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Do people often misunderestimate your level of intelligence?

pmvdpmvd Registered User Posts: 294 Junior Member
edited March 2009 in College Life
I am just teasing you guys, I know it's not "misunderstimate" with a "mis."

In my case, yes, people always underestimated my intelligence. I never understood why, since I was a good student and never felt dumb, but I eventually learned that "normal" people equate interpersonal abilities with intelligence, and since my interpersonal abilities were low (poor social skills, poor communication), it naturally followed that people perceived me as being unintelligent. I am more of a logical than an intuitive thinker, so it took me a while to grasp their reasoning...

Anyway, their taking me for an idiot motivated me to prove them wrong, which I accomplished not by learning interpersonal skills but by excelling in school. Did I succeed in proving them wrong? Sort of. Some people remained convinced that I was unintelligent, and attributed my academic success to my working my butt off (that was their conclusion); some others apparently rethought their definition of intelligence; and some others were baffled and coped with the dissonance by taking their negative emotions out on me: they bullied me, called me names, laughed in my face, etc.

Would my life have been better if people had accurately assessed my level of intelligence? I am not sure. I would have spared myself a lot of emotional pain, that's for sure, but at the same time I am not sure if I would have found the motivation to be a top student and eventually go to college. I just hope that there is light at the end of the tunnel and that my martyrdom will pay off some day.
Post edited by pmvd on

Replies to: Do people often misunderestimate your level of intelligence?

  • RacinReaverRacinReaver Registered User Posts: 6,608 Senior Member
    If you were really as intelligent as you seem to believe then you would have learned interpersonal skills in addition to excelling in school.

    I feel most people think I think I'm smarter than they think I am.
  • PlattsburghLoserPlattsburghLoser Registered User Posts: 5,487 Senior Member
    No, really. Are you InnovativeBoxx?
  • pmvdpmvd Registered User Posts: 294 Junior Member
    "If you were really as intelligent as you seem to believe then you would have learned interpersonal skills in addition to excelling in school."

    That might be true if we remove diagnosable mental conditions from the equation.

    "I feel most people think I think I'm smarter than they think I am. "

    I think that you think that people think that you are smarter than they think you are because deep inside you think that you are smarter than they think you are.
  • VehicleVehicle Registered User Posts: 421 Junior Member
    I'm glad I wasn't the only one that was thinking of InnovativeBoxx.

    Of course people equate confidence to intelligence. A person can speak nothing but ignorance and still be perceived as an intelligent and logical human being because of the way he presents his arguments. Those that are shy with their compositions tend to be overlooked as ignorant or wrong because they appear unsure of themselves. If they are unsure then why should a spectator believe them?

    I had the same problem in high school. I'm a really quite and anxious person who rarely speaks my mind and has insight to contribute to the audience. People wold consider me having low intelligence despite my excellent grades in school and ability to outperform my peers with minimal effort. I had no interpersonal skills when I was a teenager. Interpersonal skills is not the end all intellectual trait. Interpersonal skills is a type of intelligence just like spatial and musical/rhythmic.

    The probably is that people's idea of intelligence is subjective and usually created by the general opinion of what intelligence is (IQ tests, confident speakers, well versed in language arts) rather then the theoretical qualities of intelligence. Not even psychologists have a universal definition of intelligence other than the ability to learn and think (which anyone can do unless they have a severe disability).

    I know for a fact that my life would be more productive if people considered me intelligent. I go through bouts emotional pain because of the negative comments I receive.
  • leah377leah377 Registered User Posts: 3,834 Senior Member
    I am just teasing you guys, I know it's not "misunderstimate" with a "mis."

    haha! so glad, because i was considering making a snarky comment.. ;)
  • srunnisrunni Registered User Posts: 768 Member
    My interpersonal skills in high school weren't that great, but I just didn't care what people thought about me. The sooner you stop caring whether people think you're intelligent, the more happy you'll be.
  • dramakitty92428dramakitty92428 Registered User Posts: 676 Member
    Are you insecure about your intelligence? Or your major being smirked at? Or are you just **** the boards...
  • ThisCouldBeHeavnThisCouldBeHeavn - Posts: 16,060 Senior Member
    Happens all the time. Just a few hours ago someone thought I got 2320 on the SAT. I really got 2330.

    Life's so frustrating.
  • Myrmidon73Myrmidon73 Registered User Posts: 624 Member
    Just count cards like the guy in Rain Man or 21.
  • alithyiaidenalithyiaiden Registered User Posts: 319 Member
    People who don't know me think I'm not as smart as I am based on looks and the people who know me think I'm smarter than I really am.
  • NamurtNamurt Registered User Posts: 58 Junior Member
    Why do you want to be perceived as intelligent? All my time in high school I've been trying to avoid that.

    1. It doesn't get you laid.
    2. It makes everyone bother you with homework questions. (this is a big one I hate)
    3. It's hard to have a debate with people when they're convinced you're way smarter than they are.
    4. It sets expectations for you: essentially you are forced to constantly keep demonstrating your intelligence or it will be assumed you lost it.
    5. It makes people envious. Do you really want people to always brag about that one quiz they beat you on?
  • augustuscaesaraugustuscaesar Registered User Posts: 395 Member
  • augustuscaesaraugustuscaesar Registered User Posts: 395 Member
    ... IE's messed up. Anyway, I'm not sure if intelligence is the main factor when people consider whether or not to tease someone...
  • galoisiengaloisien - Posts: 3,741 Senior Member
    1. It doesn't get you laid.

    It does, if you date the right people.
  • citcit Registered User Posts: 66 Junior Member
    One girl i was talking to had the same self esteem issue-people didn't think she was smart, only a hard worker. In school she works very hard to learn, does her homework all the time, and always pesters the teachers and other students when she doesn't get something (quite often). This is a contrast to the "smart people" who never do their hwk and cram the night before.

    So do you think you are smart only because you work hard and good grades?
This discussion has been closed.