The Problem With Smart People

the problem with smart people

The problem with smart people is that they often think they know more than everyone else. Maybe they do, but that does not help them when they are trying to get others to buy whatever they are selling. One of the biggest challenges of always trying to be one step ahead of everyone is the inability to realize that not everyone views the world through our eyes and that not everyone can run as fast as we are working. When you know the right answer, you often can’t believe that everyone can’t see the same thing and fall in line.

Unfortunately, organizations and even human relationships don’t work that way. The irony is that the most talented person can make for one of the most ineffective managers. This is very evident in sports when, for example, retired superstars often find it difficult to coach because they are now supervising lesser mortals that weren’t blessed with the same degree of innate talent. They just can’t fathom why the attacking midfielder they are coaching can’t fire straight balls they way they could.

This is even more obvious when these geeks are working in a team, especially with people they don’t have direct authority over. They always seem to forget that the only way to get momentum for your ideas is to make them clearer and simpler to others and also realizing the fact that imposing your own superior solution just doesn’t work all the time.

The quest for more may well be the defining ethos of our time, but the downside that comes with this single-minded fixation warrants greater attention. Relying on the smartest and most talented people to lead and manage people all the time may be one of those things that sounds better in theory than in practice. For example, a very common trend is that people who are incredibly smart, knowledgeable and good at their job usually end up with a plethora of bad behaviours like bullying and intimidating others, hoarding information and the likes. Most of us end up putting up with such asocial behaviours and spend our time and energy trying to cope with such people. We convince ourselves that it is worth it because of their skills and expertise.

Smart people are prized by the society because higher IQs correlate to the activities for which there are more economic rewards. Doing well in school, finding a good job, applying abstract ideas using technology, etc. But they do perform very badly at the following: dating, making friends, parenting, preparing food, etc. The ego problem with this is that most smart people think they should be able to do these things on auto-pilot since they are so competent at activities that are considered complex and complicated.

Despite the fact that society puts smart people on a lofty pedestal, there are some real downsides to being highly intelligent. A lot of times, the result is a generally unbalanced lifestyle of checking your mail in the middle of the night, missing family events, missing relationship opportunities in lieu of work and eating fast food or junk in the free moments you have between sleeping, commuting and working.

You know that phrase, “Ignorance is bliss”?. There is a reason it still applies. Although, having the upper hand in intelligence might give you an advantage in some areas, like crossword puzzle solving and quantum physics, it also might just mess up some major aspects of your life forever. For one, you are probably a night owl: and that’s a bad thing:

Recently, scientists discovered a quirky side effect to having a high IQ: you tend to stay up until later hours and get up later in the morning. That’s right, the more intelligent are also much more likely to be night owls. Which isn’t such surprise when you realize that intelligent people are infamous for burning the midnight oil to cram for tests, write papers, touch up reports, etc. The problem is , being a night owl is very strongly linked with emotional instability and symptoms of depression, leaves you at risk of heart disease and arterial stiffness. Also, with all your peskiness, you are definitely awkward and terrible at relationships. That makes you less likely to pass on your genes. I think you can figure out that last line yourself.

After all that has been said, you’ve most probably realized that being smart might not be so awesome after all. It comes with its own pains. Nevertheless, it can’t be said enough that smartness can definitely land you a good and economically secured life.

In conclusion, I will like to modify this saying:
“The problem with the world is that intelligent people are full of doubts while the stupid ones are full of confidence” Charles Bukowski.
“The problem with the world is that smart people are so full of issues and simple ones are so lacking in comprehension” Samson K. Okemakinde.

Thanks to,, and for research materials.

Techie since 2010. Awesome at computer programming, music, writing and Logic. Born and raised in the early nineties in the iconic city of Ibadan. I have a B.Sc in Computer Science from the University of Ibadan and a range of diplomas, certifications and cutting-edge skill sets in diverse areas including web development, android application development, public speaking, leadership and management, security cameras, satellite installations, etc.

2 thoughts on “The Problem With Smart People

  1. Hello cspydo, i like your blog, it has many interesting and educative write-ups… keep up the good work. The sky is the starting point. Thumbs up!

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