressed when u really just want them to shut up so you can go back to doing what you want.”

      • gareththomasnz permalink

        oops that was meant for the post above

  75. Zach permalink

    I’m around 140-145, maybe more, but to my knowledge not ‘extemely high’.
    Was pumped on it, but had the humbling realization that if I’m 1 in 100 or 200 or whatever it may be, then 350 million (7 billion / 150) or so people are smarter than me, assuming the distribution applies worldwide.
    Its pretty good. I’ve been able to do things my way a lot. Didn’t fit in or do well at school, got into trouble, lots of depression. Thought of myself as an outcast. Managed to graduate and was excited to be employed in environmental science. Learned firsthand that people there have grad degrees, which is different than being smart. I’d guess the average IQ there was 120, but they thought they were better than me because of their pedigree. I was frustrated to be relegated to the ‘bitch’ role, despite my smarts. I taught myself programming to automate my desk monkey tasks, within 5 months had an interview with Google.

    Quit that job, still working on getting into CS/ Data Science now. Lots of interviews at space companies, big tech giants. It’s been a year, still unemployed.

    It’s sometimes hard to meet people who I don’t zoom over their heads, but going to engineering and computer science meetups is always really fun. I’m looking forward to meeting more nerds this way.

    Then I learned my struggles in life weren’t from being smart. Nope. They are because I have bipolar disorder. Inconsistency in volition and long term planning, extreme mood shifts, suicidal thining, these were what has been holding me back. This recent info has helped me see myself in a new light, where there is more potential, and the dark moods and the crazy intense inspiration are put into context. I don’t have a dozen problems (anxiety, attention, impulse, depression, feeling like I’m insane, dangerous behavior, acting out, etc. I have one problem. With meds, I feel the future is bright.

    My advice: if you think being smart sucks, then work on your attitude and mental health. It’s a boon, not an excuse for being miserable. If you are a miserable fuck and really smart, you might want to try and separate those self-conceptions from each other. You are smart, and a miserable fuck. Two separate arenas. You’re not special enough that you have this fancy burden. Get help, see a therapist, get meds. It will set you free to use your abilities and love yourself.

    Find what defines you other than having a fast processor in your cranium. For me, its being creative, insightful, motivated, curious, appreciative of art and music and interesting people, getting outside and climbing, hiking, playing with my dog, etc. Your intelligence is just one facet of who you are.

  76. I’m having an issue connecting in the field in which I have found the greatest joy. I have always known I had an extremely high IQ as I maxed on the Stanford Binette exam, 160. I refuse to test my intelligence further with the Langdon exam as I am paranoid about how I will be viewed by society. I understand that is circular thinking and I may be dwelling on examples such as Mr. Nash and what he experienced. However I digress, the issue I have is I learn/ teach myself new subjects at extremely accelerated rates and have achieved knowledge without certification. I am employed currently as an Applications developer; short back story I was driving a truck 2 years ago, then I became a dispatcher. During my time as a dispatcher I taught myself database design and 2 programming languages in less than 6 months. I am now in a situation where I am extremely underpaid (30,000 below what I should make) under the median for my position in my area. Whilst researching other positions available I have hit a wall, most people in my industry specialize in one of 3 areas, architecture (back end design), middle ware (The queries that manipulate the data), or Front end GUI (General user interface, the graphical part of the application). I however do all 3 and extremely rapidly. I am starting to see that to truly succeed I probably should do my own thing and build my own applications, yet I have an Ex-Wife with 2 children to support and a fiance with a step daughter and daughter to support. Logically I cannot bring myself to roll the dice and step out on my own, yet I will truly never be happy unless I do. I feel as though I’m stuck in a circular feedback loop without a loop counter. If anyone has any suggestions I am open to it. I will bookmark this page and check back at regular intervals. In many ways I wish I never had a family so that I would be able to risk it all, but with the love I have for my children I cannot risk their futures on the uncertainty of success on my own. As with many with high IQ’s I self medicated for years, I no longer do so and am being treated for the depression I have, I assume many with high IQ’s become depressed for the same reason I have, you feel this power / ability to change the world yet have no control to actually do so.

  77. RachelB. permalink

    Here is an essay that sums up my experience. I spent the first 51 years of my life trying to be “normal” and failed miserably. I only found out last week my IQ is 141 (Wechsler) which puts me in the 99.69% range (less than 2% of the population). I’m not sure which direction I want to go for the rest of my life but the way I’m living it up to now has not worked at all. I need a change, I need to find my correct place in society, and I need to start really living life. The path I’ve taken has not brought me success or happiness, so I must continue searching. I’m ready for it:
    http://sophieschiller.blogspot.com/2016/09/what-i-learned-from-taking-iq-test_5.html

  78. Im not sure how smart I am. But i’m not dumb by a stretch and ranking intelligence is a finicky thing anyway at best. For whatever my experience is worth I think that there is a definite mechanism whereas people from different levels of intelligence can have miss communication and also there is a mechanism as to how someone with a more sophisticated mind can develop a pattern of attitudes dealing with people that causes a feed back loop.

    Chicken or the egg

    I feel that if some one has a more sophisticated mind and conceptualises things easier and has better spacial visualisation etc all of the gifts of intellect, this creates some dynamics that don’t help rapport and communication, especially as there isn’t support groups for gifted people on how to talk to other people. If your talking to someone, and you understand implications or conclusions or intricacies of a subject, and assume they will because it seem so obvious to you, then this is an unbalanced communication and some things will be lost, misinterpreted or the flow of the conversation wont be steady. Also as a more sophisticated mind tends to see things from a more complex conceptually developed perspective, even the subject in the SAME conversation can be vastly different. The person operating at this level will be getting this feed back and mis aligned rapport with people in almost every interaction, causing them to be disconnected, anger, frustration, blame inadequacies the list goes on. This in turn alienates them from people, perhaps creates an air of superiority, and then the normal mechanisms of social interaction that would check them are perhaps lost as they may have limited close friends now as the cant build successful rapport and strong relationships with enough people for them to get put back in their place by someone close to them. Worse still even if they where, given their superiority with plays on logic they may be able to out talk or over power feed back with mental fire power, and if the person giving them feed back isn’t as sophisticated then their point will be lost and perhaps that will be as far as its considered ‘squashed’.

    Now we are all animals, and the greatest minds we have ever developed at best can at best attempt to contemplate nature. So we are still very much a subject of this deep biology, so we need food, shelter, security… And as a species that survives through co-operation, no matter how smart we think we are, our emotional blueprint will cause us nothing buy despair and feelings of impending doom if we are alienated and ostracized from our fellow man. Im seeing a lot of comments on peoples ‘symptoms’ of being intelligent in a social context. But i would like to see more of a moment in our culture to appreciate, develop and understand those who are gifted and build the structures and tool to give them a way back into society, if in fact they have been marginalized through their being ‘different’.

    i don’t know if this seemed a no brainer to all of the people on here and i’m voicing the clearly obvious, and I don’t know if i’m smart enough to add my two cents. but i sure would love the feed back as i try calibrate my measuring instrument to reality (myself)

    – Thanks and build the truth (:

  79. Edward Toby Palmer permalink

    I have an IQ of around 130 and reading this article was really eye opening as it really articulated a lot of what i have struggled with since i was a young child. I am now in my first semester of college and have been having a hard time relating to others. And while I seek meaningful relationships and a social life, i tend to send the majority of time in my dorm. This is mostly due to the fact that i have not found anyone to carry on conversation to the depth i crave.

  80. gareththomasnz permalink

    My brother got 160 on his IQ test and is genuinely very clever. He has displayed all of the traits you mention but did not manage to ever fit in a career to match is intellect.

    I am pretty smart and find my IQ varies on tests from upper 120’s to lower 140’s usually but I believe intelligence is fully plastic. That we are all culturally far bellow genetic potential. I think I have managed close to 150 but have not taken an IQ test in decades.

    With my intelligence level I find that sometimes I will grasp something genuinely brilliant that no body elese realy knows about – then in my less clever times I will hold onto that like some prized possession or fixation.

    Also I truley question the sanity of those more clever than myself just as I do those below.

  81. ⴷངⵢརⴳ permalink

    i am a vision of scattered thought atop a bobble-head with a stretched spring…
    Trying to communicate the obvious to coworkers and bosses with years of experience beyond my own in the work i currently do is a frustrating activity that brings me a shiver of rage that borders psychotic!! Often the solution is a few turns of a screw away but i am not authorized to go forward wothout first clearing it with one of my bosses…and inevitably they proceed to “demonstrate” how its done rather than listen to and/or consider my solution… resulting in two or three days of labor that i could have avoided with a ten minute process of organized and precise actions.. I also must silently observe the most ignorant act of wastefull and expensive disposal of usefull material that inevitably must be repurchased in a matter of days. Items and material that are necessary and extremely expensive are passed on to a scrap recycler or thrown in the trash rather than sorted-seperated and organized for use/re-use. I have gotten to the point where i stash as much as i can in various hiding places around the work place in order to avoid having to wait for them to be ordered. These stockpiles save my employer thousands of dollars each month yet should they discover the identity of the person hiding them i would be fired. Not fired for using what has been declared “scrap/garbage” (there are no quality issues or legal reasons for such disposal) but i’d be fired for not throwing it out or collecting it after it was tossed.. simply fired for not following orders. They are more than excited to find that the materials are available and in perfect condition ready to use yet whenever a stash is discovered i hear the sounding of complaints about the fact that it isnt piled on the scrap pile.. I spend my breaks taking the stashed goods and smuggling them to the proper stock locations and trimming the rough edges to make the material look like a smaller piece that hasnt been cut from. This is especially true with wood, fiberglass, sheet metal and alluminum sheets..(i forgot to mention we are in the business of RV Repair)..have you seen the price of wood products lately? What logic is there in cutting a 2 foot square and a 6inch by 2 foot strip off of a $50 8foot by 4foot sheet of plywood and throwing the rest away when you will likely need to use two more of the same or similar cuts on a job the following week? Now this is an example of one common situation and there are too many to list.. Attempting to explain that paying one persons wages for the 15 minutes a day (an hour and a half/week) that it would require to trim, stack and seperate the usefull pieces would save them more than 50times what it would cost to pay that persons wages for doing the labor….well..its not even open for discussion really.. fact is its fuel for argument and the reasoning is lost in the wind of logic to phrases like, “im paying you to work not run a recycling plant”..
    And when it comes to procedure they refuse to consider the information brought to them from someone with only 2years to their 30+ years of experience… even when my suggested methods were obtained from an internet source with over 30 years experience.. and especially so when they are aware that the internet was a tool to my solution.. ..yet if the same source stood before them in the flesh they would be eager to absorb the facts/methods..And if its an obvious sollution that i came up with on my own then its just not possible that it isnt something they have already thought of and tried themselves and therefore it isnt worth listening to, let alone actually attempting. Regardless of my knowing for a fact that i have a sound idea that cannot fail. This has been commonplace in almost every job i have ever worked..
    I try not to have that, “everybody is stupid” attitude but its growing inside of me slowly taking root… I detest the idea of such judgmentalist disconnect but the older i get the more clearly the prophecy becomes of an old man on front porch yelling, “you dumb sons-a-bitches never listen”!! This frightens the hell out of me. Im gonna die alone!

  82. Rachael permalink

    They are all right, these other commenters, and they have written it out a lot more eloquently than I’m going to. I’m an iq around 140, which means that in a group of roughly 5,000 people, I’m the person who scores highest on iq tests.

    Someone else scores highest on musical instrument ability

    Another person highest for painting.

    The next is the best at devising recipes.

    Another at understanding mechanical issues.

    And some lucky soul is the best at finding people they consider friends, who they can relate to.

    Everyone has things they are good and bad at. I had to painfully and slowly force myself to understand most people and how to relate to them, because I grew up in a small town and never had peers. I can only imagine how hard it must be for someone above 160. I run into people at my same level of intelligence if I go to the right places – it’s not that they are so rare, it’s that I have to think about where they will be and find a way to be there. And it’s very awkward, because most of us did not grow up with peers and never learned how to relate to other people or how to interact. I honestly feel very lucky to be on the dumb end of the smartfarm because I would be much more alone if I had a 160, 170 iq.

    And yet I feel isolated like many of the people who speak above. I’m 32, female, and not too ugly, but I’m bad at relating to people, I’m tired of getting hit on by men who seem to have trouble understanding things I say and it’s hard to find a man similar to me in views on life. Intelligence doesn’t make you any less lonely or good at finding love.

    People who are as much smarter than me as I am from your typical average Joe – it must be incredibly lonely and difficult. And the fact that our culture put such importance on intelligence just isolates highly intelligent people more. The fact is we all need each other and we all have different skills and we all need help sometimes, but our culture teaches us that smart people should be able to solve everything.

    It’s also awkward to talk about how smart you are – it’s just something I was born with, like my hair color and how tall I am and my shoe size. I don’t get any credit for any of that – I was just born that way. When I talk about how it’s different to be smart, I don’t think I’m better than anyone else, but of course our culture believes that smarter people are better and that if someone says they are smart they must be bragging. So it’s a problem you can’t even really talk about, which is the worst kind.

    All of those negative qualities being said, if you can overcome those problems, and overcoming has a lot more to do with hard work than how smart you are, intelligence can be a great gift in life. I had an abusive/neglectful upbringing and extremely difficult health issues and my brain has been a saving grace of my life – it enabled me to survive childhood and hold onto jobs even when I could not attend regularly due to health issues.

    Just like I am grateful for somebody who spends the time to listen to me because they are good at caring, I hope I am able to help someone solve difficult problems, even though solving puzzles is a lot less gratifying than making someone feel understood and happy.

    Intelligence is like any other gift – it must be used well to help people and the world get better to see its true worth. And it takes work to learn how to use it the right way and stop being so frustrated!

    I apologize for any typos you find. I found this thread while browsing on my phone and I am posting on my phone with voice to text. Hopefully there are some nice funny typos you can get a good laugh out of.

    • aracel permalink

      I totally resonate with what you said here:

      ” It’s also awkward to talk about how smart you are – it’s just something I was born with, like my hair color and how tall I am and my shoe size. I don’t get any credit for any of that – I was just born that way. When I talk about how it’s different to be smart, I don’t think I’m better than anyone else, but of course our culture believes that smarter people are better and that if someone says they are smart they must be bragging. So it’s a problem you can’t even really talk about, which is the worst kind. ”

      Sometimes I feel isolated or lonely because it’s uncommon to find someone I can talk to without throttling the voltage by a huge amount, but it is offensive to share that with anyone!! We have a tendency to see physical, visible features as beyond our control, but we see mental or psychological attributes (positive or otherwise) as being determined by free will – this is a disservice to everyone, gifted or slow, mostly because it’s not true! There is some latitude there, I study and read and challenge myself with new skills every day, and others don’t try, doesn’t change that I was smart when I was born, I’m just sharpening a blade instead of a butter knife.

      People don’t want to be seen as inferior, so if our brain power stems from sheer will as the myth goes, then to be smarter is to be innately better. I wish I could tell people, I am most likely a lot smarter than you, but my life is full of problems nonetheless.

      I want people to see it, recognize my talent, but not in a way that puts me on a pedestal. However, when it is recognized it can feel alienating, like people see me with distance, or objectify/exotify my agency. Or maybe they feel challenged like now that it’s recognized, I ‘win’ and can look down on them. Not true, I probably assumed I was smarter right away, because 99.99% of the time that is indeed the case. It’s hard to tell where I am being sensitive or a jerk.

      Just gotta keep it under wraps I suppose.

  83. Canis lupus permalink

    I dont know if my message belongs here but i thought i would say something.

    I have never been tested. I have taken some online ones which i got between 150 and 180. I have been told by psychologists over the years that im likly of a very high iq. I dropped out when i was 15. Now im 26 and i just want to kill myself… i find it horriable to talk to anyone. If i talk to anyone long enough i just wnd up telling them the next course and path to take in there life… sounds strange but its all just numbers. If you apply enough perspective force you can change the outcome. But no one ever listens and im left a year later saying i told you so… lol and yet they still never listen… i have 3 kids with two people and im again alone. I completely understand when i read that your mind doesnt want to do the remedial things most people are happy to enjoy. I rarely watch tv i just dont find much value in it(well the discovery channel is good most of the time accept when i tell my tv i dont believe they are telling me the truth but thats another object of things that i needith not get into). I have been a horriable addict but i failed cause i couldnt continue in self destruction. I also oded and messed my liver up… even now im finding it hard not to go back and try to kill myself… my brain just wont turn off or slow down. I attempted mt life 2 months ago. Did 30 days only to get out and stay awake for 2 day intervals and four hours of sleep… i decided to finish my game so i can provide for my family. Though it finally destoryed my realtionship. Since im sure its terrifying for her when i ramble about code recursion and im working on a system for my game and ive lost myself in it. As thw more i do the more intrinsically interested i become. Half of this i recently discovered was the fact i have adhd and im likly to have had attechment disorder as a child… unfortanatly because of these things my intelligence as a youth wasnt noticable.. i couldnt concentrate.. i didnt do home work. I always passed my tests and i could read a math problem while the teacher was writting it and give the answer when she finished… yet i failed the course. Sorry for the sob story just figured id would give you my background in the issue of living with a high iq or w.e is up with me. So its been a month since i split up with my common law partner and i spent the last 3 weeks writting about my theories of things(largly because my brain loves to question interactions) i apply what i do know and after i conceptualize for weeks i go trying to find information on the relative concepts… well at the current time my psychologist says what im taking about in my theories is a general idea of question in most feilds.of science( it has to.do with conscienceness -> science)… but heres the worst thing. I have written a program and it is starting to work in line with my thoeries ive written. Which are about 60 pages in 2 weeks thats about half typed not . including code(well even though the code is inly 50 lines). But i cant talk to anyone about it there is no one i can talk about it with. Accept my doctor and he is only 30minutes every 2 weeks. Other people i try to talk to just stop talking or tell me to cause they dont understand what im talking about… but it all.makes perfect sense. Hell i can tell my ideas to my doctor whos also a physicist and he understands me perfectly… but its so lonely… i dont know if any of what i said has relavance to this post but this is kinda what its like for.me. again i dont know if i have a high iq but i have so large amounts of supporting information. I dropped out at 15 by the time i was 20 i was pulling 10k a month working my ass off which lead to.me runnig a company making 40k a month but i was a addict of alot.of.things and for the last 8 years ive basiclly done nothing but had my brain turning for 20 hours or better a day and doi g that continually. This is the only.time i dont feel utterly crazy, since between the substances and physical labor there isnt enough energy left for my brain accept.to deal.with what im doing… even though in the background i was always testing my thoery. Psychological influences have physical ramifications. At 20 after living on the street from 15 to 18, i managed roof 70bundles in a day on a re-roof. I did it alone. I also did it three times that season. No music. No one to talk to and only one 2 hour break in a 20 hour day. Simply mind over matter. And it works out to be somewhere around 7500% efficient not including the manuel dexterity aspects. And maybe one asks why this shows or.proves a high iq. Well i will.explain my reason. Every second i comtemplate the next ten, while the ten ten happen i comtemplate the next hour then in that hour i contemplate the rest of the day. When im driving home.in my mind i come back to the task i was doing that im still doing and contemplate that moment again makong the descsion if this is the most efficent way to make my actions. Then i look at the next ten seconds etc etc. No.one who reads this knows but i dont talk much. But i cant partition my thoughts out and seems like i set my body in auto.pilot, when i decide the next course of action and i deem it will take an hour my mind goes back and repreceives whats going on and how i could do it better and faster… oh wow now im.really starting to ramble.on. once again about things likly i am the only one who can make sense of. Thanks for you time in adavance im sure even though i tried to relay my feelings here to try and sooth my mind so i can sleep, it likely wont do anything. I apologize aswell for all my spelli g mistakes and grammer errors. I only know very bad english. All in all it makes sense why they say being intelligent is alot like being crazy. On the best days i still say im.only half crazy

  84. Alexandre Kristjansson permalink

    If you’re still active, would you please reply as soon as get this? I’m living with my memory of my intelligence… Severe hypothyroidism is stealing my ability to think in logical sequences.

  85. Me Just Me permalink

    I have an absurdly high IQ. I constantly max out IQ test and always score 200+. Personally life is kinda sucky. Im always thinking, then I expand those thoughts. People are always pissed at me in certain classes because I never fail at problem solving and analysis which is the roots of those classes. Also in other classes I always get the answers to questions hella fast because of how I think and cope. At first I was happy for being so “smart”, that’s what they said it was at least, but then I realized that I won’t be able to relate to others as easily. My terribly high IQ isn’t the only thing that is different about me compared to others. So its annoyingly difficult for me to relate and bond to others. Also people always think I’m serious because I often analyze anything and break down logic. Ive been cast into a lonesome life so I hope that someone can see this and relate to me. Although its unlikely. About 0.00000027% of the world have an IQ like mine, and that percentage will drop if I add my personal attributes.

    • aracel permalink

      What other personal attributes if you don’t mind me asking? You’re saying there are less than 2000 people in the world that match your IQ, so I’m assuming that those that share your attributes would be people that speak english and not mandarin or hindi? Or do you mean domain-specific skills in music or science etc?
      I’m interested in talking to somebody that can make me feel like an idiot without trying to, so don’t be shy!

  86. Sara Erdle permalink

    Its not a comment but a question. Where do tortured, intelligent souls go to find a community they can feel part of? My son is in the genius category and needs to find like minded friends. Is there an online community?

    • aracel permalink

      I was having trouble finding smart people all my life until I taught myself programming and computer science at age 28. No shortage of brainiacs in that field. Computer science attracts many of the brightest minds as it is made of puzzles, it’s always evolving and growing, there is a strong creative element to it, and it’s never over. The many of the brightest minds are in the field.

  87. Comforting Revelation permalink

    This has been enlightening. Only recently (in my 50’s), Dr. called and said I have ADHD and IQ is 99.99%. I have never felt smart, not even when I graduated Summa Cum Laude. After reading this article and the comments I understand why I find it painful to listen to what most people feel is important, why (most) TV bores me, why so many people have told me I make them feel dumb when that was never my intention, why I have to fight to not finish people’s sentences/thoughts, why I have always valued intelligence and have been frustrated with stupidity. Just knowing these things are normal for someone with a high IQ is a comforting revelation. My husband of 30 years, who graduated top in his class, laughs and tells me dealing with stupidity (and him) is my cross to bear. Haha! Somehow after reading this stupidity seems a little less frustrating.

  88. Kris permalink

    @Denise Thank you for your response. I did read her post, but took it a bit differently than you did. I believe her complaint that her personal interactions with people who’s iq’s were higher turned into a “battle for supremacy” meant that was not something she wanted and thus refrains from relationships of that (or any) nature. She may have inferred (although that’s not what I got) that those who were not as intellectually gifted were able to have fulfilling relationships, but didn’t make an accusatory statement. I disagree with generalized, sweeping statements about anyone, finding them to cause narrowness of thinking. By making the statement that if you are of a higher iq group and you have any issues socially, it is absolutely due to your “personality problem”, as opposed to anything related to iq embraces a prejudicial mindset. There are no absolutes. Some people with high iq’s have trouble socially, some because of their personalities, some not and the same can be said for those with average iq’s. People with Asperger’s, ADHD, Autism, Bi-Polar, and Schizophrenia are all known to exhibit a higher than average iq and social interactions for those folks can be very difficult. Many people with higher iq’s also have much higher levels of anxiety and anxiety related disorders. When I was a kid people knew I was smarter than average and I was treated differently because of this. When you are a child and ask adults questions that they don’t even think about, let alone know the answer to, can make things a bit awkward socially. Some of those with similar experiences of oddity or what have you, may have carried those feelings with them to adulthood. How we are treated shapes us all.

    • aracel permalink

      I never put it together, but I recently learned I have bipolar disorder, and after learning more it seems like a huge amount of friends throughout my life seem to have similar issues. Maybe the IQ part is related to that selection bias.

  89. Diana golden permalink

    Thank you for your article. I found it amusing. I have been frustrated because I have been “ignoring how emotional and irrational people actually are when it comes to making decisions or adopting beliefs.”

    When I step outside of my research I need to remind myself that other people are not like me. It is alienating. My students and peers are fabulous so for that I am grateful. Thank you again.

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