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Is intelligence a curse?

JayTea 6 May 4

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"Goal!!" And so, the delighted football fan's day is made... Mine was yesterday when, deciphering a nocturne I had somehow missed previously, I came to an ending of transcendental elegance... And I did think "how sad that the vast majority of people on earth will never experience this..." But what you don't know exists...etc. No, intelligence is not a curse, it is a privilege, rather like parenthood compared to childhood: It creates responsibilities, offers much melancholy - which has its pleasant side - and the frustrating realisation that so much will remain beyond reach. But it is also the ferocious joy of holding your head high in defiance of our inevitable destiny...

I love this, “intelligence is not a curse, it is a privilege, rather like parenthood compared to childhood” As life itself is a privilege 🙂


I wouldn't know.

If YOU haven't been cursed by it, I am certainly safe.

@Lukian I don't sell myself. I'm priceless.

@JimG How kind of you.
You're very intelligent.

I am fully aware of how dense I can be and I would hope that others were less so. To think that I am a smarter than average human is down right scary.
I refuse to believe it.

I am usually disheartened to discover that someone is less intelligent than I had hoped. In equal measure, I am delighted to learn of and from those that are in any way brighter, more skilled, more mature, kinder, or more clever than I am.
I meet those people daily and it gives me joy.

I am aware of my inadequacies and capabilities.
That doesn't mean I'm intelligent. I'm simply aware.

@Lukian Honestly, that's not true. I have a huge ego.


Very possibly yes. I am an over thinker. Am I massively intelligent? Ha ha, no. But I can over analyse any situation within an inch of its life. So that meets my definition of a curse.

So you think something that benefits you as a curse?

@TuyTran888. Pal, I THINK I read you lol: overthinking is not the same as thinking things through. Overthinking is when those thoughts keeps coming and you continue to engage them. Maybe the pinnacle of intelligence and to some degree, independence, happens when one can work through thoughts/have that conversation with self and successfully sort through and save useful thoughts and deny those that lead to cul de sacs. Just a thought.

Over thinking can cause visits to a behavioral center

@crazycurlz Copy that. I've said on another thread the best place to clear my head is a long hot shower. But, still and all, I over analyse in my head. That said, I love conversation - you learn so much if you listen.

@Palindromeman yes, listen and not always react. Mindfulness!

My ex loved a long, hot shower too for clearing his head...and his sinuses. HAHAHA not important or relevant but you were LISTENING so I took advantage. 😉

@TuyTran888 If it keeps me awake at night, then yes it is a curse.

@Palindromeman Only idiots would allow intelligence keep them awake at night. What help them sleep better at night is intelligence. What keeps them from awake at night is their ignorance and stupidity.

@Palindromeman, @crazycurlz anytime when we are not able to react that is our ignorance.

@TuyTran888 An interesting diagnosis there.

I have a complicated relationship with sleep. Sometimes it comes easily and sometimes it does not.

My point was simply that over thinking things (which can be construed as intelligence) chases sleep away.

To respond to your observation - reaction is often just that. Reaction. Which does not equate with intelligence.

@Palindromeman over thinking is for idiots to come up with as a way to solve their problem, problems come from lack of knowledge and lack of thinking how to gain more knowledge to solve the problem. But there are dumb idiots would come up with stupid way to pat themselves on the back for not able to think better.

@TuyTran888 Then, by your rationale, I am an idiot.

@Palindromeman It is no use for you what I think, but it would benefit a lot if you get to see it yourself. Whatever I said would be worthless if you do not get it so that you can use it.

@Palindromeman I can tell you that I am very very very stupid, but not stupid enough to see that I am over thinking, and to see overthinking is a problem. No we have a lot of problems and thinking is not one of them, The problem is that we do not think enough to solve our problems and we take half bake thoughts as to something that wise to do and just follow it without the critical thinking deep enough to see it is half bake.

@TuyTran888 @Palindormeman, I use a different scale to determine intelligence. When a person reverts to name calling to prove their point, I walk away. Pal, I would have jumped in on this sooner, but, I've had a busy weekend in my garden. I hope you'll continue to be the great guy you are, buddy.

@crazycurlz Thanks crazy! Always good to have a digger next to you when you are under fire. <digger being an Australianism for a fellow soldier>

@crazycurlz So according to you there is no such thing as stupid?

@crazycurlz Crazy, this guy will just not quit.

@Palindromeman lol well, let's tag team him. How bout we talk to eachother and just ignore him? I don't want him to go away, I just want him to feel shunned. 😉

@crazycurlz That is a good plan.

@Palindromeman YES! sdik era ni eht nehctik gnikooc...don't try to figure this out, it's just too confuse the other guy OK?

@crazycurlz Ha! Our secret code! sksksk allele fcsppsq

@Palindromeman I know what that long do I have to keep this **** up? lol

@crazycurlz If we be vewwy vewwy quiet he might go away.


Put it this way. humans have been dominant for about say 10,000 years and I'm being generous and look at the state of nature with our highly complex brain. jellyfish have been around for over a billion years and haven't got a brain.

Love these depictions!

@Ktcyan good but very sad x


Yes in can be as you become less and less tolerant of stupid people and happy clappers. But there's nothing you can do to awaken them. The lights are on but nobody home type of people I'm talking about

"Because one becomes less and less tolerant of stupidity..." is that intelligence is not a curse but the ideal tool to eliminate toxic and close minded people from your immediate environment.
BTW, why should we awake them? IMHO no lesson is as good as the one a person learns on his/her own.

It appears you look to run with your own … even if running amounts to wading through ..happy clappers 🙂


I’ve wondered.. Seems many of the substance abusers I’ve met in life were dumbing themselves down to the IQ’s they were surrounded by … as if going it alone was too lonesome or painful..

Varn Level 8 May 4, 2018

Yes, I concur with those observations, some people simply cannot cope with the realities of the world around them and consequently turn to substance use.


I sometimes used to think so. I have two cousins who were mentally challenged...they were happy. I was anxious and depressed.As a child, I used to wonder who had the better life.


My intelligence keeps me amused, and adds richness to my life. Witty banter delights me. Intelligent men enjoy my company. The feeling is mutual.

Through online dating, a man from Seattle drove to Wenatchee to take me to dinner and, at my request, a jazz concert.

"You need to dumb down your conversation," he said within ten minutes of meeting. "Men are intimidated by your intelligence and class." I was appalled.

"Speak for yourself," I replied crisply. "Obviously you are intimidated by my intelligence. I refuse to act stupid to mollify the insecure ego of a sexist man." SLAM DUNK.

Amused, I began baiting him over dinner. He flew to Russia to find a subservient bride and "none of the girls would go home with me." It was hard not to laugh. He complained bitterly about having a female supervisor.

To annoy him as an uppity woman, I deliberately applauded the musicians loudly. "Bravo!" As we left the theater, I politely thanked him for the dinner and concert. He refused to speak to me.

What a dinosaur.

I hope the dinner was good.

@Wangobango3, I selected the restaurant and dinner was delicious.

Sounds like you had a great time, guess he didnt - bwahahahaha

@JayTea, "I refuse to listen to your Feminist religion," he wrote in an email the next day.

"The last time I checked, feminism is not a religion," I replied. "You are a dinosaur. Although you are 58, you sound like you were born 200 years ago. Leave me alone."

@LiterateHiker - a quick summary - despite the challenges those of us who are intelligent wouldnt have it any other way ?


If you are female above a certain point it definitely is. It is incredibly socially isolating for a number of reasons.

  1. You find it hard to get excited about celebrities and football. Your interests are different than the majority.
  2. Men resent it, the might like the idea but the actuality is a whole different thing. Wanted to celebrate with friends because I'd finished and passed my diploma of Project Management. Reply from one male I know "No. Nobody likes a smart woman." Have copped plenty in a similar vein over the years.
  3. It is like watch a train wreck in slow motion. You see where things are going but you can't do a thing about it, no matter how hard you try to explain other people can't seem to connect the dots. After everything has gone to shit they come up to you and say "I guess you're going to say I told you so." but you don't because what would be the point.
  4. It is incredibly lonely on top of a marble pillar. People come to you for advice, to fix things, whatever but you don't get invitations to dinner. Respect takes the place of warmth.
  5. You are type cast, either you can be brainy and mousy or you can be outgoing and lively, you can't be brainy and lively, people get upset. People don't like you they like what they want you to be which is one or the other.

Most of the seriously smart men I know don't fare much better, know one whose IQ was measured at 170 when they were a kid who is currently killing themselves slowly with alcohol and has done most of their life.

Kimba Level 7 May 4, 2018

My entire life I have always said
we are either cursed with intellect or blessed with ignorance
those who can watch fox news, not think nor care, and merely just go day by day and are satisfied, I always need to know the truth, I always need to learn more and it has become a curse when thinking about associating with non readers.

Have you ever taken the Myers - Briggs Personality test?
Your comments sounded familiar to me, I'm an INFJ, supposedly the rarest type.

@Ktcyan Have taken it but the only clear trait is E which is at least right. All the rest I could be either according to the test and in real life depends on the situation.

You don't sound that intelligent.

You can not compare yourself to the majority when you’ve concluded you’re in a minority… If you realize you’re above it, enjoy the view! Sure, it’s lonesome.. But every so often...

Your complaints, observations and irritations are not limited to the female gender of our sad society, and claiming as much will only isolate you more.. [responding as I read] I like the trainwreck analogy, seems the best one can do is take several steps back. And so far, you’ve not gone to the dark side ..which is apparently quite tempting to those capable of reading or manipulating the behavior of others…

#4 Thanks for the insight, well put. Feeling close to my employer, I think he is brilliant. Though married to the same, and involving himself in high level political & economic projects ..I notice him always searching for more, and wonder how lonesome and frustrating that must be.

Damn, a serious disrupter in school, I’d get sat next to ‘a smart girl’ as punishment, where I’d soon fall in love.. A child in the 60’s, when the media portrayed women as dumb, I’d be spellbound observing the opposite in ‘real life.’ Friend’s mothers, teachers, my own mother.. Not all men expect or want vulnerability.

Here, without the hat 😉[] 1st photo, 'Number One'

I was in love with one of our high school’s smartest, all 4 years. Elusive, I eventually settled for far less. Finally got to know my ‘long lost love,’ spending months at her home in DC. As mentioned, intelligence often comes with quirks we discovered. A childless millionaire, she continues to search.. Lonely indeed.

[Edited, yet again … to remove some hieroglyphics inserted by the site when using punctuation as intended]


On its own it can be a curse, or at least less than useful. People also need emotional intelligence and sociability as well as other 'soft' human skills like self confidence /belief, self control and impulse resistance, negotiation and communication in order to utilise their intelligence and navigate the society and the social position they're born into.


As a small experiment I posted exactly the same question on facebook and the differences in responses are astounding. Facebook comments were mostly inane and even insulting but those on Agnostic are thoughtful, intelligently written and sometimes very humorous
Thank you?. Maybe it is time for me to ditch facebook.


No its a nice trait to have.


Thats up to whom is assessing the situation. Perhaps, the truely intellgent, would not conclude they are intellegent, as they would always be striving for more. That would leave the less intellegent to make the assessment. Who could trust that analysis?


I suppose it can feel that way but there are too many variables to conclude it is intelligence that is the cause of the issue. If anything thinking of ourselves as superior in intelligence would be the curse in my opinion. People that think they have the answers don't tend to do much listening so they miss a lot of details and make more mistakes than those that know they do not have all the answers. How many intelligent doctors have made huge errors based on their own arrogance concerning intelligence. How many doctors automatically dismiss the nurse and patients input? I knew a lady that was institutionalized because she was "acting crazy". She spent her entire adult life in a top security mental institution because it became her home and she refused to leave when they discovered she was deaf! Maybe the problem is not in being intelligent but in perceiving ourselves that way?

I agree, anyone who considers themselves superior is not intelligent simply because they think they have all the answers and there is nothing more to learn from anyone or anything - seriously so boring! I think intelligence starts with any entities capacity to reflect on its own position both internally and externally while concurrently seeking some synergy with the conflicting values of the entities which surround it (and yeah, am stoned).

@JayTea I love what you wrote about self reflection but "yeah, am stoned" was the highlight of your comment. (Me too)

@JayTea Absolutely. And one of the great confusions that I come across is that someone who is educated is intelligent. They may well be - but education does not necessarily = intelligence. I mean, I went to university and I can bore you to death about Tennyson, but I cannot change a washer on a tap in the kitchen. There are different versions of intelligence.

@Palindromeman oh, agree - I think I am reasonably intelligent but hey: have done a lot of dumb things ?

@JayTea Intelligence without wisdom is dangerous. Some of the most brilliant people operate like Mr Magoo and damn lucky to be alive.


Sometimes, especially if you're a woman in a misogynistic environment. It's rarely easy to be "Queen of the Nerds" particularly if only boys are supposed to do well in math and science. It's astonishing how many men think it's OK to hit intelligent women to teach them their proper place.

On the other hand, being educated and capable gives you options for independence, freedom from violence and feeding your children.

So, blessing and curse.


If l acquire some l will let you know.


No, I think it is a valuable asset.


Intelligence can be a curse if one has forgotten that heart overall does much more to make life worthwhile. I think Mother Nature would say that intelligence is an amusing experiment, but perhaps unnecessary and impractical. So that is why she has designed the system so the less intelligent will be the ones more inclined to do most of the reproducing to ensure that Evolution does not turn men into Gods and really screw things up.


Intelligence isn't a curse, it's a survival strategy that developed from the behaviors of team cooperation and coordination for hunting and tribal defense. It allowed creatures about as dangerous as koala bears to stand up to a hostile world.

What endangers us isn’t our intelligence, it is forgetting that our intelligence developed to enhance our teamwork that’s dangerous. Our intelligence didn’t make us top predator, our teamwork did. Teamwork is better than fangs, claws, and super fast reflexes. Can't have teamwork with low IQ.


I wouldn't know.


"Curse" here suggests that what we infer by using our intelligence we really don't want to know, along the lines that ignorance is bliss, which is absurd. Man is a weak animal, without intelligence man would have gone extinct a long time ago.

cava Level 7 May 4, 2018

Intelligence is not a curse, intelligence help us explore life and the universe. In the process we do makes a lot of mistakes that is why we all really need to improve our intelligence. Intelligence have level.


Yes, if you don't have enough of it. I was always dumber as all my other classmates, a perpetual underachiever. My father used to say: "Born dumb, nothing learned since then and forgotten most."


I've always envied normal people.."happy as clams," I've always thought. They go to work, come home, eat, watch TV, go to bed, and never seem to think or worry about anything major. They gorge on junk food, get sick, take toxic drugs, all happily unaware of the consequences of their actions.

@JustJan Normal is defined by the norms and I sure do not envy the lifestyles of "normal" people. I would much rather be the enigma I am!


At times, but not overall.

How is it that intelligence is a curse?

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