High IQ has always been a cause to celebrate and why not the higher the IQ the smarter you are considered to be. But ironically your high intelligence could be killing your happiness!
Let’s begin with what is IQ?
I.Q. (intelligence quotient) in general, is an assessment of your ability to think and reason. IQ score is a standardized way of comparing this ability with the majority of people the same age as you are. A score of 100 means that compared to these people in your general age group that you have basically an average intelligence. Anything above 130 can be considered very high IQ.
Your score on an IQ test will give you a pretty accurate indication of the ability you possess to think reason and solve problems which can often be critical in many phases of your life.
But this is not all; we know brain has two sides to it. Left and right ,with distinctive characteristics.
Left brain characteristics: uses logic; detail oriented; facts rule; words and language; math and science; can comprehend; knowing; acknowledges; knows object name; reality based and practical.
Right brain characteristics: uses feeling; big picture oriented; imagination rules; symbols and images; intuition; appreciated; spatial perception; knows object function; fantasy based; presents possibilities; impetuous and risk taker
In very high IQ people the left side is extremely well developed and this can start impacting their happiness levels. 9 top reasons why your IQ may be killing your happiness:
- Over thinking: “Overthinking is parasitic. It’s viral. It’s deadly, even. Letting yourself fall victim to overthinking doesn’t just kill your happiness, it destroys who you are. The mind is a beautiful and complex thing, and the only person who can hurt it is yourself.” ― Genereux Philip
Intelligent people tend to think too much about anything. This tendency to overthink can happen in relatively routine matters or in matters which are more significant. It seriously and adversely impacts happiness.
To quote Bethany Brookbank, “The sharpest minds often ruin their lives by overthinking the next step, while the dull win the race with eyes closed.”
- Over analysis: “If you spend your life over analysing every encounter you will always see the tree, but never the forest.” ― Shannon L. Alder.
Over analysis leads to generation of so many pros and cons that at some point in time it destroys the capabilities of highly intelligent people to be able to make a choice. Since they can think in great detail about what all could happen they find themselves in a spot where the sheer number of options makes it impossible to go with any. It’s like wanting to make the best choice but can’t make up your mind as to which is best. And the very fact that you can’t figure out the best choice sets them on the path of feeling that they are not capable, which in turn makes them feel rather miserable, after all if you are so intelligent it should be simple for you to make a choice.
- Over planning:“It’s a funny thing, how much time we spend planning our lives. We so convince ourselves of what we want to do, that sometimes we don’t see what we’re meant to do.” ― Susan Gregg Gilmore,
Too much planning limits the vision and does not allow people to enjoy a free flow. It is very common with High IQ people to plan in minute details for two reasons, one they are capable of such planning and two they aim at perfection. Both put tremendous pressure on themselves ultimately losing out on the joyful experience of just taking things as they come.
- Fear of failure: Since highly intelligent people are able to excel in traditional education system and are successful in a conventional sense they are not very good at handling failure. It is something they are really not used to and they avoid it at any cost. This often leads to a kind of decision making paralysis. This prevents them from taking high risk decisions which could lead to a lot of positive changes, moreover this fear in itself makes them feel bad as fear is not a happy feeling and eventually leads to insecurity. A lesser IQ person at times takes quick and bold decision because he cannot think of all consequences but a high IQ person constantly thinks of options and finds it difficult to decide. And then agonising over it.
- Too focused on results: Most high IQ people focus on the end or the result because it’s an achievement orientation which drives them. This coupled with a desire to be in the top often makes them miss the joy of the journey, the process. This gets even more complicated when IQ is accompanied with ambition too. So they hop from one goal to another without enjoying any for long.
- Emotions take a back seat: An overactive left side of the brain which is the characteristic of very high IQ people implies being very rational, in some ways so rational that emotions get compromised. And happiness is ultimately an emotion; too much of dry calculation is not good for happiness. It’s too cold. As Dean Koontz says”Some people think only intellect counts: knowing how to solve problems, knowing how to get by, knowing how to identify an advantage and seize it. But the functions of intellect are insufficient without courage, love, friendship, compassion, and empathy.”
- May not learn the value of hard work: Since Very high IQ people can accomplish lot of tasks with lesser effort than a lot of people they may not understand how important hard work is for happiness. This inability to value hard work sometimes makes it difficult for them to understand other people working with them. And since high IQ people are exceptions the majority will have a different pace of doing stuff which can become a source of irritation for intelligent people and compromises their happiness.
- Burden of expectations: Once a person is recognized as highly intelligent everybody around them start expecting super things from them. They cannot score badly, they can’t a job lightly, and they need to go on proving themselves. This can give rise to great amount of anxiety in the gifted people and a struggle with happiness.
- Lesser social interactions and relationships. It is at times very difficult for high IQ people to find others of their own mental level; they may also have little patience with others who are not as smart. This can lead to social alienation and very limited social circle. In fact this could get reflected in personal relationships too. Lack of close social network can adversely affect happiness. It can also make people very lonely and not able to enjoy life.
Some movies have brought out this struggle with happiness in High IQ people very nicely. And the movie I particularly like on intelligence is Good Will Hunting.
Would you like to know which side of brain is dominant in you?Since we live in a world that is hugely left-brained, we end up with a more material focus than a intuitional one. The language of intuition is impressions, images, feeling, and pictures. It is interesting to look at your life habits, the way you relate to others and see if you can figure out which is a right brain VS left brain function.
Look at these results and try to create a balance and if your among the few high IQ people remember to cultivate your emotional and creative side to be truly happy.