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  1. #1
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    Default Dealing with feelings of intellectual inadequacy in relationships

    Hello Typology Central, I just stumbled upon this site while trying to find some solutions to a current life issue of mine and I was hoping maybe somebody could help me work through it... So here is my first post.

    Throughout my life I have always considered myself something of a clever individual, and I have never really had doubts about that. I've always been able to easily apply myself to something if I really felt the need to. I do know that many people disregard the true efficacy of IQ tests in gauging intelligence however I feel that it is relevant to mention that I have taken numerous IQ tests throughout my life and I usually show up in the mid to high 140s. It is truly rare for me to encounter someone who I feel actually measures up to me in that sense. A couple months ago I started dating this girl just for kicks and giggles, thinking that it wouldn't amount to anything really as I kind of thought of her as something of a ditz. However recently as we get closer and more open with each other I am starting to realize that I severely underestimated her mental capacity, the other day she told me the results of an IQ test she took in the 4th grade where she achieve a score of 180, and although I am somewhat skeptical of this although there is potential for it's truth when compared to some of her developmental accomplishments (eg her first (nonbabbling) vocalization as a child was "I want a cracker", she toilet trained herself, and she was fluent in three languages from a young age). Originally I thought that it would be nice to have someone who could keep up with me on an intellectual level however lately I have felt a sense of inferiority whenever it surfaces, which seems to happen quite a bit. Does anybody know how I should go about approaching this situation?
    Last edited by Zak-san; 03-05-2011 at 02:04 PM. Reason: And I just realized this should be in the relationship thread... Herp Derp.

  2. #2
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    Hello and welcome to the forums.

    Well, it must have been a humbling experience, a lesson in not to underestimate people on any accounts. I realize that this might be easier said than done, but don't get discouraged by it. Trying to compare yourself to her and concentrating on your possible shortcomings or on her possible superiority will only deepen your sense of inferiority.

    How about taking an approach where neither of you are either above or below each other? You're just different, it would be unreasonable to expect to be on equal levels on all accounts, but that doesn't mean that you don't have anything valuable to bring into a relationship. Concentrate on your strengths and take pride in your accomplishments and value her for her strengths and accomplishments.

  3. #3
    Junior Member Hine's Avatar
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    i've been trying to figure out this problem in my own matrimonial life. I've mostly considered myself quite smart and people around me have confirmed it to be true.
    With my hubby i consider myself - an idiot. My IQ is something around 120, but my hubby's IQ is around 170. He learned to read by himself, when he was 5 years old - while i was drawing dogs and cats on the walls. He learns everything fast, no matter if it's computing, science or cooking, while i'm slow ... and need time ... to digest new things. He's a fast talker, while i need time ... to think ... and talk.
    I'm sorry i'm so lousy. I can never reach his intellectual limits. We have intellectually lopsided marriage :(
    If you are occasionally bothered by her intellectual abilities,then on the other hand - has she been frustrated or anxious because of your IQ?
    Life - the time when you are alive. Cf. Death

  4. #4
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    yeah, i would be frustrated by that too. as a child i was always praised for being intelligent and it's been hard to come to terms with people who outdo me.

    still, intellect does not have a causal relationship with how good of a person you are, how much you care about others, how successful you're going to be in the world, or how good at supporting the other person you will be in a relationship. it doesn't determine your abilities. i also like the multiple intelligences perspective.

    ask yourself why you feel inferior. besides your own thoughts, is your "lesser" intellect actually impacting your ability to do the things you like in life?

    also, IQ tests are complete bullshit for anything beyond helping determine whether you should consider looking into special education for a child. the only thing they actually test for is how well a child takes IQ tests.

  5. #5
    Senior Member celesul's Avatar
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    Honestly, if you accept her for what she is, she'll probably appreciate you a ton. Learning to accept someone substantially more intelligent than yourself is a skill, I think. For the reference, I intimidated almost every guy I met until I got to college (I go to a crazy one full of people far more brilliant than I). Now I am, instead of the scarily intelligent girl, simply someone who can converse on a similar level to the people around me. I actually now have a boyfriend and know a lot of guys who think my intellect is hot rather than scary. Regardless, when I was in high school, the few guys I knew who I didn't intimidate the hell out of I appreciated tremendously. They were usually the ones I crushed on. Sure, they didn't have the same skill in academics as I did, but they often had cool hobbies. I remember one being very musical. Also, if it took you that long to figure out that she's brilliant, her brilliance is probably not a central part of her life. She has it, but it isn't her defining trait. Yes, it's very common to be intimidated, but putting in some effort to accept her brilliance would doubtless be sincerely appreciated.
    "'You scoundrel, you have wronged me,' hissed the philosopher. 'May you live forever!'" - Ambrose Bierce

  6. #6
    The Eighth Colour Octarine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zak-san View Post
    Does anybody know how I should go about approaching this situation?
    Yes. Don't over analyse it. Don't think 'gee he/she is so much smarter than me, how can I compare'.

    All that matters is good communication. Don't assume you know how someone else feels. You may find that they have even experienced the same thing in reverse - occasions where you seem more intelligent than them.

  7. #7
    not to be trusted miss fortune's Avatar
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    sounds like too much of your identity was riding on your perception of yourself being intelligent and you are uncomfortable being challenged by someone who is close to you who makes you feel LESS intelligent

    I'd suggest branching out and finding other things that you're proud of yourself for
    “Oh, we're always alright. You remember that. We happen to other people.” -Terry Pratchett

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    i love skylights's Avatar
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    ^

    also worth noting that with "higher intelligence" generally comes feeling weird/ like an outsider to some extent. especially because what you gain in one area, you're probably losing in another. all talents and skills are developed at the expense of energy being dedicated to other talents and skills. being human, your girl is bound to have some weak areas and insecurities.

  9. #9
    not to be trusted miss fortune's Avatar
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    she's a girl... of course she has insecurities
    “Oh, we're always alright. You remember that. We happen to other people.” -Terry Pratchett

  10. #10
    Senior Member Forever_Jung's Avatar
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    Yeah, you should just develop an identity outside your intelligence, that will help you be less insecure. For a while, all I had to feel proud of was being an egghead. But then I made a friend who made me look like an idiot. I didn't know what my role was anymore, and so I was forced to develop other aspects of myself. That's not to say I am good at everything, but now I can offer a few different options to people. I can be the confidante, clown, etc. It makes me feel more secure. Girls I meet feel very insecure about their intelligence around me (which is weird because I do not come across as some sort of austere intellectual, especially IRL) and they always ask if I think they're too dumb to love. Which makes me feel awful, because it's just not true, and I worry I am giving off that impression subtly. I think (or hope at least) that it's really a matter of people overestimating how much intelligence matters. Sure it's nice to be around smart people (or people around your level), but it is not the be-all and end-all of what makes someone's company worthwhile.

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