Posted by Ken on March 31, 1998 at 13:57:31:
In response to Genius is always lonely, written by Caroline on March 26, 1998 at 13:14:52
] ] I've been thinking about really smart people I know, who are so intimidatingly penetrating that they are actually hard to be friends with.
Perhaps you should tell them. The one thing a flashlight doesn't illuminate is the hand that holds it--their penetration may be wasted on themselves. As for your all-seeing friend that you don't want to be too close to--that's a unique opportunity, to have a real basis for stepping out from your own evasions, if her judgement is as acute as you fear. You might consider that perhaps you are being too timid, you know. Or that your friendship to her might be as valuable as her insight could be to you.
] I'm always quite grateful that I'm not a genius. The more intelligent you are, the less likely it is that you will have any kind of contact with someone who matches both your intelligence and your interests. . . . And I think it's a general rule that people despise those less "intelligent" than themselves and fear those more intelligent, because unless minds meet as equals, you have an obligation/dependancy thing that gets in the way.
Funny, I read that & think that the 2 smartest people I have ever met have satisfying families & spouses, careers, associates, friends (even if less capable). They both found other people who probably weren't their intellectual equals in the strictest possible sense. But there's more to interpersonal contact than that, & they are happy people. In fact, I'd give the edge to interests over intelligence--if you have no attention to give to someone else's interests, that alone is a killer.
Of course, there have been plenty of unhappy geniuses in the world, define genius how you will. But I think the unhappy & lonely genius stereotype is just that, on the whole.
If you could offer the choice to JA, lonely genius vs. social, um, averageness?, which do you think she would choose?
- unique vs ordinary P. Bingham 16:54:24 3/31/98 (1)
- Making perfect sense Arnessa 00:03:19 4/02/98 (0)
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