High intelligence is one of the most coveted attributes in society. And why wouldn’t it be? Intelligent people are generally more successful, well-educated and people are more likely to take them seriously. But that doesn’t mean it’s all sunshine and rainbows for folks in the top percentile – their big brains often come with their own set of issues that regular people don’t have to deal with. The following are some of the shocking disadvantages of being incredibly smart.
1. More Likely to Take a Dark Turn
One would expect intelligent people to abstain from harmful substances given their long list of harmful and or deadly side effects. But that’s far from the truth. In reality, smart people are more likely to indulge than their less gifted counterparts. Scientists believe the reason for this is that smart people are more drawn towards new and exciting experiences. They also have a higher cognitive bias, making them more likely to believe they’ll have a better grasp of the risks involved.
2. More Mental Disorders
On one hand, intelligent people live significantly longer and healthier lives compared to the rest of the population. On the other hand, such a smart mind comes with an increased risk of mental health issues such as mood and anxiety disorders and depression. They’re also more prone to environmental allergies than the average person. One theory is that higher intelligence equals a more hyper and sensitive body which reacts quicker and more severely to external challenges.
3. Worse Social Relations in Adulthood
As we grow older, our social circles get smaller as we drift away from our friends due to life circumstances, such as moving to a new city or country. It’s a painful but normal part of life but most people adjust to it just fine. However, people with higher IQs often don’t fall into that category. A study conducted at Stockholm University discovered that highly intelligent people had a somewhat harder time adjusting to an aging life when it came to their social circle. They were also less satisfied with life in general as the years went by.
4. More Likely to Be Overwhelmed Under Pressure
The ability to remain cool under pressure is something that most intelligent people struggle with. Studies have shown that they’re more likely to get anxious about the outcome, especially when the end goal is performance and reward related. On the flipside, they flourish and excel when the goal becomes learning-oriented rather than result-oriented. So, this means that they’re more likely to do their best work in their jobs that allow them to learn and grow instead of strictly focusing on performances.
5. More Likely to Feel Unfulfilled
Intellectually gifted people, for all they’ve accomplished, are more likely to feel unfulfilled. Many of them grow up thinking they can achieve anything they put their minds to and as we all know, life doesn’t always happen the way we expect. Having big dreams is great but sometimes they can be too lofty; intelligent people are prone to being less satisfied with what they’ve achieved so far, no matter how great it is. Many of them often feel like they haven’t lived up to their full potential.
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