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  1. #21
    Ginkgo
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    Since when is being "average" inherently bad? If you are "superior", then people are going to expect more from you and possibly over-estimate your abilities. You're also going to be expected to be responsible for your "gifts".

    U.S. culture emphasizes the importance of exceeding intelligence, wealth, and prosperity. Circumstantially, these things aren't bad either, but they're definitely overrated. So overrated, in fact, that they force many of us to underrate our common selves.

    Also, your insecurity maybe a byproduct of inadequacy, but it may also be a cause of subsequent insecurity or more insecurity. ie. vicious cycle.

    Many people go through this phase of realizing that we can't be all of what we dreamed of as children. We may blame our parents for supposedly deluding us into thinking we can accomplish all things. From what you've said, it doesn't sound like you had dogmatic parents who coaxed you into being who they wanted you to be. It sounds more like they were willing to facilitate your progress in whichever way you desired. The trappings of multiple choice have now left you waning, but I don't think you're incapable.

  2. #22
    Senior Member Tabula's Avatar
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    My intention there was never to argue, just to clarify. I spent too much time thinking about this and it took a lot for me to figure it out, identify what is lacking and what I don’t know about how to change it, put it into words as coherently as I could, and then to finally send it out there to be met with: well, no, X proves you can’t be below average. I have thought about it before, the writing bit. This, too, took me a while to see that just because it looks good, doesn’t mean I’m smart. Maybe we’re working with two different definitions of smart, here? I don’t know. I do know that I’m not a complete blubbering idiot, and also that I do honestly lack basic skills that most people have (I can’t add 2 digit numbers in my head. I can barely read an analog clock. I can’t, for the life of me, grasp 7th grade algebra. Just to name a few specific examples. But more importantly—there is nothing in their stead with which to be able to dismiss them as trivial things I just wasn’t meant to be good at.) That is precisely why I was quick to point it out, to make it more specific and accurate—not to resist acknowledgment/acceptance or to discredit your response. I can totally understand how it looks that way, though. It looks like I have this one, all-encompassing idea built up and so I’m shunning any alternative interpretation that doesn’t align perfectly with, or even, in a sense threatens, mine. It’s just not the case, and it is not fair to blame you for not having known that. I never explained it. I had considered that maybe I am smart, and for whatever reason, my expectations were just too high? Maybe I am just really insecure, period, end of story? Etc. etc. etc. But why? These just never stood up to further analysis, and weren’t supported by anything in my life to the degree that actually lacking intelligence has, which is why this is presented here so definitively. You’re seeing a [tentative] result, and then the frustration/confusion that comes with it, not the process. If I didn’t want advice, I would not have asked. Similarly, if I didn’t think I’m worth something, or of any value, I wouldn’t try to fix it, draw attention to, and ask for help (nor would I write enormous paragraphs about myself! :p ) And if I didn’t value the advice, I would not have addressed it and tried to clarify what I meant. In short, this isn’t a game. If anything at all, I’m taking it too seriously.

    Yes, Night, it looks circular and quite like I’m affirming the consequent, but it is not SOLELY dependent upon that ONE aspect to perpetuate the cycle; it just incidentally includes it, and given the nature of it, has disproportionate influence. My lack of intelligence is not the ONLY reason I can’t figure this out (oh, how easy that’d be!) but the fact that I am lacking, is a large part of it. In addition to that, I lack motivation, focus, experience, perspective, maturity, patience, resourcefulness, and the strength of character and humility with which to ask for help IRL when I need it. These aren’t excuses (well, they’ve earned that status now because I recognize them and still have yet to do anything about it.) I’ve done that shit before. I used “I’m lazy” as an excuse for absolutely everything, and a get-out-of-jail-free card in order to not feel guilty for cutting corners in schoolwork and other things—a self-fulfilling prophecy. Yes, I’m lazy, but that’s not all I am, nor the only possible thing that could ever be wrong. Yes? I know why you thought that, though. Oy, I can say very little in so many words.

    Why do I want to be intelligent? I want to be able to understand things at a level my brain is simply not equipped to, and no amount of perseverance will practically allow for. But that doesn’t answer the question. Why? I want to be able to use that understanding and do something with it. “Useful?” Not just to understand, but to extrapolate from, create something new and apply. I want to “get” things. I want to know in as much depth and breadth about the world I live in, so what I do with it isn’t redundant and thereby useful in some way. The way I figure, that’s all I can reasonably expect to do with my life. I only have one. Why shouldn’t I know as much about it and the things it’s surrounded by as possible? It’s annoying that I won’t ever be able to do so at a level that others can. So why does it matter so much to me? I’m not them. I don’t KNOW! Envy?

    I was not born atop the mountain. I was born hanging off the cliff; I can see those, there, at the top, but lack the natural strength and flexibility to pull myself up, and then also put myself in a position that I can’t simply work the muscles, become stronger, and then pull myself up. Stuck. I can feel the gravity, the allure, of the valley below my dangling feet. It would very well be easier and perhaps best to just let go now and allow whatever it is I am to be, freely. I know I will let go eventually, as I can’t hang on forever, but something, internally, will not permit me to let go prematurely, nor willingly. The final, frantic plea for a strengthened, realistically re-framed perspective, the last few, muttered second-guesses of a suicidal ego? That, and I have no alternative and obvious talents/aptitudes/interests/desires, sort of compounding the frustration. The discrepancy is then highlighted and I’m left annoyed that I value something in myself that doesn’t even really exist. It doesn’t make any sense at all. There’s a level of balance, of give-and-take with people, I think. Sure, some kids skip out on classes and schoolwork, but take an active interest in their social/family lives. Others, it’s the opposite. And for the especially balanced/healthy, they want and manage both. Why don’t I want/want to have either? I don’t feel the need for a social life at all, but then, I’m not academic. I’m not good with people, but then, nor am I good with ideas. This of course is not the only give-and-take example, but the easiest to point to. It just seems like I don’t, or haven’t given myself something to fall back on; it’s all or nothing. Of my own doing, of course, but still, why did I do that? Relationships can make the ride more enjoyable, happier, or alternatively, the opposite, but in most cases, both. They add the flavor, but the substance remains the same. This is only how I see it; I’m not saying this is true for everyone. I just don’t see relationships as something I want to spend my time actively pursuing. If they happen, okay,if not, okay. At the end of the day, I am always going to be just one me. Alone, but not lonely. When I have something to offer others, in the way of help or anything else, I will gladly give it. I’m in no way qualified, or in any position to offer anything to anyone. At all. Nor does anyone ever ask for my help/advice/whatever or seem like they want it.

    Again, I think I need to clarify something, please don’t feel I am attacking or being contrary for the sake of it—I just really want to make this clear.
    I do not judge other people, and extensions of their personhood, with the same ruler I do myself, actually, not even the same measurement system. As hypocritical as it is, I just don’t think it’s my business. They can supply their definitions/contexts, and I’ll use/work within those, and in some cases, alongside mine (like with family) if and when it’s even warranted to do as such. I don’t think intelligence, or the degree of it, is the sole defining factor of all human worth. Rather, that we’re left to figure that out for ourselves, and only for ourselves. Taking huge variation into account, it doesn’t make any sense whatsoever to think that my personal definition/interpretation/meaning will apply flawlessly to everyone. Some people are compassionate, loving, helpful, handy, musical, athletic etc. and feel that is their “thing” their “raison d’être” and who the HELL am I to say it’s not, or that it’s “not a worthy one?” All I know is that it isn’t mine. That’s it.

    I feel I must reiterate that I didn’t consciously have “intelligence and the lack of it” in mind with every problem I had created. It was only after the fact did I boil it down, strip it naked, and see it for what it was. I could even be wrong, not about whether I’m smart or not, but about whether that is truly as deep as it goes. Maybe there’s also some other hidden motivation underneath that one that I just can’t see. So, yes, I am, right now, unhealthily fixated on this and it took so much to get here--to feel that I am finally seeing relatively clear for the first time. Fixation, yes, very close, borderline obsessive attention paid to the issue, is necessary, at least for me, to work through and finally fix it. Else, I will leave it alone, and that nagging sense of “unresolve” will inevitably creep back up on me with a vengeance. I’ve just never shared it with anyone else before. I didn’t really know what it looked like. I can’t, rather, I WON’T, let this alone to fester. I have to deal with it directly to restore functionality to my life, and so as not to allow it to take some other form I’d have to experience--> boil down--> identify--> and then try to rectify all over again. Is there a better way that I could do it, this in mind? Is there a way I could identify it initially? Attacking the insecurity first seems more short-term practical, but I don’t know if it would really be the case “practical” period. It’s like when you weed the garden half-assedly breaking off only the visible parts, leaving the roots intact. Sure, it looks fine and dand…elion free, and now you’ve time for other stuff, but wait a few days and there they are. If you just spent an extra hour, with more work, assuring you’d got ‘em all by the roots, then, in place of ‘em, sprayed some anti-weed crap, they wouldn’t grow back as quickly or annoyingly the same, and you wouldn’t be back there in that same garden, weeding like a maniac, a short while later.

  3. #23
    i love skylights's Avatar
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    I’m lacking where it matters—content (idea, originality, insight, complexity of thought etc.) Idea > Structure. All this proves is that I can make something stupid look better. That’s not a talent; it’s unnecessarily complicating to compensate for the fact that I’m not smart, and so, can’t understand or employ actual complexity. (as an example of what I stated before.) Admittedly, no, it wasn’t conscious, but it’s now easy to see how and why I picked up that habit, having found the right context to understand it in.
    all of our abilities are "compensation" for something else, really, in the sense that we use our stronger traits to make up for what our weaker ones would provide otherwise. look at it in the light of the MBTI: Feelers make decisions on a non-rational basis in part because we're not as good at strongly and consistently using logic as Thinkers.

    Everything is going to feel like failure before even starting or trying. THAT is what I need to get rid of. That is what I meant in posting all of this. I know I’m not smart, I know that I can’t cure cancer…so why can’t I just accept it and live accordingly with my real ability?

    Why do I want to be intelligent? I want to be able to understand things at a level my brain is simply not equipped to, and no amount of perseverance will practically allow for. But that doesn’t answer the question. Why? I want to be able to use that understanding and do something with it.
    so to clarify... do you feel like your perceived lack of ability is blocking you from any desirable path? i have what will probably come off as a rather pointless question, but...

    what do you like to do?

    not what would you like to do, but what do you like to do? i would suspect that at some level you already have a good understanding of something and are utilizing it. like OrangeAppled pointed out, language is one of those areas. it's clear given the content of your posts that you are capable of complex thought; you see an issue that is in fact completely original, it being your own; you see that it's multi-layered; and you're digging to the bottom of it. what other kind of ability are you seeking?

    we all lack some kind of intelligence, ultimately. i personally am fairly commitment phobic and it's been undermining me for forever. i have no idea why i have the inability to lock myself in, and i'm working on figuring it out, but... recently, i'm kind of thinking that maybe one answer to the problem is to fly in its face. to say fuck this and go for it. so i'm commitment phobic. i'm going to make a decision and stick to it. what's the worst that can happen? i'll hate it, i'll waste time and money on it... and... i'll have learned about myself and pick myself up and move on?

    just for the sake of wondering, what if you were to fly in the face of this problem too? say fuck this and go for what you like to do and want to do regardless of your perceived inabilities?

    i guess what i'm picking up on is the similarity between our issues in that i feel like i've failed before i start, too. as soon as i make a decision i'm terrified that it's the wrong one and i do everything i can to back out on it, to the point where i sabotage myself. but... i've never really given myself a chance, have i? because i'm so afraid of messing up. maybe the same thing is happening for you, too. that it's self-paralysis. that because of a few defining incidents that we see as failures in the past, we're afraid that we can't make it in the future because we think we lack something. that we're sabotaging ourselves before we even test what we're really capable of.

    Why don’t I want/want to have either?
    i think it's clear from your posting that you want to make a beneficial difference in the world, and you want to know. that drive, already, separates you from millions. many would say it makes you an intellectual in and of itself, because you have a desire for complex learning. you have something there that many others don't have. and who doesn't feel like everything is somewhat out of reach? i'm never going to be the best at anything... besides, perhaps, being myself. not to sound cheezy, but that is the one thing that not only do i succeed at, but i cannot fail at. i just need to figure out what being myself means. which is in reality quite easy: it's asking what i'd like to do. and doing that, because i want to.

    Not just to understand, but to extrapolate from, create something new and apply. I want to “get” things. I want to know in as much depth and breadth about the world I live in, so what I do with it isn’t redundant and thereby useful in some way. The way I figure, that’s all I can reasonably expect to do with my life. I only have one. Why shouldn’t I know as much about it and the things it’s surrounded by as possible? It’s annoying that I won’t ever be able to do so at a level that others can. So why does it matter so much to me? I’m not them. I don’t KNOW! Envy?
    i feel similar about wanting to know everything... and redundancy - let me share something with you that hit me once when i was working as a tutor. a student came in working on his med school application essay. he was a brilliant sciencey type, and english was is his second language, so he often came to the tutoring center for an extra readover of his work. i was expecting something about science and inspiration and helping the world blah de dah, but here is a summary of what he said: "i think you should select me to be a medical student not because of my grades, or my MCATs, or my research, even though i have worked hard and done well on all of those things. i want to stand out because my mother was a japanese tea artist, and i was raised in the japanese tea ceremony tradition, whose philosophy reminds you that each time someone comes to you, you must do your very best to make them feel comfortable and to give them the best experience you can, because it might be their first or their last or their only time experiencing this." redundancy... is in truth not redundant. because we all perceive things differently. there are repeat threads here on TypoC all the time. what is the point of repeating threads if they say the same thing over and over? the point is that each new thread is different in a way, and will bring to a whole host of people a new perspective. it's always going to be someone's first, or last, or only time. redundancy, to some extent... it's impossible.

    i guess what i'm trying to say is that you're original and different and new and creative and can bring to the world something only you possess simply because of the fact that you are you, and not someone else. being envious of others' abilities is ubiquitous and to a degree cannot be helped, but it's largely a waste of what we ourselves have to offer. but you can let it point you somewhere. why are you envious of others? it sounds like because you want to be able to offer to the world something new and original and useful. but reason stands to argue that not only can you, but you don't have any choice but to do so, because you are you and no one else is you. and the usefulness is whatever you make of it! people have all sorts of bizarre talents they use simply to make others smile. simply to put more positivity in the world. it's not rocket science, but then, rocket science hasn't been a purely benevolent development either. i'll take mister rogers over oppenheimer any day. you can do good and be original and create something useful completely regardless of any perceived ability.

    i hope this can help you some... at least maybe to clarify what you're meaning, even if i've got my points totally wrong and off from what your problem is.

  4. #24
    nee andante bechimo's Avatar
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    Tabula, possibly consider it another way. If someone is incapable of making it to the bigs in pro sports, does this make them a quadriplegic?

  5. #25
    Senior Member Gerbah's Avatar
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    I'm not sure if I'm right but it sounds like you are searching for a way to define yourself, as if you do not feel connected to yourself that you can say, "this is me". So you look at others and compare yourself to them as if you are able to define who they are looking at them from the outside. But people are not their social life or their intellectual achievements or the things you seem to see as defining of them. I doubt they feel those things in that way. The "athletic" may not feel his athleticism as his “raison d’être”. He could be confused about the same things as you are.
    the shoheen ho of the wind of the west and the lulla lo of the soft sea billow - Alfred Graves

  6. #26
    almost half a doctor phoenix13's Avatar
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    I read your first post, and skimmed your second, but...

    Your posts are intellectually active, and quite emotional. It sounds like your issue might stem from a lack of accomplishment, rather than a lack of intelligence. Your second post seemed to equate creativity with intelligence (new ideas, etc.), which isn't always the case. Uncreative and uninsightful people are not stupid by default.

    I should also say that I recognize that tone and thought pattern, as I've been guilty of it myself. You seem to be in an internal hurricaine of self-flagellation (...my god, where did I get such a stupid metaphor?!). I mean, it sounds like you're mourning a delusion. Let's say that you aren't talented intellectually. OK, so you won't be a college professor. The end. All of this "below average" stuff seems overblown.

    I don't understand your complaint, especially in the context of this:
    But only in recognizing the themes of my problems, and consequently trying to fix them, have I come across this.
    Could you flesh that out with examples?
    Last edited by phoenix13; 10-17-2010 at 11:23 AM.

    "OMG I FEEEEEEEEEL SO INTENSELY ABOUT EVERYTHING OMG OMG OMG GET ME A XANAX" -Priam (ENFP impersonation)

  7. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tabula View Post
    Why do I want to be intelligent? I want to be able to understand things at a level my brain is simply not equipped to, and no amount of perseverance will practically allow for. But that doesn’t answer the question. Why? I want to be able to use that understanding and do something with it. “Useful?” Not just to understand, but to extrapolate from, create something new and apply. I want to “get” things. I want to know in as much depth and breadth about the world I live in, so what I do with it isn’t redundant and thereby useful in some way. The way I figure, that’s all I can reasonably expect to do with my life. I only have one. Why shouldn’t I know as much about it and the things it’s surrounded by as possible? It’s annoying that I won’t ever be able to do so at a level that others can. So why does it matter so much to me? I’m not them. I don’t KNOW! Envy?
    ---
    I feel I must reiterate that I didn’t consciously have “intelligence and the lack of it” in mind with every problem I had created. It was only after the fact did I boil it down, strip it naked, and see it for what it was. I could even be wrong, not about whether I’m smart or not, but about whether that is truly as deep as it goes. Maybe there’s also some other hidden motivation underneath that one that I just can’t see. So, yes, I am, right now, unhealthily fixated on this and it took so much to get here--to feel that I am finally seeing relatively clear for the first time. Fixation, yes, very close, borderline obsessive attention paid to the issue, is necessary, at least for me, to work through and finally fix it. Else, I will leave it alone, and that nagging sense of “unresolve” will inevitably creep back up on me with a vengeance. I’ve just never shared it with anyone else before. I didn’t really know what it looked like. I can’t, rather, I WON’T, let this alone to fester.
    You know, it is not possible to pinpoint a problem. Any problem. By fixing yourself on the word intelligence you can have an access to your problem for a while, but if you keep at it there will be a moment when staring at that label becomes a hindrance. Of course you will continue doing whatever it is you now need to be doing, in other words, looking at it the way you do, but I'm just saying that you can't box an issue and dissect it, because it is always bigger. It has tentacles all over the place, it is connected to your whole life in ways not possible to describe, in fact, it most likely is your life! You see where this is going? It's not possible to fix it, since it is what there is, and at this moment of your life you are bound to attack the problem called intelligence, while at other point of your life the problem will have changed it's name. I could say that the only way is to get past the idea of fixing things, but by doing that I would try to be fixing things, so it's not the solution. And if I didn't say this, well, that wouldn't be the solution either.


  8. #28
    Senior Member Blown Ghost's Avatar
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    This is clearly a case of "grass is greener". The solution is self-appreciation and thankfulness. Everyone is a 100% human, what's in your 100%? Accept what you got and make the most of it. Perhaps the real source of dissatisfaction here is not living up to your potential... and you only imagine that meant intellectual capacity, but it doesn't. Your potential is entirely unique and entirely yours. So what is it?

  9. #29
    Senior Member LunarMoon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Qlippoth View Post
    Accomplishing a goal is easy depending on where you set the goal. But, some goals will always be out of certain people's reach if they are missing any one ingredient. When I read about people wanting to achieve *something*, I substitute in my head with what I think their unspoken desire is: to be content. I don't believe this requires intelligence.
    I was throwing it out there under the high possibility that the TC was interested in using said intellect for the same reason that Jennifer and SuchIrony had in mind, to accomplish goals and perform acts that can't be done without intelligence. It turns out that she apparently was. We, nonetheless, seem to be of the same opinion in regard to what qualities make a person's ambition much easier to bring into reality.

    Of course, even if the TC wasn't interested in using her abilities for a specific means, it's logical to believe that possessing them can make a sufficiently intelligent person's life far easier than it would be otherwise. I don't know too many people who would want to be "dumber".
    Surgeons replace one of your neurons with a microchip that duplicates its input-output functions. You feel and behave exactly as before. Then they replace a second one, and a third one, and so on, until more and more of your brain becomes silicon. Since each microchip does exactly what the neuron did, your behavior and memory never change. Do you even notice the difference? Does it feel like dying? Is some other conscious entity moving in with you?
    -Steven Pinker on the Ship of Theseus Paradox

  10. #30
    Senior Member niffer's Avatar
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    I relate to what you said completely.

    I think the key to getting over this is to enjoy doing what you like, and express yourself in the way you want. By doing these things you will be able to appreciate yourself and your uniqueness, and this will make trudging through life more pleasant.

    I know that of all the billions of people in the world, there will probably always be someone better than me at pretty much anything and everything. This realization can be quite upsetting, as silly as it is to say. My goal is not to be the best, but to get better and learn how to better enjoy the things that I enjoy doing. This, as well as loving who I am, and falling in love, are what complete my life.
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