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View Full Version : Followup Intelligence Question, Two of Three



Maddad
2005-Oct-31, 11:52 PM
We've now got a reasonable idea what people use to judge whether another person is intelligent or not. What do you do to enhance your own perception with other people? What do you do to make them think you're a really smart guy? Or woman, for that matter. We all do it. I use Google any time I'm not sure of my facts because I don't want people thinking I'm a dummy. What do other people do? Rather than just a re-hash the previous thread, I am hoping to get more of an idea of what you do to enhance other's opinion that you are smart.

TheBlackCat
2005-Nov-01, 12:42 AM
People don't like really smart people. In the real world I go out of my way to avoid being seen as "too smart". Only my best friend and immediate family members know I am in Mensa, for instance, and I think most people I know would be surprised to find that out (although my closest friends probably wouldn't be). In a group I generally don't say much at all unless it is really important. I tend to answer a lot of question in class, and if people ask me for help on homework (which happens a lot) I am more than happy to help as best I can, but generally speaking I do my best to not seem too smart (especially in social settings). If people are around me enough they figure it out eventually, it is hard to hide it completely, but flaunting or focusing on your intelligence, correcting inconsequential mistakes, never being wrong, being overly technical or detailed when people don't care, and/or knowing the answer to everything is a recipe for social disaster. It is not as big a problem now considering everybody in my program is smart, but I still avoid making a big deal about it. I pay attention, I ask relevant and inciteful questions, I mention short quips or relevant stories I think people might find amusing, I tend to have a good collection of funny quotes that I can use in many situations, but mostly in groups I just keep my mouth shut If I am one-on-one with someone, I keep the focus on them. I try to learn about what they think and why they think it. I try to learn what their goals are and how they came up with them. I try to learn what they like and why they like it. I occasionally bring it back to something regarding me, but I immediately turn it back to them. I remember what they said and use it later. I can justify just about anything convincingly enough to make them feel good about their decisions and perspectives (it is not that hard, they already agree with their opinion so confirmation bias becomes a powerful ally). My intelligence is not really relevant to the discussion, and if it comes up I downplay it. Their intelligence (or at least their perception of their intelligence) is what is important. The goal is to make them feel important, not make them think you are important


Being intelligent is not a felony. But most societies evaluate it as at least a misdemeanor.

The Mangler
2005-Nov-01, 12:50 AM
I use spell checkers, and look stuff up in the dictionary, but other than that I don't really try too hard to impress people. I don't go around claiming something is a fact unless I know it is. Still wrong sometimes though. I usually try not to talk about something unless I know the subject.

PS - Pottstown, PA? ...I really miss Yuengling... Can't get it here... :(

Enzp
2005-Nov-01, 06:23 AM
Maddad, you question seems to imply we have the need to show off or consciously impress people. I think I am reasonably intelligent, certainly there are many people more and many people less intelligent than I. But I don't feel the need to "make" people think I am smart. In fact, it is more important to my psyche to be amusing than an encyclopedia, but then I am in show biz.

I don't think folks resent smart people so much as they resent people who are pedantic or just showing off. If you are in a conversation in a group, there may be someone whose thoughts are generally of interest, and whose information is usually correct. People like that guy. But people don't like the guy who has to interrupt just to persent some information to demonstrate how smart he might be.

SOme people merit our attention, while others work hard trying to demand it. "Look at me, I'm real smart." That won't win you many points socially. FOlks are not interested to have you correcting them for any little scientific faux paux. And it is pretty obvious when someone is not discussing something with you, but rather just waiting for chances to say things.

Looking smart is not the same thing as not looking stupid. Try not looking stupid and looking smart kinda falls into place.

WHy not just be honest and express yourself. Add information when it is warranted. People will respect real a lot more than "Oh, here comes encyclopedia Ed."

Gillianren
2005-Nov-01, 08:03 AM
My nickname at camp one year was Thesaurus, if I remember properly.

And, no, I don't try to make myself seem smarter than I really am. Lesson learned, thanks. I hung out with a grades-obsessed crowd in high school, and they resented it when I was smarter than they were.

Argos
2005-Nov-01, 01:00 PM
People don't like really smart people. In the real world I go out of my way to avoid being seen as "too smart".

I´ve learned that the hard way. Showing too much intelligence can only make other people envious or affraid. People are scared of contemplating the vortexes of reason. People are stupid by definition. That´s why sanctuaries like this one are precious.

Silence is golden.

SolusLupus
2005-Nov-01, 06:08 PM
I don't care if people see me as too smart or not smart enough. I know what I know, and I'm willing to learn more. I'm interested in things that a lot of people consider geeky, and I'm also involved with things that society as a whole would consider rather deviant.

Do I care? Not really. I have never committed a crime, I like to think I'm generally a good guy, and I do help others when I have the chance. I don't care what people think about me in the end - I'd rather be myself and be hated, than pretend to be someone else, hating myself, and being loved by all.

However, it's good that I have so many friends that actually LIKE the fact that I'm smart. But they do make fun of the fact that I'm not always the best grammatically when I'm too busy thinking while talking/typing, and talk/type too fast, and say something in a very very strange way :D

Nonetheless, being respected for my creativity and intelligence is something that I'm grateful for.

jkmccrann
2005-Nov-01, 06:19 PM
We've now got a reasonable idea what people use to judge whether another person is intelligent or not. What do you do to enhance your own perception with other people? What do you do to make them think you're a really smart guy? Or woman, for that matter. We all do it. I use Google any time I'm not sure of my facts because I don't want people thinking I'm a dummy. What do other people do? Rather than just a re-hash the previous thread, I am hoping to get more of an idea of what you do to enhance other's opinion that you are smart.

Well, I don't quite know what to say here?? To be honest, I think my jury is still out.

I would pretty much agree with what Enzp had to say though. You'll get a lot further with expanding other people's horizons if you become their friends first and foremost and always give people the benefit of the doubt as a given. It makes it a lot easier to espouse your reasoning to them later on.

Actually, this has just reminded me of a totally different topic, so I hope that's enough!

:):):)

devilmech
2005-Nov-01, 07:10 PM
We've now got a reasonable idea what people use to judge whether another person is intelligent or not. What do you do to enhance your own perception with other people? What do you do to make them think you're a really smart guy? Or woman, for that matter. We all do it. I use Google any time I'm not sure of my facts because I don't want people thinking I'm a dummy. What do other people do? Rather than just a re-hash the previous thread, I am hoping to get more of an idea of what you do to enhance other's opinion that you are smart.

I don't really do anything to showcase my intelligence. Sure, if I'm at a party talking with an attractive female I might let it slip that I graduated high school valedictorian at 15 and so on, but for the general majority of the time it doesn't really matter who thinks what of my intelligence.

About the only time I go out of my way to flaunt my intelligence is when someone questions it, and that's more of a defensive reaction than a premeditated decision to let the world know I'm intellectually superior to them.

SolusLupus
2005-Nov-01, 09:08 PM
If you call arguing with someone "flaunting", then I flaunt my intelligence a lot. I don't like it when I hear an argument or belief that I find just plain silly, and I express my viewpoint.

Sometimes I don't, though, because it's the wrong time to, and it wouldn't matter if I said anything. For instance, I argued with a creationist in my school before, and it seemed to have an obvious impact on her (though I doubt it'll really stick). However, on the other hand, some woman told me she thought that History was a useless subject, and that REALLY riled me up, but I knew it was useless to argue with this particular person and in the middle of Math class.

That last one was just today, too. I'm still sore at it. As one man said in Schindler's List, "Not essential? I teach Art and History. How is that not essential?"

devilmech
2005-Nov-02, 04:54 AM
However, on the other hand, some woman told me she thought that History was a useless subject, and that REALLY riled me up, but I knew it was useless to argue with this particular person and in the middle of Math class.

That last one was just today, too. I'm still sore at it. As one man said in Schindler's List, "Not essential? I teach Art and History. How is that not essential?"

Look at it from another point of view. For those without the intellectual capacity to grasp the lessons and foundations history can give us, history is about as useless as the efforts of the person trying to teach it to them.

Titana
2005-Nov-02, 05:13 AM
Maddad, you question seems to imply we have the need to show off or consciously impress people. I think I am reasonably intelligent, certainly there are many people more and many people less intelligent than I. But I don't feel the need to "make" people think I am smart. In fact, it is more important to my psyche to be amusing than an encyclopedia, but then I am in show biz.

I don't think folks resent smart people so much as they resent people who are pedantic or just showing off. If you are in a conversation in a group, there may be someone whose thoughts are generally of interest, and whose information is usually correct. People like that guy. But people don't like the guy who has to interrupt just to persent some information to demonstrate how smart he might be.

SOme people merit our attention, while others work hard trying to demand it. "Look at me, I'm real smart." That won't win you many points socially. FOlks are not interested to have you correcting them for any little scientific faux paux. And it is pretty obvious when someone is not discussing something with you, but rather just waiting for chances to say things.

Looking smart is not the same thing as not looking stupid. Try not looking stupid and looking smart kinda falls into place.

WHy not just be honest and express yourself. Add information when it is warranted. People will respect real a lot more than "Oh, here comes encyclopedia Ed."



I totally agree.....


Titana.......

SolusLupus
2005-Nov-02, 01:35 PM
Yeah, Enzp did put it well, didn't he? I agree with him.

Maddad
2005-Nov-03, 12:59 AM
The question I posed proved to be surprisingly difficult to answer on topic, so I'm going to cheat and take the reverse of a few responses. I'll need them for part three. Ok, the responses here so far are:

TheBlackCat
Speak when it is really important
Answer a lot of question in class
Help on homework
Ask relevant and inciteful questions
Collection of funny quotes

The Mangler
Use spell checkers and dictionaries

Gillianren
Use the thesaurus

____________________________
By the way, I agree that it can be socially disasterous if you don't reign in your intelligence, but for the purposes of this thread I needed to know what you might do to revese that normal direction. The topic at hand is what you do when and if you decide to demonstrate your intelligence. Whether that is a good idea or not is beside the point.

TheBlackCat
2005-Nov-03, 01:39 AM
Funny quotes aren't meant to show intelligence, simply to add a bit of levity to a discussion if they are on-topic.