Extreme Intelligence or Just Being a Jerk?

goofy einstein

In this article “7 Surprising Downsides of Being Extremely Intelligent” (h/t Maggie’s Farm) this one caught my eye:

4. People may get annoyed that you keep correcting them in casual conversation.

When you know that someone’s just said something completely inaccurate, it’s hard to stifle the urge to clarify.

But you’ve got to be extremely sensitive to the fact that other people may be embarrassed and offended by your actions — or risk losing some friends.

Being intelligent is a bummer, says Raxit Karramreddy, “when you correct people each and every time to a point that they stop hanging around with you or stop talking with you.”

I admit that I do this occasionally, not that I’m extremely intelligent or anything, in fact my intelligence level would probably be best classified as “just smart enough to get myself into trouble and then back out again”. But really, is a compulsion to correct people a side effect of extreme intelligence?

There are certain people who insist on always being “right” and always knowing more than everyone else, but I think of this more as a person trying really hard to seem extremely intelligent, but not convinced in their own mind. It screams to me of someone who is very invested in others thinking of them as super smart.

The other day, we were at our local [private fraternal club] visiting with some friends, and a man we hadn’t seen in a couple of years was there and came over to join us. He was one of these types of people. Does he know a lot of stuff? Yes, absolutely. Is he more intelligent than most? Yes, definitely. Is he extremely intelligent? Ehhhh, not really. No matter what the subject was, he knew more about it that anyone else, kept interrupting to point out his superior knowledge, and one-upped like a mofo.

On the internet, people like this are the “Ruler of the 10 Second Google Search”. You could have spent 3 weeks researching PubMed and other medical studies on an obscure subject like Oil Pulling (new post coming soon, LOL), and if you mention it, they will find the most ridiculous snake oil article online and lambaste the whole concept. You could have lived in a certain town for your entire life, but make a claim about how it is there, and wham, 10 seconds later they throw a wikipedia page at you that claims otherwise. Because you know, of course, wikipedia has no agenda to push or anything like that. 🙂 Their 10 second search trumps your lifetime of knowledge.

Another type of people like that are those who have the dirt on everyone. You mention someone and these people know all about them and spill all the dirt. Sure, yeah, I’m guilty of that too 😦 but after seeing a few really bad examples lately of people doing that while cramming their foot down their throat, this is one thing that I am going to do my best to quit.

I know a lot of crazy-smart people who don’t do the things listed in that article, so I really don’t think that any of those 7 things are indicative of extreme intelligence, I think they are an indication of a lack of social skills, a superiority complex, and probably a high score on the autism spectrum quotient, which usually comes with a higher (but not always extreme) intelligence. People with social issues sometimes latch onto their intelligence like a life jacket in the ocean, and then it becomes their identity. They have to be the smartest person in the room or their sense of identity crumbles.

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3 thoughts on “Extreme Intelligence or Just Being a Jerk?

  1. TempestTcup Post author

    I always had the BEST ideas but also had a way out of all the situations I got myself and others into 🙂

    As a teen my friends and I skipped school constantly (it was the 70s when you could do that) but only after we came up with a good story for why we couldn’t make it in. A calculated risk, if you will. I’ve always been able to talk my way out of situations or I just don’t get into those situations. I was a pretty wild girl, but never got caught.

    I’ve mellowed a lot since my youth and now just try to stay out of trouble altogether, LOL!

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