Do you feel clueless in life? Well, don’t dismiss yourself for your awkwardness and doubtfulness just yet, because believe it or not, intelligent people and insecurity tend to go hand in hand.
Seems improbable right? We assume that confidence and success are natural byproducts of enhanced intelligence. But the truth is a high IQ doesn’t make you confident, nor does it guarantee you a successful or prosperous life.
On the contrary, it has often been observed that the finest of minds are more plagued by insecurities than those with an average IQ.
Not only do highly intelligent people struggle with doubts and self-confidence issues, but also, if they fail to effectively address their insecurities, they happen to ruin their prospects for success and happiness in their lives.
But why do highly intelligent people feel insecure? For a better understanding of the relationship between intelligent people and insecurity, let’s have a look at some of the contributing factors that make intelligent people feel insecure.
6 Ways Intelligent People And Insecurity Get Interconnected:
We have identified the following factors that are largely responsible for making intelligent people suffer from insecurities and self-doubts.
1. They Tend To Overanalyze
People with high IQs have an overactive mind, and overthinking comes as its corollary attribute. Due to their keen observation power and brilliance of mind, they tend to overanalyze everything. Unfortunately, this often proves to be counterproductive for smart people.
Their propensity to ruminate on even trivial matters makes them question their decision-making capabilities.
They have a habit of pondering on hypothetical problems and worrying about stuff that has not happened yet and might not even happen in the future. They can think about a hundred ways how something can go wrong, and this prevents them from being self-confident and taking risks in life.
2. They Carry A Heavy Load Of Expectations
The dismal relationship between intelligent people and insecurity starts quite early. Ever since a gifted individual with above-average intelligence starts showing their potential as a child, usually a heavy load of expectation is put upon them. Sometimes it is done by their pushy parents, teachers, or other influential people in their lives.
It might also happen that being a prodigy itself becomes a burden, and the child starts believing that if they don’t keep doing things up to snuff, they will let others down. So, they start living a life full of stress and self-criticism.
3. They Are Self-Critical
When an overthinking brilliant mind is pressurized to excel in life, all the time, it becomes severely critical of its own prowess. This is one of the reasons why bright people are self-critical. They are too hard on themselves. They focus too much on their weaknesses and beat themselves up for the imperfections that make them human.
There is an interesting theory called the Dunning-Kruger effect which states that people with lower intelligence lack the skill of critical thinking and thus overestimate their intellectual capabilities and competency.
On the other hand, intelligent people are full of doubts because they are always aware of their flaws and vulnerabilities. Their compulsion of fixating on their shortcomings distorts their self-image and reaffirms the sad correlation between intelligent people and insecurity.
Related: Take this emotional intelligence test to know whether you have a high EQ!
4. They Are Aware Of Their Ignorance
Being skeptical and critical are signs of a sharp mind. A truly smart person never takes things at their face value and when they evaluate a statement or an event, they go at it from different angles. Also, someone with high intelligence will never be narrow-minded and will remain open to possibilities.
These are all credible personality traits, no doubt, however, when you add the previously mentioned self-awareness to the mix, the cumulative result is indecisiveness and insecurity.
Intelligent people tend to be more insecure than others because they are not certain about anything and that includes themselves. They are aware that they are not beyond questions and their superior minds make them doubt their own reasoning abilities.
They are forever haunted by the “what ifs” and “buts”. Being always baffled by doubts and suspicions, they struggle to make decisions in their lives.
5. They Struggle To Fit In
It’s lonely at the top. The more intelligent you are, the harder it gets to find like-minded people who can offer you a sense of belonging. As a result, smart people struggle to fit in.
They’re typically the ones who eat alone at the school cafeteria, who go on solo trips, or who spend their summer afternoons reading books or touring local museums. As they don’t resonate with people around them, they’re cursed to live a lonely life.
Loneliness can be a big catalyst in the saga of intelligent people and insecurity in the following ways:
- Social rejection faced during childhood and adolescence paves the way for low-self esteem and inferiority complex.
- Being non-conformist in nature, intelligent people feel like outsiders in their community.
- As they have a refined taste, they cannot help but be picky about their friends or romantic partners, leading them to be lonely for the most part of their lives.
- They are often hated for being right and can come across as braggarts or “know-it-alls” when they try to correct someone’s lack of knowledge on a certain topic.
6. They Often Suffer From Mental Health Issues
There is a wealth of anecdotal evidence as well as studies that establish that people with high intelligence are prone to mental health issues such as Bipolar disorder, depression, and anxiety.
The enhanced brain functioning of highly intelligent people makes them aware and susceptible to worries, sadness, and the unstable nature of life. This is another reason why intelligent people are bound by insecurities.
Are You An Intelligent Person?
If you are an intelligent person and can relate to the above-discussed markers of highly intelligent and insecure personalities, please don’t feel demoralized. The whole objective of this article is to make you realize that if you have always felt out of place throughout your life, it doesn’t mean that there’s something wrong with you.
You are a gifted individual with a superior quality of mind. You just need to bring your attention to these areas of your life that are working against you and turn your insecurity into productive insecurity.
To take things in your stride, you might try the followings:
- Enjoy your company
- Cultivate hobbies
- Worry less
- Let go of unrealistic expectations
- Be kind to yourself
Related: 7 Struggles Of Highly Intelligent People
A Final Word
It would be easy for you to have a well-rounded, happy, and successful life if you can be a little easy on yourself and take life a little less seriously. And if you are trying to cope with any mental health issue, please get help from an authorized mental health expert.
We hope you liked our article on the topic of intelligent people and insecurity. Let us know your feedback by commenting down below and for more related content, keep coming back to us!
Frequently Asked Questions
What is intellectual insecurity?
Intellectual insecurity is the fear of being called stupid for not knowing something and not being confident enough in one’s knowledge.
Are intelligent people more jealous?
Intelligent people are more aware of their weaknesses and struggle with self-esteem issues, which might or might not manifest into jealousy.
Can someone be smart and intelligent?
Smart people comprehend information quickly and accurately, and intelligent people have the inquisitiveness to explore more. So, yes an individual can be both smart and intelligent.
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