19 Things Intelligent People Struggle with Every Day

It’s easy to assume that being intelligent only makes your life easier. But in reality, while it certainly comes with many benefits, there are also several drawbacks that can make life more challenging. This list reveals 19 things intelligent people struggle with every day.

Overthinking Everyday Decisions

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Intelligent people often struggle with overthinking day-to-day decisions, even if they seem fairly straightforward. While it can be useful to analyze all possible future outcomes based on your choices, sometimes this can cause unnecessary stress and uncertainty. Sometimes, this can even lead them to fail to make any decision at all.

High Expectations from Others

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Intelligent individuals often receive a fair amount of recognition and praise from others. However, this also often comes with added responsibilities and expectations, leading to a greater sense of stress and fear of failure. When they do fail to live up to these expectations, the people around them may appear unfairly disappointed.

Managing Emotional Sensitivity

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According to Psychology Today, there is a proven correlation between high intelligence and sensitivity. This means intelligent people often feel more emotionally vulnerable and sensitive to the world around them, which can make seemingly mundane everyday situations feel more overwhelming and difficult to process.

Difficulty in Finding Like-minded Peers

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It’s common for intelligent people to be more deeply invested in a wide variety of topics than others. While this can be an admirable quality on its own, it can make it more difficult for them to find like-minded individuals who share the same passion for knowledge and learning.

Perfectionism and Self-Criticism

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While intelligent individuals are usually capable of performing very well in whatever they put their minds to, they are also more likely to be self-critical and perfectionistic when pursuing their goals. Setting unrealistic standards can lead to feelings of failure and inadequacy.

Impostor Syndrome

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Despite the fact that they usually have several great academic or professional achievements, intelligent people often feel like they’re undeserving of their success, which can lead to impostor syndrome. According to Verywell Mind, impostor syndrome is commonly marked by negative self-talk and anxiety about one’s perceived inadequacy being discovered.

Balancing Rational and Intuitive Decisions

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It’s normal for intelligent people to feel like they’re caught in a constant battle between their heads and their hearts. While intelligence can be helpful in making decisions, it can also lead to over-analysis and a failure to listen to one’s intuitive gut feelings.

Social Expectations and Authenticity

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As mentioned previously, it’s common for intelligent individuals to have difficulty fitting in with their peers and finding like-minded friends. This can make navigating social situations more difficult. For example, they may feel that they have to downplay their intelligence to fit in, which can create a sense of inauthenticity.

The Burden of Awareness

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Because intelligent people often feel naturally more driven to learn about various areas of life, they can become more aware of pressing global issues than others. While this can be a good thing for generating more advocacy and awareness, it can also leave them feeling more responsible and hopeless about the state of the world.   

Dealing with Boredom and Stimulation

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People with a greater intellectual capacity typically need more mental stimulation than others. This can lead them to struggle with boredom and disinterest in everyday activities that they don’t find adequately stimulating. For this reason, it’s important for them to seek out new opportunities, hobbies, and interests to keep them from feeling stagnated.

Maintaining Humility

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While being highly intelligent obviously gives you an edge in several aspects of life, it can be challenging to balance that edge with humility. While it’s important to show others your skills and talents, doing so can sometimes be seen as out of touch or arrogant.

Fear of Underachievement

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Intelligent people may feel better equipped to achieve great things, but that can also cause them to put more pressure on themselves to succeed. This often comes with a heavy fear of underachievement and failure, which can make it more difficult to celebrate small victories and enjoy the journey.

Difficulty in Expressing Emotions

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Sometimes, intelligent people have a tendency to prioritize their logical thinking over expressing themselves emotionally. This can make it more difficult for them to effectively or clearly communicate their feelings, which can lead to more conflicts and misunderstandings in their relationships.

Constant Search for Meaning

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Highly intelligent people commonly feel the urge to seek a deeper sense of meaning and purpose in their lives, work, and relationships. While this can help them grow and succeed, it can also cause them to feel more frustrated and disillusioned when they can’t seem to find the sense of meaning they crave.

Navigating Leadership Roles

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Intelligent individuals often make great leaders, but they also often find themselves in positions of leadership and responsibility that they don’t necessarily want to take on. This can cause them to feel overburdened and weighed down by the wants and expectations of others.

Pressure to Innovate Constantly

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People with a high level of intelligence may be better equipped to find innovative new solutions, but the pressure to do so can often feel daunting and exhausting. It’s important for people to remember that not every new idea or project needs to be completely revolutionary and game-changing.

Mental Health Struggles

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According to Scientific American, people with a higher IQ may be more likely to struggle with certain mental health disorders, especially mood and anxiety disorders. As anyone who has struggled with their mental health knows, these disorders can make everyday tasks and events feel significantly more overwhelming and draining.

Challenges in Romantic Relationships

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Highly intelligent people often have a different way of relating to other people, including their romantic partners. It can therefore be more challenging for them to find someone who is intellectually compatible and on the same wavelength. They may also struggle with unintentionally setting unreasonably high standards for their partners.

Vulnerability to Manipulation

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You may expect that people with a greater intellectual capacity would be harder to fool and manipulate than others. But according to The Guardian, intelligent people are actually more likely to believe fake news than others. For this reason, it’s important for them to maintain strong boundaries and develop the awareness to tell when people may have negative intentions.

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