15 Problems High IQ People Often Face

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We almost always discuss high IQ as an advantage, and in many cases, this is accurate. However, there are downsides to being highly intelligent, so as much as it is a blessing, it can be a curse. From lack of social connections to more severe anxiety, here are the most common problems people with high IQs face almost daily. 



Overanalyzing and overthinking are often associated with high IQs. Since high-IQ people are always seeking intellectual challenges and have a strong sense of curiosity, playing out past events or questioning the future can lead to burdensome overanalysis. Another reason is their tendency to be perfectionists. 

Social isolation 


Gifted individuals are known to be fans of solitude, but for many, it is not their choice, at least not to that extent. Some people simply do not want to feel intellectually inferior, so they project their insecurities onto highly intelligent individuals, making them feel unwelcome. It does not help that high IQ people tend to correct people, so they are less likely to be the life of the party.  

Getting bored easily 


Whether it is a work achievement or a romantic relationship, people with high IQs tend to get bored quickly, which leads to frustration and restlessness. This boredom commonly comes from an inability to connect with others on more profound, meaningful levels. 

Sensitivity to criticism 

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If a child is gifted, it gets used to solving problems quickly and rarely gets criticized over their academic achievements. In the real world, when faced with criticism, high-IQ people who do not rank favorably on the emotional intelligence scale feel on much deeper levels. This could lead to work and romantic life issues. 

Lack of “people skills”


There is a stereotype that highly intelligent people lack social skills, but this stereotype can have some truth to it based on one’s formative years. If a child is treated differently due to their “gift,” it will leave gaps in proper social interactions and make them feel as if they are different. Since high IQ comes with deeper thinking, they are likelier to feel inferior to their peers. 

“Strange” sense of humor 

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Intellectually gifted people are often blessed with a great sense of humor, but it is commonly only appreciated among a chosen few. People with high IQs can be sarcastic and witty, but the problem is that not everyone gets them. Similarly, they might not understand a simple joke, so they have to pretend to laugh. 

Severe anxiety 


People with higher IQs usually have a higher sense of empathy and awareness, and combined with overthinking, it creates a perfect storm for severe anxiety. This was confirmed by a 2018 research led by psychologist Ruth Karpinski. The connection between high anxiety and intellect needs to be further examined.   

Prone to other mental disorders  

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Apart from anxiety, people with high IQs tend to be more prone to other mental health conditions, including depression, which some experts linked to high expectations. There are many reasons, including getting bored easily and lingering feelings that are described as existential depression. Further study could find new links to high IQ and mental health disorders, including personality disorders. 

Other people’s expectations 


Many believe that highly intelligent people have all the answers. Meanwhile, they live believing they don’t know enough, so this paradox can be draining and lead to even more overthinking, which is an ongoing topic while discussing those with high IQs. 

Unrealistic goals 


Overthinking often leads to establishing unrealistic goals, which can lead to frustration, loss of self-confidence, and suspicion about one’s abilities. This can be a vicious circle since high-IQ people set impossible standards for themselves, and the pressure only makes them stray further from their goals. 

Overestimating abilities 


Less than 10 percent of people have IQs over 120, so with this knowledge, they often fall into the trap of hubris or exaggerated pride, self-confidence, and abilities. This leads intelligent people to make silly decisions. Additionally, people might see high-IQ people as arrogant. Still, arrogance tends to be excessive pride in how they are better than others, while hubris is focused solely on the individual. 

Imposter syndrome 


People with high IQs who are perfectionists often experience imposter syndrome. They tend to discount their intelligence, knowledge, skills, and natural talents. This is common among high achievers, and it brings additional stress and anxiety. It can become an all-consuming issue since there is always more to learn.  

Misophonia and similar physical sensitivities


Creative geniuses often struggle with misophonia, or sensitivity to certain sounds, as well as other heightened physical sensitivities. Most people do not understand these issues, which can lead to the erosion of friendships or romantic relationships. Among those who struggled with misophonia are Charles Darwin, Anton Chekhov, and Franz Kafka. 

Being misunderstood 

Bored office worker, annoyed businessman at workplace
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Throughout history, some of the most brilliant minds have been misunderstood. This often comes from ideas most people see as too far-fetched or “out there.” High-IQ people are more likely to be open-minded, innovative, and overly creative, making them harder to understand.  

“Childish” behavior 


Many high-IQ people are not conformists. They do not care for their physical appearance but take great pride in their curiosity, giving others the idea that they are childish and immature despite being mature beyond their years. Another issue is that high IQ does not guarantee emotional intelligence or maturity, which people often forget about. 

Kate Smith, a self-proclaimed word nerd who relishes the power of language to inform, entertain, and inspire. Kate's passion for sharing knowledge and sparking meaningful conversations fuels her every word.