Living Life With High Intelligence: Not All It's Cracked Up To Be

Living Life With High Intelligence: Not All It's Cracked Up To Be

Here's a fact most people here don't know about me: I'm what most people refer to as "highly gifted." It's not something I always like to mention, but I thought I would write a myTake about it. When most people think of highly intelligent people, after you think of the scientists like Einstein or Stephen Hawkings, their minds drift to characters like Sheldon Cooper from Big Bang Theory. While I'm sure some highly intelligent people are autistic and asexual geniuses, from what I've experienced, that's not an accurate representation of life with high intelligence, and I thought I would elaborate a few things

1. Things you think are obvious, are almost never are.

I'm sure we can all agree that the sky is blue. That's pretty obvious, right? Now, imagine that you came across people in everyday life, who didn't know the sky was blue. You'd be pretty frustrated, because it's insanely obvious to you and you can't see how it wouldn't be obvious. I experience that all the time. I had to give a presentation on pulsars to a group of my peers, and I had my sister review it. After the third time I had to explain what I viewed as incredibly obvious, I was ready to trash the presentation, because I didn't know if I could explain anything else without going insane. I love explaining things, if I know it's a concept that's not obvious, but if it's something I can't understand not understanding, I don't know what to do. On a similar note...

2. You learn things before your peers.

While that itself is not a bad thing, you naturally want to talk about what you've learned. I don't know about you, but I didn't find it very easy to try and explain 4 dimensions (space-time) to friends in 5th grade, or string theory with 11 dimensions in 9th. I find both concepts, especially space-time, incredibly easy to grasp, so I have a hard time understanding why people don't understand it.

Living Life With High Intelligence: Not All It's Cracked Up To Be

3. We have some common issues, both mental and physical.

Studies, and my own personal experience, have shown that those that are highly intelligent are more likely to suffer from certain mental illnesses. Depression, specifically existential depression, is a big one, as is anxiety, especially OCD, GAD, or a phobia. I myself have arachnaphobia (plus certain insects), and not a mild case either, I've had complete meltdowns over a cockroach. We also are more likely to have sensory processing issues, from my experience, and I've noticed quite a few of us have forms of synesthesia. I associate colors with weekdays, and my friend, colors with shapes, which is cool; I've also made a bet that there's a connection between synthestesia and sensory processing issues with one of my neuroscience buddies from camp. We also, for some reason, have an inability to open packaging. Those things Moon Pies come in? I have to get other people to open them. Want to eat a banana? I literally have to find someone to open it for me. I want crisps? Well, off to find a friend!

4. You feel bad talking about your intelligence.

You probably find that surprising, but it's true. I swim, and I've noticed that everyone seems really comfortable talking about how good their child is doing in sports, and bragging about how good a child is at whatever sport they do, and if someone mentions their child is gifted at a sport no one bats an eyelid. My mom talks to the other moms about me, and sometimes mentions things, like when I went to CTY (Center for Talented Youth) at Johns Hopkins over the summer, and will sometimes say I'm gifted.

The other parents always try and bring us, me specifically, down by saying things later on like "my son is intelligent, but I wouldn't say he's gifted" or "so and so got an A in this class, is she gifted?" It makes me feel really bad and worthless because adults are trying to make me feel bad about being gifted, so I don't talk about it if I don't have to. It probably doesn't help that...

Living Life With High Intelligence: Not All It's Cracked Up To Be

5. You constantly doubt that you're gifted.

Might be another shocker, but we almost constantly doubt we're gifted or special in any way. To us, we're normal. We've been this way all our life. It's nothing different to us, it's not likely suddenly a switch flips and we become highly intelligent, we've always been like that and don't know anything different. I took the SAT in 7th grade and got a 1850, with a 700 on the English and 630 on Math, which I thought, and to an extent, still think, is a low score, even if I remind myself that I was just finishing pre-algebra when I went to take the test. Even if I agree that the score was ok, I sometimes think it might have been a fluke or a mistake, even though I took a second test, the SCAT, and got placed in the same scoring percentile. On a similar note....

6. People who don't know you think you're stupid or mentally disabled.

We act a bit differently, so I don't exactly blame them. I've seen some of us throw a fit in the middle of a classroom because they can't understand a difficultly-worded problem, in the same manner an autistic child would throw a fit. One of my buddies, who was fifteen when I met him but now eighteen, is going off to Harvard to study biochemistry with a full ride, got a 2400 on the SAT, and is a musical genius on both the violin and piano, is a big, quiet guy who I still remember watching cry because someone kicked over his violin case (people were NOT nice to him in 9th grade, I remember that) and honestly, most of us a quiet, get frustruated easily, and listen to (in my experience) metal, punk and many of punk's subgenres (grindcore especially.)

Living Life With High Intelligence: Not All It's Cracked Up To Be

When I was in preschool the teachers thought I had a speech defect, which turned out to be a combination of me speaking with my dad's accent and refusing to speak to most of the kids because we simply did not get along. I still don't get along with most of them, being incredibly sarcastic and sharp-witted, but I do have a number of good friends now.

7. People expect us to be perfect.

That's something I don't get. We're human too, and all humans make mistakes. Sure, we're good in the intelligence department, but everyone's good at something, whether it be sports, theatre, social situations, or dance, what difference does it make? People react so badly to me messing up I don't open up to people, or admit I'm haveing a problem with something, and it's a problem. We're not infallible. Everyone is, to some degree, broken, but we get overlooked and we have feelings too. I'm afraid of losing those I love, I'm struggling with guilt and anger after a suicide attempt by a close friend, and still carry the sadness from the lose of loved one previously. We're not Vulcans, for God's sake. Everyone seems to think the intelligence makes it so that you can *have it all* and when we don't, people look down on us.

Despite all of this, being highly intelligent is both a blessing and a curse, and I wouldn't have it any other way. I enjoy being able to pick up new material easier, and understand sophisticated topics more easily than the average joe, and the positives definitly outweigh the negatives.

Living Life With High Intelligence; Not All It's Cracked Up To Be

Living Life With High Intelligence: Not All It's Cracked Up To Be
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  • Anonymous
    I am fairly certain I have median intelligence. In other words, if you were to line up people in a single-file line, then 50% of the people would be smarter than I, and 50% would be dumber. Now, because I usually hang out with very intelligent people, I may appear that I am below average intelligence.
    Is this still revelant?

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  • Waffles731
    I have a gifted IQ and this is spot on
    Is this still revelant?

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What Girls & Guys Said

  • redeyemindtricks
    As I've noted before, you are a smart girl. This is not in doubt.

    Point #1, on the other hand, means that you still aren't so hot at communicating ideas -- and that is MUCH MORE IMPORTANT, in terms of actual success at life, than almost anything you've listed here.

    If you actually become irritated or annoyed with people for not understanding you, then, that's A VERY BAD THING, and you NEED to fix it.
    Seriously, that is a HUGE personal weakness, and it's going to SEVERELY limit yr ability to achieve success in the world -- socially AND professionally.

    Here's a thought experiment you can do to improve that:
    Imagine you have a 9-year-old cousin with cancer.
    She/he is going to die in about 6 months, so, really, you don't have the time to alienate her/him or become annoyed with her/him, and you want to spend some quality time together.
    Yr cousin is a pretty average 9-year-old. Not a genius.
    If you don't know any 9-year-olds, here's how they are: They pretty much understand ALL things that are CONCRETE -- like, they have no issues understanding ideas like "life may have started from proteins that came through the Earth's atmosphere on asteroids" -- but they pretty much don't understand ANYTHING that is ABSTRACT. Like, even the complete notion of "left" and "right" is a bit too much. (If a pencil is "to the left" of a 9-year-old, and then she/he turns around 180º -- so that, logically, the pencil is now to her/his right -- she/he will still say that it's "to the left". The whole idea of a changing frame of reference is still too abstract for most kids at that age.)

    OK, so, here's the thought experiement:
    Whenever you learn something new and cool -- Imagine how you would explain that concept to this 9-year-old cousin.
    Explain it to a 9-year-old.

    Srsly, if you start doing that -- and get good at that -- you'll probably find that yr whole entire ability to socialize will improve. Because us normal people, we're pretty fucking cool, too <3
    And there's a lot more of us to choose from, as friends, and stuff. hahah


    Really tho, DO NOT start getting a big head about book-smarts.

    Abstract intelligence can obviously help you with lots of things in life, but, the kinds of "intelligence" that REALLY MATTER are the ones that I enumerated in the mho opinion here:

    Good luck.
    • Thats's a cool trick! I actually have an 11 year old sister and 8 year old brother, and my brother is really into things like me, so I guess I could try thinking about explaining it to him

    • Yah for sure. Might give you some extra opportunities to bond with yr brother, too, if he's super interested in something.

    • Tarvold

      Whoa! Hold on a second, first things first... "us normal people"?

      NO! WAY! You're firmly up there in the high intelligence category.

      Way, way, WAY high intelligence.

      But I digress. I see your point - the whole communicating ideas being the most important can't even be argued. Take a quick look around and it's glaringly obvious that the world is run by idiots, so it doesn't matter how good an idea is, if it is to work, an idiot needs to be able to make it happen.

      On the flip side, each of us can only experience the world from the one perspective that is our own. When we do things and when we think about things we do so with reason and logic that makes sense to us, and therefore, it is natural for us to assume that others have put in the same reasoned thinking behind their actions.

    • Show All
  • Lynx122
    Yes it's very hard for anybody to acknowledge that someone might be smarter than them (or their child in your example). Mistrust and jealousy is probably what those people had inside them. Everybody wants to think that they're smart, I'd like to think I'm smart even though compared to you I'd probably get rated stupid as fuck :P. I hope you live a happy life and maybe you can do something with your special abilities that can help humanity. I don't think you have a obligation like Robin Williams character in Good Will Hunting (you only have one life so do what makes you happy) but it would be great and I'd be greatful ;). I think it's a shame that smart people who are trying to solve serious problems we face get little to no respect and admiration if you compare it to actors or singers etc. If a scientist isn't also good on camera he's useless wtf ? So I don't know if you'd actually get any gratitude even if you did something amazing and significant but you have my gratitude in advance just in case ;).
    • I know! If someone's awkward they often get overlooked for the guy who's entertaining and charming

  • xobrowneyedbeauty
    i was in a gifted program in middle and high school. i always got really good grades, graduated in the top of my class in high school, went to a good college, and am now in medical school (which is extremely competitive and difficult to get into). but the older i get and the more people i meet, the more complicated i learn that intelligence is. a lot of times when we are young and in elementary, middle, and even high school, our intelligence is measured purely by if we can read and understand what we are reading, if we can do times tables quickly and accurately, if we can learn the parts of a cell and what they do, and if we can remember all the dates when different things happened. and that's all fine and dandy, of course people who can do all those things should be recognized as intelligent. but it makes it so easy for people with different types of intelligence do just kind of fall to the wayside and slip between the cracks. "oh this kid draws really great pictures and plays the piano well but he can't sit still long enough to read this chapter book. he needs to be held back in school. he's dumb. he can't learn." etc etc. i just think it's sad because then that kid grows up and feels like he/she is dumb and worthless and just kind of loses his/her motivation. i know i kind of went on a ramble haha anywho, i do agree with most of your points you make. i was always viewed as this weird overachiever and would get extremely frustrated when people didn't get what i was trying to say. however, i have always hated the punk music genre. :p
  • DrGtheMD
    I congratulate you on an excellent take. I would like to comment on the disadvantages of being homeschooled. No matter what you believe you are not receiving enough social interaction. To some degree you feel not a part of your peers. Unless you were in a classroom full of gifted students that would also be felt in a public school. So you're sort of stuck either way. If you choose to attend the University that caters to students of your caliber you will soon find out that you all feel the same way. I encourage you to attend such a university. Not only for the social advantages but you will soon find out that you are not the sharpest knife in the drawer. You will be competing with students who also are gifted and that's when a new reality sets in.
    It can be scary or stimulating but usually a little of both. Being gifted is analogous to playing baseball and I mean that with all sincerity. Your superstar status while inherent doesn't take away the fact that you've got to practice. Nobody is born a major leaguer you are only born with the capability of becoming one if you practice. If you're batting average is 350 university professors will still expect you to have the skills of a phenomenal fielder. It puts a lot of pressure on you. Practice. The best baseball player there ever was, in my opinion was Willie Mays. He could do it all and that is what is expected of a superstar in academia.
    Now the benefits aren't always obvious but they include an inherent ability to be social and to, "get the girls." No not the girls at the bowling alley but those who are looking for hot guys. It is just that their definition of hot is far more mature. Trust me you can be a winner there to. Just be yourself don't try to be the picher if your best at centerfield.
    And finally my most important advice, relax, don't squash your brain thinking that you must be the same superstar you were back home. It will bum you out. Practice and do the best you can but you will always meet somebody who's a faster gun. You are not the fastest gun at Stanford or MIT or Caltech. No matter how fast you are, you always meet somebody who's faster and that is okay.
    • I agreed with all of that except the disadvantages of being homeschooled.

      I'm certain I socialize enough. I swim 6 nights a week, I do Girl Scouts, volunteer at Boys and Girls Club, do orchestra and take lessons for Viola, go to a homeschool co-op on Wednesday's, and hang out with friends. I went to one of my mate's houses today. I don't know how much more socializing you want me to do.

    • DrGtheMD

      My bad as I didn't know that. Your bad as you didn't point that out to me. My bad as if you did I missed it. I am trying to get my gun out of the holster... Wait a minute I'm going to get there.

    • I didn't say that anywhere, so it's mainly my fault. I'm pretty social for an introvert

  • talloak
    Thank you for this fascinating insight into your mind and world. I can understand that being so different can create all sorts of challenges in learning how to interact with others who are not like you. I think the bigger issue is that being different you are bound to face a great deal of prejudice on that account. I assume that many people believe that brilliant people have it easy in life but those would be the same people who treat brilliant people badly.

    I can't say where I fit in on the intelligence scale (I never had my IQ tested, nor do I really trust such tests). Clearly I'm nowhere near your level. I did have many traits of the social awkwardness and emotional obliviousness that alienated me from many and invited mistreatment from some. In time I learned how to interact normally with others to the extent that I seem normal in casual encounters. No doubt you will learn as much yourself in time. The key is that you're motivated to do so. It is the hyper-intelligent who think others should adapt for them who never learn such skills.

    You are extremely fortunate that you are home schooled. If you went to public schools (at least in America) you'd likely fail because of your intelligence. I'm a teacher and I believe that the gifted are the most underserved population in public schools here. Most do not get bad grades or cause problems so they are ignored. Teachers are usually not skilled at engaging the gifted and special programs have been cut over time as funding for schools continues to shrink.

    I was typically failed in my first few years of school. I suspect my teachers resented that I asked so many questions they couldn't answer. I didn't do this to make them look bad; I sincerely wanted to understand. It didn't help that I could barely stand doing tedious and pointless exercises. I was unable to memorize multiplication tables (I have always had a bad memory) in second grade and failed on that account. It wasn't until third grade that the teacher bothered to explain how multiplication worked! Once I learned that I didn't need to memorize the tables; I could compute them faster when I needed them.

    As a teacher, I'm appalled at how education is managed here. When I've taught science in 2nd or 3rd grade classes, I also bring up abstract concepts that many of the students can understand. I'm horrified to watch their primary teacher crush their spirits for not raising their hands before asking questions in their enthusiasm.
  • Pokiwar
    This is a very interesting take. I'm presuming, you're American based on your language use. I for one am a 'gifted' UK student, 16 today! WOOOOH.
    Anyway, in the UK it is significantly harder for 'gifted' students to get ahead in any sort of capacity. I'm from a relatively poor family, so I can't afford to do any major exams ahead of schedule/outside of school as they're quite expensive. However, I have managed to jump up a year, which for the UK is extremely difficult to do. In fact the only way I did it was to threaten to be home schooled. Now as much as I am 'gifted', it doesn't exactly show itself too much in pure academia. In my GCSEs (roughly equivalent to SATs I'm presuming) whilst there were many people who got 11 A stars or whatever, I got 1 A Star, 4 As, 2 Bs, and a C. Many people presumed I would get 100% in everything I did and I think this follows heavily on from your last and first point in a way. During tests, I'm in a particular mind set where if I mistake a simple mathematical mistake, everytime I read over my working, I still don't see it. It's not obvious to me, and that is my fatal flaw. Instead, my 'gifted-ness' comes from my ability to learn inexplicably fast, I taught myself a years worth of statistics in a weekend, basic astrophysics in a few hours and so on (not bragging, I swear). Now this great understanding of a topic, only partially correlates to my exam scores. In pure mathematical subjects like maths, or Further Maths (english A-Level subject) I score 90% and above. However, something like Physics, to which the 11 A-star people only got 70%, I got around 57%, as the worded questions don't click in my head. They are ambiguous yet are marked disproportionately specifically, I don't understand which way they intend me to answer, which eventually leads to an unfortunately low mark.
    I am currently thinking of applying to Natural Sciences for Astrophysics at Cambridge, though I doubt I would get the grades necessarily to get even to the interview stage.
    I really love this dispelling of rumours associated to us - though for the second to last point I do suffer from High Function Autism, though it's not instantly obvious - and I wish you luck to your future.
  • untotal
    Interesting take, though I have to disagree that all of these are directly because of someone's intelligence. I have plenty of friends that have IQs above 150, but get Bs and Cs in school because they don't try - they don't have any parental expectations to be 'perfect'. I myself fall under the measly 'superior intelligence', but have definitely had a few times where I have to go cry in a bathroom because of getting anything lower than an A on a test - both because of personal and parental pressure.

    The same goes for learning things and understanding things - a lot of that has to do with the way things are taught. Someone that's a kinetic learner, for example, isn't going to do nearly as well or understand material as quickly as an auditory learner in a lecture-based classroom.

    Also, not trying to start any beef or anything lol, but calling people 'normals' is incredibly offensive. You're putting yourself on a pedestal you don't deserve - just because other people aren't necessarily as gifted as you, does not mean they're less special. As you said, there are other things that people can be talented at. Just something to think about :)

    Still, appreciate the hard work and effort you've put into this!
    • Haha I realize I shouldn't call them normals, I blame my mother for starting that trend.

      A lot of the stuff you wrote made a lot of sense. It's sad, I think, that your friends have IQs of 150 and don't apply themselves. That's basically squandering their gift, which is definitly sad

    • AhGojira

      What many people fail to understand, is that people with very high IQs tend to be mastery oriented. They are more concerned with the intricacies and depth of singular ideas than general performance. A B or a C in a class is a passing grade. If that class if required but boring and relatively useless when applied to a geniuses passion, then energy wasted on performing is still energy wasted. There are much better things they can be doing with their time... Real geniuses tend to become detracted by their obsessions, which means there is less time for the other stuff... So your friends likely didn't squander their intelligence, they just applied it to what matters to them, and did well enough when it came to basic responsibilities.

  • somebodysaycheese
    I was different. Once I got to kindergarten they wanted to skip me up a grade or two. My mom didn't want that because she wanted me to be in a environment with people my age. As I got older everything was boring, id zone out and basically just show up to school. Senior year I took my SATS and just circled things, the school I wanted to go to didn't need SAT scores so it was unimportant to me. 2 months out from graduation I took a exit exam. I scored in the top 10 percent of the country for engineering and science. My teachers always told me I over think things and questions things that dont need questioning. I later learned that thats because I think more than most, i see things in 4th dimension. I question things because they can be questioned. Plus in school, they always go around the hot pie when teaching, If they just got to the point id actually be able to pay attention. See too much info, usless info makes my head spin and feel like it will burst. But the thing is people think your crazy for seeing things they dont see, and to me im like well hot damn how can you not see it. But most people only see what they are taught, very few think for themselves.
  • Sjeggy
    intelligence is so many things
    it can be booksmart
    it can also be when one is artistic
    i always got bullied my entire life, and i had no self esteem, it was because people were jealous it turned out. i was too smart for my age. yet my test grades were sub par, i was unpopular, not attractive, i was a failure. funnily enough i am gifted, but stress and emotional trauma hold me back even to this day

    not everyone with bad grades is stupid, not everyone is gifted
  • Bvroon
    This was a very interesting take. I have always wondered though where the line is drawn though between being intelligent and being gifted. Admittedly, when I think of gifted I always think of people being gifted in math or science. However I know that people have different skill sets. I have been able to make it through college algebra and was able to understand most all of it, however as I started getting into more complex stuff I started to drop off, the same is true for me and science, in the sense I was able to make it through all of my requirements for science in order for me to graduate. I'm now nearing completion of my 2nd Masters degree, which I'm proud of, however I can't necessarily say I'm smarter for it, as it has been my impression that success in school can be contributed to intelligence (it makes it easier) but it doesn't teach you to be smart, either you are or you aren't. Granted I know there is a spectrum of intelligence and that people will fall into somewhere into that spectrum. At any rate I would like to believe that I'm intelligent, but I'm not sure if I would say I'm gifted. How do you measure something like that? I get it that I. Q is the ability to learn things, however I. Q Tests are usually administered to children (which is appropriate) because if you wait too long then you are exercising a test more for memory than the ability to learn. Forgive me if I have rambled a bit, there is a lot that can be said on this topic.
  • FakeName123
    Some years ago I read a study about how highly gifted people were earning on average the same amount of income than the normal average-joe - but were most likely to be in both extremes of the spectrum. Quite interesting, but I don't have the link anymore.

    Anyway, to the actual topic. I have had my fair share of experience with some of the things you described.

    My school boosted about me being state-wise in the top3 of math-talents instead of helping to challenge my intellect. My grades dropped at one point, because of getting distracted by being underchallenged. During 7th grade I had a proper IQ Test done by a professional. I ended up in the range of 140-145. My results were at the peak in every aspects except seeing patterns and some aspects of lingustic intelligence. They still were above average on those.

    As a result my mom suggested to me to go to a place for intellectually gifted part-time. I cancelled that after 2 months, because the kids there were social retards. And no, this is not an exaggeration. It felt toxic to me and was a key experience in my life. It was when I realised how little importance intelligence has. Fortunately I grew up with social interaction with other kids and my mom while challenging me, never made my intellect a priority as a child. Thus it wasn't too difficult for me to learn to change my life and the priorities I have. I learned to become more outgoing, I learned that I shape who I am, I learned that its my decision to make and I learned that my intelligence and my shortcomings don't define me - but one is a gift to make some aspect sof life easier and the other depends on me and what I make out of that.

    So while I was always quite talkative, it took me quite some time to actually become more outgoing - especially towards strangers. The people who know me also know that I am a bit different. It just doesn't bother them, because they know I am honest and genuine. A positive and friendly vibe helps for people to look past the initial weirdness of being unable to classify your type.

    Thus after trying to express my life-experience in a short as possible comment, some life-advice from my personal experience: Don't let your intelligence define you. In the grand scheme of things its irrelevant and its a gift as well as a burden. It grants you advantages and disadvantages. Take the advantages, but realise that the disadvantages are in your hands and so is removing them from your life.
  • frozenhorizon
    I can relate, because I am in the same category. Also, you might think this is annoying because I probably would have but I think some of these things go away after a certain age? Like yeah they're definitely things that make life not so easy at your age. I think some of them are just caused by feeling uncertain about what you're going to do with your life, and about whether you can actually provide value to anyone. School and "rules" that apply to minors are not at all built for people who are "gifted" (actually I think they're bad ideas in general but that is beside the point), and it frustrated me to no end. But now that I am an adult I can decide how to do things in different ways that are not so frustrating. I quit college for example but I'm doing perfectly fine without it. I mean some of it is also just from lacking in confidence and being socially anxious... when you perceive things very different than most people it's hard to know how to talk to them, but it gets easier over time? That's not to say that these things aren't real difficulties but I think they mostly apply to people under the age of 20 or so.
  • lucky1988
    I was in a "gifted and talented" class in elementary school... so were my siblings. Since I was little I was pulled to the side and given extra work to do b/c I was ahead (well so were my younger siblings). But the thing is when I got older my self esteem started to go way down and I had major doubts about myself. I thought I was dumb compared to others which didn't make sense. So I developed depression and anxity/panic attacks during school and exams which lasted from high school throughout college. I wasn't able to pay attention in class and sometimes couldn't finish exams. Somehow I graduated with almost a 4.0 and got a full paid scholarship to university. But the panic attacks got worse and worse and I thought I was even dumber. I somehow made it to medical school but by the time I got there my anxiety and depression was crippling. Before I even started med school I thought I was going to fail out. I didn't do well in anatomy (amd I passed out the first time I saw a dead body in cadaver lab) so the med school gave me a formal iq test to make sure I had the intelligence to be in med school (which I didn't think I did). I didn't get told my exact Iq (because they didn't want me to know it was an iq test) but was told I was "very bright" and should have absolutely no problems doing well in medical school and beyond. I was being treated for anxiety and depression and panic attacks in med school for the first time. But by then it was too late and my self esteem was depleted. So I ended up withdrawing. It's funny because my younger brother went on to the same med school and graduated without any struggle. It further leads me to believe I'm a failure. It's interesting because in med school some of the students didn't seem all that intelligent but seemed to do just fine. I got into pharmacy school after but didn't go because I was afraid I'd fail out. Now I'm finishing up an easy masters degree that won't pay much... so I further feel like a failure in life especially since everyone around me is a doctor or has a high paying job while I'll be lucky to find a $40,000 job to start.

    #6 is funny. Once my friends dad met me for the first time in middle school and then asked if I was "slow" because of how I act. I've been labled as weird by my peers which is why I didn't have many friends. At least I'm not a basic I guess.

  • cth96190
    I understand the situation.
    My parents sent me to a psychologist when I was 14 to find out why I did not have friends, nor did I want friends. They were certain that something was wrong with me.
    It did not take the psychologist long to recognise the cause of the situation, so he dusted off his folder of IQ tests.
    I find interaction with the normals, as I have heard them called, to be hard work, so I avoid it as much as is practical. When I am in the company of normals it can be likened to trying to interact with the intellectually disabled. It really does feel like that.
    You may be able to imagine the situation that this presented when I sought female company. Eventually, I was forced to realise that the search for love was a hopeless quest, so about age 30 I walked away.
    To the best of my knowledge, I am no longer capable of romantic love. My first serious girlfriend broke my heart so comprehensively when I was 21 that, when I reassembled my shattered mind, the folder titled romantic love was missing from the operating system.
    Close relative have been known to refer to me as Sheldon.
    There is also depression. I contemplate suicide almost every day. Depression was not diagnosed until I was 42. Until then, I thought that it was normal to lock one's self away and beg the forces of the universe for the release of death. I had known no other reality.
    • Ok, so I'm not the only one who calls them "normals"

      I'm sorry to hear about your depression

  • kstout6
    I think you are hanging with the wrong crowd. I always thought so. I always had deep understanding of things which even adults could not understand. Then, I went to college and found similiar people who did understand. Its just life. It'll get better.
  • Mustachekitteh
    Seems like people will only think someone is intelligent if they are book smart. :(

    Knowing you are gifted and above intelligent is a billion times better than having a mental disorder and struggle to remember anything, along with learning some things slower.

    Still interesting take but I'll admit it bummed me out greatly. Nothing you said, just my own personal issue.
  • EllieLexis513
    I'm classified as gifted myself, and I agree with part of this. When I was younger, a lot of this was true. Then I grew up and around the age of 20 began to realize not everyone thinks the same. It really has nothing to do with you being gifted. It's more about how conscious you are about the world around you. If a person is an adult and still living like everything that's obvious to them must be obvious to everyone else means they still need to learn a little bit about the world.
  • Jayded1
    I don't think you even understand intelligence. So I HIGHLY doubt you are all that gifted.
    • I mean, I have test scores and the fact that I'm doing work two grades ahead of my peers that would back up that I'm gifted, but why would you say that?

    • Jayded1

      Because you seem to think intelligence is like this broad power that gives you the ability to learn anything. It is not. You can have a better understanding of quantum computing then anyone on the planet and still be a moron. Just because you read a book on string theory does not mean that someone who hasn't is dumber than you. If you think you can learn anything easily you are nothing more then a narcissistic idiot, because no one can.

    • I don't think I ever said that. What's your definition of intelligent, and stupid, by the way?

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  • BusinessBasketball
    I know that I'm smart. You can't get A's in classes like Microeconomics, Microeconomics, Business Calculus, a B+ in Business Law, and a B in Physics without having brains. However, I also have street smarts and social skills. I volunteered at many places before, belong to a horse club, and worked on a championship basketball team staff before. I can say that I'm anerd, but unlike most nerds I'm not just book smart. You need social skills, book smart, and street smarts to be successful. Good take
  • oddwaffle
    The key part that separates the truth gifted and just really really smart people is the ability to translate their thoughts into layman terms. This is what I quickly learned the moment I deviated from my usual math and economics and took a few courses in humanity and literatures.

    You can go all math, vectors and regression curves on people and they will only stare at you. You can't do that. You need to be something like a charming salesman and start to relate to the people to talk to.

    For example, in 3d 2 objects can't occupy the same space but in 4D they can (I am not an expert in physics). However, people cannot grasp that! You need an example that people can understand like person sitting in the chair example.

    Being gifted means you are generally more efficient than other people but you still need that final translation to let people understand you.
    • Neil deGrasse Tyson is a prime example of a man who's incredibly smart and also able to bring it down to layman's terms

  • Marinepilot
    I'm very intelligent and I'm very careful who I display it to, If you're like me, our
    gift has betrayed us in the past. Usually by deceitful, jealous little twerps.
    • My sister constantly takes advantage of me by getting me to do her work (although I don't know it at the time)

  • Darklydarkened
    It's bit exhausting and causes alienation. That's what I would say.

    I came to realise that I get along with strangers better, because I don't know them. Whenever I'm having a talk with someone I know, my mind just gets tapped by too much things about them, I easily get angry or bored.
  • Intraluminal
    THIS is SOOOOOO true! "One of the problems gifted pupils face is that they're so much in advance at school that they're less interested in studying, may become lazy or... Then they fail despite being gifted. Gifted pupils have it too easy in a school system and that can be a disadvantage."
    • I know! I'm homeschooled, and plan to stay that way until college, because I think I'd fail immediately if I went to public high school because I'm two grades ahead, and I would be too bored to study

  • Bandit74
    Damn, I didn't realize you wrre only 18 :o

    "I've noticed quite a few of us have forms of synesthesia."

    Do you think that helps you remember things better than the average person?

    I remember hearing about a guy who was labeled as having a "superhuman memory" and supposedly the fact he had synesthesia played a role in that.
    • I'm actually only 15

      It might, I remember what day it is solely by what color that day is.

    • Bandit74

      Thats what I meant. It was a typo.

      But does it help you remember other things more easily?

    • Id say no. As it only affect days, it's not really helpful. It might be more helpful for people who associate numbers or letters with colors

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  • TheGuyFromMiddleEast
    You're still at the beginning of the road. My advice from one gifted to another, make sure you have a boyfriend and a satisfactory social life before you hit my age. That instinct forcing us to be social is always there, and it causes problems in university if you ignore it in high school.

    Unfortunately, I'm speaking from experience here.
    • I have a boyfriend, and quite a few good friends (to be fair, none of us are normals) so I guess i'm set

  • koko124
    "Here's a fact most people here don't know about me: I'm what most people refer to as "highly gifted.""

    lol, you might wanna try coming off a bit more humble next time

    The difference between smart people and dumb people is motivation. Everyone is smart at the things they want to be smart at. If you actually try, you will do well and your understanding and capabilities in a certain subject/practice will increase.

    When you talk about having to explain pulsars to your peers, what was probably happening was that they didn't care much about your presentation, so they didn't harness the mental energy needed to understand it.
    • I can't say I agree with that. My sister likes doing history and math, but she's not very good at it. She tries, I see her everyday trying, but she's just not good at it. However, grammar, her least favorite subject, is probably her best

    • koko124

      She's probably not thinking in the right way, then. Any subject can be hard if you don't demystify it and analyze/compartmentalize it properly.

      You can argue that that's intelligence, but it's a fairly easy skill to learn.

  • BigJake
    I agree, especially on point 6. If you're an intellectually gifted, abstract-minded person (especially the MBTI INxx types), people tend to see you as either an unreachable intellect or as a borderline Forrest Gump. There is no in-between. I have some older relatives who ask for my analysis on world affairs, and others who offer to help me read the lyrics in the church hymnal. It's as strange as it is maddening.

    Great take.
  • AhGojira
    Meh, all of that just sounds like you're eager for approval. You're a performance based learner. You care more about the pat on the head than the idea... None of that has to do with your level of intelligence.
    • I actually hate the "pat on the head" at the end. Sure, it's nice to be recognized for doing something, but I get embarassed by a lot of attention (especially IRL) If I had to choose between the pat on the head or the idea, the idea would wind hands down.

    • AhGojira

      Yet the underlying theme of all your grief is performance. It's ultimately what you care about. For better or worse, it's what makes you tick. Some days you love it, other days you hate it... That doesn't define a genius, but it does generally define someone who performs well in academics.

    • I guess I do get upset over performance, cause I feel like if I don't perform well I'm a fraud.

  • HelloEveryone123456
    I used to be smart... But then I think I started doing a lot of drugs... I know a bunch of facts, like I can tell you all about history and the molecules in a cell, but that doesn't always come in handy in real life...

    I could never build a masonry wall up to code, while I'm sure a bunch of Mexicans could do it no problem...

    And knowing the history of the Ottoman Empire has nothing to do with people skills, getting laid, or even making money if you're not a history teacher...
  • Socialrealist
    Gifted or not, we all end up in graves down the line. So you're in no way special.
  • hellionthesage
    Yeah thats about right. I believe the intelligence issue, that is others disliking you talking about your intellect or "putting you down" is due to societies high emphasis on intellect. Ironic since its the "unintelligent" grunts that actually maintain society ie farmers builders etc without which high intelligence is worthless. Its far more balanced but grunt work is unglamourus thus the bias towards it. As for looking stupid I have experienced that many times, people think I am slow not realizing that everything around me is so unengaging that I have to retreat into my own mind just to try and keep my brain stimulated (plus the whole million thoughts a second is rather distracting). You neglected to mention the issues that arise when its your parents that don't understand you (which is what happened to me) its not particularly pretty, in fact its quite depressing. Anyway, good take.
  • Jxpxtxr
    I took an official IQ test with the result being 128 once and I honestly just feel like an alien most of the time.. who knows, though, maybe that doesn't have anything to do with my IQ and maybe I just am? 🤔
    Obviously I'm by all means not a genius but just a person with an over average-IQ and although the classic IQ isn't exactly the most accurate measurement if you wanna talk about actual intelligence you wouldn't believe the amount of envy and even hate I encounter when I actually admit it to people – even of people I thought to be my friends. It's like they hear the number and only think "Oh she's bragging" and they apparently believe being intelligent has 0 drawbacks. It's almost funny.
  • theceejmachine
    Very interesting mytake! I have experienced synesthesia since I was a child. I remember playing games in my head with all of the colored numbers and letters during long car rides. I've found it very helpful throughout the years when it came to memorizing long sequences of numbers, and I didn't know it was abnormal until a few years back when I mentioned to my aunt how very pink nine is! I also have a photographic memory, which I have heard usually accompanies synesthesia. A lot of people brush it off as some type of mental abnormality (a few of my family members included), but I don't see how it is any different from something like perfect pitch (which I also have lol). It is simply a special ability.

    It is definitely more difficult to relate to other people, though I've never considered myself to be super intelligent or anything. I thought of myself as more of an odd duck with unusual interests lol. Thank you for posting and sharing with us!
    • I found out it was abnormal last year, when I was talking to my boyfriend and said "I love Fridays. They're such a pretty color" and was told that that was weird 😂 he thinks it's kinda cute now

  • Mayamoon02
    Being skilled at academics and understanding a theory isn't high intelligence in my eyes.
    Yes, you are capable of great things but I always found it frustrating that certain members at my school had a place on the gifted list and yet I never saw them being creative or particularly revolutionary in class. They simply knew how to learn.

    I always loved speaking to class mates who had your type of intelligence as you could keep up with certain topics but they were very limited. You couldn't go from talking about Neuroplasticity to 16th Century politics to the geometry within Renaissance paintings in one sitting as they tended to only specialise in one field.
    I still think you make great company however you are more masters in your interests rather than original thinkers.

    Lastly, I believe it is wrong to class only knowledgeable people as intelligent. A grade doesn't reflect much about a person.
    • Pokiwar

      I for one, am gifted in mathematics and physics, but I am able to keep up conversations and debates about various philosophies, religion, history, language etc. just because I find them outstandingly interesting. I consider myself smart, without good grades, but as much as I consider the people who get 100% in every test intelligent, I don't consider them 'gifted' or whatever, as they are usually close minded individuals. For example, on a physics group chat with a bunch of class mates, I got kicked out for bringing up debates on religion and politics because the admin, even though extremely intelligent, is a close minded... bigot I would say, as anytime I defended gay rights, gender equality or contradicted his religion, i would spark up an argument and get kicked out. Its sad to see what could be such brilliant minds tucked away inside the closed box of bigotry and ignorance. I believe anyone who can is intelligent, can be 'gifted', but is usually unable to be so through upbringing.

  • UnknownXYZ

    If I knew you in real life I would worship the ground you stand on! There was one girl in my sixth form maths class she was just brilliant. She was so surprised to know that anyone actually appreciate how smart she was. I think people saw her as annoying and unfriendly but people just misunderstood her. She really wasn't like that at all.
  • thorthorley
    Yea i find it interesting how people with high IQ have low EQ or some mental disability like you were saying. Like autistic people tend to be really good at maths. And other examples show this as well.

    Personally i dont have an amazing IQ but it is above average. I think im just more distributed with different areas of intelligence rather than being amazing at any one thing. But i can totally relate to the issue where something seems so obvious yet you have to spell it out for some people lol. It annoys me to think how stupid people are sometimes.
  • needsanswers100
    The concept of synesthesia is something that I have been grappling with in my mind for a very long time. However, I didn’t know there was a word for it. My friends and family have pointed out to me over the years that I have a strange ability to remember otherwise mundane things from the past that people who have experienced it with me have forgotten. I remember these things because when I was in the moment taking it in with my senses (seeing, hearing, touch, and or smell) I experienced an incredible sense of emotion (mad, sad, or happy, etc...) in that moment. Although I am by no means a math genius I am very gifted with language and vocabulary (top 2% nationally). Maybe synesthesia assists with the ability to form memories? This of course assists intelligence. Just a thought...
  • Trevox
    So... the sky being blue is obvious? Doesn't look like that at 4am, buddy!

    Joking aside, this was really spot on.
  • Tarvold
    I think the highest compliment I can give you is that I truly believe you to be as intelligent as you say you are after reading your take.
  • MakeShiftThug
    A fool thinks himself to be wise, but a wise man knows himself to be a fool.

    - William Shakespeare
    • One of my favorite quotes. Those who are truly intelligent know that they don't know everything and never will.

  • aliceinwonderland69
    I hope u don't get too much hate from jealous idiots.
  • gobsmacked3
    I am a teacher, and the kids termed gifted in the 20 odd years i have had in the profession have always intrigued me
  • DiegoO
    Having a high IQ really makes you capable of perceiving and understanding things much more faster, but then there is the emotional intelligence that doesn't haves to do anything whit the IQ as we know it. In other words you can be a genius and be emotionally unstable therefore unhappy or you can have an average IQ and be happy as a smiley. I am not saying you can't have an high IQ and be happy, I am just saying everyone haves something special, you surely do, and I hope you use that high IQ for good. I remember when I was helping out a person whit MR whit a poem, that day I realized that all of us play an important role in life. People whit MR may not contribute to any intellectual field but spiritually and emotionally they have kept that innocence that makes them much more better human beings than those who despite their high IQ have done horrible things.
    • Yes. Some of histories greatest villains were highly intelligent, and some of the greatest heros were not. Intelligence doesn't make you a better person, it just makes you better at certain things

    • DiegoO


  • Pilulu
    Being smart doesn't mean you're gifted. No one has a special"gift" that makes then better than others.
    • It makes you better at something, such as being gifted at swimming or rowing, but it doesn't make you a better person, per say

    • Prof_Don

      Uh oh, we have yet another person attempting to shame or dismiss someone's naturally high intelligence level, to make themselves feel better.

      So unnecessary.

    • Pilulu

      @Prof_Don uh oh, we have a troll.

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  • AlwaysBelieving
    Great take. I definitely can relate. People think I'm a genius or something, I just go "no, there's a limit to my knowledge, I just haven't found it yet" (keep in mind I do this with a straight face).

    I agree with @jacquesvol in "problems for gifted.." Just look at Einstein, Beethoven, etc. I could have done better in school / college, but didn't because I was bored. I think one professor gave me an "A-" so that I wouldn't be in his class again (he was the only one teaching that required class at the time).

    And yes, I'm an introvert with 3 of the 4 "dominant personality types."
  • I, too, am "gifted", and this was extremely relatable.
  • abundantlyrich
    Synaethesia is not a mental issue.
    • It's technically viewed as a disorder, as it's different from normal brain function

    • Yes the doc makes it out to be. It doesn' harm the brain or eyes.. does it? unless the doc told you.

    • So far it hasn't harmed either. I have the version where I don't see the colors, in a traditional sense, but I strongly feel like it's a certain color

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  • bcromartie
    I wish I was as amazing as you are. :)
  • ThisDudeHere
    What's a pulsar?
    • It's a type of star that emits beams of radio waves from its poles, and spins around at a constant rate, so the radio beams intersect the earth and appear as radio pulses.

  • Mártainn
    I can relate to a lot of that. Great take.