Wednesday, November 2, 2011

9 Reasons I Hate Being Smart

As I'm sure I've mentioned before, I'm smart. Like, really smart. Statistically speaking, I'm smarter than you. But I'm not here to brag – I'm here to complain.

Ignorance is bliss, they say. Stupidity isn't the same thing as ignorance, but the stupid people of world seem pretty f*ckin' happy, all the same.

The grass is always greener over the septic tank, right? Stupid people might be happier, but they're also stupid. On the other hand, they're also happier. Here are some of the reasons why being smart makes me miserable:

1) I Have Problems Making Friends and Maintaining Relationships

It's difficult to forge a deep connection with someone when, the whole time you're listening to them, you're thinking to yourself, “Damn, what an idiot.” This happens to me a lot.

Other people don't find it easy to connect with me, either. If they're not struggling to understand me in the first place, it's probably because I'm going on about how smart I am, as if to rub it in their faces.

2) Men Don't Like Me

Well, they do, just not for very long.

Of course, I'm arguably famous for scraping the bottom of the man-barrel. Nevertheless, it seems not many men appreciate a woman who is clearly smarter than them. As far as I can tell, the ones who do are all about 50, which puts them just a tad out of my age bracket.

That said, I would totally do Henry Rollins.

Most of the guys I go out with, or even just observe in the wild, seem to like playing the role of the smarter, more competent one. As far as I can tell, I'm supposed to play along by acting all giggly and impressed. Needless to say, that is not the way we do things chez McAtee.

And by "we," I mean "I."

I know men have fragile egos that need to be stroked, but you can't pretend you're something you're not. The facade falls apart rather quickly, in fact.

3) Most People Irritate Me, Anyway

Seriously, they do. I can't tell you how many times I've sat around at some party listening to two or more ladies of my acquaintance go on about something completely idiotic, like which breast implants they're gonna get. The teardrop ones are the best, apparently, because “I totally knew this girl who got them and they looked soooooo natural.”

Please, somebody shoot me.

4) Simple Things Elude Me

Yes, they do. That might not sound very smart to you, but that's because you don't understand the nature of genius.

When you have a complex mind, you tend to see things in a complex manner. This is fine most of the time, cause a lot of what goes on in the world is fairly complicated. Some things aren't, though. What I'm trying to say is, I go around pushing on “pull” doors.

Like this one. ~ Alcook101

5) I Keep Walking Into Things, Because the Deep Thoughts Take Up All My Attention

I have the forehead scars to prove it.

6) Hard Work is Harder

Oh hell yes it is. See, I've been smart all my life. I didn't fall into a vat of radioactive waste when I was 25, or anything like that.

I coasted through school pretty easily. Aside from a couple of years in high school when I was all, “F*ck this noise, I'm going for a smoke,” I always got good grades, and I never really had to study. I double-majored in college, and graduated summa cum laude with Departmental Honors. I never pulled an all-nighter and every paper I handed in was a first draft.

To be fair, I'm pretty good at first drafts. ~ mpclemens

Before you get all proud of me or jealous or whatever, keep in mind that through all those crucial years of growing up, I never had to work hard at anything. I just appeared and kept my eyes open, and I succeeded. Sometimes I didn't even do that, and I still succeeded. Everything came too easily.

No matter how smart you are, there comes in a point in life where you have to put in effort to thrive. When everything comes easily until you're 22, you never learn how to do hard work. It's a hell of a thing to have to master as an adult.

7) My Memory is Too Good

They say that memory is the biggest part of intelligence, and I guess they might have a point. You do better in school if you can remember what your teacher said. You do better at life if you can remember exactly how you f*cked up before, or even better, exactly how that one dude you heard about f*cked up before.

The trouble with having a good memory is that, well, you tend to remember things. The brain lends more weight to bad memories, since the caveman who remembered the bear attack avoided its lair and went on to have kids of his own. If you remember too many bad things, though, you tend to get depressed a bit too easily.

Not to mention, I creep people out. I've been trying not to do this, but occasionally I find myself drunkenly telling some acquaintance his own life story. Not until I see the look of horror spread over his face do I realize that he doesn't remember telling me this stuff the last time we were drunk together, and now he thinks I'm a stalker.

I have trust issues, partly because I remember just about every single thing everyone I know has ever said and done in my presence. On the one hand, that makes it easy to figure out who I can trust. On the other hand, it also makes it easy to see just how few people are worth trusting.

8) So, I Worry Too Much

Partly because I have too many memories of things going horribly wrong, and partly because I know how few people are worth trusting. But also, partly I'm aware of how many things could go wrong. My overactive brain is constantly working out new scenarios and presenting them to me at three in the freaking morning.

Shut the f*ck up already you stupid piece of sh*t brain.

9) ...And Then I Drink Too Much

Cause at least when I'm drunk, I'm not worried about all the things that could go wrong, like liver disease or falling and breaking my teeth out, two of the common consequences of drinking.

I swear to God, Brain, I will kill you with booze if it's the last thing I do.

Or maybe I'm just trying to dumb myself down enough for that boob job conversation up there. Hard to know, really.


  1. OMG, high five, Soul Sista! You crack me up! I'm not as smart as you, but there are signs...

    I'm totally with you on #3 - I'm an introvert for this very reason ... every time I expose myself to someone new - I get irritated (mostly with public transit officials)

    #4 - I'm the same way -even worse, pushed on the "pull" door on the hinge side - impossible to open! In my defense, it was very dark, but the restaurant owner couldn't stop laughing (refer back to #3)

    #5 - I just took a header into a garbage can the other day - talk about having my head filled with DEEP thoughts.

    As usual, your über smart (ass) observations are killers!


  2. I don't consider myself "smart", but I DO consider myself a "smart-ass". I'll take it!

    Great post girl:-)

  3. OMG we so need to hang out! We can swap statistics!

    #1 yes
    #2 not after they figure out I don't want sex anyway
    #3 Totally. I nearly committed homicide after listening to hours of conversation between women about nothing but childcare. I love my kid, but man, get a hobby! I am NOT part of a playgroup.... would you have guessed?
    #4 Yes
    #5 we can walk into shit together. or fall down it.
    #6 I got this wake up call at 17, slightly better than 22, but yeah...
    #7 Oh yes....
    #8 Check
    #9 Not so much now... but once, yes. Now I just rant on my blog. It's cheaper.

  4. You sound like my soul sista... I do every single thing on your list (except drink a lot, but that's because I'm a single mother and I know if I start drinking on my own it's a slippery, slippery slope to alcoholism and inappropriate parenting).
    Great post!
    Great to know I'm not the only one with a well-above average IQ and fucked up social life...(no offence, that's how I consider mine anyway, it's not a reflection on yours...).

  5. I am rolling!....and can you imagine my hellish life in small town redneck Kansas and being smart (but not as smart as you or I would not be living here again). I just wrote an article in our grassroots all volunteer Prairie Connection about "No, I am not smart" so the natives would relax. They did not. The cafe threw the newspapers out of the locked paper rack this week. And to top it all off, making matters worse, I have been smart for 75 years now and damn, it gets exhausting! There is no help in sight so I expect I will have to die smart.

  6. Do I stay silent and be held in the category of know-nuttin-numb-nuts? Or, do I say "I sorta feel you?" and come off as arrogant?

    I'm so confused.

    I disagree with you about two points. 1)Ignorance isn't bliss. It's just ignorance. 2)Hold it. No. I only disagree with you about the one thing.

    Life is a solo journey, after all.

  7. Ha! OMG This is perfect! I can totally relate to #3 and ESPECIALLY #7. Having a good memory really does suck. For me, I often find my memory of events, facts, and life situations are often better than the original person sharing said information. Which is totally frustrating, and as you say, creeps them out. And while I may not be as smart as you, my dear, I can most definitely relate to having to sit through mind-numbing conversations with subpar people. And guess where I usually find these people? At my work. Ugh. I. Feel. Your. Pain.


  8. Yeah, I'm with you 100% on this one.

  9. @Eden Public transit officials are supposed to be irritating, it's part of their job training. ;)

    I once walked into a STOP sign.

    @Cari Smartness of the ass is better than no smartness at all. Glad you enjoyed the post! :)

    @Ciara As long as we're not gonna talk about boob jobs, okay. I'd say we can have a drink together, but maybe we should make it an apple juice or something.

    @Kirsty Don't drink by yourself, unless it's in the bath. You need to re-hydrate in that situation.

    Glad you enjoyed the post! Thanks for commenting!

    @Anonymous I grew up in small town redneck West Virginia, so I totally know what you're talking about. It's probably better when you're young cause they expect you to leave. Well, except for your peers, who also expect you to leave, but are jealous about it. :/

    Unfortunately, I believe intelligence is a life-long condition. There are cures, but they tend to have devastating side effects.

    @D YOU'RE worried about looking arrogant?! I'M the one who wrote the post!

    @L.M. Stull There are far too many sub-par people in the world. Stupid people have too many kids, if you ask me.

    Glad you enjoyed the post! Thanks for commenting! :)

  10. @ Stephanie Glad you liked it! Thanks for commenting! :)

  11. What I find hilarious is how many people have replied with "OMG." OMG is a blond girl's term for when they've got nothing better to say, let alone a more expansive vocabulary. ;)
    Excellent post!

  12. @Anonymous Something tells me OMG has now entered the general lexicon. ;)

    Glad you enjoyed the post. Thanks for commenting! :)

  13. Let us be thankful for the fools. But for them the rest of us could not succeed. ~M. Twain

  14. @Amy LOL Good ole Mark Twain. Thanks for commenting! :)

  15. Okay, apparently not only are you a genius but everyone you know is a genius as well. I can relate to most of your points except the memory and something else you said but I can't remember. Could be why everyone gets along better online. Maybe.

  16. @Christina I know, who knew there were so many geniuses out there? Maybe there's hope for the world after all! :D

  17. This sums up being smart in a nutshell. Everyone thinks it's great, but it's worse than being disabled when you're in school. The teachers don't understand, kids resent you and their parents hate your parents for having a smart kid. It's okay to be a great athlete or musician, but academics is a no-no! Looks like getting older doesn't level things out. Thanks for this.

  18. I am super paranoid now that you think I'm an idiot because I don't bother sounding smart online. OH MY GOD MARJORIE MY EGO.

    Yes, it needs to be stroked gently.


    You are smarter than me.

  19. @Anonymous But I guess at least we're still smart? Don't get depressed, dude. Go into IT, get rich.

    @Paulie Awww Paulie I know you're not an idiot. You're super-smart. *strokes Paulie's ego gently*

  20. Haha, I related to this post a lot. I've told people on various occasions that I wish I was dumb, so at night when I went to bed I wouldn't worry about, stress over, and analyze the day, tomorrow, the rest of my life, etc. How awesome it would have been to live in the Stoneage, and only have thoughts like "me hungry, me eat now, me tired, me sleep now." Lol

  21. "Me run from bear." LOL

    Glad you liked it, thanks for commenting! :)

  22. You have been reading my diary. I can relate to absolutely everything on this list. I also been told that I have shitty social skills and a distinct lack of etiquette due to the fact that I'm generally always thinking about other shit!

  23. @Yandie Something tells me you may actually be hanging around with assholes...I mean, if they're telling you stuff like that...

    Glad you enjoyed it, thanks for commenting!

  24. I am back...just saw the post on the Amish. They don't read you? LOL I have so much Amish in my blood you'd squirm. My grandfather was SWISS Amish...he married grandma and converted to SWISS Mennonite and had a slew of kids.....we know he could do one thing real good. All my background is from those righteous suckers. I am old now and so screwed up, you cannot imagine!
    We Amish/Mennnos have flourishing mental hospitals for all of the screwed up Amish/Mennonites...tis true. I was there once and the Amish lady with me had tried to kill her husband with a frying pan. I was just trying to stay married to a bullying bastard for religious reason. She was the crazy one they thought. I know better. When we finally divorced, a first in our region of Kansas, I was shunned out of the church and he was adored. They hate women and they use women.Not all are that way but enough to make me stay away from their garden fresh produce and other "healthy" ways of life. Nope, they ain't quaint and they ain't cute...they are mentally ill as hell with those generations of inbreeding. (My ex was my 3rd cousin as there was no one else to marry and I was 21 and i could not marry outside the church) I can't get your darn thing to post my real name so you can use it to spread your blog to rednecks!! A lot of old hippies know me from the 70s when I had the red Rosalea's Hotel that was a famous safe haven in those days. I am trying to restore it before I die so make it a place again for freedom of speech, freedom of thought, etc...OMG the locals including my church and family, made me famous in those days for their hate attacks but all that Amish blood with years of Swiss non-violence persecution made me tough and I am still alive standing up to the bastards......I am Rosalea from "HaHa" Kansas--just a little joke of a town in South Central Kansas

  25. I'd figured out everything else except #6. I guess now I know that too, which makes me smarter than I was before, but makes you smarter still because you've already figured it out, but then again, you could be older, which means you took more time, or you could be younger, which means I've not spent enough time thinking about myself.

    If I tell you there are a couple things you missed here, it would make me feel better about my inability to figure out #6 without outside help, but it might also make you depressed about your inability to figure those couple of things out on your own, but I can't tell you those and rob you off of the pleasure of self-discovery, which means I care, which also means you care, which gives me hope that some day, we can find better solutions, IF this indeed is a problem.

    Until then, there's always alcohol and cigarettes.

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  27. For nearly all the reasons you stated (except I don't drink), I agree. On the other hand, I think some of what irritates me about being smart has more to do with having common sense than having a good memory. I know plenty of high IQ people who are dumb as shit in some respects. I don't suffer fools easily, PhD or not.

    I would never admit to being smart (seems to alienate people who then use words like "intimidate" and "snob"), let alone blog about it, so hats off to you!

  28. Thanks, glad you liked it! :)

    I think there's such a thing as being too smart, at which point, you actually get stupid again.

  29. Your life sounds remarkably similar to mine. Every Aspect. My current employer is trying to get me to not be so overbearing but it's hard when your working with a bunch of insecure people. I mean dealing with the same issues the same way that we know already does not work. Preaching just how good they are yet when challenged they drop the ball and resent me for making them look stupid.

  30. As I used to tell my ex, "I don't try to make you look stupid, it just comes naturally."

  31. i understand completely i am the smartest one out of an entire family of rednecks and "white rappers"

  32. There's something to be said for being humble. I appreciate you probably have a higher level of intelligence than the majority of your company but you need to understand you're not alone. Ever heard of Mensa? Find other so-called 'smart' people and talk about stuff that interests you. Try and get some exercise rather than having a smoke or necking a bottle of booze. It’ll help with the sleep and the ongoing inner monologue you seem to have.

    I get the whole ‘smarter than most and feeling out of sorts’ thing but you have an immature way of dealing with it. Like I said, go on a walk, meet some people and get some perspective.

  33. Nice post. I find myself in these exact situations on a daily basis. The only difference is I didn't give a rats ass about school and would rather have graduated while flying high looking at colors.

    If I could offer ANY input it would be for you to make sure you recognize genius when it's sitting there in the corner looking stupid and drunk, giggling and playing the role. Sounds like someone I just read about.

    I personally have very little strength to do this myself, I need constant reassurance that people enjoy my company but not many people like listening to the details on the structure of carbon nanotubes and how fast and powerful my traxxas slash velineon can go.

    People like you need to set examples and be a leader or a teacher of sorts. The most intelligent people in this world get other people to do their work FOR them. You may be highly esteemed, knowledgeable and smart but your a class act for not being able to leverage your own power.

    Take it from me... I don't do it either but at least I'm aware of it.

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  35. I know exactly what you mean. I barely 14 but not to brag either I'm really smart. I get bored because everything easy and when I see idiotic people there all content being stupid. I don't understand and year I tend to think everything is complex. Sometimes I wish I was stupid because if I get a bad grade everyone gives me a hard time *sighs*

  36. I don't even know how I ended up here, but now that I have, I feel somewhat relieved and less alone. All of my virtual love to you, dear stranger. *Raises glass of wine in your honour*

  37. I'm sure it's your genius that keeps you from accomplishing simple tasks and working hard...

  38. You might be smart, but as a man who shares that trait, I can tell you this: You're just very neurotic. Don't use your intelligence as means of putting your stature above anybody else. Maybe you have an anxiety issue. People piss me off too but there are people of lower mental frequency who make me smile my ass off all day because they just don't give a crap about anything. The problem with intelligence is the internal focus which snaps the connection between the rest of the world and the apparent reality that exists in our minds. Stop and look at what is happening in any given moment when you feel that "fuck people are morons" moment. More often than not, a positive can come of it..

    1. Gee, you sound quite neurotic yourself; what with worrying about the author worrying too much and whether one can be positive or not.

  39. Steps on how to fuck up with doors.
    1. Pull a push door.
    2. Check bottom to make sure there is not something stuck under it.
    3. Check hinges to make sure they haven't gotten stuck.
    4. See if the bolt is locked.
    5. Remember push doors exist.
    This has happened to many times.

    1. WHY OH WHY is checking whether it's a pull or push door always the fifth or sixth thing that occurs to us?

    2. Because doors are simple, I should not have to take a test to go through a door, smart people usually do not think about simple items such as going through a door, we just go through the door-push or pull :-) Smart people when faced with a pull during a push think "Why would the door be pull when it should be push- who engineered this thing??" Great post!!

  40. Everyone thinks they're so damn smart.

  41. How about bloody hating mindless activities like housekeeping which others make a fuss about?

  42. Dear Marjorie, seldom in my life have I read anything that represents me so fucking well! And the worst part about being smart is, the second you complain about it, people just consider you to be a big show-off, as if you were humblebragging about this shit... and when I complain that I'd rather be just as mediocre minded as everyone else, i'm an ungrateful turd. I hate it when people who have no idea about how it feels to be gifted tell me how great it is. It isn't.

  43. The irony of #1 and #2 on a post like this is absolutely amazing.

  44. Wow this is me. But I was one of those kids who got bored in high school chem and ditch for weeks, come back take the tests and pass. Everyone hated me, still do? Even as a bachelor's now in biochem my hardest class was hematology kicked my ass but meh didn't affect my GPA much. Dating men is harder they don't like women who are smarter. Plus I think I'll be single forever guys don't like it when women will make more than them too. I'll be making close to six figures once I graduate.

  45. Maybe you're alone because you're self-centered, condescending, insufferable twat who only talks about herself. But then again, what do I know? I'm not as smart as you.

  46. I don't know what's worse, the article or all you schmucks who identify with it

    p.s. 1 and 2 are not symptoms of intelligence, they're symptoms of being a bitch

  47. Have you been tested for Asperger's/HFA?

  48. I was tested for "special school" when I was in elementary school. I did well enough to go with the "gifted kids" once a week to this school. That shit my entire public education life up. Made fun of, bullied, beat up, etc. Then I hit high school and we were the first kids to take experimental dual credit college courses. That was even more awesome. Lemme tell you, I hardly forget a damn thing, worry constantly about what will happen (or not) and/or what I have to do, I remember crazy shit like the pharmaceutical names of drugs from TV commercials (Celebrex is celecoxib and I can remember shit tons more), and the worst, WORST is seeing someone else struggle with something, humbly trying to help, and being resented for saving them a lot of time and wasted energy. I just walk away now. Oh yeah, I drink a lot, take Paxil (that's paroxetine), and have basically become emotionally numb to the people I work with. Oh yeah, sometimes the most simple things elude me as I tend to complicate stuff, apparently just like you.
    I came home from work pissed of and found this...

    I AM NOT alone. Thank you and I wish you well!

  49. I just found this post by searching "Why do people hate inteligent people." I find myself more often than what seems 'normal' in the company of seriously hateful people and I've been trying to work this out. I've had a number of people come out and 'accuse' me of being too smart in much the same way that you would accuse someone of having committed a crime. I was really perplexed, especially since I put a lot of sincere effort into not letting my intelligence show in hopes that I don't make other people feel bad.

    I'm glad that I've come across this post. It gave me a different, more empowered, perspective. I can now stop feeling bad. I've no reason to apologize for being smart. People who are a^^holes are going to find a reason - too smart, too dumb, too short, too tall. It doesn't matter.

  50. You sound like you have Asperger's. Can you still call yourself smart if you don't have the ability infer how others perceive you? It sounds like your primary concern is for people to think you are smart. The whole drinking spiel sounded so contrived.

    1. Aspergers is just the new "nerd" label. It's a way of commiserating about smart people that the majority doesn't like - by belittling their intelligence and categorizing them within a spectrum of disorders that indicate an extreme inward focus (autism is literally self-ism). All of psychiatry is suspect for its ability to politicize "illness", and erroneous for locating the source of human distress in biology, rather than in language.

  51. I know this post is five years old, but it's so offensive! You poor baby, it must be awful having to share space and suffer through all the stupid people around you! I especially enjoyed how you basically said: if you don't think I'm right about this, it's because you're stupid and I'm a genius. I don't doubt it's frustrating when people don't give you credit for being right about a given topic, but this whole line of thinking shows your privilege and conceit. Try actually living with a low IQ for a few years and then tell me how much you hate being smart. Being stupid doesn't make you happy, it just makes everything in life more difficult.

  52. The higher you go, the further you see, the lonelier you get. Know that, at the very top stands God. The loneliest one of all. The one that can see the furthest.