Having high intelligence is not always a blessing. It also has a downside. 

A user asked the forum, “What are the downsides of having high intelligence?” Here are the top responses. 


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“Overthinking and having high expectations. You constantly think you’re average and underqualified for something you’re qualified for.”


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“It’s hard to wrangle it. It is very easy to fall into depression and anxiety if you feel like you aren’t filling your shoes, if that makes any sense.”


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“Read a study one time that concluded that people with high intelligence mentally finish people’s sentences before they finish speaking them. It results in them interrupting speakers a lot. Also, it results in frustration that conversations are so slow and monotonous.”


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“I think it’s lonely. The smartest people I know are all depressed. I know people with higher Intelligence Quotients than me who are emotionally tortured.”


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“You need to stay busy, or you don’t feel like living anymore.”


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“Being intimately aware of just how messed up everything is, truly idiocy and ignorance are bliss.”


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“The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves and wiser people so full of doubts.”


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“School is easy, and you get bored. You can create issues and cause trouble, but still pass the class. Nobody understands why you aren’t getting high grades. Underachievement becomes a pattern.”


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“Imposter syndrome, depression. I am constantly questioning reality. I am embarrassed by certain things about being human. I sleep 3 to 5 hours a night; I would love more. There is constant dialogue running in my head. 

I appear to have ADHD and many autistic traits. It is challenging to enjoy TV shows or movies. I am socially awkward at times, motor mouth at other times.”


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“The mental illness that comes with it. One of my best friends was in the top 1% at the college he went to. He got hooked on meth and fentanyl. He started staying up for days at a time and was convinced I was plotting to kill him. He thought I was cheating with his girlfriend (I never met her).”


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“You lose your ability to relate to people as far fewer people are at your level.”


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“Always overestimate people and then get disappointed when you learn they weren’t worth it. Also, if anything is too straightforward, with little to no learning curve, I don’t bother. Hate jobs measured in efficiency, rather than efficacy.”


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“I don’t know if it’s intelligence, but I think quickly and can simultaneously tackle problems from multiple angles. It causes friction at work, where I feel my colleagues are moving slowly. Another issue is that I constantly realize how many things I am unaware of and want to learn. It gets a bit overwhelming sometimes.”


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“Being unmotivated to make money. Many of the smartest people I’ve ever met were just not that into working and found many other interests far more riveting than a salaried job with time commitments.”


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“I tested high but not that high; my friends are far more intelligent than me. The biggest downside is I remember so many things very vividly. 

Imagine marrying a spouse who remembers everything you said in almost every argument. Now, imagine if this spouse was petty. That used to be me; I would remember things she said and use it against her perhaps 2-3 years later. So the moral of the story is, if you’re smart, don’t be petty.”

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