Intelligence is not always a boon. Not when you live in a society with other people. Being intelligent has its downfalls. And the double whammy is when you are a good person too. An intelligent person with no empathy or concern about other people can survive very easily. He does not care. But a good person who is humble and is scared of offending people, even when he/she knows that the other person is wrong, is usually having it difficult in this world.
Intelligent people are more likely to suffer from depression
They see this world with a perspective that is completely different from the general worldview. Add to that goodness, and sensitivity, the sadness doubles.
People get jealous of you and love it when you fail
Intelligence is a privilege. It is as good as riches and people tend to get jealous. And since good people do not give people the shit that they take, they tend to be ridiculed when they fail. How many class toppers have you known who was made fun of just because he didn’t top the class one term.
Everyone thinks you are arrogant when you make a point
You are informative. You are logical. You know what you are talking about. You can easily spot fallacies in debates and counter them effectively. Be it with your content or with your oratory, you hold the conversation or win the debate. That’s great! Except, people don’t like it.
They don’t like their beliefs to be questioned, their reasoning to be invalidated, and their choices to be proven wrong. Sure, you might be focusing on the content and enjoy intellectual stimulation, but you’d be amazed to know how quickly people get personal. To their ears, you are just an arrogant brat trying to prove everyone stupid.
Being assertive is not expected out of good people. And sound and lucid points are not understood very well by people either. Conclusion – “He/she is so arrogant!”
Jealousy surrounds you
Smartness, as I take it, is a multifaceted virtue. It’s not just IQ, or just wit, or just rote knowledge. It’s a combination of bits of intelligence, wisdom, good soft skills, and a pleasing personality.
Smartness is also problematic. People known for one, distinct forte are different from smart people, who are known for a number of things. Except immediate ‘competitors’, people who are known distinctly for their beauty, or IQ, or athletic abilities, or art, or anything are largely appreciated, and welcomed. But come up against someone who has a bit of intelligence, knows a thing or two about art, speaks well, has a good degree and has a decent dressing sense… and you start squirming.
Smart, multifaceted people face more jealousy in the common society than experts do.
People expect you to be happy and nice all the time
Somehow being good and intelligent comes with expectations of being happy and nice. These people are the same people as the rest of us. They get sad and on bad days, they get a bit rude too. People forget that they are humans too.
You sometimes fail to live up to people’s expectations
Parents. Friends. Teachers. Everyone expects you to be the greatest human being that ever lived. They fail to see that intelligent people can choose any path they want to – even if it is in a mundane office doing mundane things.
You get more anxious of thinking what the other people think about you
As we have said, if it was an intelligent person with no empathy, he/she wouldn’t have given a single fuck about how the world thinks. But sensitive people do, and they care about what people actually think about them. This creates anxiety.
You are automatically supposed to be wise and nice
Smartness does not mean kindness. Knowledge does not mean wisdom. Yet, you are assumed to be so.
But in a lot of cases, that is not true. Smart people can be downright assholes. Just because they are smart does not mean they do the right thing. Just because they know a lot of things does not mean they know its worth. Smart people can be just as selfish, greedy, misguided, prejudiced and harmful as anybody else.
Society expects you to be kind, nice, wise, and ‘do something for the human race’. Which, though reasonable, do not automatically go with smartness.
You are supposed to not need any kind of help
You are smart! What else do you need in life? So what if you missed a month of classes due to illness? You are a brilliant scholar, smart enough to catch up. You don’t need my class notes. Boss gave you the toughest client? You can manage him all by yourself, you are so smart! Too many chores at home? You are smart, you can multitask, you don’t need a hand.
Problems in personal life? Why, you are so smart, you give solutions to everyone in their problems. Why would you need a shoulder? Be it out of resentment or sheer supposition, people just take it for granted that you can do everything by yourself and never need any help, guidance or support.
No one comes to help you assuming you can take care of yourself more than efficiently
Sometimes, even the intelligent need advice. Even they need help and support. Sometimes, intelligence and being good, instead of being a privilege becomes a liability. And that is when you really start thinking about how the society actually behaves.
You are always alone
Aren’t all of us? Well, not exactly in the narrow sense of it. Many smart people turn introvert. Those who do not still have only a few friends they can count on.
It is tough for you to find friends who are not with you for your smart solutions, who are not pressurized by your smartness, and who do not detest it. It is tough to find friends who can push past the dominating presence of your smartness and discover the person inside you. It is tough to find friends who do not assume and suppose anything about you just because you are smart.
Barring those few special people, you are alone.