Highly Academic, Highly Socially Awkward People (Come on, you know a few...)

<p>Do any of you notice tat there seems to be an almost linear relationship (alright, maybe exponential), between how academic someone is and how socially awkward they are? Sure, there are many exceptions, but it happens all the time. Is it just me, or is that normal? Why do you think that happens/how does it happen? Is that a good thing? A necessary thing?</p>

<p>no... i think you are an idiot. CC is full of people with near perfect SATs, the vast majority of which are class presidents, sports team captains, and other leadership positions. being a leader is not socially awkward</p>

<p>I've noticed this. It probably happens because they spend so much time studying and doing schoolwork, that they don't have the time to hang out with others and fully develop good social skills.</p>


<p>You mean uncoordinated? Not really. I'm not really that smart (nor study all night long for a simple Vocab. test) , yet I am very uncoordinated. I was when I was 6, and it' not that much better now at 16. I don't know what it is, but it isn't exactly having to do with smarts :/
If you play me at basketball, I will lose, no doubt about it.</p>

<p>Yes, I've noticed this, but then again, it really depends. Maybe 80% of them are like this. I can't say all though.</p>

<p>I don't think most high-academic students are socially awkward, it's just that most aren't big partiers. When they're not in class or studying they generally choose to spend their time on student clubs, school newspapers, sports, and things of that nature rather than getting drunk and stoned with their pals.</p>

<p>I would only say that there was really one socially awkward kid in our grade, I remember he was really going crazy for this one girl and so he asked her to prom and she didn't respond till about two weeks later, so I'm guessing he assumed this means she was pondering it [though she really didn't know how to say no], so yeah it became rather sad and he started following her everywhere, and for about two months he just stay atached to her before he finally moved away. So if that's not awkward, I really don't know what is. Though I must say that all the kids in the top of my class I felt had very strong personalities and some were known for working hard and partying hard so I guess it doesn't really fit our school to be highly academic and socially awkward.</p>

<p>I agree with Fides et Ratio. That's exactly how it is at my high school.</p>

<p>maybe the people that spend almost all of their time studying are socialy awkward, but those people are usually not the "really smart" ones. otherwise, i agree with everything already stated.</p>

<p>I don't study too much, but I am terribly awkward around girls.</p>

<p>Awkwardness with the opposite sex: definitely =) (or =(?)</p>

<p>Although the extremely socially awkward ones are exceptions, there's always that one group of guys who seem to be always hovering around a graphing calculator during lunch...</p>

<p>From having two kids who are pretty smart compared to dad, I think some of it is overthinking an outcome of the interaction and that fear of failure (rejection) that can lead to social awkward situations. Numbers. theories they can read, study and master. Why a girl likes the guy with no possible future is a concept that is not logical. </p>

<p>It's not a good or bad thing really, unless they can't overcome the fear. Eventually they grow more comfortable and gain interaction skills and are able to function with more ease. It just takes a bit longer socially to catch up.</p>

<p>"there's always that one group of guys who seem to be always hovering around a graphing calculator during lunch..."</p>

<p>That's me, I do my AP chem homework during lunch.</p>

<p>the only awkardness i see in some smart people is that they are still developing their "people skills" and say some incredibly strange things. not joking or anything to freak you out...they're serious. </p>

<p>the only truly smart and yet slightly awkward person i've met was my calculus III teacher, who came in on the first day and said nothing. he had a lot of strange mannerisms, but turned out to be my favorite teacher. he is truly intelligent and i think his mind is always on solving a problem for a math journal. students are usually normal.</p>

<p>Many of these people may have Asperger's syndrome, which is a neurological disorder that effects their abilities to develop good social and communication skills (and often are oblivious to or misread social and nonverbal cues that help the rest of us succeed in social settings). However, given that most Aspies are typically very intelligent, and often excel in the areas of math, sciences, and computer science, it's no surprise that many of them end up at college. Some recent studies indicate that the incidence of AS is on the rise and may even be as high as 1 in 150! Diagnosis of AS only started in the 1990s so there are probably many individuals who have it but are not diagnosed (or are diagnosed with something else). It is believed that AS is genetic (and think about how many more intelligent/college educated men and women pair up now than say even 2-3 decades ago so perhaps this explains the increase?) It is now also believed that many famous intelligent people also had Asperger's syndrom, such as Albert Einstein, Thomas Edison, Mozart, Thomas Jefferson, Jonathan Swift, to name a few... So although there is a strong connection between Aspergers and intelligence, you can't say there's a linear relationship between social awkwardness and intelligence since Aspergers is still very much a minority and there are many many more people who are just as smart in our colleges)</p>

<p>I think that two reasons for this are Asperger's syndrome, as scansmom suggested, and perfectionism. Thus, two distinct but related groups are impacted--the "gifted" kids and the workaholics--two types of people that would both be classified as highly academic.</p>

<p>Asperger's syndrome evidently causes naturally smart people to have difficulty making social connections. I don't know the psychological mechanism by which this occurs (or even whether anyone knows) but I trust it to be valid. Thus, society is full of "eccentric geniuses", who do great work seemingly effortlessly but don't match that performance with social success. Also don't forget that psychological "disorders" like AS vary in severity and in many individuals might be written off as a personality quirk when in actuality caused by the same mechanism as in one who experiences the full blown effects. So a large number of people might be affected by this problem even if it hasn't been diagnosed as such.</p>

<p>And of course we all know people who take themselves too seriously and focus all of their efforts on living up to external or internal expectations (this forum is full of them). While that perfectionist attitude can lead to good grades, it doesn't carry over to social situations where "letting go" and not worrying about what others think about you is key. These people get too caught up in their own ego (and I don't mean that in a demeaning way) to relate to others successfully. They focus inward at what they need to do to succeed, rather than outward on the people to which they wish to connect. Of course, how perfectionism arises in an individual varies from person to person, but once acquired the negative effect is the same.</p>

<p>I think these two factors cause "smart" people to have trouble relating to others more than anything else. But at the same time I'm sure there are other factors and every situation is different.</p>

<p>It's IQ vs. EQ, they gotta balance out</p>

<p>Unlike what many of the posters on this forum have experienced, nearly all of the extremely intelligent people I know are socially awkward and can come across as quite weird. My hypothesis is that past a certain intelligence level, people become so occupied with math, philosophy, or whatever that they just don't want to waste time worrying over how they come across socially.</p>

<p>"nearly all of the extremely intelligent people I know are socially awkward and can come across as quite weird"</p>

<p>...or is it the case that nearly all of the socially awkward people you know are extremely intelligent? It's easier to categorize the level of "intelligence" among the socially awkward - since as you said, that may coincide with their interests - but not as easy to spot the same level of "intelligence" among the socially normal with same IQ, test scores etc.</p>