The Forums › Forums › Emotional Journey › Is It Just Me? › Has intellectual arrogance become your underachievement armor? › Reply To: Has intellectual arrogance become your underachievement armor?
Hi @1of347namesconsidered, welcome to TADD. (Love your user name. I might steal it next time I need to come up with one.)
I can relate to what you are talking about, in pretty much every part of your comment. I think I must be somewhere in between you and your brother. I am not overly hyperactive, or terribly brilliant, but I seem to annoy people when I talk about things the same way you do and I jump from one interest to the next like your brother does without ever finishing anything. But then I end up getting frustrated and give up and sit on the couch like a lump for a day, or 2, or 365.
I love showing how smart I am, and I get very distressed when people don’t listen or give me the attention I feel I deserve. Like the time when my parents kept telling everyone that one of their friends who helped us move figured out how to make the fridge fit in the kitchen by raising the ceiling, when it was actually my idea. The friend suggested it to them because he was the only one who was listening to me when I suggested it. And I corrected them every time and it was like I wasn’t even speaking….. And this was when I was a teenager and I still haven’t let it go.
I became aware that I use intellectual arrogance as emotional armour… probably a few years ago, not sure but that’s what it feels like (which is how I place things in time, by “feeling”). I am a failure in every aspect of my life and I have to prove how smart I am and how capable I am constantly in order to compensate for it, which leads in turn to more failure when I get myself into trouble by shooting my mouth off or taking on a task just to prove I can and then having it turn out I can’t. I keep trying to give up completely and just resign myself to a life of mediocrity, but I fail at that every time too.
I also have an extremely low tolerance for willful ignorance (aka stupidity) and sometimes just can’t stop myself from correcting people who I feel are exhibiting such ignorance. Which makes me seem like, as one person put it, an “intellectual snob”. I don’t really mean to be and I try to be patient, especially with those who have a legitimate reason for not being “smart”, but I just lose my patience at times and I can’t stand it anymore.
On the other hand, it can be quite embarrassing when I think I know more than I do and it turns out I’m the one who is wrong. Not that I ever admit to being wrong. I just keep on talking until I manage to make it sound like I’m right, or at least like it’s not my fault that I’m wrong, or I just wear the other person down. As a last resort, I might admit to being misinformed and say that I will look into the subject further.
I know exactly what you mean when you say that people misinterpret your answers and take everything the wrong way. And about trying to connect with people by discussing shared interests and having them end up being put off. It’s sometimes because they think I’m being a show off I guess. Sometimes it’s the opposite, because I don’t seem to know enough about the subject to suit them. I like to discuss things like comics, movies, The Big Bang Theory, and the Big Bang, because I am interested, but because I don’t know *everything* there is to know, people sort of dismiss me and don’t want to talk to me about it. Or they correct me and start lecturing me when I get one teeny little thing wrong. At least that’s the way it seems to me, but then that might just be my insecurity.
I don’t know what the solution is, if there is one. I have just accepted that on the rare occasion that I do make a friend, it won’t last long. Even with people I seem to be really compatible with, they will eventually just stop talking to me. Fortunately, I’m pretty good at entertaining myself and don’t really feel the need to be around people much. (emotional suit of armour #2)