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Why are smart people misunderstood and sometimes disliked?

21 December 2021, Fara Diop
Why are smart people misunderstood and sometimes disliked?

“Perhaps this is because the public has historically perceived smarter people as being more narcissistic or aloof.” But what caused that mindset? Three potential possible reasons:

The first is that society's view on smart people stems from a notion of superiority. When humans were evolving, it made sense to look up to those who could survive well, but now society has evolved and different types of genius are now needed for different jobs. It doesn't make sense to look down on people who have different talents from you. Also, smart people get very good at what they set out to do so it makes it easy for them to get the job done and leave the rest of the work for others. This can be misinterpreted as being lazy.

The second reason is that self-interested individuals tend to use their intelligence in ways that benefit themselves, rather than society as a whole. This can be interpreted as selfishness.

The third reason stems from the socialization of children. It is probably for this reason that children are taught not to point out others' mistakes, but I'm not sure if this is the root of it.

There are some studies done on what smart people view as their most important ability, but they aren't conclusive because they don't involve any statistics or surveys. Instead, they involve asking people questions and seeing what the answers are based on context.

There are also some good points about the implications of the issue on society, such as how it affects how companies choose their employees and what can be done about it.

* A brief personal anecdote: As a teenager, I found out that most of my friends (including me) were not actually good at math at all. This was because we'd been taught for so long to use our brains in ways that we never were good at. I later discovered that I've been a math genius all along, but it wasn't until after I was in college that I began to use my intelligence for the benefit of society, rather than myself.
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