Are Intelligent People Socially Awkward?

Let me ask it again: Are intelligent people socially awkward? I’m glad curiosity dragged you to this blog post. Welcome.

We all know our levels of intelligence; we all know how ‘book-smart’ we are. Still, it isn’t uncommon to notice that most intelligent people, people with high grades, tend to find it hard to make friends and be active in group or one-on-one conversations.

Although this fact isn’t true for all brainy people, it is true for a handful. In this blog post, I’ll show you why most intelligent people seem to be socially awkward, and show you, if you’re in the brainy category, that you don’t need to think much when it comes to socializing, because it’s all a question of impulse.

While average people flock together and develop their social skills, high IQ people are often stuck on their own with almost nobody to talk to. At best, they will have that lone high IQ friend and maybe one or two teachers to talk to…

– Quora user

We live in a society where bluntness is not appreciated at all, by the contrary, hypocrisy, superficiality and shallowness are highly priced. High IQ people despise all that.

– Quora User

So, the answer you’ve been waiting for is: YES, smart people are socially awkward, because:

Smart people are quiet.

Well, first of all, all smart people (or at least 95% of smart people) love reading books. Many smart people find more comfort in reading a book, gaining knowledge or just reading a story, than in talking to people.

Most smart people are quiet due to the fact that in order to learn and understand, you must be quiet. Smart people have mastered this art of shutting up and letting the knowledge flow in. This skill is amazing in academic and intellectual areas, but not too super in social settings. Smart people find it hard to be relevant in conversations because they are too quiet. And because being quiet paves the avenue to think and rethink, they often find themselves thinking and rethinking their utterances. They think: “This would be good to say.” And are just about to say it when someone else chips in something, and then they think: “The moment for this has passed, it would sound stupid if I say it now. Maybe later.” And then, someone might make a joke, everyone laughs, and the ‘right moment’ to make your statement just never comes, till the conversation breaks up.

Smart People like to be smart

They like to improve their smarts with every opportunity they get, and talking to people who don’t talk about things that can help them, career-wise, academics-wise or success-wise is a waste of time. For example, small talk:

Hey, how far, na?

What’s up?

is not something they engage in, because it, in the actual sense, doesn’t really make any sense. But what they fail to know is that it is these small threads of conversations that aid human relationships.

In any conversation, they’d always want to put in something relevant. But in the case where the only relevant things they know of will not appeal to the group of people they are talking to, they’ll have nothing to say.

It is surprising to find that, smart people, notwithstanding how smart they are, never seem to have anything to say in real world conversations.

Due to the fact that meeting people as smart as they are all the time in the same space is a rarity, smart people many a time have to deal with people that are lower in intelligence than them, people that would find it boring to talk about exploring the world, innovations, theories and whatnot. In such circles of people, they will often be lost, because territory such as fashion trends, celebrity news, around-the-town gossip will be new to them. The truth is, there aren’t as much smart people as there are average and below-average intelligent people in our societies, so smart people will often find it difficult to find people who talk about ‘things that make sense’, and not just fads and ephemerals.

Many intelligent people have gotten to that point where they see beyond trends, and have realised the things that make the world tick, the things that make people stand on top of others. They must have read a lot of books on success and the keys to success, and they don’t want to ‘waste their time’ talking with people who they know they’re are above in intellect, who have the tendency to bring them down, won’t talk about the things they like to talk about, won’t talk about the ‘things that make sense’.

Smart people approach being social like an AI robot would.

They think that there is a fixed pattern for social interaction. They think that there is an ultimate approach to a conversation that will work in any scenario. But that’s wrong. For every set of people, for every scenario, the conversational approach will always be different.

Just like in anyone else, there is a constant fear of failure.

It’s normal for people to feel downhearted when they’ve tried something for some time and are still failing at it; the same is to smart people. In the case where they’ve tried to be social, and they keep failing, they start avoiding social settings, asking themselves, “What’s the point?” And because of this, they avoid social settings they’re not used to, or ones they have established that they are no good in.

Truly, what’s the point? What’s the point of going to that outing, that get-together, when you don’t have any friends, when you find it hard to start a conversation, when it seems like everyone talks about things that don’t interest you?

Personally, I know how it feels to walk into a place, see people in small groups of their own, and wonder where on earth to start. You walk up to a bunch of people who seem promising, listen a bit to what they’re talking about and find that you can relate with that. In the course of the conversation, you chip in something… and everyone is just quiet and looks at you. (I hate that thing e!). That’s a real pain, especially when you put a lot of hope on that statement. You might then feel awkward and ‘un-part’ of the conversation, since a statement you made didn’t get the response you hoped it would get.

Well, I’ve learned that just because you made a statement that didn’t get the laughs or remarks you hoped it would, that doesn’t mean that all the people in the group didn’t like what you said. Sometimes, it just means that they don’t know how best to reply to your statement. And if you look at this in another way, it can be a cause for unrest in its own self, because you might think: ‘They didn’t know how to answer me because what I said was stupid.’ Yeah, it probably was. But it’s these ‘stupid’ statements we make that will help us figure what type of utterances work with what types of people; and it is these continuous lessons that will help us become better socialites.

So, keep getting into social settings, keep being yourself, keep making comments in conversations. Not everyone will like the smart, quiet, sometimes shy person you might be, but those who will turn out to like you for who you are should be the people that give the courage to continue trying to find out your own unique way of being social.

Hey, smart guys, you are smart –  and that’s a gift. You may not be the best at being social, you may not always be the ‘life of the party’. But know that all the knowledge in the world, every book ever written will never be able to replace the satisfaction of being around friends that makes us human. Whether you never seem to have anything to say in conversations or find it hard to make friends, start changing today, remembering that social skills must be learnt with practice, and being social has little to do with saying ‘the right thing’ at ‘the right moment’.

Yours Intellectually,

Interactions are  more than paramount to me. Let me know how helpful this post was to you in the comments section below!



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