Do you ever have trouble making conversation with others even though you consider yourself to be a very smart and intelligent person? If so, this may puzzle you. This post highlights the reasons why intelligent people have poor social skills.
The truth is that social skills and intelligence don’t necessarily go together. And the million-dollar question is why is it that some very smart people can be so socially inept or socially awkward?
So I’ve put together this short list of ways your intelligence makes you FAIL in social situations… and what to do about it. Here are some of the reasons why very intelligent, very creative people often have difficulty in making small talk successfully.
8 Reasons Why Intelligent People Have Poor Social Skills
1. They seek information instead of developing skills.
Through practice. Doing something over and over again is what allows you to develop a skill. Sure, there’s some basic training you NEED to go through, but to go from being bad to good in a skill… you’ll have to put in the time and effort.
Yet there are a lot of socially inept people who don’t treat social skills in this way. Instead, they look for the one last magic piece of information that will solve all their problems.
And you don’t get them by THINKING about them, you get them by GETTING them. This means you’ll learn more by in 2 hours of actually getting out of the house and talking to people than you will in 20 hours of “education”.
2. They think too much.
It’s because being social and contributing to a conversation is not a problem to be solved by thinking. It’s more about an energetic and spontaneous expression of how you’re feeling.
You should rely more on speaking from your GUT feeling and instinct instead of trying to carefully plan and think through everything you say.
If you can’t think of what to say, you probably go on thinking and thinking and thinking. Taxing your brain to come up with some good and interesting conversation topic to talk about. Because you care what you say and place importance on your words instead of people. You don’t want to look awkward.
Never realizing that THINKING TOO MUCH is the main reason you have a problem speaking up more to begin with! Overthinking is one of the main reasons why intelligent people have poor social skills.
3. They psych themselves out.
Your mind is designed to remember the past or simulate the future to help you survive in life. Smart people take this future simulating and risk-avoiding nature of the brain way too far sometimes. How? By coming up with all of the reasons why everything will not work when it comes to social situations.
For example, maybe you want to ask a girl out on a date. But then your mind imagines and you create an awkward silence and then you say “Hi”… And you imagine her saying “No”… and then her telling everyone else in the world about what a loser and a creep you are… and then you have to see her every day still and try to avoid feeling super awkward. And finally, you don’t ask her out.
4. They have a high level of emotional quotient.
Having a high emotional quotient it doesn’t take much time to read micro-expressions and understand subtle body language cues in other people. You can easily figure it out whether the other person is impatient, bored, or extrovert. Accordingly, your interest in conversation with people may decrease or increase.
Imagining the worst that can happen causes you to not even try. You probably avoid a lot of parties, conversations and social situations for fear of the worst happening… all thanks to your smart mind which has made you see all the “risks.”
Usually, failure is not as big a deal as your mind makes it out to be. You ask a girl out, she says no… and life goes on. You feel bad about it for a few days, and within 2 weeks you no longer really remember it much. And beyond that…
Little failures are necessary to improve your skills. Failing in one conversation is not nearly as bad as the consequences of avoiding taking risks in general.
5. They can’t deal with fear and other emotions.
An intelligent person’s strength is often their logic, which means their weakness is emotions. When it comes to dealing with emotions, a lot of smart people become totally uncomfortable. Maybe they try to stay away from certain emotions especially fear. Fear of being rejected, fear of opening up and connecting with others, and so on.
Since they are poor at controlling emotions, intelligent people are highly likely to end up in conflict with others. Because they know the value of good ideas and how bad ideas can ruin the project. So, when they try to correct people, it is taken as a personal offence, which can have terrible consequences at some point.
Almost every intelligent person out there is a perfectionist. They may have very high expectations of themselves about everything they do. When they think they have failed at anything, they judge themselves very harshly. Therefore, intelligent people have poor social skills.
6. They get nervous and tongue-tied.
When you are genuinely not interested in engaging in small talk, conversations with people can become terribly limited. If they think they are failing at small talk, they just get even more nervous and tongue-tied. Their harsh self-judgment makes them so anxious that they cannot relax and simply enjoy being with other people.
Some researchers found that a higher level of intelligence correlates with increased levels of generalized as well as social anxiety, which is the major cause of poor social skills.
Intelligent people are quite uncomfortable revealing personal information to people whom they don’t know very well. Well, that’s pretty logical because you need to build that trust before you open up to someone. Also, intelligent people are cautious about revealing their vulnerabilities.
However, they like to learn from their mistakes and change their behaviour in response to failures. But, it is this cautious behaviour that leads to poor social skills sometimes.
7. They invest time in thinking about serious matters.
Ordinary topics may bore intelligent people like hell. They like thinking about serious things, especially things that most people don’t think about. Intelligent people have a lot of emotional depth and intellect, and that’s why they like to think about important and deep things.
They may believe that talking about unimportant things is a waste of time. This makes them get bored very quickly with small talk that doesn’t seem to lead anywhere.
Being highly intelligent, you may often find it tough to find common ground with other people. People listening to you may not be able to relate to your ideas and opinions. You may be enthusiastic about the latest discoveries in robotics and artificial intelligence, and get bored when people talk about movies or gossip about others.
8. They don’t want to spend time with average people.
In some cases, people who have above average intelligence, feel superior to others and believe they should not waste their time with average people having average conversations.
But, when they talk to other intelligent people and speak about intellectual matters they get overly heated and enthusiastic, which forces people to think that intelligent people are aggressively opinionated.
Anyone can learn to handle and even MASTER their emotions (even fear). if they just take the time and effort to learn HOW to do it.
If this is you, then do yourself a favour, please. Make the time. Make an effort. What matters is you doing the things that YOU need to do FOR YOU.