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  1. #1
    Honor Thy Inferior Such Irony's Avatar
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    Default Can being smart actually make you look stupid?

    I know it sounds like nonsense but let me explain.

    I've had people tell me I just don't get it or just don't understand something that I obviously do. I think its because I understand the complexities and nuances and all the technical aspects that go into something and the person I'm trying to explain it do just wants the basics. The thing is, to give them just the basics only is difficult because the thing I'm trying to explain is by nature not that straightforward and trying to make it more cut and dried than it is would be to compromise accuracy.

    So the other person thinks I'm dumb because I can't give a more cut and dried explanation with confidence and conviction.

    Anyone else relate to this? INTP thing?

    Would Te have an easier time of this than Ti?


    4444th post!
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  2. #2
    Senior Member prplchknz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Such Irony View Post
    I know it sounds like nonsense but let me explain.

    I've had people tell me I just don't get it or just don't understand something that I obviously do. I think its because I understand the complexities and nuances and all the technical aspects that go into something and the person I'm trying to explain it do just wants the basics. The thing is, to give them just the basics only is difficult because the thing I'm trying to explain is by nature not that straightforward and trying to make it more cut and dried than it is would be to compromise accuracy.

    So the other person thinks I'm dumb because I can't give a more cut and dried explanation with confidence and conviction.

    Anyone else relate to this? INTP thing?

    Would Te have an easier time of this than Ti?


    4444th post!
    I do. But sometimes I play dumb so people will leave me alone. I made the mistake of letting my room mates know I'm good with technology, now I'm fucking tech support in my house.

  3. #3
    Infinite Bubble
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    I don't seem particularly intelligent to most people, and there have been times where I must have come across as an idiot because of their condescension. It might be to do with my physical slowness and absent-mindedness, but it's probably mostly due to social anxiety and the lack of confidence/ability to express oneself adequately that it brings.

  4. #4
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    I say stupid-sounding things all the time. But that doesn't make them any less true. It takes most who laugh or jeer a bit of time to catch up with my thinking, then I get to say, "I told you so."

    Also, most nerdy types tend to dress and act in an awkward way, which makes people think pettable and stupid, even though it should do the opposite (as far as stupid is concerned).

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by Such Irony View Post
    I know it sounds like nonsense but let me explain.

    I've had people tell me I just don't get it or just don't understand something that I obviously do. I think its because I understand the complexities and nuances and all the technical aspects that go into something and the person I'm trying to explain it do just wants the basics. The thing is, to give them just the basics only is difficult because the thing I'm trying to explain is by nature not that straightforward and trying to make it more cut and dried than it is would be to compromise accuracy.

    So the other person thinks I'm dumb because I can't give a more cut and dried explanation with confidence and conviction.

    Anyone else relate to this? INTP thing?

    Would Te have an easier time of this than Ti?


    4444th post!
    It takes effort to make complicated things simpler for others to understand. This is a communication skill different from understanding someone else. I find that I am naturally more able to understand what others tell me than I am at telling people something that they understand.

    Although intelligence plays a role in these things, I do not believe that high intelligence implies being good at either of these communication skills. Equivalently, having poor communications skills does not imply low intelligence.

    I only partially relate to your experience. I've never been called stupid. People have both complimented and criticized my communication.

    Clarity and confidence are important aspects of understanding. Not everything can be clear and known with confidence. But other than in a philosophical sense, a great many things can be. Being able to make definitive statements about things is an indication that you know what can be known in a stable manner. In other words, you know what principles apply.

    With that said, there is subject matter that takes more exacting and thorough explanation to even appreciate the basics. Telling someone where to catch a bus is different from explaining quantum field theory. If you know, you ought to be able to tell someone where to catch a bus with clarity and confidence.

    Also, rambling is a sign of nervousness.
    /rambling

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  6. #6
    insert random title here Randomnity's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ygolo View Post
    It takes effort to make complicated things simpler for others to understand. This is a communication skill different from understanding someone else.
    Exactly this. Also, nervousness/social anxiety/language skills can play a role (if speaking) and so can writing ability (if writing). It is a highly useful skill to develop, in both settings.

    I also think that you need to have a very good understanding of something to explain it in terms that other people can understand, and to simplify things without losing accuracy. So looking "stupid" may actually be a sign that you don't understand the thing you're describing as well as you thought you did.

    (I actually do this kind of thing pretty often by designing science presentations for kids/non-science-educated adults, which is an interesting challenge. I still find it realllly difficult to do on the spot, though).
    -end of thread-

  7. #7
    Analytical Dreamer Coriolis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Such Irony View Post
    Anyone else relate to this? INTP thing?

    Would Te have an easier time of this than Ti?
    Short answer - yes. (See, that's Te, too.) I think Te is more willing to oversimplify at the cost of accuracy and completeness when there is some greater goal to be served, i.e. getting the person to be satisfied and go away. This needs to be balanced with the possible harm of the person going off with an oversimplified view of the issue. This is the sort of cost/benefit analysis that Te, especially Ni/Te does almost literally all the time.
    I've been called a criminal, a terrorist, and a threat to the known universe. But everything you were told is a lie. The truth is, they've taken our freedom, our home, and our future. The time has come for all humanity to take a stand...

  8. #8
    Senior Member Survive & Stay Free's Avatar
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    What you're describing to me sounds like a clash between intuition and sensing types, you could understand something intuitively but that's not going to satisfy a sensing type and they may quiz you but you wont be able to provide an explanation to their satisfaction and they will therefore consider you to have incomplete or erroneous information and may, especially if there's feeling, or worse emoting, involved that could be considered tantamount to being stupid.

    It makes me think of the debate between that priest and Dawkins, what is a learned or scholarly theologian to a Dawkins? Nothing other than a bothersome anomaly which wont act as expected.

  9. #9
    The Dark Lord The Wailing Specter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Infinite Bubble View Post
    I don't seem particularly intelligent to most people, and there have been times where I must have come across as an idiot because of their condescension. It might be to do with my physical slowness and absent-mindedness, but it's probably mostly due to social anxiety and the lack of confidence/ability to express oneself adequately that it brings.
    You are an INTJ, right?
    I thought that was an ENP thing…
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    ATHEIST UNITARIAN UNIVERSALIST HUMANIST
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  10. #10
    Infinite Bubble
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    Quote Originally Posted by Magic Qwan View Post
    You are an INTJ, right?
    I thought that was an ENP thing…
    Dunno. It's there for now while I'm being lazy in the field of self-discovery. I have and still am considering ENP.

    Do you relate, then?

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