I’m going to let you in on a little secret now okay. Ignorance is bliss. It always has been and it always will be. How can this be I hear you cry, well let me ask you something.
Are you stupid? Be honest now. I won’t tell anyone, promise. If you are then you have probably lived your life constantly in awe of anyone who can do seemingly challenging tasks with ease. You know, activities like filling in a crossword or tying your shoelaces without getting confused. Chances are though that you are at least of average intelligence and can do these things without too much trouble. So what on earth am I blabbering on about?
To be honest the term ‘stupid’ doesn’t really apply here. I am really comparing highly intelligent people with the average population and how having a high IQ could actually be holding you back more than you realise.
So I have gathered 5 ways in which intelligence could be a hindrance and how we can adjust our behaviour accordingly.
1. Intelligent people over analyse everything
We all have setbacks in life, and situations that we would rather forget. You may have embarrassed yourself recently or made a mistake in your job that caused a fair few problems. Intelligent people tend to mull over these mistakes and it can be very hard to forget and move on. Why is this?
There is a reason why intelligence is linked to anxiety in adults and that is because when we do something wrong, our brain will try to figure out why this happened. It will use the wonderful power of hindsight to let you know what went wrong and then relentlessly tease you with its new found knowledge.
People with an average IQ are far better at moving past their mistakes and they never seem to allow situations to fester in their minds.
You too can learn from this and the secret is to not pay any attention to what has happened in the past. Regret takes on many forms and neither of these will do you any good so admit your mistake, take note of where you went wrong and move forwards. It is so much healthier. Don’t constantly analyse every move you make or you will go insane.
2. What you don’t know can’t hurt you
While ignorance can take on many forms such as racism, sexism and xenophobia, I’m just talking about the type of ignorance that is bliss for many people. That is the ability to go through life without paying attention to a lot of the negativity in the world.
I for one rarely watch the news and I only read it occasionally to keep on top of major events. This wasn’t always the case as I would read it every single day and without fail, it would put me in a bad mood. All of the war, misery, unemployment, disease, death and idiotic comments that entered my mind on a daily basis had an effect on me.
I would often marvel at how certain people literally had no idea what was going on in the world, yet was it a coincidence that these people also seemed the happiest in life? Could being ignorant about everything that is happening in the world be a good thing?
I tried it out, and to be honest I haven’t missed it at all. Obviously the major stories will always filter through somehow but I can honestly say that ignorance is bliss in this case.
3. The difference between arrogance and humility
The problem with intelligence is the belief that you know all the answers, or at least know more than the average person. Depending on your overall personality this could be a bad thing and you could come across to some people as a ‘know it all’.
We’ve all met someone like this before (and if you haven’t, then it’s probably you) and we know how much they irritate us with their constant correction and ‘insight’ into everything that is discussed. Of course their intentions are always sincere but it can often be frustrating for them to feel that their intellect is superior to everyone else.
The opposite of this is humility and some of the most humble people I know are those who would never consider themselves to be intelligent. Whilst they certainly are not stupid, they accept their limitations and often end up working harder as a result.
No matter how intelligent you may be, in the grand scheme of things you know as little as everyone else and a touch of humility can go a long way at work, in your relationships and in life.
4. Intelligence and social skills
When you think back to school and to who were the most popular kids, one thing immediately pops to mind. It certainly wasn’t the geeks.
Now I’m not saying that you can’t be both intelligent and a social creature, but more often than not these particular paths are set very early on in our childhood and it can be difficult to break free from them as we get older.
The more intelligent you are, the more chance you have of growing up in isolation. Not in the sense that you refuse to socialise at all, but that you prefer your own company a lot of the time and in the long run, this isn’t the healthiest way to be.
The ‘happy go lucky’ types who always seem to be in a good mood and are always talking and messing about are truly inspirational. There is often a joke that people who are constantly smiling are stupid but this isn’t the case, they have simply learnt how to correctly interact with other people and their social skills far exceed that of the so called ‘geniuses’.
5. When logic overrides gut instinct
There are two types of people in the world, those who make important decisions based on gathering data and using logic, and those who don’t over think things and go with their ‘gut’ instinct.
As human beings, we are notoriously bad with using probability. Our brains simply are not wired to do this with any degree of success, yet the more intelligent we are, the more we try and use maths and logic to help us make the right decision.
It’s of no surprise again that the higher your IQ the more you will rely on using such methods but it’s important to take a step back and learn to use your instincts to make the decision for you. It may come across as a risky move but our subconscious mind is far more powerful than we realise and before we have even given something a lot of thought, it has already decided the correct course of action. We just need to learn to listen.
So do you consider yourself intelligent? Do you feel that it is a hindrance sometimes? Let me know what you think in the comments below.