I have a few hyper-intelligent people in my life. Beginning with my mother, who has a dexterity and memory for numbers even other accountants were jealous of.
Then there is one of my daughters who come to find out now has a photographic memory. I’m not too surprised, she has exhibited such an ease of learning that she picked up on simple math problems before preschool. But she is also my most lazy child who hates school and reading. But I’m sure once she finds something she truly likes that she can apply her talents to she will excel.
I also just learned that she is extremely competitive. This is probably a good counterbalance to her laziness.
I recently bought a new game at the thrift store for us to play. I liked to buy “used” games because, if they are complete and especially sealed and new, the few dollars spent seems worth the risk of not enjoying it. And I can then buy games I’ve never heard of or seen before. This is how we got Black Box, which we love.
This new game, called Braintopia, which is also a thinking skill game, is quite fun. We all enjoy it tremendously, but I’ve grown to dislike playing it with the genius. We even gave her penalties and she still easily won. Then add on the fact that she has bad sportsmanship. Even if she loses one simple round she fusses. If someone else loses she gloats and mocks. All in all, making it not very fun. Which no matter how much I point out she doesn’t seem to comprehend.
For a genius, when it comes to interpersonal relationships she seems anything but. I feel for her a tiny bit. Being so smart is great and can give her remarkable opportunities and take her to extraordinary places in life, groundbreaking even, but I think being liked makes life easier.
I am no genius. But I have my own skillset I’m happy with. Having been around enough geniuses I know they can be quite stubborn, rude and antisocial sometimes. Qualities that are not exactly admirable, no matter how intelligent one is.
My mother’s boyfriend, who now has dimentia is a man that at one point I considered the smartest person I knew. He never talked too much. Not only because he doesn’t know how to engage in small talk but because he can’t relate all that well to people, preferring computers as company.
I was explaining to my nephew once who hates working and disliked all his co-workers that his intelligent and resume would open many doors, but if no one liked him and wanted to work with him a lot of doors would not be open to him. He simply couldn’t comprehend what I meant or how that could be so. In his view intelligence trumped all. I tried in vain to explain the premise for networking, which mind you I’m not a huge fan of, but the benefits of which simply can’t be denied.
I used to tell one of my bosses that “I speak geek” when he asked how I could get along with everyone and most especially the tech department; who were notorious for not liking anyone and had already ran off two previous office managers. I laughed. I simply, genuinely like people and I try to meet everyone where they are.
With the techs I didn’t try to pretend to be even a fraction of their intelligence. But I did try to reach them through reasoning and logic. I sent memos instead of person to person contact so I wouldn’t interrupt them abruptly, which I get. When in doubt I used food to soften them up to new rules or when I needed something from them.
They knew the game before I even played it, but by playing it by their terms they let me in. And the office was cohesive. Which is all I aim for in life, no matter where I am or who I’m with.
I enjoy hyper-intelligent people tremendously. Because I like to see how people work. What makes them tick. That’s a challenge I enjoy. I may not be a genius, but I have something I enjoy much more I think. I have a students mind. I am inquisitive. I am curious. I want to see things on more than a superficial glance. If something catches my attention I want to dive in and find out more.
I’ve gone into so many different rabbit holes, following so many different threads and people and it’s been so much fun seeing the world through different eyes and being allowed to experience life on deeper levels.
I’m no genius but I have a true lust for life…. and that to me has been priceless.