Hollywood movies have taught us how fancy it is to be gifted, to have an above average IQ, to be labelled a “genius”; most people even love bragging about it.
Speaking from personal experience, I’d rather be dumb.
Pre-20s, I had no idea what my IQ was; quite frankly it wasn’t something students were tested for and I wasn’t exactly the brightest of students.
I barely passed through most of my classes, until I decided to drop-out of high-school and pursue private education.
Meaning, I just bought books and enrolled myself into the International Cambridge Examination system; also known as O Levels and A Levels.
To be fair, I did quite well; I actually performed a lot better when I was alone compared to when I was in school.
Keyword here being “Alone”.
Yeap, that’s really the curse.
It’s no Sherlock Holmes mind-palace and neither is it Good Will Hunting being able to memorise every book he reads.
The one thing Good Will Hunting does get right about being gifted is that, well — it’s a pretty lonely life.
I suck at maintaining relationships and quite frankly never had an interest in socialising with people; it’s not for lack of trying.
Even in crowded groups, there’s a sense of isolation and anxiety; a strangling feeling to not voice my opinion.
When exactly did I find out I had an above average IQ?
I needed extra curricular points to ace my Psychology class; and hence chose experiments rather than exams (we had the option to take on extra experiments incase we flunk the exam, most students did it just to be safe).
That’s when I found out, I was above-average.
It didn’t mean much, but it helped explain a lot.
Geniuses are well, lonely and miserable people — and to other’s we actually appear quite dumb, because we often lack communication skills or people fail to comprehend our point of view during a conversation.
People are often dismissive of us and most of us get convinced we might as well be stupid.
Whilst, idiots rise up and manipulate people into believing they’re intellectuals — such as politicians.
Let me just be clear, I take absolutely no pleasure in using the word “Genius” to define myself; I actually hate that word associated with myself, but I can’t find a better way to describe having an above-average IQ without the word genius — because that’s how society perceives it.
I believe “Genius” can come from anywhere, and it doesn’t have much to do with an above-average IQ.
Brilliant people have gone on to accomplish amazing wonders, without the word “Genius” attached to them.
For example; unpopular opinion (one that triggers many), I don’t think Steve Jobs was a “Genius”; he was a Brilliant Marketer.
Steve Wozniak is a “Genius”, except he stays out of the limelight.
Bill Gates is a “Genius”, he’s an exceptional strategist and wonderful philanthropist — and whilst he created one of the most successful tech company, his social-work is what I believe he’ll be remembered for.
Carl Sagan, Neil deGrasse Tyson, and Eminem; are a few of the examples who do exhibit the culmination of Genius, Creativity, and Social Presence.
Debunking The Myths.
We’re great leaders, this one may have been obvious but most “Geniuses” are not great leaders — we’re single minded, singular skill-oriented, and are only able to focus in a select field of study.
We’re great Innovators, Innovation has very little to do with being a genius, believe it or not, though most above-average IQ individuals may be great at deriving up a theory or an idea; we actually lack the ability to reform or improve upon a creation or a finding.
We’re introverted, whilst it may be true that we lack a level of being relatable to the outside world; we’re certainly not all introverted. Most above-average IQ Individuals are great public speakers and do in-fact skilfully debate intricate subjects eloquently.
We’re eccentric, this is another Hollywood myth that gets associated with the usual “Billionaire” Theory, not all wealthy people are eccentric and neither are all above average IQ individuals. Most of us are actually pretty average people, and do not enjoy proving our intellectual-dominance in every situation.
We’re overtly competitive, this one is personality specific, but most geniuses are not overtly competitive; in-fact in my personal experience, most above-average IQ individuals are happily willing to share and expand upon their knowledge and findings. Which helps explain why most of us stick to Academia rather than Entrepreneurship.
We all excel Academically, we don’t. Being able to excel Academically is a skill — if one puts in enough hard-work; it ain’t rocket-science.
All Billionaires are Geniuses, this myth gets blown out of proportion way too often, and it’s one that is quite laughable. Wealth has nothing to do with Intellect — in fact I’d say it’s the opposite. Most geniuses, are not minting Millions or Billions; because we’re not great Entrepreneurs. Street-smart and being Cunning is an ability that is inherent through wealthy individuals, but it’s got very little to do with having an above-average IQ.
— Take the Music or Entertainment Industry for example.
Creative and Above-Average IQ Individuals share the trait of being “Loners”, because it’s in our seclusion that we’re able to find inner-peace and truly express ourself; without the social noise and stigma — Creativity does persevere.
This obviously, is personal experience, so I’ll try my best not to generalise.
Having a “genius” IQ is nothing special, in-fact it’s really just a cruse. There’s a feeling of isolation, and a lack of empathy towards being able to relate to other individuals.
Being single-minded in my pursuit also means that I come off as mean spirited, though it is hardly ever my intention. An obsessive personality is a trait that I’ve found in other individuals I’ve known who also have an above-average IQ; we’re obsessive beyond all rationality. Sometimes it’s maddening and it drives me absolutely insane, because it’s quite difficult to shut down my brain.
It’s one that is too noisy and is constantly bickering, which causes me to space out or appear disinterested when I’m in a social situation.
Having an above-average IQ also means that my brain is riddled with inconsistencies; to name a few — I’m diagnosed with a Panic-Disorder and suffer from Narcolepsy. Friends that I’ve known who also were labelled as “geniuses” too shared some degree of mental-illness.
It’s often a lonely life, and expressing myself verbally is quite difficult.
I often don’t voice my opinions, out of fear that society will ridicule me.
Except when I do, I’m too direct and unable to put on a social mask to sugar-coat my words; which often leads to unwarranted harsh criticism or brutal honesty.
Solving problems is definitely a gift, but in a group-situation — it’s a curse. It’s frustrating for the group to keep up with an individual that is rushing from Point A to Point B without taking breaks, from an individual’s perspective it’s frustrating that the group can’t keep up — which leads to anger, isolation, and depression.
Which is why I often resort to working alone, rather than in a group.
Our Ideas are often misunderstood,
To give an example, when I first discussed the project I would undertake for my Doctorate; I was laughed out of the room because it sounded “Absolutely Stupid”.
After completion and publication of my research, the same people labelled me a “Genius”; it meant absolutely nothing.
To sum up my opinion, most nights I wish I didn’t have an above-average IQ; because the lack of friends, the instability, the panic attacks, the sleepless nights, the spacing out, being laughed at for speaking my mind, are all things I’d happily get rid of just to be able to have a normal life.
Unfortunately, until that day comes — I guess I’ll just have to make do.
Thank you for reading. :)