18 Traits of High-IQ People Who Miss Out on Common Sense

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Some people with high IQs may lack common sense, and though it may sound like a paradox, being intelligent does not guarantee you will always do the right thing. While saying that someone lacks common sense could sound derogatory, we are talking about the mere lack of good sense and sound judgment in practical matters. Here are common behaviors that will likely tell the person with a high IQ lacks common sense. 

Relying on IQ alone


While a high IQ has numerous advantages, if someone knows they are intelligent, it can work against them. People who are overconfident in their IQs tend to make simple problems more complicated and overlook plain solutions because they get stuck in their ways. This trait is known as “intellectual arrogance,” and it is one of the reasons why, despite having all that it takes for success, these people lack common sense and, therefore, success. 

Never asking for help 


Another similar trait of people with high IQs but lacking common sense is not knowing when to ask for help. This is often observed among highly intelligent people who are aware of it, but due to circumstances, they were taught they can do everything by themselves. It is a paradox because intelligence implies knowing how to delegate and when to seek a helping hand. 

Time management skills

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Some people can finish the most challenging tasks, but they get lost when it comes to time management. This is because they are detail-oriented, even when they don’t have to be, so they don’t plan their time accordingly. This leads us to another common issue – prioritizing. 


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Struggling to understand which task is more important than the other is similar to poor time management skills among those with high IQ but lacking common sense. Intelligent people are wired to solve problems in a specific way, but despite being known for taking shortcuts, some simply do not know which tasks are vital and which can wait. It is not uncommon for brilliant people to stick to their timetables, regardless of what’s expected from them. 



Intelligent people tend to procrastinate more often, and it is due to a variety of reasons, including their future-focused thinking, desire to achieve everything at the same time, and to find pleasure in their work. Some might say it is one of the most significant issues of high IQ people since this future-focused thinking can lead to anxiety and similar mental health issues. 

Looking for perfection 


Some high-IQ individuals procrastinate due to high expectations and a nearly obsessive desire for perfection. While this can lead to tremendous achievements, it can also trigger anxiety due to unreachable goals. Not all intelligent people are perfectionists, and this separates those who are successful and thriving from those who are struggling. 


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Ultra-intelligent people can be brilliant at one field and put all their focus into it. However, they are clueless about other things. Many people may be considered geniuses in one area but not another. Still, if someone’s too focused on one area, their hyperfocus causes others to see them lacking common sense. 

Practical struggles 


Someone can be knowledgeable but struggle with practical tasks. This is also wildly known as being book bright since these people understand the theory behind the task but cannot physically complete it. 

Emotional aspects 

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Balancing between intellect and emotions can be exhausting for those with high IQs and a lack of common sense. Many studies found that high IQ comes with a lack of common sense, though further research will eventually find the missing link and explain why some HQ people struggle with the emotional aspects of their lives. 

Social isolation

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There is nothing to suggest that a high IQ individual is more likely to suffer from social isolation, though it is often believed to be the case because they tend to enjoy solitude. However, when there’s a lack of social awareness, which is not hard to understand. They typically learn things effortlessly, but since their brains are wired differently, they may not understand the concept of social cues. 

Overthinking and ruminating 

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Ruminating and overthinking can indicate that a highly intelligent person lacks common sense. They create outrageous scenarios or obsess over things that are, for most other people, simply not worth mentioning. 

Seeking to know more 

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The intellectually gifted don’t simply know more than others but are acutely aware of all they don’t know. Discovering the unavoidable limits of their mind can leave them distressed, discouraged, and disappointed.

Fear of change 


High IQ people live in complex worlds, so when a change arises, it can create a sense of chaos. It can be related to the rare condition called Savant syndrome, where a person with various developmental disorders, including autistic disorder, has a fantastic ability and talent.

A different sense of humor 

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Highly intelligent people might be uncomfortable due to their sense of humor. Some can even lack a sense of humor or have difficulty understanding an average person’s sarcasm or jokes. They appear awkward or clumsy, but it is due to a lack of common sense, which does not take away from their brilliance. 

Challenging small talks 

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Brilliant people can be socially awkward in numerous ways, often evident in how they react to small talk. Since it is commonly unfulfilling for them, they could appear strange, disinterred, or self-observed. However, it is not hard for them to learn how to make small talk, which does not mean it will bring them pleasure. 

Appreciating authenticity 


One of the struggles for a high IQ individual can be that they do not understand why some people want to be popular and part of the group. As we mentioned, they often choose solitude and authenticity, so they don’t know how to fit it properly. What might come naturally with an average IQ can be a task for someone intellectually superior but lacking common sense.

Unique way of looking at things 


Understanding, and even worse, keeping up with expectations or societal norms, is a challenge for many high-IQ people who struggle with social interactions and lack common sense. They have unique ways of looking at things, and sound judgment is not on their side. 

The principles


Similar to their unique ways of thinking, some high-IQ individuals have their own principles, and without practical skills and a lack of good sense, they might feel misunderstood or even rejected. 

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.